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Transfering harddrive to different pc

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September 10, 2012 7:15:12 PM

I am getting a new PC and I want to transfer my hdd from my exisiting pc (with the os on it) to the new PC. Both have sata ports. Is it just the case of plugging it in and booting or do I have to do other things?

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a c 359 G Storage
September 11, 2012 3:33:23 AM

It's actually difficult to do this. The problem is that, when the OS was installed on that HDD in your old machine, it was customized for it. That is, the Install process surveyed the machine and detected all the hardware devices it contained, then made sure to install the device drivers for them. "Hardware devices" includes a whole bunch of components of your mobo like USB ports, eSATA ports, SATA ports, video chip (maybe), audio devices, etc., PLUS any PCI cards you have in the machine. If you put that HDD into a new machine, there are two kinds of mismatch. First, it has drivers for many devices not present in the new machine. More importantly, it does NOT have the device drivers for many of the devices that are part of the new machine, and so it can't use them. This often results in failure to boot.

If you have your original OS Install disk, there is a process that MIGHT work. When you first turn on the system, you place your old Install disk in the optical drive and boot from there. You watch carefully and do NOT do a normal Install. Instead you choose a Repair Install. This is supposed to detect and fix all those driver mismatches and get you running smoothly. Sometimes this works, sometimes not.

The alternative, of course, is to back up everything on some other device, then put your old HDD in the new machine, wipe it clean and do a fresh Install from the original CD. However, then you have to re-install all your applications software, and finally restore all your data files from the backup device. A long process, but sure to give you a smooth-running system.
a b G Storage
September 11, 2012 3:59:24 AM

It's generally better to do a fresh install of Windows. You won't have as many problems and it's the easiest, more efficient way for a new machine. And plus your new machine will run at it's best performance.
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a b G Storage
September 11, 2012 4:39:57 AM

First thing, did both machine had the same mobo (at minimum the same chipset)?

if it not the same it's almost certain u will need clean install OS....

before moving it to new rig, as paperdoc said do backup first on your old one.....
September 11, 2012 6:28:45 AM

Ive lose my windows disk, could I buy a recovery disk from amazon?
September 11, 2012 4:15:24 PM

How can I boot from usb?
a b G Storage
September 11, 2012 4:40:52 PM

Your better off getting a new OS all together, as with any computer a fresh install of windows is your ideal course of action. You can either buy a full version of Win 7 and upgrade to Win 8 if it appeals to you or you can get Ubuntu/Linux. The choice is yours, unless someone else has a better option those are the only options you pretty much have. You'll need a Win 7 disk anyway. Windows 7 Premium $179.99

It's up to you whether its worth getting or to get Linux. I would avoid getting any used or seller copies of an OS since you can end up with a counterfeit (non Genuine) version. If you do choose Win 7 check Windows 7 Versions Explained to see which version appeals to you. If you can't decide yet or unable to buy Win 7 yet, your best off with getting Ubuntu to hold you over. But really why get a new PC if you can't afford the OS?
September 11, 2012 4:48:18 PM

Is there a way to do a fresh install and validate it at a later date? Like through USB?
a b G Storage
September 11, 2012 5:00:46 PM

I'm usually just copy all files from installation Disk to USB...

and set to boot from USB in the bios..

About the key.. there a program that can read key from your old comp (to used in the new comp, of course with only one activated) u can try google it (i'm forgot the name)

there also if i'm not wrong 30 days trial for windows7 (doesn't know if the offer still valid). u can dl it from microsoft website..

If u wanna buy any OS, windows7 64bit is my recommendation....
a b G Storage
September 11, 2012 5:01:01 PM

You have 30 days of validation. Not sure what you mean by through USB though unless your talking about Linux. Linux can run from cd, hard drive or flash drive. I have heard of users using usb, floppy or anything other then hard drive when using Windows but this is ancient history when i've seen people do this with Win 95/98.
a b G Storage
September 11, 2012 5:02:49 PM

Not every program is compatible with 64 bit systems, although its rare but which is why i keep a 32bit system on hand just in case.
September 11, 2012 5:06:00 PM

Could I download it (WITH INTENTION TO VALIDATE LATER) onto USB?
a b G Storage
September 11, 2012 5:12:35 PM

nah most 32bit programs runs well in 64 environment (tested myself), hehe... :D 

except it specifically designed apps (some for office/work apps) or very old ones....

anyways, why did u need to dl from TPB if it can be dl free from windows websites (if the 30 days trials still valid).

I'm cannot answear that question, it's breaking term and service of Toms forum, u had to try it yourself on your own....
a b G Storage
September 11, 2012 5:13:37 PM

I don't believe you would be able to validate it since you wouldn't be using a paid version and your more susceptible to viral nasties. Get Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

It's free to use and you can try it on your current PC (assuming you have the right specs for it) from USB or Cd to get familiar with it and that will give you time to get the money together for Windows.

Edit: you could also get Win 8 from the MS site which is like a demo version.
September 11, 2012 5:15:05 PM

I found the windows 7 download from microsoft, Is there a way to put the files on USB and boot from there? (I have no blank disks).
a b G Storage
September 11, 2012 5:21:02 PM

If you got a big enough USB stick. Try downloading the file onto the computer and check the size of it if the site doesn't tell you what the size is.
a b G Storage
September 11, 2012 5:34:40 PM

Ok! well i think that would work just fine then. Just make sure you can pay for the license for it, otherwise you won't be getting important updates.
September 11, 2012 6:19:52 PM

Once I install the w7 on the 320gb hdd, Would I be able to plug old 1tb drive in mb and copy important files then wipe it?
a b G Storage
September 11, 2012 6:45:10 PM

It shouldn't be a problem, i would back up those important files though first. Never know what might happen if you transfer it over.
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