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URGENT: New PC Build with Old Hard Drive. Windows 7 crashes.

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Last response: in Windows 7
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December 26, 2013 12:17:36 PM

So I've just recently brought all my new PC parts to make my first rig. So I installed everything, checked all the connectors and everything is plugged in. But my problem is that when I launch my computer, I go past the motherboard screen and then it has the windows 7 start screen. But then it crashes every time, and restarts my computer. So I've read up on 'resetting windows' and need to know, what is the easiest way to do this? My old motherboard isn't working so i can't put it all back in, so my hard drive is completely inaccessible. What should I do?
a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:20:12 PM

can you get into safe mode?
a c 389 $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:22:15 PM

Yes, that quite often happens with new hardware. The old OS has drivers for the old hardware. It does not know how to run the new PC.

Reinstall the OS fresh
Reinstall all your applications.

I hope you have a backup of your critical personal data.
Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:23:57 PM

Now would be the perfect time to purchase a SSD for your system - take the hard drive out, install the OS as USAFRet suggested, and when everything is installed, put your hard drive back in and get your data backed up.
a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:26:01 PM

If I understand correctly, you have a Windows 7 installation there that expects your old motherboard, and it crashes when run against the new motherboard...

I'd buy an SSD, put it in instead of the HDD, install Windows 7 on the SSD, then add the HDD for storage (and remove the Windows and Program Files folders from it).
December 26, 2013 12:27:18 PM

USAFRet said:
Yes, that quite often happens with new hardware. The old OS has drivers for the old hardware. It does not know how to run the new PC.

Reinstall the OS fresh
Reinstall all your applications.

I hope you have a backup of your critical personal data.


yes but my question is how I reinstall windows without access to the harddrive and without a windows 7 disk?
December 26, 2013 12:28:18 PM

aevm said:
If I understand correctly, you have a Windows 7 installation there that expects your old motherboard, and it crashes when run against the new motherboard...

I'd buy an SSD, put it in instead of the HDD, install Windows 7 on the SSD, then add the HDD for storage (and remove the Windows and Program Files folders from it).


I dont have a windows 7 disk, so is buying a new hard drive unavoidable?
December 26, 2013 12:28:57 PM

Emerald said:
can you get into safe mode?


Nope :( 
a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:29:30 PM

you dont.if you have your product key you can download an iso of your windows and burn it to a dvd for install.
a c 389 $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:30:04 PM

Earlier today, I was in another thread where someone asked "Will this work?" (Basically the same situation, but they asked before doing it)

Another person chimed in with "Yes, it will work. No problem."
I'd like to direct them to this thread.

Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. This is one of the latter.

Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:30:44 PM
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If you have your Activation key from Microsoft (sticker on computer or license that came with the PC), you can download Windows 7 from Digital River and create a bootable DVD and/or USB stick....

You need the exact version of Windows as were licensed for (you can't upgrade).

Windows 7 Home Premium 32Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-58996.iso
Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-58997.iso


Windows 7 Professional 32Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59183.iso
Windows 7 Professional 64Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59186.iso


Windows 7 Ultimate 32Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59463.iso
Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59465.iso
a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:32:22 PM

Installing Windows on the old hard drive MAY (not guaranteed one way or the other) result in you losing 100% of the data contained on the drive....backing up your important files is always the best solution. You can easily do this with a docking station and/or USB enclosure for your hard drive ($10 - $30 from any computer store).
a c 389 $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:32:23 PM

Champibum said:
USAFRet said:
Yes, that quite often happens with new hardware. The old OS has drivers for the old hardware. It does not know how to run the new PC.

Reinstall the OS fresh
Reinstall all your applications.

I hope you have a backup of your critical personal data.


yes but my question is how I reinstall windows without access to the harddrive and without a windows 7 disk?


Assuming you have the valid activation key, and assuming it is not an OEM key, you can download the official Windows 7 ISO from here: http://www.w7forums.com/threads/official-windows-7-sp1-...

Burn to a DVD, boot from the DVD, install, and activate with your valid key.
a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:35:10 PM

USAFRet said:
Earlier today, I was in another thread where someone asked "Will this work?" (Basically the same situation, but they asked before doing it)

Another person chimed in with "Yes, it will work. No problem."
I'd like to direct them to this thread.

Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. This is one of the latter.



i agree.there are way too many threads on this forumn on just this subject.it seems to be a pattern. tried the old hdd with os on it. ah snap it didnt work what can i do? no i dont have my install disk or product key. dont know about you but ive never lost either my product key or my disk.better stop now before this turns into a rant.lol

December 26, 2013 12:46:24 PM

ronintexas said:
If you have your Activation key from Microsoft (sticker on computer or license that came with the PC), you can download Windows 7 from Digital River and create a bootable DVD and/or USB stick....

You need the exact version of Windows as were licensed for (you can't upgrade).

Windows 7 Home Premium 32Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-58996.iso
Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-58997.iso


Windows 7 Professional 32Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59183.iso
Windows 7 Professional 64Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59186.iso


Windows 7 Ultimate 32Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59463.iso
Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59465.iso


ronintexas said:
Installing Windows on the old hard drive MAY (not guaranteed one way or the other) result in you losing 100% of the data contained on the drive....backing up your important files is always the best solution. You can easily do this with a docking station and/or USB enclosure for your hard drive ($10 - $30 from any computer store).


OK so I'm about to order this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cart/view.html/ref=lh_cart_v...) Windows 7 Install, could you walk me through on how I would install it on my current hard drive?
a c 389 $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:48:09 PM

Champibum said:

OK so I'm about to order this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cart/view.html/ref=lh_cart_v...) Windows 7 Install, could you walk me through on how I would install it on my current hard drive?


Do you have the activation key? Sticker on the PC somewhere?
If so...you do not need to buy anything.
December 26, 2013 12:51:14 PM

USAFRet said:
Champibum said:

OK so I'm about to order this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cart/view.html/ref=lh_cart_v...) Windows 7 Install, could you walk me through on how I would install it on my current hard drive?


Do you have the activation key? Sticker on the PC somewhere?
If so...you do not need to buy anything.


No it was a custom built PC I brought off of eBay, and is about 4 years old. It has no sticker on it or anything, so I'm pretty sure I have to buy a new copy of Windows.
a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:55:20 PM

That will work. It will have the activation key in the package.
a c 389 $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 12:55:45 PM

Champibum said:
USAFRet said:
Champibum said:

OK so I'm about to order this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cart/view.html/ref=lh_cart_v...) Windows 7 Install, could you walk me through on how I would install it on my current hard drive?


Do you have the activation key? Sticker on the PC somewhere?
If so...you do not need to buy anything.


No it was a custom built PC I brought off of eBay, and is about 4 years old. It has no sticker on it or anything, so I'm pretty sure I have to buy a new copy of Windows.


One of the hazards of buying from eBay. If they sell you a PC with a Windows OS on it, they are required to give you the license key for it.
All too often, that does not happen.
December 26, 2013 12:59:42 PM

ronintexas said:
That will work. It will have the activation key in the package.


But its the comments I'm worried about, one says:

Seems most of the reviews here are for windows 7 in general, not this specific product. I was a little worried when ordering this version of windows, this negative review stating u need an extra 2gb download to install and the tag of 'for system builders only' almost put me off. But I took the plunge and picked this up for my new rig and had no problems whatsoever.

Things u should know:

You can't use this oem version of windows to upgrade from a previous version. It is for completely new builds only.

As it's an oem version you dont have any recourse with microsoft if u have problems, u have to take up any issues with the company that installed windows on your rig, I.e. You

You still get all your updates as normal

This version of windows is good for 1 pc only.

So if you have a brand new pc with a clean hdd this oem version of windows will be fine for you, and pretty cheap to boot.
a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2013 1:15:35 PM

OEM versions cost less than the regular versions - as they are not meant for the consumer, but rather a system builder that installs the software. The install is virtually the same as the regular version. If you require no support from Microsoft (other than activation), this is the way to go.

Downsides: It is a one time install - the mobo/cpu are paired with the software - so you can't "transfer" the license to another PC.

One thing I will say about that - I typically build systems with an operating system in mind. Every 5-6 years, you will find the technology has outpaced both the OS and the hardware you have....so it is time to scrap the software and the hardware and build another one. I am still using Windows 7 - and will continue to do so until "touch screens" become more mainstream and cost effective.
!