Windows 7 not booting. Swapped HDD with HP computer.


Hi all,

I have an HP desktop P6211f computer. The hard drive is healthy and boots normally into windows and linux.
I installed this hard drive into another (custom built) computer and tried to boot into windows, yet it doesn't get past the windows 7 boot screen and blue screens with no error message at the top. The peculiar thing is that it boots into linux fine.

Also when I tried putting a DIFFERENT (non-HP) hard drive into my HP computer, the same thing happens. Freeze in boot screen, blue screens (no specific error message, i.e. 'BAD_WHATEVER_SOMETHING'). This also boots into linux fine.

Both the hard drives are healthy and boot into windows when installed into their respective machines, but when swapped, they both freeze in boot screen.

HP motherboards are tattooed (as well as hard drives some people say). Could this be the reason why the HP hard drive isn't booting in a non-HP motherboard, and a non-HP hard drive doesn't boot in the HP motherboard? IF SO, do you guys know of any utilities to tattoo the hard drive/motherboard, or a workaround? I used to work for future shop, where we used a utility to tattoo mobo's but I'm not sure where to get a hold of this.

MUCH thanks in advance.
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about windows booting swapped computer
  1. When Windows is first installed, there are various drivers that are motherboard specific that get installed also. That is why you get a lot of blue screensif you just swap HDDs from one machine to another. That's why the HDD from the custom build would not work with the HP machine.
  2. That is normal,is he drivers issue explained in the upper post. You can only add some new, clean, HDD to the machines, not swap the HDD with OS installed.
  3. Best answer
    You cannot do this, it simply won't work. The OS is tied to the specific motherboard it is installed on. Besides the completely different hardware setup (all the drivers will be installed and configured for the old motherboard and hardware, they will not work with the new setup if anything at all is different) the license is also tied to the original motherboard, and even if you did somehow get it to boot, Windows would deactivate and not work until you obtained a new or updated license activation from Microsoft.
  4. Although Windows7 is much better than Windows XP as regard swapping hard drives from computer to computer it does not always work and even if it did Windows 7 would become deactivated.
  5. Wait. I was going to accept that answer.
    But if you get a fresh copy of windows on a new HDD, there are NO motherboard drivers installed, and it loads into windows with minimal drivers.
    If there is another motherboard driver installed it will cause it not boot?


    Thanks for the quick replies guys.
  6. A fresh install loads many motherboard drivers you would be surprised at the number of motherboard specific settings and drivers loaded.
  7. Best answer selected by thewino.
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