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Windows 7: transferring everything first to a new hd then a new system

08 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 x64
transferring everything first to a new hd then a new system

Ive done a little reading on this site and have found it an extremely useful resource. But I just need to make sure I am not missing anything. I am scared of losing my system but am upgrading my hardware. This is the parts and what I have planned:

1 old computer with 160gb (hereinafter 160o)
1 blank version of the same 160 (hereinafter 160n)
1 blank SSD drive (hereinafter ssd)
1 pair of TB hard drives that are mirrored (hereinafter tb)
1 new computer that was just built (CPU, MB, RAM) and has not booted (hereinafter awesome)

The goal is to take the old computer create an image of 160o and mount it on 160n so that there are two identical copies of the working system. And ultimately mount the image on ssd and transfer that drive into the awesome computer.
The steps will be:

To first create a system image backup of windows 7 using this link: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

The mirror will be stored on the tb drive. I will then swap the 160o for the 160n insert my win 7 disk and use the restore option and the backup that is on tb. This will give me two copies of the system just in case something goes wrong. Given that the image is stored on the internal tb hard drive and that the restore process cannot restore the drive that the image is stored in I will be able to save the image used for 160n and also use that on ssd.

Once I get the backed up system running on ssd, I will then use steps 1 through 12 of method one in this link to get the new processor/mb and ram working with ssd: Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer

Am I over looking anything? Will these restore processes work with the ssd? Any input will be greatly appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I think you are making your life too difficult. Besides, Windows own imaging facility is not the best vehicle to use. Have a look at this. It may be easier. SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System

I draw your attention to the Paragon Migration tool (mentioned in the tutorial) that does the job with 3 clicks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

It might work.

I'd be more inclined to build the new PC with the SSD and do a clean install of Windows onto the SSD, avoiding any interim steps and possible complications. I assume you have already rejected such an idea?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 7 x64

^ you think I could just build the PC and use the win 7 disk and a restore point on the ssd? whs, thank you for the useful posting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #5

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
as others have said building a new computer is a good time to install the OS from scratch -- chances are that the mobo drivers will be different anyway.

If you really want to install without doing a totally new installation -- then I'd suggest using something like ACRONIS UNIVERSAL RESTORE - this will usually do a good job of restoring an OS image to different hardware.

You might still miss some drivers of course if the online windows db doesn't contain them -- Acronis will prompt you for a directory to scan for drivers it cant find.

If at boot time you are still missing a few then one of two things will happen

1) computer boots -- add missing drivers manually.

2) BSOD boot failure --- OK not a disaster in this case as you can simply do a "Windows repair" and then after a successful boot add the drivers manually as before.

Forget the Windows built in imaging --it's a total WASTE of time for this type of stuff --especially when SSD's are concerned -- Windows has that stupid VSS (Volume shadowing "stuff" which means on an image it needs roughly 2X the required image size as free space --this often is a problem on laptops etc).

These utilities like Acronis are bootable so you don't need to have the OS running while you are doing this.

BTW as an extra safety tool keep a bootable copy of Partition Manager around -- you might need it if the target SSD partition needs to be re-formatted, re-sized or you forgot to set something active.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 x64

Im having a hard time understanding what will be the best process to first upgrade to the ssd then to the new computer. there are a lot of different approaches on this site. I think the easiest will be to create a restore point, and a restore boot disk with windows then swap drives and doing the restore. Then use the post on " how to transfer your complete windows 7 installation to a new computer" to move the ssd over to the new computer. wont that work?

How big of a deal is it to swap hardware with out a clean install? Will I really gain that much with the clean install?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jayulzvern View Post
How big of a deal is it to swap hardware with out a clean install? Will I really gain that much with the clean install?
It can vary widely.

I've seen reports on this forum of people who simply moved an existing hard drive containing Windows 7 to entirely new hardware and had success. Windows booted OK and adapted to the new hardware.

But it's trial and error to a degree. The PC may not boot. You will not know if you will fail and how badly without trying.

You have to weigh the chances of it not working and leading to a lot of frustration and wasted time against the extra time it would take to do a clean install directly onto the SSD. It's a crap shoot and no one can accurately tell you the chances. A clean install would take X hours, after configuration. Some other method might ultimately take more or less.

Windows 7 is apparently more tolerant of new hardware than XP and Vista.

I generally try to avoid crap shooting and would go with the clean install--but you have to decide on your own.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jul 2012   #8

Windows 7 x64

I think I am going to try the restore technique for the ssd and the transferring technique to transfer to the new computer. It looks like Sysprep removes all the drivers and the OS relearns the new components it was just transferred to. The parts come in on Wed and I should build it on Thursday so I will let you know how it goes. Thank You everyone for the guidance
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 transferring everything first to a new hd then a new system

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