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Copy Complete HDD w/ OS to New HDD and install on Different computer

Last response: in Windows 7
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September 11, 2011 5:52:17 PM

Hello, I was wondering if I could plug up a HDD from my other computer to the one I am using currently, copy all the files from this one on to the other HDD and install the HDD into the other computer and run it? is that possible? A simple yes or no. Or if it is possible, is it that simple to do?



I would like some help and steps on how to complete this with out annihilating both computers. Thank you!

-Masterwlf
September 11, 2011 6:13:33 PM

Yes this is possible with disk imaging, I know Acronis has software for this but have a look in google and you can find free software that does exactly the same thing.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 11, 2011 6:13:33 PM

you want to clone your hdd to another using a program like clonezilla (its free)

if you do this then you can not update using windows update because it will be illegal


before we start use clonezilla to backup old computer incase you do something wrong and break it then follow steps below

on your computer, hold start key and press "r"

this will bring up the run dialog, type sysprep

click on oobe out of box experience and click on restart then ok


this should remove your windows 7 serial key

now you can clone it using clonezilla, then copy it accross to new machine, activate serial on both machines and your done

(sysprep removes all hardware dependancies)


you will have to use a differnet serial for the new machine unless your licensse was for multiple machines or this will be illegal
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a b $ Windows 7
September 11, 2011 6:15:13 PM

garrick said:
Yes this is possible with disk imaging, I know Acronis has software for this but have a look in google and you can find free software that does exactly the same thing.



garrick, that wouldnt work because the license key would be the same on both computers and would cause problems
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September 11, 2011 6:15:41 PM

I want EVERYTHING on this harddrive to go to the other hard drive. Instead of installing windows 7 on the new one and starting over.
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September 11, 2011 6:20:59 PM

shanky887614 said:
garrick, that wouldnt work because the license key would be the same on both computers and would cause problems





Shanky, I would shut down this computer after I get the other one working. I just want/need to know the steps. If possible.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 11, 2011 6:51:57 PM

use spsprep on this computer

this will remove things like drivers for this computer and leave universal ones on

this is the best thing to do before you move it to new computer,

then clone it by burning the clonezilla bootcd then boot of it, use it to clone your hdd to new

put new hdd in new pc then turn it on, enter serial key and it should work, and load all the drivers it needs
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September 11, 2011 7:08:38 PM

Thank you very much!
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a b $ Windows 7
September 11, 2011 7:23:19 PM

make sure to keep the old hdd just incase though, old hdd's are usefull to keep backups
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September 11, 2011 7:33:16 PM

Shanky, I have another question if you are willing to help me.
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September 11, 2011 7:38:03 PM

No one has asked some important questions. Are the chipsets the same in the old machine and new machine.

An OS installed on one chipset will not run on a different chipset, unless they are very close enough and allows the OS to boot up enough to recognize the difference and replace the chipset driver.

Why anyone would not want a chance to make a clean system is beyond me though.

The license key here is of no issue. As far as getting things to work. In the 9 years I have been using XP Pro, I have installed my copy on 35 machines I have built for myself.

My suggestion is to build your new machine, install a fresh real FULL install PRO version of what ever you want, install the applications you want and migrate your data.

Even if I am not building a new machine... I format and reinstall about every 8 months to get a clean start. Windows just does not clean up after software installs and uninstalls as it should.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 11, 2011 8:37:48 PM

itserenity said:
No one has asked some important questions. Are the chipsets the same in the old machine and new machine.

An OS installed on one chipset will not run on a different chipset, unless they are very close enough and allows the OS to boot up enough to recognize the difference and replace the chipset driver.

Why anyone would not want a chance to make a clean system is beyond me though.

The license key here is of no issue. As far as getting things to work. In the 9 years I have been using XP Pro, I have installed my copy on 35 machines I have built for myself.

My suggestion is to build your new machine, install a fresh real FULL install PRO version of what ever you want, install the applications you want and migrate your data.

Even if I am not building a new machine... I format and reinstall about every 8 months to get a clean start. Windows just does not clean up after software installs and uninstalls as it should.



the sysprep tools removes all hardware dependancies including chipset stuff, look at it on microsoft's website if you dont believe me


people use sysprep before the distribute an os
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September 12, 2011 1:08:57 AM

shanky887614 said:
the sysprep tools removes all hardware dependancies including chipset stuff, look at it on microsoft's website if you dont believe me


people use sysprep before the distribute an os




Well Hey... you learn something new every day....

But, to me, that would be a great tool when you re building like 6 machines for a client.... all the same...

I'd still want to start over with a fresh install given the opportunity!
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September 12, 2011 1:37:14 AM

If using sysprep select "detect non-plug and play hardware" also and using some thing like DriverPacks will help detect hardware.
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January 7, 2012 11:55:19 AM

Hi i have 3HDD in my pc and the one that i have my OS is much slower than the other 2 HDD's.

i Want to copy the whole HDD to one faster. (i dont want to do a fresh install!)
it will be in the exact same pc..

what steps i must do?
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