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Windows 7: How to move operating system to a new hard drive?

02 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home 64 bit
How to move operating system to a new hard drive?

I am not very good with computers, so I don't really know how to do this, and need explanation in simple english . My harddrive is constantly causing BSODs on my HP laptop (Windows 7), and I have ordered a new hard drive. I am not quite sure how to transfer the operating system, any help would be appreciated greatly!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


Make the HP Recovery disks so you can boot them after swapping out the old HD to recover to factory condition: HP Recover Windows 7 Operating System Using HP Recovery - HP Customer Care (United States - English)

However if you'd like a much cleaner Win7 OS without the preinstalled HP crapware and useless factory utilties which have much better versions built into Win7, look over these steps to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.

A third option is to save externally a Win7 backup image of your current installation to reimage the new HD once you swap it in: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
System Image Recovery
or use free Macrium - Image your system

Here's a video on how to change out the HD. Be sure to guard against static shock by touching the case before touching any electronics.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home 64 bit

Hi Greg,
thanks for the lengthy reply! The HP recovery discs that I burned using my laptop don't actually work when I put them in my computer to do a restore. I have burned them multiple times but they don't work. Would I still be able to transfer my operating system to a new hard drive via system restore image without using these HP CDs? Also, right now since my hard drive is failing, my laptop constantly has messages regarding backing up files, imminent hard drive crashes, would these all go away if I restored my current system image onto my new working hard drive?

Another quick question, I have only used this new laptop for a little over a year, it is very surprising to me that the hard drive is already failing, what can be done in the future to prevent such failures?
Again, thanks for the help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 May 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


Have you run the HP Diagnostics tools to confirm the HD is bad? If not I would run the HD maker's HD Diagnostic
extended CD scan, followed by a full Disk Check to confirm its condition. You can determine the HD make/model by looking on it or googling the ID string found in Device Manager.

You can apply a Win7 backup image you've stored externally to the new HD by booting the Win7 DVD or System Repair Disk. This should perform no differently than it does now absent the HD problems.

However taking this opportunity to get a Clean Reinstall will give you a much better install overall so I'd strongly consider it since HP is the worst of all brands when it comes to corrupting factory bloatware it lards in to smother Win7. However an intermediate step is to Clean Up Factory Bloatware once you get reimaged.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2012   #5


You will be much happier with a new,clean install and getting rid of the HP bloatware that comes pre-installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2012   #6

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

First and foremost:
Backup all DATA that is dear to your heart.
Use usb sticks or an external usb drive depending upon the amount of data to backup.

Make a system image backup of your entire disk to an external usb drive.
You will be able to extract anything from the backup image.
Both the backup and the extraction can be performed using Win 7 Backup and Restore.

Why don't your recovery disks work? Precisely what occurs?

Run Chkdsk c: /R
if you have more that just a C: then repeat the chkdsk command for the other drives.

Use either Speccy or SIW to determine the make and model of your hard drive

Let us know the info from #5 so that we can point you to the diagnostic program for the hard drive.

That is enough for now. Do let us know the results. I'm afraid to recommend any more steps until you have at least backed up all data dear to your heart.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to move operating system to a new hard drive?

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