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Windows 7: How can I migrate to a new pc without losing everything?

06 Dec 2013   #1
Espargo

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
How can I migrate to a new pc without losing everything?

Basically years back I got an HP desktop that came with Windows 7 installed. Basically I want to stick my hard drive into a new computer and dump the old crap. Problem is I'm pretty sure that won't work either because the copy of windows is tied to the motherboard that I no longer have use for or some other reasons and even though I have the hard drive backed up reinstalling all the games and programs on it is something I would rather avoid since I don't have the discs to some of them anymore and they're out of print or difficult to find and the new computer doesn't have a disc drive anyway. Somehow I neglected that part without realizing it. So I'm stumped. Should I get a retail version of 7 and replace the preinstalled one or will that not make things any easier? I know if I just copy stuff over to another drive there's going to be registry problems and such but I thought it was possible to move to new computers without having to start all over from scratch.

In fact on that one of my biggest concerns was if my current hard drive did fail I would lose everything in a similar way but restoring that onto the old computer would probably be easier than a new one. But I think I'm probably in over my head on all this.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Dec 2013   #2
strollin

W7 Ult desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W8.1 tablet
 
 

Laplink sells this software: Feature Overview - Laplink® PCMover Software
which purports to be able to move your installed programs to a new PC without the need to reinstall them. I have never used it since I prefer to do a clean install but I have read reviews that say it works but that it takes hours to complete.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2013   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You may be able to move it but I doubt you will be able to activate an OEM license on another PC - in any case, it would be a violation of the terms and conditions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Dec 2013   #4
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Hi Espargo, welcome to the Seven Forums.

Method One in this tutorial is exactly for situations like yours: Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2013   #5
strollin

W7 Ult desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W8.1 tablet
 
 

In order to use the software I posted about you would need to have the OS already installed on the new computer but then you would be able to transfer your programs without the need to reinstall them. The software is not for the purpose of transferring the OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2013   #6
Espargo

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
You may be able to move it but I doubt you will be able to activate an OEM license on another PC - in any case, it would be a violation of the terms and conditions.
Ideally I wouldn't even bother with the OEM license and just go buy a new actual copy of 7 all together but I don't know if the OEM version can be replaced without needing to delete everything.

I guess with laplink I just need to get a second hard drive for the new computer and install a retail copy of windows on to that. I didn't think I could do an actual transfer because a lot of the essential components from the old computer were going into the new one (like the power supply) but luckily I kept the ones shipped with the computer so perhaps that will work out.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Hi Espargo, welcome to the Seven Forums.

Method One in this tutorial is exactly for situations like yours: Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer

Kari
I took a peak at that but I'm pretty sure my copy is an OEM version of 7. I'm worried about the not being able to reactivate unless it's possible to replace the OEM license with a retail?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2013   #7
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Sysprepping your Windows with the generalize switch loses the activation data anyway, Windows needs to be reactivated afterwards. If you have a full version, retail or OEM, you can use a normal retail product key or an unused OEM key on the new system.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2013   #8
Espargo

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Now I see. It'll be a few days before I have the time to actually do the migration but that method seems like the most painless way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2013   #9
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

The thing is, transferring the Windows on a new PC you lose your OEM activation anyway. Generalizing it with sysprep is your safest bet.

However, do not forget to backup your system before you start.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How can I migrate to a new pc without losing everything?




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