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How can I transfer programs from old hard drive (without computer) to my new computer

My old computer completely died so I removed the hard drive and turned it into an external.
But it has my programs, like Microsoft Office and NitroPDF, so I can't wipe it clean. How do I transfer the programs from the hard drive, which is Windows 7, to my new computer, which is Windows 8.1, through a usb cable instead of using two computers.
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  1. You cannot. Those programs are tied to the old operating system. You'll need to re-install those programs onto your Windows 8.1 build.

    -Wolf sends
  2. Best answer
    The only critical part is your personal documents. The software needs to be reinstalled. You cannot 'transfer' applications.

    Assuming you have the original activation key for Office, you can download the trial from Microsoft and activate with your existing key.
    Same for anything else.
  3. I came to this thread searching for the exact same problem. Was discouraged by the answers a bit ;)
    Then, found that there are (paid) tools that do actually do this - transfer not just files, but also programs directly from the drive.
    In my single, non-representative attempt it worked extremely well.

    The product I used was Zinstall Migration Kit; I've tried to find a proper tutorial for it, but they only have one for transfer from PC to PC.
    The hard drive transfer is very similar, so I'll leave it here as well:
    How to transfer programs to new PC
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