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Windows 7: Clone old drive, to new drive that already has Windows 7 installed?

18 Oct 2016   #1

Clone old drive, to new drive that already has Windows 7 installed?

Hi there.

I am looking to move my 1TB of data (documents+games+movies+programs) to a 2TB harddrive (brand new harddrive). So what I want to do is to install a fresh Windows 7 onto the 2TB, and then I want to clone and copy over the 1TB harddrive's data to the 2TB harddrive, so that all of my games (with their saves) and programs will work on the 2TB harddrive.

And the obvious reason why I don't want to copy or clone the OLD windows 7 install from the 1TB is because it's full of bugs and errors, and is like 6 years old (I regularly get "rpc server is unavailable" errors and sometimes BSODs). So I want a fresh harddrive with a fresh windows 7 install, but I want all of my old data + games copied over exactly as they are. How would I go about doing this>? I do have a program called "Macrium Reflect" which will do the cloning (or I could use the Windows Transver feature maybe?).

PS. The computer will be the same ie. no new hardware will be added, I'll only be slotting in a bigger harddrive, so there won't be any hardware changes or anything of that sort. I'm an IT-tech of 3years (even though I've never done this), so don't worry about using any IT jargon, I'll understand what you're saying.

Computer setup is: Windows 7 Pro, 64bit, service pack 1.

So, is this achievable?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2016   #2

Windows 7 HP 64

- First of all: disconnect your actual disk from the MB. This is very important to make sure your boot loader will be on the new disk.
Do a fresh install Clean Install Windows 7
When creating a user, select Test.
After installation finish, install all drivers and win 7 updates.
To save time with the updates: MS releases SP2 for Windows 7
Install all your programs (Office, games etc)
Under user = Test create a new user with the same name you have on your old computer (Plank?).
Log off Test and log in as Plank. Windows will create a Plank user.
Shut down.
Attach the old disk. Make sure you boot on the new disk.
Log in as Test

Now the trick.
Under user = Test rename the new \users\Plank to \users\Plank_New
Copy from the old disk your folder \users\Plank to the new \users
Shut down and remove the old drive
Boot and log in as Plank. You should have all your user settings on the new installation.

With this trick, you moved all the old registers for Plank to the new disk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2016   #3

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

With your problem it might be best to try a Repair Install.
Here is a tutorial, read through it and see what you think:
Repair Install

I would migrate the current drive to the new 2TB drive, and do a Repair Install on the 2TB drive with the 1TB drive disconnected.
For the migrate I would use Imaging rather than Cloning, imho it's more reliable.
I use Macrium Reflect free for system image backups:
Macrium Reflect Free
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Oct 2016   #4

Windows 7 HP 64

David gave you another option.
The problem when reinstalling over an existing installation is that it will only reinstall Windows.
All old trash on the disk and on the register will remain.
With the option I've described, everything is new, only the user settings are old.
You can try both. What I consider important is that you keep the old drive as a backup till you're confident that the new installation is working good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2016   #5


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Install all your programs (Office, games etc)
This step is the thing I don't want to do, because I have SO many programs and games. We're talking about over 30+ programs like Camtasia Studio, Photoshop, Cyberlink Powerdirector, a few CAD softwares, etc. And I don't have the installation disks for a few of them anymore, so I almost literally can't install these things anymore. I also have over 500GB of games on the HDD (WoW, Witcher 3, Skyrim, Dark Souls, etc.) that I can't just redownload (from steam), because it will take weeks if not months to redownload through steam.

So all the steps you provided makes sense, expect that one. Can't I create a fresh windows install on the 2TB, and then clone everything over from 1TB EXCEPT the windows install? Is a cloning software that can do such a thing, do you think? Or maybe it's possible with Windows Transver? To clone everything except my buggy windows install

Thanks in advance for your reply
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2016   #6

Windows 7 HP 64

When you install any program in Windows, it doesn't only create a folder and a shortcut. That was true on DOS.
On Windows it spread things all over, like on Register, ProgramData etc. (and that's why when you uninstall a program some trash is leaved behind).
So, as David suggested, clone your drive (use Macrium reflect) and then do a repair reinstall. Unfortunately, it will never be good as a clean install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2016   #7


Ok, cool, that's what I'll do then. Thanks DavidE and Megahertz07
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Clone old drive, to new drive that already has Windows 7 installed?

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