Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Transferring Windows to a new Hard Drive

15 Apr 2010   #11
Microsoft MVP


I don't know what kind of Recovery partition you have on the old HDD, but if it is factory recovery it will likely not reimage to your new HDD.

What I would do instead is boot the old HDD, type Backup in Start Search box, then save a Win7 system image of both Win7 and 100mb Sys Reserved (which will be included anyway) to an external HDD or a primary partition you make.

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

When the image is finished saving, it will offer to make a Repair CD for you to use to boot to reimage the new HDD from the saved image.

The other option as mentioned in thread is to use cloning software included with most HDD purchases (at Support Downloads webpage for your model HDD), boot its CD to image the entire old HDD onto the new one.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #12

Windows 10 Pro x64

thanks greg, its actually a decompressed home made recovery partition using the files straight from the Retail disk and booted from the BCD with EasyBCD's WinPE option, it acts just like the original DVD had been stuck in the drive.
I was trying to avoid burning a DVD if possible as that means a trip into town tomorrow just to buy some... but i guess it can't be helped, thanks for the help, i think the easiest way is as you said, make a recovery disk and do it like that, i was just trying to find a way around it. Never mind, thanks again!

edit: never mind! i found the disk for the Enterprise Trial! that will boot into WinRE right? will it still image a 64 bit OS image even tho the trial is 32 bit?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #13
Microsoft MVP


Hmm this is a tricky one. You have the install DVD bootable on your old HDD, while needing to boot it to recover using an image you haven' t yet made of that old HDD?

I find the home made Recov partiiton to be fascinating and would like to know exactly how you made it. I would say if you have confidence in it to attempt to boot it to use its Recovery console to Reimage the new HDD.

However, I know that when the 100mb Sys Reserved partition puts the Repair console available on Advanced Boot Tools by tapping F8 at Startup, I have been unable to get the "Recover Using a System Image" function to work without it prompting me to reboot using the Repair CD/DVD. You would think that it could load the imaging utility from HD into memory, but apparently it cannot, at least when I tried it the error said specifically it could not reimage from the HD but needed the DVD/CD.

You can try it if you want. If you need to mark your Recov partition Active to boot it, then you can always mark Win7 active if you need to get back into it, but you'll need a partition manager or your DVD/Repair CD or partition for that, too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Apr 2010   #14

Windows 10 Pro x64

well i made the recovery partition as shown in this tutorial i made: Recovery Partition - Create

the problem, as i see it, is if i have the old HDD plugged in at the same time, then the new install will put all of its boot files on the 100MB system reserved partition that already exists, and needs to exist to boot the recovery partition, when the old drive is pulled, windows will lose its boot files because it wont be able to find them on the 100MB partition (does that make sense?) if i simply try to restore the image without installing windows first using this method, then won't it just reimage the windows install that already exists?

as far as reimaging goes, on the 2 occasions i have needed to reimage (and yes i have an image, its just the problem outlined above which is a head scratcher) i have booted into the recovery partition from the dual boot menu, and just clicked "repair my computer" that seems to have done the job as its looking for the imaging utility on the recovery partition (which is of course just a clone of the DVD)

dont know if you saw the edit in my last post... will a 32 bit Disk (i have the windows 7 enterprise trial i burnt ages ago) reimage a 64 bit OS?

if neccessary, i suppose i could wipe windows from the old drive, install the enterprise trial on the new drive and then use easyBCD to boot the recovery partition like that, and then do a fresh install followed by a reimage
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #15
Microsoft MVP


I have been looking for the Recov Partition tutorial so am glad to find it. Thanks.

I am confused by your repeated reference to doing "a fresh install followed by a reimage." There is no reason to do a fresh install if you are going to reimage. You should reimage to unallocated space anyway. You have the stored image and a bootable DVD Recov partition so you have what is needed to reimage from your old HD to the new one.

