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A quick question

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June 8, 2012 3:19:12 PM

In my build, I am planning on keeping my hard drive from my current, pre-built PC (which has an OS, files, and everything on it). Could any problems arise in the future from doing so? Should I restore from scratch (and could I without losing my OS and having to sit through the installation of incorrect drivers)?

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June 8, 2012 3:42:04 PM

Problems could arise.

1) Your pre-built pc will have come with a OEM copy of windows that is tied to the original motherboard. It is against the Microsoft oem user agreement to move it to a different pc(aka motherboard)
Some have succeded in claiming that the original motherboard failed and reactivation is needed on a different replacement. This ploy has been mostly successful, since ms is primarily concerned about piracy, and when assured that the os is only used on one pc, they will usually activate. But technically, this violates the end user agreement.

2) Plan A:
Using your old hard drive and os does have a reasonable chance of success if the motherboard chipsets are not too different.
When you boot, windows 7 will detect the difference and install basic chipset drivers. You can then use the cd that came with your motherboard to update the motherboard chipsets. You particularly need the lan drivers so you can connect to the internet to get more drivers.

Plan B:
Boot from your windows dvd, assuming you got one with your pc, and attempt to do a recovery install.
Most likely, the cd you got from the oem pc, or created with their software is only capable of restoring the original image.
Expect to lose your files and apps.

Plan C:
Do a new clean install. If you use windows easy transfer, and export your files and settings to a different device, you can import them back after doing a clean install. You will then only have to reinstall your apps.

3) If you need to buy a new copy of windows, get the upgrade package. It is considered as retail, and can, in the future be freely transferred to a new PC.
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June 8, 2012 3:48:12 PM

Thanks for the response. So my current plan is this:

1. Buy a new copy of Windows (planning on doing this anyhow)
2. "Upgrade" my old OS from Windows 7 Home Premium OEM to Windows 7 Home Premium Retail
3. "Recover" from my OEM recovery disks on another hard drive so the old PC can be used

The only problem I see might be in "upgrading" Windows 7 OEM to Windows 7 Retail. Do you know for certain that this will work? Also, won't my hardware being different cause Windows to try to use the wrong drivers and throw my PC into an endless BSOD loop?
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June 8, 2012 4:03:32 PM

I'd highly recommend doing a clean install. Moving old install of windows to a new PC is likely to have odd driver issues, plus your original install has bloated over the years. If you don't have a way to move your files off the old drive, create a D: partition, copy the files over, move the drive, then clean install windows to the C: partition.

You can get OEM Win7 home premium for $100 at newegg.
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June 8, 2012 4:06:26 PM

diegoisawesome said:
Thanks for the response. So my current plan is this:

1. Buy a new copy of Windows (planning on doing this anyhow)
2. "Upgrade" my old OS from Windows 7 OEM to Windows 7 Retail
3. "Recover" from my OEM recovery disks on another hard drive so the old PC can be used

The only problem I see might be in "upgrading" Windows 7 OEM to Windows 7 Retail. Do you know for certain that this will work?


I see no reason why you should not be able to upgrade your oem copy.
Run the upgrade, and activate with the new pactivation key.

First, I would clone your current os hard drive and do the upgrade on that. If, for some reason, the update fails, you will still have the original hard drive.
If successful, then you will be able to continue using the old os and pc.

But, for a new build, you might want to consider installing on a SSD. If your old pc did not have the sata mode enabled as AHCI(not ide or raid), then perhaps a clean install would be better. Actually, I would recommend a clean install anyway if reinstalling your apps is not too burdensome. If you are changing from 32 bit to 64 bit, you need a clean install anyway.
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June 8, 2012 4:16:32 PM

The issue here is that I don't have any more money in my budget for a new hard drive and no places to back up my close to 1TB of files. At this point, I think the best thing to do is to resize my C: partition, create a new partition, and make the current C: into D:, then make the new partition C: and install Windows 7 there.
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June 8, 2012 4:23:45 PM

"no places to back up my close to 1TB of files" terrifies me :)  I'd fix that before doing *anything* else. Sometimes the worst case happens and you have a hard crash - no way to get that stuff back.

Just a thought...
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June 8, 2012 4:28:14 PM

Well, a lot of those files aren't so much irreplaceable files that I have no way to get back - THOSE I have places for. The majority are files that took days to download because they're so massive. Sure, I COULD get them back... but boy, it would take a while.
So what about my "shrink C:, change it to D: and make a new C:" plan? Does it sound like it could work? Or should I just try the "upgrade and hope my drivers don't make my new PC BSOD"?
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June 8, 2012 4:31:37 PM

Create a partition and throw a linux distro on it :/ 
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June 8, 2012 4:35:56 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, but Linux is not for me, my games, or my work.
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June 8, 2012 4:38:44 PM

Yep, your plan will work but there are always dangers with resizing partitions (low, but still). Good luck!
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June 8, 2012 6:25:18 PM

Here's another idea: could I just buy the second Windows 7 Home Premium (same version I have now) and do a repair install? And would that let me put in the new CD key so I can keep using both computers?
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June 8, 2012 6:31:05 PM

diegoisawesome said:
Here's another idea: could I just buy the second Windows 7 Home Premium (same version I have now) and do a repair install? And would that let me put in the new CD key so I can keep using both computers?


All windows 7 dvd's are exactly the same, differing only in 32 or 64 bit. The cd key defines what version you will install, and activates those features..

Therefore, you can use your newly purchased dvd to do a repair install, and then reactivate, using your original oem product code.

On your new pc, use the new product code to activate.
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June 8, 2012 7:06:24 PM

diegoisawesome said:
No, no, I was planning on doing a repair install on the old HDD in the new PC and using the provided restore disks to restore the old PC on other HDDs.

Also, I found this page and it seems like it could work: http://daywalkerfl.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-change-your-...


A repair install should work just as well as a upgrade install. In theory.
Regardless, if you value anything on the hard drive protect it first.
If you should have existing problems latent on your current os, the repair or upgrade may fail.
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June 8, 2012 7:08:58 PM

One more thing. Does buying an upgrade from Home Premium to Professional give me a new product code that allows me to use my old OEM code on my old computer as well as the new product code on my new one? Or should I just by an entire new Home Premium disk?
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Best solution

June 8, 2012 7:18:16 PM

diegoisawesome said:
One more thing. Does buying an upgrade from Home Premium to Professional give me a new product code that allows me to use my old OEM code on my old computer as well as the new product code on my new one? Or should I just by an entire new Home Premium disk?

I think buying an upgrade from the oem code to pro will give you a new product code that is intended to replace the oem os, not give you a cheap way to buy a second os.

For the second pc, just buy a second OS.
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June 8, 2012 7:20:34 PM

All right then, I'll just buy another Home Premium. Thanks, everyone, for your help!
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June 8, 2012 9:37:35 PM

Best answer selected by diegoisawesome.
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