Disc Images and MBR

Hi everyone,

I've just bought a new machine and, while I'll be using most of my existing HDDs, I decided to replace the disc containing the primary partition (Windows 7) since it's a little small and getting old.

I had planned to make an image of the drive and transfer it onto the new HDD, but before I did I wanted to double check that there wouldn't be any problems with booting from this new drive when the old one had been removed.

Additionally, would anybody anticipate any other problems with doing this? I'm guessing that Windows will want its license key re-entered given that various bits of hardware will have changed.

Thanks in advance!
7 answers Last reply
More about disc images
  1. You should be fine. I don't even think you'll need to reactivate windows for just a hard drive swap. I'd try booting with just the new drive before adding the old drive back in just to make sure the cloning process went well.
  2. Hawkeye22 said:
    You should be fine. I don't even think you'll need to reactivate windows for just a hard drive swap. I'd try booting with just the new drive before adding the old drive back in just to make sure the cloning process went well.


    Thanks for the response!

    Just to be clear, it's not just an HDD swap. It'll be an entirely new machine. The only similarity between the old and new PCs will be same logical (partition) drives.
  3. If the drive you are cloning is from this machine, then it's not an entirely new machine. It's just a new HD. If you had cloned a drive from a previous system then tried to install it in a new computer then you would run into some issues.
  4. Hawkeye22 said:
    If the drive you are cloning is from this machine, then it's not an entirely new machine. It's just a new HD. If you had cloned a drive from a previous system then tried to install it in a new computer then you would run into some issues.


    I'll be doing the latter. Are the issues likely to be insurmountable?

    Was wondering if it might be a little safer to put the old HDD into the new machine before cloning it.
  5. If this is a hard drive from a different system, the 1st thing it's going to complain about is having all the wrong drivers for the new motherboard. You will need to do a repair install, and even then, that doesn't guarantee everything will be 100%. Normally if you're changing the motherboard a clean install is recommended.
  6. Getting a bit tangential now, but how easy is it to reinstall Windows? I was always under the impression that there's a lot of hassle involved with re-activation
  7. Unless you've got a pirated version of Windows, re-activation usually isn't a problem. Worst case, you may have to call microsoft and tell them your hard drive failed and they'll give you a new activation code. Your computer can run for 30 days without being activated, although it will nag you about getting it activated.
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