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Windows 7: Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer


02 Jan 2011   #439
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 
Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer

How to Transfer your Complete Windows 7 Installation to New Computer

To start, a warning from Microsoft:

...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2013   #440
Syti13

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Great. Thank you so much Kari, for all your help.

~Syti


My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2013   #441
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

You are welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2013   #442
freetvee

win 7 64 bit
 
 
transfer image to new computer

Kari-thanks for all of the great info! I have been scrolling through all of the great info on this post, but I haven't found anything exactly specific to what I am wanting to do...

I build HTPCs for folks, and am wanting to transfer over the exact same system image (including all of the non-windows software & programs) from the old PC to a new PC. I need the old PC to remain as is (fully functional), and then I want to activate a new Windows 7 product key on the new PC. Long story short this would save me a LOT of time if there was some easy/fast way to do this and allow both PCs to be fully functional...

Is this possible? If so, what method would work best or do you recommend going a different route? Would I need to reactivate Windows on the existing PC after every transfer or is there a way to leave windows on the old PC since I am reactivating a new product key on the new PC?

Much thanks for any assistance!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2013   #443
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Hi Freetvee, welcome to the Seven Forums.

It's a no-brainer , really easy to do but you need to re-activate the old system plus have the product key to activate the new system.

I would do it following this guide: An Old School Geek’s approach to Installing & Setting Up a Windows PC

As you are not setting up a new Windows per se, jump in at the middle of the Part 3 in above mentioned guide where you find this quote:

Note   Note
This is where you start if you are setting up a new PC with pre-installed Windows and you are happy with the default partitioning. When you boot your new PC first time it will stop here to ask your initial username and computer name. You can follow the rest of these guidelines from this point on.

If you want to do maintenance for your existing Windows installation, you can boot it to Audit Mode and continue from here.

Reboot to Audit Mode:
  • Close all programs
  • Press Win + R to open Run dialog
  • Type or copy & paste this to Run dialog:
    Code:
    %windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /audit /reboot
  • Click OK

This will work:
  • With OLD PC follow the guide mentioned from Part 3 where you'll find the above quote
  • Skip Parts 4 & 5
  • In Part 6 when asked to run and quit the Sysprep tool, you'll need to do it with one change: You need to select Generalize option, other options as told in this screenshot:
    Name:  Setup_23.png
Views: 131
Size:  7.0 KB
  • Now create an image using whatever tool you'd like to use, as told in Part 6
  • Reboot OLD PC, remember it is now generalized so it needs to be re-activated (old key) and all user customization is removed. You might also need to install some non-standard drivers although Windows 7 is quite good to find everything it needs
  • Transfer the image you created to NEW PC, boot, activate with new product key
That's it. I have used this method to deploy the same image with software installed on three of my home computers, no issues.

Please let me know how it went for you!

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


22 Feb 2013   #444
freetvee

win 7 64 bit
 
 

Well that is awesome news-don't know why I didn't think of that before?!? Thanks so much Kari for all of the details. I am heading out of town soon, so probably will not have a chance to give it a go for a week or 2, but I will definitely let you know how it goes. I would love to send you a donation, buy you a beer, or something else helpful... If there is some way I can do that-let me know. Thanks again! Brian
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #445
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by freetvee View Post
Well that is awesome news-don't know why I didn't think of that before?!? Thanks so much Kari for all of the details. I am heading out of town soon, so probably will not have a chance to give it a go for a week or 2, but I will definitely let you know how it goes. I would love to send you a donation, buy you a beer, or something else helpful... If there is some way I can do that-let me know. Thanks again! Brian
I'm a great fan of single malt whiskies, Laphroaig being my favorite label, so anything from here will do: Laphroaig Whisky - Buy Laphroaig Whiskies Online - Master of Malt - Master of Malt

Seriously, your thanks is enough. Take your time first time you do this; although not necessary it often makes a big difference if you can really understand what is happening and why when you prepare a system with sysprep.

Please keep us posted!

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2013   #446
LittleJay

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

Just used this tutorial to sysprep a Windows 7 installation on my old computer so I could move the drive to another PC. Thanks once again Kari!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2013   #447
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

You are welcome Jay.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2013   #448
freetvee

win 7 64 bit
 
 
help?!?

Hello! Giving this a try right now, but as I read through I am a bit confused at certain points. Can you please provide some more details around my questions below?
[*]With OLD PC follow the guide mentioned from Part 3 where you'll find the above quote[*]Skip the Part 4[*]Install / remove drivers and software as told in Part 5
Since I want to leave all of the old stuff as is on the old PC I assume I can skip this step 5 on the old PC too?

[*]In Part 6 when asked to run and quit the Sysprep tool, you'll need to do it with one change: You need to select Generalize option, other options as told in this screenshot:
Attachment 256330
[*]Now create an image using whatever tool you'd like to use, as told in Part 6[*]Reboot OLD PC, remember it is now generalized so it needs to be re-activated (old key) and all user customization is removed. You might also need to install some non-standard drivers although Windows 7 is quite good to find everything it needs
Confused?!? I was just wanting to copy the image from one PC to another, this sounds like it is wiping it off of the old one... Am I missing something? or do I then also need to do a system restore on the old PC as well to get all of my stuff back?

[*]Transfer the image you created to NEW PC, boot, activate with new product key[/LIST]So how do I transfer the image to the new PC-using system restore and then point/restore the new PC off of the old saved system image or some different way?


Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2013   #449
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Your post is a bit difficult to read, so I take what I understand and answer that:

Your situation is a little bit different as you will be using the same image on two PCs, the old one and a new HTPC. That's why I suggested you combine two tutorials, this one to first create the general image of old PC, and the one i linked to set up the new HTPC.

First, yes of course you can skip installing software as told in that other tutorial I linked. You are generalizing existing installation, no need to install additional software. My mistake to add that step in my post, please forget it. I will remove that step from my post.

Second, when you generalize the old PC, sysprep removes all third party drivers (NIC, video, audio etc.) and uses Windows native drivers when booted first time. For most computers this is totally OK, Windows goes online and picks correct drivers, but I recommend to check the Device Manager after first boot to control no drivers are missing. If yes, then you need to install those.

About the license, the Product Key: I will copy here the warning from the beginning of this tutorial:

warning   Warning
Using this method causes Windows 7 to lose all activation information, and it needs to be reactivated afterwards.

If your Windows 7 is an OEM version, you might not be able to reactivate afterwards, at least not without phone activation option.

What this means is that you will need to enter the valid, original Product Key to the old PC when you boot it first time after sysprepping it to create an image. The activation is lost, it really needs to be re-activated, so please be sure you have the Product Key before starting this procedure.

The same with the new HTPC where you will transfer the image, it needs to be activated with a valid, new Product Key (of course you cannot use the old PC's key twice!).

Please also remember that you cannot sysprep an upgraded Seven. If the Seven is installed as an in-place upgrade on top of Vista, or if the user has later done for a fresh install of Seven a so called repair install which is also considered as in-place upgrade, you cannot use this method. Sysprep only works on systems which have had a fresh, clean install.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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