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Windows 7: Transfer files and setting from old hard drive to new computer

14 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 8 Core X64
Transfer files and setting from old hard drive to new computer

Had a HP running Vista Home Premium. System board croaked and owner elected to buy a new HP with Win 7 Home Premium. I figured it would be a piece of cake to mount the old HD via a USB connection and run Windows 7 Easy Transfer to migrate things from there to the new computer.

Bzzzzzz ... wrong ... Can't be done.

I had to copy everything over manually, one profile at a time.

This seems like an obvious scenario that WET should handle but it doesn't. Was there any other automated process I could have used? Just curious at this point as the work has already been done and the new computer is up and running.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Apr 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP


Hi Rich -

You could see if HD will start up in new machine, if not run Paragon Adaptive Restore to remove all the drivers, activation and hardware iD's so it will start up, then in-place Upgrade, or copy files over to Windows 7 clean install.

I have a SysPrepped image of my standard install after setup with programs installed which can be reimaged to any HD and will start up on any hardware. I made it by cloning my best install then SysPrepping the HD to take an image: SysPrep to move HD to another computer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2011   #3

Windows 8 Core X64

Thanks Greg.

Neither the old, dead, Vista system nor the new Win 7 system were mine, but for future work I'll keep this in mind.

From what I read, this is a bootable CD that runs some kind of WinPE. I'm guessing in the case I mentioned, I would remove the hard drive from the new Win 7 computer, install the hard drive from the Vista computer then boot Paragon Adaptive Restore and let it do it's magic.

Once that finishes reboot and let Vista install all needed drivers to make the computer functional with Vista, then run Windows 7 Easy Transfer. Where would I place the WET file/files? Would I have to partition the drive to make some space for it? Now I put the new Win 7 hard drive back in and what, mount the Vista drive as a 2nd SATA drive? If so, how do I tell WET to use it?

Seems like a lot of work for something that WET should handle effortlessly. Still might be fun to try. Have you ever used it successfully?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Apr 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP


Hi again Rich -

I use PAR regularly to change installs to new hardware and it works great. But unlike SysPrep it is not built-in or freeware.

I don't use WET so can't advise on that. I personally think it is bloatware and don't believe in importing AppData settings into fresh clean installs as they can be a corruption path.

In the scenario proposed, I'd SysPrep the HD if the mobo still existed, or PAR it on new machine if it didn't. Then I'd drag the User folders' contents to the corresponding User folder in explorer tree on the new install, or in-place Upgrade Vista to Windows 7 if applicable.

You can also copy out the files using DVD: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console.

Did you use a Rescue Disk to copy out the files?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2011   #5

Windows 8 Core X64

I used a universal drive adapter that allowed me to connect the SATA drive from the old computer directly to the new computer via USB. Once connected, it's just another external USB drive. Worked great for this.

I didn't migrate any AppData either, though I was tempted with Itunes as I'm not sure what happens if you migrate the Itunes music but nothing else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Transfer files and setting from old hard drive to new computer

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