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Windows 7: Moving the hard drive with OS to another computer.

19 Sep 2010   #11
claib1

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Windows 7 Upgrade

I have tried several things from the posts above. I have a hard drive that has a working copy of Windows 7 that I want to move to a new system, primarily because I don't want to have to reinstall all my software and programs.

With Windows XP, you could do this by reinstalling windows from the installation DVD and tell it that you wanted to keep your existing files on the hard drive. This just reinstalled windows without wiping out the whole hard drive.

The problem I am running into is that with Windows 7, you have to run the upgrade installations from inside your old version of Windows. It won't let you run it from the DVD. That becomes an issue because you can't get the system to boot on the hard drive from the other machine until you fix all the drivers.


Any suggestions?????


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Sep 2010   #12
Robert Cartman

Windows 7 RTM x64
 
 

First of all, don't forget to make a backup from your current system!

You might look around here also.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2010   #13
bobtran

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by claib1 View Post
I have tried several things from the posts above. I have a hard drive that has a working copy of Windows 7 that I want to move to a new system, primarily because I don't want to have to reinstall all my software and programs.

With Windows XP, you could do this by reinstalling windows from the installation DVD and tell it that you wanted to keep your existing files on the hard drive. This just reinstalled windows without wiping out the whole hard drive.

The problem I am running into is that with Windows 7, you have to run the upgrade installations from inside your old version of Windows. It won't let you run it from the DVD. That becomes an issue because you can't get the system to boot on the hard drive from the other machine until you fix all the drivers.


Any suggestions?????
Actually you CAN do a clean install with Upgrade media: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

You can use "Windows Easy Transfer" to get your customizations back but you will still have to re-install your other programs with a basic vanilla install without any custom options. When you import the transfer file it restores your customizations for most products....there are some products it will not handle but most of the most common programs it works just fine for. I used this method to move from the Release candidate (RC) to the Release to manufacturer (RTM). I ended up with the new install looking/performing just like the customized release candidate. You get the added benefit of having a clean, lean install without carrying over any issues from the previous install.

You will also find all your files, pictures, music, documents, etc in the Windows.old directory of the C: drive after the install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Sep 2010   #14
claib1

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Custom Install

OK. So I tried the custom install as suggested. Got a little farther. The drive I copied the image to is working fine. I tested it on another computer and was able to open files and navigate folders normally.

My new problem is now the install program for Windows 7 won't recognize the disk at all. What is funny is it asks me to browse for a driver to load so that it can find a hard drive. Under the choices to browse is the hard drive that I am trying to install windows to. I can open folders and browse normally, but it won't recognize it as a drive available to install windows 7 to.

I am at a loss as what to try next.

Any Ideas???

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2010   #15
spyknee

W7 Ulti/64, XP Pro/32
 
 

Hmmm,
I was under the impression that you could not take a HD off one mobo and use it with another. This due to the fact that, at OS install the system hardware is mapped togather by the install.
This thread seems to refute this.
So, could someone start another thread explaining this and/or point me too a guide, tutorial, website that will explain.
My last ASUS mobo was RMA'ed 5 times and I had seen info stating that you had to re-install, re-image the drive with the new mobo.
Trying not to hijack threader's thread.

ty
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2010   #16
madtownidiot

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by spyknee View Post
Hmmm,
I was under the impression that you could not take a HD off one mobo and use it with another. This due to the fact that, at OS install the system hardware is mapped togather by the install.
This thread seems to refute this.
So, could someone start another thread explaining this and/or point me too a guide, tutorial, website that will explain.
My last ASUS mobo was RMA'ed 5 times and I had seen info stating that you had to re-install, re-image the drive with the new mobo.
Trying not to hijack threader's thread.

ty
That only applies to oem installs. If you have a retail windows license, it's within your rights to install it on any computer and then later move the install to any other computer, as often as you want, so long as the previous computer is not going to be used with that particular license again. The same applies if you have a retail windows license and an upgrade disk.

however it's been my experience that it's always better to do clean installs whenever possible. the time you might save by trying to migrate an entire OS and software configuration to an entirely different set of hardware by image transfer quickly be lost because of errors and poor performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2010   #17
spyknee

W7 Ulti/64, XP Pro/32
 
 

I do not mean a new install, I mean physically moving the HD to another mobo with the existing OS on the drive intact. I had read some stuff that you could prepare the drive ahead of time, thru repair/recovery, if moving HD to the same make and model mobo, but it was considered problematical.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2010   #18
kodi

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by spyknee View Post
I do not mean a new install, I mean physically moving the HD to another mobo with the existing OS on the drive intact. I had read some stuff that you could prepare the drive ahead of time, thru repair/recovery, if moving HD to the same make and model mobo, but it was considered problematical.
I have had TWO motherboard failures on two different systems and have just replaced the motherboards with Different ones than the original, booted them up and Windows 7 started then installed all the correct drivers without me having to do a thing.
I love windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2010   #19
madtownidiot

 

It can be done but I haven't done it that way since the early days of XP, because the windows compiler has been crippled by Microsoft's effort to reduce piracy, to the point where after the initial installation it's almost impossible to get it an intact OS to work on any other set of hardware. Back in the days of win 9x, it was possible, but not any more
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2010   #20
gregrocker

 
Update on starting Win7 on new hardware

With XP, you needed to do a Repair Install from boot to get the HD or an image to start on new hardware.

However, Win7 has such a huge catalogue of drivers and is supple enough to often start up on new hardware and then run fine without errors. In fact, the first dozen times it did this for me I chkdsk'd, sfc'd and other tests with no errors each time.

If it won't start, then you can try booting into Safe Mode to change the chipset and display drivers which will often start it, or try other drivers until it starts if it will. Some have reported that Startup Repair will also start which makes sense because the MBR might not be read as before, or other of the many tests might start it.

There are programs which will prepare for this: Paragon Adaptive Restore removes the drivers from HD beforehand - I suppose you could do that yourself to save the cost of the software. And Acronis 10+ removes drivers and otherwise prepares an image to start on new hardware if you select the option.

There have been reports that reactivation is not needed but I find it hard to comprehend, so always try to remove the activation ahead with elevated slmgr -upk command. If I forget then I've been able to reinstall Product Key at Computer>Properties to reactivate with updated hardware signature.

As for whether it will work to start up or reimage an OEM copy on new hardware to then reactivate with a Retail key, it has worked for me. As with XP, if there is any problem then activation can be completely reset with a Repair Install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Moving the hard drive with OS to another computer.




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