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Windows 7: Moving HDD to New Computer from Old Computer

09 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 
Moving HDD to New Computer from Old Computer

Can a hard drive with Windows 7 32 bit be moved to a new computer from an old computer?

The hard drive is about six months old and is running a retail version of Win 7 Professional - i.e. I bought the box containing the Win 7 discs.

I know a clean install is always best, but my question deals more with the issue of the O/S being tied to a computer, which I believe isn't the case here.

BTW, using the instructions on this forum, I successfully re-installed Win 7 on this drive without deleting any data or programs.

Thanks,

Rob

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Apr 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 enterprise 64 bit, Windows 7 Pro 64 bit ,Windows 8 64bit
 
 

Yes because you have a retail license key you can move the hard drive from one computer to another, weather the OS will agree with the new computer or not is a thing that is debatable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Hi Rob and welcome to Seven Forums.

The hard drive will work no bother on the new computer. Will it run the OS? It depends are the computer makes and models completely different? If so they more than likely will not. As the chipsets will be different.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Apr 2013   #4

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dsprague View Post
Yes because you have a retail license key you can move the hard drive from one computer to another, weather the OS will agree with the new computer or not is a thing that is debatable.
That's interesting. I'm hoping to upgrade from a Pentium 4 to something more up-to-date.

Is this possible - can I simply move the old hard drive to the new machine, and use that as a data drive?

Rob
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 enterprise 64 bit, Windows 7 Pro 64 bit ,Windows 8 64bit
 
 

It is entirely possible to simply use the drive as a data drive, there is no problem with that because then the operating system on that drive will have nothing to do with the new hardware. you wont need to worry about messing around with trying to get the proper drivers running if your using it simply for data, all of that will be contained on what ever drive you use for the OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by FH Rob View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dsprague View Post
Yes because you have a retail license key you can move the hard drive from one computer to another, weather the OS will agree with the new computer or not is a thing that is debatable.
That's interesting. I'm hoping to upgrade from a Pentium 4 to something more up-to-date.

Is this possible - can I simply move the old hard drive to the new machine, and use that as a data drive?

Rob
You can use that as a data drive no problem. If a operating system is on the hard you would want to make sure it is not marked as active ( Partition - Mark as Active )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #7

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by benjy206 View Post
Hi Rob and welcome to Seven Forums.

The hard drive will work no bother on the new computer. Will it run the OS? It depends are the computer makes and models completely different? If so they more than likely will not. As the chipsets will be different.
Hi Benjy:

Thanks for the welcome - this is an excellent forum, because the answers are in plain english.

I see your point regarding the chipset - didn't think of that.

How about the "trick" reinstall of Win 7 so that the data files and programs aren't erased? Is that good, or is a clean install the only way to go?

Rob
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #8

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 

You can use that as a data drive no problem. If a operating system is on the hard you would want to make sure it is not marked as active ( Partition - Mark as Active )[/QUOTE]

That's great news. Can a drive be changed to another designation, assuming it's marked as active?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Ya the easiest way is to make a back up of the data files to an external device ( Backup User and System Files ) and do a clean install ( Clean Install Windows 7 )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

To answer your blatant question the answer is YES, you can move a hard drive to another computer any time you want, but the drive has to contain data or be empty or raw unallocated space. Windows will find the drive, install the drivers and ask you to reboot.

To answer your roundabout question, can a hard drive with an OS be moved to another computer, flat out answer in my book is a big NO ( unless it`s the same exact motherboard, and it still may not boot ) and it shouldn`t even be attempted. It should be formatted, then used for it`s intended purpose. This is the proper way to take a hard drive and use it on a new system. IMO
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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