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Windows 7: Questions about moving Windows 7 + HDD from old laptop to new laptop


04 Jun 2013   #1

Windows 7 Hope Premium 64bit
 
 
Questions about moving Windows 7 + HDD from old laptop to new laptop

Hi there,

I've got a few questions about what would happen with Windows if I were to move my old HDD from my laptop into a new one.

Some info: I have a retail copy of Windows 7; my hard drive is not original to my laptop because the original HD died; if it's possible to do a simple swap, my future laptop will likely be a Sager/Clevo.

The situation: I want buy a new laptop with 2 HD slots, but I don't want to bother with getting an OS with it because I have a retail Windows 7. If I were to get the laptop with a clean HDD, would it be possible to simply take my old HDD out, slot it into the new laptop's 2nd slot (or switch the clean HDD into the second slot while putting the old HDD into the 1st slot), and have it run smoothly?

Or, will I have problems with drivers? What about Windows? Is Windows signed to the hard drive, or to the laptop itself? Will I have to deactivate Windows 7 before moving it? Or would it simply be easier to deactivate Windows from the old laptop, install it into the clean HDD, and then just put the old HDD into the 2nd slot? However, if I do that, will the programs installed on the HDD still work properly on the new laptop without having to fudge about with it? I've never had a PC w/ 2 hard drives before, so I don't know how it all works.

Thanks a lot for reading, and any help is appreciated greatly because it'll influence my new laptop purchase.

(Also, sorry if this is in the wrong spot...)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jun 2013   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
 
 

I think windows is tied to the motherboard not the hard-drive , so a person could replace the whole PC apart from the motherboard and still use the same copy of windows/ licence number but as your new PC/ laptop will have new everything including motherboard ( your just reusing a hard-drive ) you'll have to re-install it but the good news is you said you have a retail copy not OEM copy that means you can use it on more than one motherboard but not at the same time ( I think the limit is three installs)
is this link any help it's a tutorial for clean windows7 install
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2013   #3

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick
 
 

The chances are that Windows 7 will startup in the new laptop, installs couple of drivers, and ask you to reboot. Some of the drivers Windows will not have, such as network/Wi-Fi, that you'll need to install manually.


My system had been changed about seven month ego, including:
  • Motherboard, from Asus to Gigabyte
  • CPU, from First to Third generation Intel CPU
  • Memory
  • Video card
The SDD/HDDs/DVDs were kept. The new system booted up just fine as described above. Once the network driver was installed manually, Windows 7, Office, etc., activated on their own. The fringe benefit of using retail version of the software...

Have all of the drivers for the new laptop on a USB stick, pop in the OS disk to the new laptop, and boot it up. The chances are that Windows 7 and your apps will run just fine. If not, you can do that Juxxize had suggested...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jun 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

It's more than three installs, u just have to contact MS and explain it situation- they are believe it or not very leaniant about that. The family pack or w/e is good for three separate pc's at the same time- but can be moved to several over time. I.e. activating the forth pc will deactivate the first one I believe. Not 100% sure one the last quote.

As long as u purchased an install, you are good. Or you could uninstall the drivers and just swap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2013   #5

Windows 7 Hope Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks a lot for the responses, guys. They've taken a load off mind and I really appreciate it.

I have another question though. If I decide to go the SSD route and do a clean OS install on it, what will happen to the programs on the now-OS-less HDD in the new laptop? Will they still run perfectly fine even though the OS is on another drive? (Also, is there any difference between a 9.5mm SSD and a 7mm one? Or is it just merely size?)

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2013   #6

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by KingCrimson View Post
Thanks a lot for the responses, guys. They've taken a load off mind and I really appreciate it.

I have another question though. If I decide to go the SSD route and do a clean OS install on it, what will happen to the programs on the now-OS-less HDD in the new laptop? Will they still run perfectly fine even though the OS is on another drive? (Also, is there any difference between a 9.5mm SSD and a 7mm one? Or is it just merely size?)

Thanks again.
Most of the programs, if not all, will not run and you'll need to reinstall them.

If for some reason reinstalling the program(s) is not an option, you could just image the current OS with the programs and restore the image to the SSD, provided that the SSD's capacity is large enough for the image. If the SSD is too small for the image, you could clean up the current OS/program drive, and shrink the drive under the size of the SSD.

Here are some of the tutorials for doing the system cleanup and shrinking the OS drive:

Windows 7 SP1 Disk Cleanup Tool[2]=Performance Maintenance

Partition or Volume - Shrink

The difference between the 9.5 and 7 mm SSD drive is, well, the size and not performance; both of them will perform at the same level. The 7 mm SSDs are intended for the netbook and ultrabook market, where the space is at premium and the marginally less weight is also a factor. the 9.5 mm SSDs are mainly used in desktops, laptops, etc., where neither the size, nor the weight matters much.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2013   #7

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

To image the drive from the old to the new you can easily use the clone disk wizard of AOMEI partition assistant (the free edition), that does shrink the partitions as long as the data on them can physically fit (no, you won't be able to fit 500 GB of stuff in a 320 GB SSD even by shrinking the partition). Be sure to select the Advanced and tick the SSD checkbox if you are moving stuff to an SSD (duh!). Will reboot and take a few hours, then you just boot from the new drive and you're set.

In case for some arcane reasons it won't work you can do a sysprep before the swap as explained in this tutorial.

Actually, it's better if you unregister the license before doing this swap, especially if the licence says it works for only one PC. On the old one you can install Linux Mint 15 and it will do fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2013   #8

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
To image the drive from the old to the new you can easily use the clone disk wizard of AOMEI partition assistant (the free edition), that does shrink the partitions as long as the data on them can physically fit (no, you won't be able to fit 500 GB of stuff in a 320 GB SSD even by shrinking the partition).
That freeware looks promising, thanks for the link...

The data can be backed up to another drive or offline to make the system size with apps fit on the SSD. I've changed one laptop drive from 256 GBs HDD to a 64 GBs SSD via imaging with no problems. Cleaning up the drive, backing up the data, and shrinking the system partition took a lot longer than actual imaging.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
Actually, it's better if you unregister the license before doing this swap, especially if the licence says it works for only one PC. On the old one you can install Linux Mint 15 and it will do fine.
The license may just re-arm itself, once the imaged SSD boots and the network connection is available.

Yeah, Linux Mint 15 may do just fine, provided the wireless card works in the laptop...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2013   #9

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Mint (as Ubuntu anyway) generally works out of the box. Not recognizing wireless or even 3G is more rare nowadays.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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