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


02 Jan 2011   #569
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
12 Dec 2013   #570
Strudelbaum

Windows Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Recommended procedure when you put in a new mother board?

Hi - thanks for the tutorial. I just put in a new mother board and now they are trying to push a new OS down my throat.

Which method would you recommend?

Thanks.

Another Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2013   #571
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Hi Kari (?), welcome to the Seven Forums.

Method One is for situations when you keep the HDD (OS) but change other components. However, if you have already changed the motherboard it's too late.

Changing the motherboard is essentially same than transferring the OS to a new PC. When doing it, it is important to remember what Microsoft has said about the project (source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l...h825033.aspx):

Quote:
Important

You must use the Sysprep /generalize command to generalize a complete Windows installation before you can use the installation for deployment to a new computer, whether you use imaging, hard disk duplication, or another method. Moving or copying a Windows image to a different computer without running the Sysprep /generalize command is not supported.
Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2013   #572
Ghidrah007

Windows Home Premium x64
 
 
Works great

I rebuilt my computer over the weekend and used the following steps which are a combination of what you wrote and what I did. It worked flawlessly - one of the rare times this has ever happened!
Thanks Kari!

1) Remove old programs and clean up C drive of all non essential programs.
2) Run ccleaner then remove ccleaner from drive
3) Unmount all extra drives except for the SSD
4) Boot up and verify normal boot.
5) Open cmd prompt as administrator
6) net stop WMPNetworkSvc at cmd prompt
7) Type to Command Prompt: %windir%\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe, and hit Enter.
8) In sysprep dialog that opens, choose System Cleanup Action as Enter System Out-of-Box-Experience (OOBE), select Generalize, select Shutdown Options Shutdown. Click OK
9) Switch the main power of your PC off and install the new hardware including extra HDD’s
10) Boot into BIOS and set parameters for boot priority, etc.
11) Boot the PC from SSD. You will notice Windows booting as if it was the first boot after installation, installing default drivers and updating registry. One or two reboots are needed, depending on your system specifications
12) When Windows finally boots up, you will need to enter all information as if this really was a new, fresh installation
13) Because your old user profiles already exist, Windows does not accept your normal username, but instead you have to create a new temporary user. I use username Test for this purpose
14) When login screen appears, choose your old user account to login
15) Windows boots now to default OOBE first boot desktop, with default 800*600 resolution and default theme. All your installed applications are there, as well as your old user profiles and folders. Windows has installed the default drivers for your setup, you can update them if needed
16) Update the drivers
17) Go to Control Panel > User Accounts and delete the temporary user account (in this case Test) that you just created

Notes:
This worked flawlessly for me and I am very grateful to you for sharing this procedure!
I notice that the PC name was Test-PC after this, so I went in and changed it back to its original name.
I was interested to see if this worked since I had purchased the Family 3-Pack of Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade. You had indicated that upgrades wouldn’t work. Mine did work I suspect because I had upgraded from XP and so was considered a fresh install.
I did have trouble with my audio cards failing, but this turned out to be faulty connections and nothing to do with the transfer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2013   #573
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Hi Gidrah, welcome to the Seven Forums.

Thanks for sharing your experience. The reason your computer was named TEst-PC is that when you create an initial (first) user profile during the OOBE boot phase and you need to use a temporary username as your preferred username already exists, you forgot to change the computer name to whatever you'd like to have.

If a computer name is not specified when the window shown in screenshot below is presented, Windows names the PC automatically as USERNAME-PC, in your case you used the temporary username Test as told in tutorial so Windows named the PC as Test-PC.
Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


16 Dec 2013   #574
Strudelbaum

Windows Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Whoa!

I'll have a go at this ASAP and report back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2013   #575
Ghidrah007

Windows Home Premium x64
 
 

Thanks Kari
I should have mentioned that I had replaced the MB, CPU and RAM and so was essentially a new computer.
Thanks again!
Cheers
Ghidrah007
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2013   #576
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

You are most welcome .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2013   #577
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Will this work on a system installed with this tutorial?
User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2013   #578
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
Will this work on a system installed with this tutorial?
User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation
Short answer: Yes.

Long answer:
The two methods, two different usage scenarios for Sysprep have nothing to do with each other.

Relocating the main user profile folder using Sysprep and an unattended answer file as told in the tutorial linked to in your post changes the value of the internal Windows environment variable ProfilesDirectory to point to a user defined location instead of the original C:\Users. It does nothing else.

The method to transfer a complete Windows installation as described in this tutorial is based on the Generalize function of the Sysprep command. What Generalize does is it removes all hardware specific drivers and registry entries replacing them with generic Windows drivers, doing nothing else. It leaves all user data absolutely intact.

An example of the Generalize function:
You have Windows installed on hardware with an ATI Radeon GPU and Beats Audio system, among other hardware. You want to take the hard disk with Windows to a new PC where you have an nVidia GPU and Intel sound.

Running sysprep /generalize as told in this tutorial goes through the installed hardware, flagging all hardware specific (non-generic) drivers. It then removes these drivers, in this example it removes the ATI and Beats drivers and replaces them with generic Windows display and audio drivers.

HD can now be connected to a new computer, which when booted first time runs a so called OOBE boot. Instead of using the old ATI and Beats drivers it boots to Windows desktop using the generic Windows drivers, and the user can then install the correct nVidia and Intel drivers.

Note   Note
This is the only recommend and supported method to transfer a Windows installation. Some third party sites give complicated instructions in removing the drivers and editing registry manually, but it is not recommended.

This warning from Microsoft (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l...h825033.aspx):
Quote:
Important

You must use the Sysprep /generalize command to generalize a complete Windows installation before you can use the installation for deployment to a new computer, whether you use imaging, hard disk duplication, or another method. Moving or copying a Windows image to a different computer without running the Sysprep /generalize command is not supported.


Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2013   #579
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Thanks a lot Kari! I will be going from an AMD to Intel system so I wanted to be sure to get rid of all the "old AMD drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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