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Moving stuff from dead PC to new one

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 17, 2011 4:09:55 PM

My 3-year-old $300 Gateway desktop does not respond to the power switch which tests good. Rather than investing any more time or any money in this machine, I'm going to buy a new one.

Can I just replace the new HD with the HD from the old PC so that it will be the boot drive?

If not, is there a way to get everything from the old HD to the new one? (The new one will have Win 7 Home Premium. Can I install the Win 7 Ultimate that I had used on the Gateway on it?)

Can anyone point me to a step-by-step procedure that a 75+ year-older can follow? I used to be fairly nerdy in my younger days. :-)

Thanks.

More about : moving stuff dead

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November 17, 2011 4:32:39 PM

While it is possible you could put the drive into a new computer and have it boot it is not a guarantee. Generally in these cases I have found it should be the same brand chipset on each board to have the most success with this method. So if your current PC has an intel chipset, get a new PC that uses an intel chipset (or nvidia or amd or whatever have you). Also you would need to make sure the SATA settings in the bios are identical (IDE, AHCI or RAID mode) as that is the driver currently installed within windows and changing it would cause the new drive not to boot until the settings were matched.

If your current Win7 Ultimate is gateway branded and not a OEM/retail microsoft disc it may only install on a gateway machine, at least that used to be the case back in the day. However, the number they have provided you should work (ie, activate) if you got your hands on an install disc for win7 ultimate that they did not provide you. They can be found online through bittorrent and it's supposedly not illegal as you have a valid license number for the software. You just download the ISO and burn it to disc then install and use your license number from the gateway machine.
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November 17, 2011 4:55:55 PM

dominyon said:
While it is possible you could put the drive into a new computer and have it boot it is not a guarantee. Generally in these cases I have found it should be the same brand chipset on each board to have the most success with this method. So if your current PC has an intel chipset, get a new PC that uses an intel chipset (or nvidia or amd or whatever have you). Also you would need to make sure the SATA settings in the bios are identical (IDE, AHCI or RAID mode) as that is the driver currently installed within windows and changing it would cause the new drive not to boot until the settings were matched.

If your current Win7 Ultimate is gateway branded and not a OEM/retail microsoft disc it may only install on a gateway machine, at least that used to be the case back in the day. However, the number they have provided you should work (ie, activate) if you got your hands on an install disc for win7 ultimate that they did not provide you. They can be found online through bittorrent and it's supposedly not illegal as you have a valid license number for the software. You just download the ISO and burn it to disc then install and use your license number from the gateway machine.


OK, so it's not feasible to simply swap in the old HD.

The W7U disk was purchased directly from Microsoft.

My goal here is to be able to sit down at the new computer and work as if I were at the old one -- same programs, all my data, downloads, etc.

I guess the first step would be to repartition the new HD the way I want it (I currently have three partititons -- system/apps, docs and media) and then install Win 7Ultimate. What's next?

Would cloning help? How would I do that?

Thanks.
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November 17, 2011 7:33:39 PM

Actually using the old drive in a new machine is feasible, just not guaranteed to work. Trying it shouldn't ruin any of your data, it will either boot or it won't. If you want to clone your old drive to the new one and only try booting from the new one to keep your old drive in tact that is perfectly fine as it will be a safeguard for your data.

Two programs that work quite well spring to mind and that is Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image Home Edition, they will both run you about $50. Attach both drives to the machine and boot from the program disc for whichever one you choose, choose the cloning option & the rest is pretty self explanatory through the software. There are probably some freeware cloning apps out there but I can't say I've ever used any so cannot make a recommendation there.

If cloning and then trying to boot from the cloned drive won't work (making sure the bios settings for the storage controller is the same) you could run windows repair by booting from the installation disc and choosing the repair option instead of fresh install from the menu. Doing this however may cause some of your programs to need to be reinstalled before they will function again though.
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November 17, 2011 8:09:18 PM

dominyon said:
Actually using the old drive in a new machine is feasible, just not guaranteed to work. Trying it shouldn't ruin any of your data, it will either boot or it won't. If you want to clone your old drive to the new one and only try booting from the new one to keep your old drive in tact that is perfectly fine as it will be a safeguard for your data.

Two programs that work quite well spring to mind and that is Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image Home Edition, they will both run you about $50. Attach both drives to the machine and boot from the program disc for whichever one you choose, choose the cloning option & the rest is pretty self explanatory through the software. There are probably some freeware cloning apps out there but I can't say I've ever used any so cannot make a recommendation there.

If cloning and then trying to boot from the cloned drive won't work (making sure the bios settings for the storage controller is the same) you could run windows repair by booting from the installation disc and choosing the repair option instead of fresh install from the menu. Doing this however may cause some of your programs to need to be reinstalled before they will function again though.


If I clone the old one to the new one, then I'll have, in effect, two old ones, won't I? :-)

Maybe I'll try swapping out the new HD and see if it boots.

If that does not work, I'll put the new one back in and install W7 Ult. I forget - do I make new partitions first, or during or after installing W7 Ult?

Thanks.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 17, 2011 8:31:56 PM

You can usually successfully move the HDD like you are wanting to do. What you will want to do is the first time you boot the new system boot from the W7u disk in the DVD player and when setup starts choose the option to do a REPAIR INSTALLATION when the system prompts about it finding an existing OS on the HDD -- by running a Repair install it will keep all of your programs etc. and just reinstall all of the system files which includes the drivers etc. that will need to be changed with the new MOBO so is what you want. After doing this it will tell you that you need to activate the OS again since the change was significant - so run the activation and it should reactivate (If you have done a reinstall before it may fail to activate automatically and make you use the telephone activation where you read off your key and a computer gives you a response code to enter or it may ask you to speak to a rep -- If you talk to a rep just explain to them that the old MOBO died and you had to upgrade it since you could not find an identical model and they will give you a new activation code.

But it never hurts to make a backup of the important data just in case !!
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November 17, 2011 8:36:43 PM

eschamp said:
Does that get burned to an optical disk?

Thanks.



You will install the application in windows, then make a bootable disc through the program. Then use that boot disc to make the clone. Just make absolutely sure to choose your old drive as the source disc!

And yes if you do the cloning procedure you will effectively have 2 copies of your old drive.

As for doing a clean install of windows, you can either make the partitions during the windows setup or make your boot partition of whatever size you like, leaving some unpartitoned space for later, followed by creating the other partitions through windows. However, if you choose to do it through windows you may have to shuffle around your drive letters if you want them to come before your optical drive because your boot will be C and your optical will be D so the new ones you make within windows will show up as E and F. If you partition and format through the installation procedure your optical drive will be the last drive letter.

You also have the option of cloning and then formatting just the boot partition for a fresh install if you don't want to go the repair /try to boot a clone route, this way your other partitions will already be made and have your data in them.
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November 21, 2011 2:10:37 PM

dominyon said:
While it is possible you could put the drive into a new computer and have it boot it is not a guarantee. Generally in these cases I have found it should be the same brand chipset on each board to have the most success with this method. So if your current PC has an intel chipset, get a new PC that uses an intel chipset (or nvidia or amd or whatever have you). Also you would need to make sure the SATA settings in the bios are identical (IDE, AHCI or RAID mode) as that is the driver currently installed within windows and changing it would cause the new drive not to boot until the settings were matched.


I have to admit that I did not read that paragraph as closely as I should have the first time! The old machine has an AMD processor and the new one, an Intel. So I'm not even going to try to boot from the old HD.
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November 21, 2011 2:11:20 PM

Best answer selected by eschamp.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 21, 2011 2:13:14 PM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr.
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