I Built my first gaming PC a couple months ago and i have a 1TB HDD in my machine with all my files ive accumulated as well as the windows 7 operating system i bought and installed. My question is, if i remove this hard drive from my system, built a completely new system from the ground up and plug in my HDD, will it boot up with everything the same as it was - windows 7 and all files there?
If building a completely new system means changing the motherboard, then you will have to install a new operating system. If you're still going to use the same hard disk drive, you might have to reformat the drive, or, and this is not recommended, install an OS into it without reformatting, which will save your old documents without doing a backup.
However, this will cause problems later, so you might as well
1) backup your important files to an external storage
2) reformat the old hdd and do an OS install
3) restore the important files to the hdd
Additionally, you might consider getting an SSD and installing the OS and applications there instead, as this will give your system a considerable performance boost.
well thats a pain. I have a new SSD that i was thinking of bringing over to the new build (Vertex 4 128gb) but i might scrap the whole idea if i have to go buy windows 7 again. So if i do go through with it, i should just transfer all my files and documents onto a temporary drive, totaly erase everything on it including OS, put into new machine and start over again with new copy of OS then just transfer junk back on?
You don't necessarily have to buy a new Windows 7. It depends on what license you have. I found this at a Microsoft forum where a user asked if it was possible to use the product key on another computer.
If it's a retail Full or Upgrade license - yes. You can move it to a different computer as long as it's only installed on one computer at a time (and if it's a Windows 7 Upgrade version the new computer must have it's own qualifying XP/Vista license). The previous Windows 7 installation on the old computer must be formatted/deleted. You might have to call Microsoft and explain what happened to complete the activation. Activating it on the second computer will automatically in effect "deactivate" the license for the first computer. The key will work with both 32 and 64 bit, but only one can be installed at a time.
If it's an OEM license - no. OEM licenses, including Windows preinstalled on a computer before purchase and Windows bought separately, are tied to the first computer they are installed on and can not be transferred to a different computer. To install Windows on a different computer you will need to buy another copy.