To answer your question, if the boot files are somehow placed on wrong HD's active partition or not reimaged correctly, then it is easy enough to fix by marking Win7 or Sys Reserved active on new HDD, unplug old HD, boot the Repair CD or Win7 DVD Repair console, click through to recovery tools list to run Startup Repair repeatedly to write the MBR to new Win7.

But if you have the image file stored and can make the Recov partition reimage to the new HDD, then you're good without having to do that. Otherwise make a Repair CD if you don't have a Win7 DVD.

I don't think you can install or repair anything 64 bit with a 32 bit disk, but i could be wrong.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #16

Windows 10 Pro x64

right... i think i have this sorted now.... plan of action will be as follows:

New HDD on Sata port 0 and Old one one SATA port 1
1. boot from windows 7 enterprise trial disk
2. use the WinRE to format and delete the old system reserved partition and C drive
3. Install Windows 7 Enterprise Trial to get a working OS
4. Make a new recovery partition on new HDD by transferring contents of the old one and using Easy to add it to the boot menu
5. Unplug old HDD to avoid MBR conflicts
6. Use Recovery Partition to reinstall the 64 bit Windows
7. Reimage HDD once 64 bit windows is installed
Sound good?
thanks for all your help on this greg i really appreciate it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #17
Microsoft MVP


If you have a stored Win7 System image, then I am unclear why you can't just boot the DVD or Repair CD and reimage it directly to the new HD?

Are you lacking a 64 bit DVD/Repair CD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #18

Windows 10 Pro x64

in a word yes. its here somewhere, but i can't find it, and to be honest, i really cannot be bothered to spend an hour going into town during tourist season to buy some more blank DVD's on my day off.

if necessary i will do so, but i thought this would be a nice way to avoid it, although i do realise that it will probably take more time but at least i dont have to deal with all the tourists lol

so does the method i posted above look like it will work?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #19
Microsoft MVP


It sounds like a lot of working around, but should be fun.

Let me know how it works.

How do you think the Recov Partition will reimage the full HD while the WINRe placed on Advanced Boot Menu (F8) will not without rebooting DVD/CD? Does it load into memory?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #20

Windows 10 Pro x64

yes, effectively, when you boot into the Recovery Partition, it acts exactly as if you had put the DVD in. so all the necessary files will load into memory including the WinRE as far as windows is concerned, the Recov Partition is the DVD. i have reimaged a couple of times like this, and not had any problems
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Transferring Windows to a new Hard Drive

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Transferring files to hard drive in one go
Normally when we transfer files to an external hard drive, we just drag and drop. To transfer files from many different locations, we may need to drag and drop a few times. IS there a software that enables us to select all the files we want to transfer, and then initiate the transfer,...
Hardware & Devices
Transferring hard drive between laptops, will re-install OS work?
Hello, I am attempting to transfer the Hard drive from my old Asus laptop to my Sony, due to my failing hard drive. The system boots properly for the most part aside from some minor driver issues, but the windows version is not considered genuine because of the hardware difference of course....
Windows Updates & Activation
How do I reformat a hard drive after transferring Windows 7 License?
I've ordered new parts for a new computer and I read that I could transfer the license being used on this (current) computer to the new one because I have the full version of Windows not the OEM. I plan on (if possible) transfering my windows 7 license to the new computer/SSD and use this old hard...
Hardware & Devices
Transferring hard drive with OEM 7 to new motherboard/build
I don't know a whole lot about computers, so I thought I would ask for help concerning my OEM version of Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. I have a Small Form Factor Acer computer that I am wanting to strip for parts (the CPU, memory, optical drive) for my new build. So I bought a case, a PSU, a...
Installation & Setup
Transferring Pics, Vids & Music to Second Hard Drive
Recently I noticed that my 500GB hard drive was beginning to get full. It has everything on it. I installed a second hard drive, 1TB, and my intention was to keep all of the programs and OS on the primary 500GB hard drive and transfer all of my documents (pics, vids, docs & music) to the 1TB drive....
Music, Pictures & Video

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:26.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App