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How do I migrate my old Windows 10 PC to a new Intel NUC?

This is probably the oldest question in the book of setting up a PC. But I wanted to be sure.

My father uses a Windows 10 (official retail license) based PC. The configuration is as below:
Asus H170 motherboard, 8GB RAM, Intel i3 processor.
The OS is installed on a Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SSD. I wish to purchase a new Intel NUC (along with the necessary RAM). I plan to use the same old M.2 SSD from my previous PC.

My question is, will I have to freshly install Windows again? Or will it magically boot and I'll only have to install the new drivers?

The reason I ask is it's been quite a task customizing Windows 10 exactly the way he wants it (the start area layout, taskbar icons, font size, wallpaper, etc.). I'd hate to do a fresh install (running the risk of losing data considering I'll have to back it up), if it's not absolutely necessary. I'd imagine after all these years, there's a way I can simply use the NUC with the same old SSD, it'll boot up and then I'd be able to install all the necessary drivers.
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. its a completly new computer so you will have to do a clean install of windows again to avoid any errors
  2. SameerD said:
    This is probably the oldest question in the book of setting up a PC. But I wanted to be sure.

    My father uses a Windows 10 (official retail license) based PC. The configuration is as below:
    Asus H170 motherboard, 8GB RAM, Intel i3 processor.
    The OS is installed on a Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SSD. I wish to purchase a new Intel NUC (along with the necessary RAM). I plan to use the same old M.2 SSD from my previous PC.

    My question is, will I have to freshly install Windows again? Or will it magically boot and I'll only have to install the new drivers?

    The reason I ask is it's been quite a task customizing Windows 10 exactly the way he wants it (the start area layout, taskbar icons, font size, wallpaper, etc.). I'd hate to do a fresh install (running the risk of losing data considering I'll have to back it up), if it's not absolutely necessary. I'd imagine after all these years, there's a way I can simply use the NUC with the same old SSD, it'll boot up and then I'd be able to install all the necessary drivers.


    I3 and H170, changing to an Intel Nuc = you need to do a full reinstall on the NUC.
  3. captaincharisma said:
    its a completly new computer so you will have to do a clean install of windows again to avoid any errors


    "To avoid any errors". Are you saying there's a way I can do this with errors? Because I was under the impression it was simply impossible. I don't mean to cross-question you. I just wanted to make sure my understanding is correct.
  4. Best answer
    But...since you have to back up your data anyway....try it.

    Back up all your personal data to some other drive.
    Export browser settings.
    Document all your username/passwords/serial numbers.

    Since you now have all that (and you should do this anyway), doesn't hurt to try it.

    Plug that m.2 into the NUC. Maybe magic will happen and it will 'just work'.
    Maybe.
  5. USAFRet said:
    But...since you have to back up your data anyway....try it.

    Back up all your personal data to some other drive.
    Export browser settings.
    Document all your username/passwords/serial numbers.

    Since you now have all that (and you should do this anyway), doesn't hurt to try it.

    Plug that m.2 into the NUC. Maybe magic will happen and it will 'just work'.
    Maybe.



    That's exactly what I was going to do! (we think alike!)
  6. SameerD said:
    captaincharisma said:
    its a completly new computer so you will have to do a clean install of windows again to avoid any errors


    "To avoid any errors". Are you saying there's a way I can do this with errors? Because I was under the impression it was simply impossible. I don't mean to cross-question you. I just wanted to make sure my understanding is correct.


    it will depend on the error like it may boot but it may also bluescreen to the point that you may not be able to install any drivers, updates or to do a recovery
  7. captaincharisma said:
    SameerD said:
    captaincharisma said:
    its a completly new computer so you will have to do a clean install of windows again to avoid any errors


    "To avoid any errors". Are you saying there's a way I can do this with errors? Because I was under the impression it was simply impossible. I don't mean to cross-question you. I just wanted to make sure my understanding is correct.


    it will depend on the error like it may boot but it may also bluescreen to the point that you may not be able to install any drivers, updates or to do a recovery



    Oh. Gotcha. Thanks.
  8. SameerD said:
    USAFRet said:
    But...since you have to back up your data anyway....try it.

    Back up all your personal data to some other drive.
    Export browser settings.
    Document all your username/passwords/serial numbers.

    Since you now have all that (and you should do this anyway), doesn't hurt to try it.

    Plug that m.2 into the NUC. Maybe magic will happen and it will 'just work'.
    Maybe.



    That's exactly what I was going to do! (we think alike!)


    Be 100% prepared for the strong possibility that it will not work.
  9. USAFRet said:
    SameerD said:
    USAFRet said:
    But...since you have to back up your data anyway....try it.

    Back up all your personal data to some other drive.
    Export browser settings.
    Document all your username/passwords/serial numbers.

    Since you now have all that (and you should do this anyway), doesn't hurt to try it.

    Plug that m.2 into the NUC. Maybe magic will happen and it will 'just work'.
    Maybe.



    That's exactly what I was going to do! (we think alike!)


    Be 100% prepared for the strong possibility that it will not work.



    Of course!
  10. Guess what guys! It worked. I didn't have to do a thing. Of course, I installed the NUC drivers later on. But everything worked without it.
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