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Moving a windows installation between hard drives

Last response: in Storage
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December 7, 2012 6:31:56 PM

I have one 80GB IDE HDD that contains my installation of windows 7 32-bit in my PC right now, and I hate having the big, bulky IDE cable right there. I also also have a 1TB SATA HDD that I use for games and most of the storage. Would it work if I simply copied all of the contents from the IDE drive to the SATA drive (including the installation of windows) and went to the BIOS menu, then set the SATA drive as the primary boot drive?
a b G Storage
December 7, 2012 6:48:12 PM

Windows 7 is not like Win95 or 98 or ME whereby one can copy all the directories and files with the exception of the pagefile.sys file.

It would be in your best interest to *image* the IDE HDD to the Sata HDD via readily available free utilities online then marking the TB HDD as bootable and active.
a b G Storage
December 7, 2012 6:50:56 PM

No. The boot files are hidden, or rather in a part of the HDD that is not visible to you or available to a Windows copy. I'm pretty sure the only way to do it is to re-install Windows onto the 1 TB drive (after backing up your data), or to make an image of your 80 GB boot drive (using Windows Backup), then restore the image to the 1 TB HDD (after backing up your files, of course). But in either case all your apps and games would need to be re-installed.
!