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


02 Jan 2011   #649
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
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26 Apr 2014   #650
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

No, it's not just for the Test user.

No rocket science here: If you want to use this method to move your Windows installation, you have to use the Generalize switch and that very effectively removes all personal customizations.

You can of course try other methods if saving the customizations is really important for you. Remember though what Microsoft has officially to say about this procedure:

Note   Note
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.

I do not know any of the tools you told about to backup user profile settings, can't comment them.

Kari

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Apr 2014   #651
crashnbuen

WinXP/ Win7x64/ Mac OSX Snow Leopard - Multi Boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
No, it's not just for the Test user.

No rocket science here: If you want to use this method to move your Windows installation, you have to use the Generalize switch and that very effectively removes all personal customizations.

You can of course try other methods if saving the customizations is really important for you. Remember though what Microsoft has officially to say about this procedure:

Note   Note
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.

I do not know any of the tools you told about to backup user profile settings, can't comment them.

Kari
I don't know all of them either. One of the ways is the Windows Easy Transfer 'User Profile Files and Settings' Wizard and other are similar tools.

There are tons of links on how to save and restore User Profile settings. I am guessing that should be no harm if that is done afterwards to restore some 'tweaks' and 'UI' changes. (I used a good old Windows 2000 like Classic Gray look) with Classic Shell.

That part is what I am trying to 'conserve' and restore without having to do it from scratch I suppose. I hope I was able to convey this correctly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2014   #652
crashnbuen

WinXP/ Win7x64/ Mac OSX Snow Leopard - Multi Boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by crashnbuen View Post
Will all the settings of Windows Explorer, Start Menu and Taskbar, Desktop Settings etc will be saved as a part of the User Profiles under Windows after Generalization?
It's quite clearly told in tutorial:

Note   Note
What does Sysprep generalizing do to my Windows 7 setup?
  • All system specific information is removed or uninstalled
  • Security ID (SID) of your hardware setup is reseted
  • All system restore points are deleted
  • All event logs are deleted
  • All personalization is removed (taskbar, toolbars, folder options, start orb etc.)
  • Built-in administrator account is disabled (if it was enabled) and needs to be re-enabled if needed

What happens when booting first time after sysprep generalizing?
  • First boot configuration is run
  • New SID is created
  • Re-arm counter is reseted if not already re-armed three times
  • Windows 7 is booted using first boot default drivers and settings

First boot after generalizing you start with the default Windows theme by wallpaper by Microsoft, without a trace of your personal settings.

Kari
Could someone detail out what more is on this list of PERSONALIZATION that is removed?

More importantly.. are there any tutorials on these forums that allow one to SAVE / BACKUP / RESTORE some of these.. ?

Windows had a 'Files and Settings' Wizard i.e. Windows Easy Transfer (which does User Accounts and more)

And tutorials like this?
Advanced Appearance Settings - Backup and Restore in Windows
Folder View Settings - Back Up and Restore in Windows
IE Security Zones - Enable or Disable Level Settings
Region and Language Settings - Copy to New Users and Welcome Screen
Wireless Network Profile - Backup and Restore
Wi-Fi Network Backup Manager Saves and Restores Your Wi-Fi Configuration

Which of the above will be lost and should/ can be used to Backup Restore?
I am wondering about Wireless Network Router Names and Passwords which are saved. I'd hate to do them all over again.

Can the above be combined and used in conjunction, later after the System is restored and back on track to RESTORE some of the lost PERSONALIZATION settings?

Nice:
Region and Language "Formats" Tab - Add or Remove
Peppermint3 - Create Live CD/DVD/USB To Use For Emergency Backup
Context Menu - Add Copy To Folder and Move To Folder
Device Installation Settings
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2014   #653
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2014   #654
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by crashnbuen View Post
Could someone detail out what more is on this list of PERSONALIZATION that is removed?
Windows reverts to its default theme, the one used when Windows is first time installed. The default blue Windows background image, color theme and so on. If you have modified Start Orb it's reverted to the default one. Folder settings and icons, system icons are reverted to system defaults.

Basically, everything you have done to change the look and feel of your desktop is reverted to Windows defaults.

Only tutorial that I know which can help you to save at least some of these settings is this: Theme - Change or Save

Save your theme, apply it after the process.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2014   #655
crashnbuen

WinXP/ Win7x64/ Mac OSX Snow Leopard - Multi Boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
With no disrespect and big thank you for your helping and guidance. I am quite familiar with Paragon / Partition and Imaging tools, and can use that for the full partition. And I am not sure 'which files' you are recommending I backup & restore? Am I correct in assuming no files or user profiles are destroyed or lost in the Sysprep Generalization process. I am right now more concerned about saving 'settings' that are flushed/ reset by the process.
Thanks again thought. Let me know your thoughts if I am missing something or not getting your hinted direction.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Windows reverts to its default theme, the one used when Windows is first time installed. The default blue Windows background image, color theme and so on. If you have modified Start Orb it's reverted to the default one. Folder settings and icons, system icons are reverted to system defaults.

Basically, everything you have done to change the look and feel of your desktop is reverted to Windows defaults.

Only tutorial that I know which can help you to save at least some of these settings is this: Theme - Change or Save

Save your theme, apply it after the process.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
[*]All personalization is removed (taskbar, toolbars, folder options, start orb etc.)
First boot after generalizing you start with the default Windows theme by wallpaper by Microsoft, without a trace of your personal settings.
Kari - Thank you for the great suggestion. Maybe it should/ could be added as a ADD-ON to the Tutorial?

Am I correct to say that all that SYSPREP GENERALIZATION does is it Resets the following:
- HARDWARE/ DRIVER stuff and the
- LOOK & FEEL (theme/ wallpaper, explorer, desktop, folder stuff?)?
Did I get that right? User profiles remain untouched except for the LOOK & FEEL personalizations being reset.
Based on your answer and above replies, this THEME Saving will definitely help.
Note: I am using the Windows Classic theme with Classic Shell x64. Very minimal to zero theme-ing, almost looks like Windows 2000.

Kari - I am wondering and guessing some of the following could help a bit?
Or are they overkill and not needed?
Would the following save something that THEME Save missed out? Or is that covered by the THEME Saving?
Which of the following do you think/ have you seen will be lost and should and can be Saved for Restore?


Which of these do you think would be JUST NOT NEEDED - N, and NICE TO HAVE - NTH , DEFINITELY YES - Y
Advanced Appearance Settings - Backup and Restore in Windows
Folder View Settings - Back Up and Restore in Windows
IE Security Zones - Enable or Disable Level Settings
Region and Language Settings - Copy to New Users and Welcome Screen
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2014   #656
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

I might describe it as a fresh install but all of your programs and user profile(s) are still there after generalization and booting to OOBE, Out Of Box Experience.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2014   #657
crashnbuen

WinXP/ Win7x64/ Mac OSX Snow Leopard - Multi Boot
 
 

Thank you so much Kari - One last bit if you could share your thoughts on the last half of the previous post
Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2014   #658
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

I have nothing to add to what is already said. If you want to use this method, only method recommended and supported by Microsoft to move your Windows installation, you lose your customization settings and that's it. IE and other software settings have nothing to do with Windows customization which in this case includes icon, folder, theme, color, screensaver, system sound and such settings.

I really do not know how else to say it. My last try: Windows will be restored to default settings as seen after first boot following a clean install.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2014   #659
crashnbuen

WinXP/ Win7x64/ Mac OSX Snow Leopard - Multi Boot
 
 

Would VMWare and Oracle Virtualbox be an issue to this process? (Due to drivers etc?)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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