Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer

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  1. Posts : 17,545
    Windows 10 Pro x64 EN-GB
    Thread Starter

    quiznos said:
    Following this tutorial allowed me to swap a HD to a new machine while it had an OEM version of windows on it. However on the first run after sysprepping and putting the HD into the new machine I was prompted to enter a new product key or purchase one. upon doing so I was up and running without losing a single setting or bit of data.
    Hi Quiznos, welcome to the Seven Forums.

    Transferring an OEM OS can be tricky, that's why this warning can be seen at the beginning of the tutorial:

    Using this method causes Windows 7 to lose all activation information, and it needs to be reactivated afterwards. If your Windows 7 is an OEM version, you might not be able to reactivate afterwards, at least not without phone activation option.

    I have personal experience that the phone call often helps. At least in my case, and few other cases I know, Microsoft support has believed the explanation (HD change, other than that the same system or old HD with Windows to new computer because of a faulty motherboard). In these cases Microsoft has given a replacement activation key for free.

      My Computer

  2. Posts : 14
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64 retail

    Hello there.

    My scenario is moving a Windows 7 Ultimate 64 (retail) hard disk to a newly built system.

    A few questions.

    1. Point number 7 states:

    Boot the PC from sysprep generalized hard disk.

    Now, how do I make sure of that? Do I leave the computer unattended after power-on or do I intervene by hitting a button on the keyboard during POST to enable me to go into either BIOS or the boot menu?

    2. My normal mouse and keyboard is USB but I could use my spare keyboard/mouse that is PS/2 instead. Which one is preferable to avoid problems during POST, i.e. not being able to intervene with choice of boot alternative as described above.

    3. All personalization is removed (taskbar, toolbars, folder options, start orb etc.)

    Is there a link that describes this a bit more in detail? If you know that some stuff will be lost you can prepare for that by making notes and do screen captures to make the restore process easier.

    I could for example take screen caps of the taskbar and start orb. I'm not sure what folder options means in this context and I'm not so sure about toolbars either. I do have toolbars in my browser but what toolbars do you have in Windows? And what is etc?
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 17,545
    Windows 10 Pro x64 EN-GB
    Thread Starter

    Hi MrNiceButDim, welcome to the Seven Forums.

    What point 7 means that after you have sysprepped your system (HD), you change the components you want to and then boot to the system you sysprepped earlier, i.e. boot using the HD where your (now sysprepped) Windows installation exists. Normally this means you just turn off the PC after sysprepping, change the HW-components but leave the HD, then boot the system normally. No additional steps are needed.

    USB mouse and KB are OK. No need to use PS/2.

    All lost information is told in the tutorial. More information can be found for instance here:

      My Computer

  4. Posts : 14
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64 retail

    That worked perfectly.

    After the transfer Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 complained about already being installed on another computer. I had to uninstall and reinstall. They should just have asked me if I wanted to transfer my license to the new computer instead.

    Thank you, Kari. :)
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 17,545
    Windows 10 Pro x64 EN-GB
    Thread Starter


    Det var ju ingenting, trevlig att höra det funkade. Lite sent men jag vill också välkomna dig till Seven Forums!

    That was nothing, nice to hear it worked. A little late but I would also like to welcome you to Seven Forums!

      My Computer

  6. Posts : 6
    Win 7 Ultimate x86

    thank you for this great tutorial
    I have been searching all over the net and dlling apps to do exactly this to no avail. was looking for a way to deploy win7 w/ pre-installed apps and this is just what I needed.

    now, the main reason I posted was because I was having the same problem as ForrestHK

    ForrestHK said:
    Today i did the OOBE on my computer and transferred the harddisk to the new system(with one installed system on it), but unfortunately it stopped loaded up my system on my harddisk transferred when reaching “System is starting devices” and said “Windows could not finish configuring the system. To attempt to resume configuration, restart the computer.” And when i reboot it showed the same warning.
    I have loaded up setup.etl from Panther folder and looked it up on my installed system, got nothing special warning like reg keys failed or wtsoever…

    Any solutions?
    and I happened to stumble across a solution.

    -when the message mentioned above appears hit OK and it should reboot.
    -while its booting up hit F8 to load the advanced options menu (is that what its called?), select safe mode.
    -now, it should load as it did before (w/ the System is starting devices & all) and you should encounter a similar error as before, only this time it'll say something like “Windows could not finish configuring the system in safe mode."
    -hit OK and it'll reboot again, this time after it reboots it should complete successfully.

    I don't know if this will work for everyone, or anyone at all, but I sure hope it does.
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 17,545
    Windows 10 Pro x64 EN-GB
    Thread Starter

    Hi xxxwea, welcome to the Seven Forums. Let's hope Forrest sees this! Thanks for the tip.

      My Computer

  8. Posts : 9
    Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free

    will this work fine if u have upgraded from win 7 home prem to ultimate or will it revert back to home prem?
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 17,545
    Windows 10 Pro x64 EN-GB
    Thread Starter

    It will not revert. If your existing OS is Ultimate, that is the OS that will be generalized. no worries

      My Computer

  10. Posts : 9
    windows 7 Ultimate x64

    I posted this by mistake in the wrong place, was hoping for help from Kari or one of the smart folks here.

    hopefully one of you can clarify some things for me I'll try and figure out how to move it here, but I copied the text below.

    hey all, hopefully one of you can clarify some things for me.

    The situation is that a Gateway Laptop from BestBuy died but HD is good. (It has a licensed proprietary app that I need!)
    BestBuy of course was useless except to try and sell a new laptop, even with the "insurance".

    Got comparable laptop, but only one available was an HP. (The gateway model was discontinued after only 4 months of production according to Best Buy because of hardware problems).

    Putting the HD in the new HP of course won't boot.

    The Gateway had win 7 Home (OEM) with an Anyware Upgrade to Ultimate applied. I have that license key but not the default key or the COA as BestBuy kept the chassis but sent back the HD.

    To run SYSPREP, the system needs to be booted and active, so that seems to be out for me.

    I have a Win 7 retail (technet) CD and Keys. Can I run the repair install from that and get a clean OOBE?

    If not that, then will a download of Acronis 10 or Paragon Adaptive Restore create a bootable disk and run the "clone" (?) of the HD to an image that I can place over the native HP harddisk? Will it be clean and run the OOBE setup or will it also crash out?

    What I am looking at is jumping through some hoops, but I really NEED an application that is on the old HD and can't spent
    3K to get a re-install (and no they don't care that my other machine died).

    Thanks for any help, I am kinda desperate for that data.


    Update: I downloaded Paragon, and Easeus both of which claim to have the "Universal Restore" option.

    Both have some sort of conflict with all 8 of the machines I tried to boot with them.

    For Paragon, all the machines boot into the CD and get the splash screen, freeze and then shut down. I have downloaded twice and both copies and burned cd's (4 total) do the same thing on all 8 machines.

    For EaseUs, same situation. only all the machines needed to Launch Repair when rebooted into Win 7.

    The target machine w/ the old hard drive to move, won't even get all the way into either program before it shuts down.

    I will try the Acronis and then I may have to go to CloneZilla or PinG to try and do an offline image, but then Have to figure out how to get the Universal Restore to run. Any suggests would be great.

    BTW all the machine tried are Toshiba, Gateway or HP with win 7 Ultimate.
    Last edited by mikenola; 05 Sep 2011 at 14:18. Reason: update to the above
      My Computer

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