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Windows 7: Cloning Windows 7 OEM with 2nd license code onto a new computer?

11 Nov 2010   #1

7 pro OEM
Cloning Windows 7 OEM with 2nd license code onto a new computer?

Is it possible to clone an existing Windows 7 pro OEM registered harddrive onto a different new computer, then just change the product key using the 2nd new OEM license code? Am hoping for an alternative to reinstalling everything new again plus our local computer shop has closed down where the first computer was purchased.

Have a nicely running Windows 7 Pro OEM registered computer and ordered another new computer(newer different hardware) with a 2nd Windows 7 Pro OEM license.

Already own and installed one license of the 3-pack versions of Office 2007 Home and 3-pack of Bitdender Interent Security 2011(had huge install issues almost destroyed my existing Windows install, took weeks to get everything working again). Plus various other freeware software setups, documents, pictures, home movies, etc. Another big hurdle to a full clean install is our unreliable and slow 30/k internet download speed out in the country.

Searched around this forum and this good post below by GregRocker detailing cloning BEFORE activation but we have already activated and do not want to invalidate one of my two OEM licenses.

Cloning Windows 7

Since you say you want to do this legally, then do you have a second license for Windows 7 Home Premium to use on your desktop?

If so, you can use a drive imaging software to copy and then reimage to the desktop. Macrium Reflect freeware is good.

After reimaging, all drivers will changeout with several requests for restart. Then immediately go to Computer>Properties activation link and change the product key to your second license. The license which you have reimaged to the desktop with Windows 7 Home Premium will not work on that hardware configuration.

If the key is rejected, use the robocall option to see if your second license will activate. If you speak with a MS agent, tell them you just installed Home Premium on the machine and want to install the key which came with it. Do not use the word "clone" or "image" to MS as they are allergic to it.

If this fails to work, then you need to run a simple Repair Install from the desktop to re-acclimate Windows 7 to the new hardware and reset activation so it will accept the legal key for that same version of Windows 7.

Any help would be appreciated,

My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Nov 2010   #2


It won't work. You can install using the OEM DVD (or an iso image using multibootiso) for another computer, then activate it by phone if the licenses are for the same version of windows, but because the hardware configurations aren't identical, the drivers for the other system will probably cause a ton of BSODs, if the system even boots
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP


I find that Windows 7 will start up on new hardware about half the time. If it won't then you can run Paragon Adaptive Restore CD to remove all the drivers and it will start on the new hardware. You can also use Acronis 10+ Universal Restore function to create an image that will restore to any new hardware.

Otherwise there are no guarantees it will start up - you can only try. If it does, then be sure to immediately change out the Product key at Computer>Properties or by running as Admin the command slmgr -upk to reset activation.

Paragon offers Adaptive Restore free for evaluation:
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Nov 2010   #4

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit

[QUOTE=gregrocker;1070076]... If it won't then you can run Paragon Adaptive Restore CD to remove all the drivers and it will start on the new hardware. /QUOTE]

I've read about that but not actually used it ...

So, do you simply boot from the CD, run this app -- and it fixes the PC?

Or, do you have to do some kind of "sysprep" to the backup image, or source PC, prior to the move?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP


If Windows 7 will not start on new hardware, you would boot the Paragon CD to have it "Adjust to New Hardware" and it will apply its fixes on the HD itself. Then Windows 7 should start.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2010   #6

7 pro OEM

Thanks for the quick replies. Does the Windows 7 OEM cloning to a new harddrive with a 2nd key change require using the exact same version of Window 7 OEM = Pro to Pro, Home Premium to Home Premium, etc., is this correct?

Too late for me to change but for someone else reading this thread it could help or if I wanted to add another computer later with a cheaper windows 7 version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Cloning Windows 7 OEM with 2nd license code onto a new computer?

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