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Windows 7: Macrium Reflect to restore image to different computer/same model?

28 Aug 2016   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Macrium Reflect to restore image to different computer/same model?

Hello, I just bought a refurbished Dell Optiplex 780, and I actually already have a Dell Optiplex 780. I did create an image of my current computer with Macrium Reflect. I've read that when you try to restore the image to a different computer there can be problems because of incompatible drivers. Does anybody know if that could be an issue with me? Would one Dell Optiplex 780 have the same drivers as another Dell Optiplex 780? Or any other reason I'm not thinking of why such an image restore might be dangerous?

I figure that if this is doable, as an extra safety measure I should probably image the new computer first thing (with Macrium Reflect) before trying to restore some other image to it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2016   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

I'm guessing both PCs have a Windows installation and each PC has it's own individual Windows license.

Is that correct?

What are you trying to accomplish by restoring an image of the old PC onto the new PC?

Maybe because you want to avoid reinstalling a bunch of programs?

Some other reason?

Yes, regardless of what else you do, it would be a good idea to make a Macrium image of the new machine.

More details needed.

Have you ever restored a Macrium image to a hard drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2016   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Yes, they each have the 64 bit version of Windows 7 on them, and they both have the same size hard drive. I mainly am wanting to avoid reinstalling programs. As for restoring, to be honest, I've been doing backups regularly, but I've never actually restored using Macrium Reflect.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Aug 2016   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Most would advise you to bite the bullet and install your desired programs on the new machine.

That takes time. X number of hours.

What's the payoff for spending X hours?

You avoid any licensing issues related to putting the Windows license from the old PC onto the newer one, which is different hardware. Your licenses are likely "OEM", which generally are restricted to the original hardware (motherboard).

You avoid carrying over any issues from the old machine to the new one--minor or major, known or unknown.

There is a reasonable chance you could get away with it and save the X hours.

You might have driver issues of some type, but those could likely be overcome--with Y or Z hours of effort.

Personally---I wouldn't do it. I'd just install the programs I need as I needed to use them---that might spread out over a month or two. Some progs on the old PC might never get installed on the new one. Or you might find a superior replacement. Or a newer version of the same program. It's better to look at program re-installation that way rather than as a 2 or 3 day installation/configuration marathon that anyone would want to avoid.

Lastly--if you have a spare hard drive laying around, you might want to consider doing an actual restore using Macrium anyway--just to confirm you know how to do it. Macrium is useless if you don't. Many users are like you--they make the backup image and stop there, figuring they will worry about restoration when the time comes. Bad move in my opinion.

Likewise--don't be lulled into a false sense of security by making an image of the new PC. You have to allow for the fact that you've never done a restore and you have to realize that imaging/restoration is NOT foolproof. It could fail and you'd need to know how to deal with that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2016   #5

Windows 7 x64

I would suggest you to do "Imaging" instead of clone the HDD, by imaging yours and restore to the refurbished set.
This is because you do not if the HDD is brand new or more likely is refurbished HDD, no guarantee on HDD reliable. Replaced it if you are not sure, but then you do regular backup, then it is alright.
Since it is a refurbished on the same model, do check the verification on the Windows label, if there is.
Maybe you could do a Diagnostic Report and let this forum expert to advice you further.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zindar View Post
I've read that when you try to restore the image to a different computer there can be problems because of incompatible drivers. Does anybody know if that could be an issue with me? Would one Dell Optiplex 780 have the same drivers as another Dell Optiplex 780?
Regarding to your this question, it is on your hand as you can check and compare.

Before you do anything, do check on the Device Manager on the refurbished computer vs yours on each driver and compare with yours.
This is in case there is swap of certain component, as it is a refurbished set.

Until you confirm everything is normal and no major changes were done &or swap.
I know this is annoying but this is necessary to avoid future issue you might face.

It seem that there is another thread of the same &or similar to yours, so do read in order to understand better.

Windows 7 Pro Refurbished PCs reinstall

There is one last point i would suggest;
Play around both computers, and see which one you prefer most and having no issue.
The other one can use it, and also use it for spare parts to your prefer set, if nec.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2016   #6
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

When you install a hard drive with Windows 7 from a laptop into a desktop it will make the installation of Windows 7 counterfeit unless it is a Retail copy. A Retail copy of Windows 7 can be moved to another computer but only on one computer at a time. Their is a good chance that your Windows 7 will be seen as being installed on two separate computers. Your laptop computer is probable a OEM or a OEM/SLP Windows 7, which is not legally movable to another computer.

Also doing such a things if the system will boot off the drive it will make a driver nightmare. You will probable spend more time trying to get things right than it takes to do it right the first time.

If a program isn't worth the time it takes to do a clean install of it, I would take a serious thought whether the program is worth having in the first place.

Many on this forum know exactly what it takes to do things like this correctly. Been there/done that. Doing it correctly is time well spent.

Just my thoughts.

Layback Bear
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2016   #7
Cursed Lemon

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

What you can do is a little trick I learned.

If you didn't know, Windows has a tool called "SysPrep" which dissociates the Windows installation with the hardware it was installed on. You can then transfer this hard drive to a brand new machine, and Windows boots up as if it's being used for the first time. It will prompt you to create a new user account, but you can log into the original/old user account you already have and delete it later.

What I've done is do a brand new, fresh Windows installation and installed all of the programs I like to use on it, getting everything configured the way I like. Then I use SysPrep to put the computer into "OOBE" (Out Of Box Experience) mode, which performs the aforementioned driver stripping.

After that, I pull that hard drive out of the computer and put it in an external HDD enclosure or carriage hooked up to another computer. On that computer, I use Macrium Reflect to create an image file of that SysPrep'd drive, and store that image file somewhere safe.

So now, whenever I need to install a fully-configured Windows 7 to another computer entirely, I just take the hard drive that's going to be in that computer and use Macrium to restore that image to the hard drive, at which point I will use totally-not-unscrupulous-and-illegal methods (coughRemoveWATcough) to bypass the authentication software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2016   #8

Windows 7 x64

This so-called "SysPrep" is mainly for OEM and system builder, not just retail version.

This replaced the older method using Answer file to install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2016   #9

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

As I understand it OEM PCs use OEM:SLP license keys that rely on data stored in the BIOS SLIC (SYSTEM LICENSED INTERNAL CODE) licensing table. This makes it difficult to transfer an image to a hardware identical PC and have the OS authenticated. But anyway it is illegal.

If you have a legit refurbished Dell the the OS should be legit. I'd just transfer your data and application software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Macrium Reflect to restore image to different computer/same model?

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