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Windows 7: Clone one machines drive for use in another ???

23 Mar 2017   #1
BuckSkin

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Clone one machines drive for use in another ???

I wasn't quite sure just where to put this so here it is:

I have two completely identical Dell Win7Pro 64-bit machines.
One of these works perfectly; the other has a lot of quirks and is very troublesome.
The same programs and many plug-ins are on both machines.
My idea is to get a new hard-drive, make an identical copy of the drive that is in the good machine, and then install this --- programs, drivers, and all --- into the problem machine; thus, I would avoid the days long headache of rounding up and installing everything all over again.

Is this feasible ?

Will this "clone" drive need something to associate it with the license key of it's new residence ?

Thanks for reading.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Mar 2017   #2
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

While this might work, you will be in breach of the Windows license agreement, as it only allows for installation of each license on one computer at any one time. So as you will making a copy & using it in another computer you will actually be using the one license on two computers & this will be picked up during any Windows updates.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2017   #3
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Does the troublesome PC have a readable COA ??


Attached Images
Clone one machines drive for use in another ???-hardwarecoa.gif 
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23 Mar 2017   #4
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

AddRam has raised a very valid point & as he has suggested if the troublesome PC has a readable validation code & it is for the same version of Windows that you are planning on installing, then this should overcome the validation problem.

After you have made all the changes of cloning & changing the hard drive, you will need to change the Activation Code, to the one shown on the case of the troublesome computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2017   #5
BuckSkin

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Thanks, everyone.
Yes; I have active and valid licenses on both machines and both machines are Win 7 Pro.
So, other than the license key situation, what I propose to do should be easier than starting from the beginning and having to round up and install a multitude of programs, plug-ins, updates, and drivers --- right ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2017   #6
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Totally agree that this is the way to go, you'll need not only to input the correct license info but also rename the new computer (start > run > sysdm.cpl > enter > change name) or else you'll end up with two systems on your network with the same name. No need to get a new drive either since you can just use/overwrite the one on the target system. Macrium Reflect free edition will do the clone in 10 minutes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2017   #7
BuckSkin

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
Totally agree that this is the way to go, you'll need not only to input the correct license info but also rename the new computer (start > run > sysdm.cpl > enter > change name) or else you'll end up with two systems on your network with the same name. No need to get a new drive either since you can just use/overwrite the one on the target system. Macrium Reflect free edition will do the clone in 10 minutes.
If I can remember to be so smart, I guess it would be best to leave the Ethernet kill-switch OFF until I get finished reconfiguring the computer name and license.

I have AOMEI BackUpper installed and a recent download of Macrium not-yet-installed; I guess this is just as good an excuse as any to go ahead and put the Macrium to use.


Both machines have identical 500GB drives, yet I have no notion as to brand-name and whether they are 7200- or 5400-rpm; is there some way I can identify them other than removing one from it's bay ?

I need more storage anyway and was kinda kicking around the idea of maybe a 2TB drive, but the ones in my price range are 5400-rpm; I had also thought about a small/quick SSD and then relegate the current drive to storage, but my ship is too far out at sea for such luxuries, plus it is crowding big rocks on the lee side.

I am too big a chicken to wipe the original drive until I have something else up and running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2017   #8
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

belarc advisor reports your system in great detail without you having to open the case. You may have to do a google search on the hard drive brand/model that belarc shows in order to get rpm specs.

Products: Belarc Advisor

As far as not wanting to wipe the original drive until its safe to do so, here's an idea...

1) clean up the drive you're about to clone, see post #3 here

Deleting entire "program" folders to clear up disc space

2) then defrag that same drive

3) then copy over everything you might want from the crappy drive so its now on the good drive, the one you are about to clone.

4) at this point the crappy drive will have nothing on it of value that's not on your good drive, so the bad drive is now expendable. If you clone your good drive onto the crappy drive, AND the motherboards are the same, the cloned drive will boot no problem. I also have two identical systems and have done exactly what you plan to do many times using macrium. If you still have any doubts, just remove the good drive right now and put it in the other system and see if it boots. It will. Or run Belarc on each system and compare their summary reports in detail, to confirm that the systems are identical.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2017   #9
BuckSkin

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Thank you ! ; you have given me some ideas and the confidence to fly in on this.

This will be my project for the next free day I have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2017   #10
BuckSkin

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
I also have two identical systems and have done exactly what you plan to do many times using macrium.

I have a new 2TB drive on the way; I already have external drive enclosures and a Sabrent hard-drive adapter USB to SATA.

The good drive I will be cloning is 500-GB.

Considering the capacity difference, will I need do anything special such as sizing partitions; and, if so, do I do this during the cloning process or after I get it installed ?

What will the cloning process do with that extra 1500-GB ?

Will I need worry about this GPT and MBR business ?

Sorry for so many questions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Clone one machines drive for use in another ???




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