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Windows 7: is it possible to move existing boot disk to new PC to avoid re-instal

02 Mar 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1
is it possible to move existing boot disk to new PC to avoid re-instal

I have a 5+ year old PC that I'm planning to replace. I have a separate boot and data hard drive. I replaced the boot drive almost 2 years ago when it died with a SATA2 and installed Win 7 ultimate 64-bit on it. I replaced my data drive in January with a SATA3 one.

I plan to move my data drive to the new PC w/o issue. I was thinking of also moving my boot disk to the new PC or cloning it to a new boot drive then moving it. Are there reasons not to move my boot drive or a clone of it to the new PC?

The idea behind cloning my existing boot disk to a new one is that my boot disk is already almost 2 years old, so I want to start with a new drive that is
1-faster SATA3
2-less likely to fail within next 5 years

Is there free cloning software that can clone a boot drive on a sector level when the drive make & models are different (as long as the target drive is larger than the source drive)?

I expect my new PC to last 5 years.

I'm trying to avoid the time to re-install the OS, my applications, etc. I know Win 7 will complain about it seeing new hardware, but I'm thinking it will install drivers it needs during first boot, then I can install drivers from CD/DVD that comes with the motherboard, then update them with the latest drivers from the internet. Is there something else that will happen that makes this a bad idea?

Also, can motherboards handle different sized memory DIMMs, if they are the same speed? I think most motherboards only have 4 DIMM slots. I want to get 12 GB of memory. I have 1 4GB 1333MHz PC10600 DIMM I put in my work PC, that I may want to move to this new PC in the future, so I was thinking of getting 1 8GB DIMM & 1 4GB DIMM now. I'm not sure if that will be a good idea if the new memory will be different manufacturer than what's in my work PC now, or if that memory will be too slow than what my new motherboard can handle. I may have to just go with 3 x 4GB of new memory.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


First, prepare your Windows installation to be moved to new hardware, Method Two in this tutorial is what you need: Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer

When you have done that you can create your image with free Macrium Reflect tool as told in this tutorial: Imaging with free Macrium

Please read the warnings and notes in the beginning of both tutorials very carefully!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 is it possible to move existing boot disk to new PC to avoid re-instal

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