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Windows 7: Can I add an old windows 7 hd into a new windows 10 computer

08 Jul 2016   #1
PeteMorrison48

Windows7 64 home premium
 
 
Can I add an old windows 7 hd into a new windows 10 computer

I've been fighting the change to 10 because some software I use for a volunteer organization isn't compatible and buying a new version would run about $500.00. I'd like a new pc with 10 and I'm wondering if I move the hd from my old pc into an empty slot in the new pc would allow me to have a dual boot system. I realize there will be some driver conflicts when I try and use the windows 7 drive in the new computer. Have I lost my marbles, or is there a chance this could work.
Thanks.
Pete


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jul 2016   #2
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Did you "upgrade" from that Windows 7? If so, then it is no longer valid and you would need a new Windows 7 key.
If not, you can attach it, and it may or may not boot up. If it does you can then install any needed drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2016   #3
PeteMorrison48

Windows7 64 home premium
 
 

Thanks for the quick reply. The new pc comes with windows 10. I hope the drivers aren't a major issue.
Pete
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jul 2016   #4
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

Yes, the drivers from the old PC would be problematic on the new PC. There are ways to do it though, not sure if you're willing to put in the effort.

You could run a command called sysprep with the Generalize option that removes all of the hardware specific drivers from the drive, then when you install it in the new machine, it would attempt to install the proper drivers. I say attempt because there may not be Win 7 drivers available for the mobo and other hardware in the new machine.

You could create another partition on the new machine (using part of the free disk space) and install Windows 7 there, this would allow you to dual boot from the same drive. You might have problems finding the drivers you need to do this.

Another option would be to use virtualization software to create a VM (Virtual Machine) on the new computer and install Win 7 there. This would give you a "second" computer within your new computer (via software only) running Windows 7. I personally prefer this option over dual booting since I can have both Windows 10 and Windows 7 running at the same time without the need to reboot. Drivers aren't a problem here because the virtualization software emulates very generic hardware and provides the needed drivers for it.

The last 2 options would require you to reinstall all of your programs on the Win 7 drive, while the first option would preserve your existing programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2016   #5
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP
 
 

New MBs hardware requires drives not found on Win 7 so it's not warranted it will work.
This is what I would do:
- Attach the old Win 7 drive to your new computer.
- Boot on win 10 and make a backup image of your whole Win 7 disk, so if something goes wrong you can restore the Win 7 disk.
- Detach win 10 HDD and boot win 7. During POST press F8 and choose Safe Mode. If it boots, (it may boot without mouse and keyboard as new MB has USB 3, and you'll be at a dead end) go to control panel, launch Device Manager and uninstall video, disk, Lan, USB, etc drives. Reboot on normal mode. If it boots, go to control panel, launch Device Manager and look at the faulty drives. If you have Lan, right click one by one and update by internet.
If it doesn't find all drives, shut down, attach the Win 10 HDD, boot Win 7 normally, go to control panel, launch Device Manager and look at the faulty drives. Right click one by one and update looking for on win 10 drive on windows folder and sub folder. Many win 10 drives works on Win 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2016   #6
PeteMorrison48

Windows7 64 home premium
 
 

Thank you all for the suggestions. This is more complicated that I had hoped. I'll read up on the virtual machine suggestion and the suggestion from Megahertz07. I may just save the Win7 system in another room and use it just for the volunteer work.

Again, many thanks.
Pete Morrison
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2016   #7
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Of course you can move the drive, but you`ll have to reinstall windows, that`s what you really should do, but you`ll need a new Windows 7 license.

Of course you can try it, but technically it would not be legal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2016   #8
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

There are two factors.

1) Driver issues. Usually very quick and simple to solve, just a matter of seconds.

Make Windows 7 bootable after motherboard swap

2) Licensing. You will need a license that allows win7 on that machine. Retail license is fine. If you have an oem license, you will probably need to call MS to activate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2016   #9
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP
 
 

The tutorial SIW2 suggested may work as Paragon can load the need USB 3 and SATA drives during the process.
Remember: make a backup image of your whole Win 7 disk, so if something goes wrong you can restore the Win 7 disk.
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 Can I add an old windows 7 hd into a new windows 10 computer




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