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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Swap system drive in similar laptops?

    First, thanks to those who helped me with my recent Dell Latitude hardware failures. Dell will replace my faulty system. This leads me to a new question ...

    When I get the new system, what's the path of least resistance -
    (i) swap system drives in "similar" systems and update Win-7 drivers as required; or
    (ii) simply start from scratch with the new system drive and fresh Win-7 install?

    A few details:

    The hard drive is not responsible for any of the hardware problems I experienced with the original system. I'm positive. I know some will still think "What?! Take parts from a generally faulty laptop into a new, pristine one?!" But the hard drive is good. The new system has the same traditional 500GB hard drive (not solid state or hybrid).

    The motherboard on my original system failed, but of course only after I'd invested weeks wrestling Win-7 into some sort of reasonable shape: installing all applications, transferring files, etc.

    Now I'll receive a new laptop. The hardware config I originally received is no longer avail. So they'll ship me a slightly (but significantly?) different laptop. These are the main differences:

    1 - Mainly, a more recent Intel processor: gen 2 i7-2720QM 2.2GHz instead of the prior i7-720M Quad Core 1.6GHz (comparison here). I'm not sure about chipset, since I find chipset details too obscure to really comprehend (eg, Intel's own ChipUtil identifiers claims I have "Mobile Intel 5 Series Chipset, which is not listed here).
    2 - more recent 4200M nVidia NVS graphics card instead of the 3100M (both have 512MB ram)
    3 - different sound components & speakers (seems irrelevant)
    4 - different keyboard (new one has separate keypad, but still seems irrelevant)

    Two reasons I would simply like to swap hard drives:
    1 - avoid investing another several weeks wrestling Win-7 into some sort of reasonable shape: installing ...
    2 - avoid privacy & security issues associated with sending a hard drive back to Dell that at one point contained my digital life. Securely "wiping" a system drive seems a bit unreliable ... I couldn't just wipe user files and programs ... and I can't completely wipe the C-Drive from the C-Drive. Even if I could, some people still claim that the only real protection with old drives is to smash them with a hammer (ie, utter destruction).

    So I'd really like to keep my hard drive and data.

    How much trouble will that cause me??

    Thanks!
    GG

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I prefer the clean reinstall route as it leaves little question of a fresh start, time taken not withstanding.

    Reinstalling Windows 7 and reconfiguring all you personal settings, tweaks, programs, and data should never take a week to complete.


    It looks like you have already made up your mind, so just install your old hard drive into the new laptop computer and boot with either the genuine Windows 7 DVD, or a self made W7 recovery disk, and alow it to perform a boot repair action (not repair install) from the recovery console of the bootable W7 disk.

    Ensure you are able to boot to CD/DVD in BIOS first, or know the keyboard keys that alow for boot options.
    If you are able to successfully boot into windows, have all the basic & needed drivers on hand to install from a thumb or external drive, if needed.


    If your mainboards chipsets/graphics are similar then the effort will most likely be effective with minimal trouble. If you have partitioned the
    old drive then the "repair" may fix any potential irregularities resulting from hardware or MBR changes.



    Removing Old drivers once bootable os has been established.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2011-05-13 at 03:07.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    I prefer the clean reinstall route as it leaves little question of a fresh start, time taken not withstanding.

    Reinstalling Windows 7 and reconfiguring all you personal settings, tweaks, programs, and data should never take a week to complete.

    It looks like you have already made up your mind, ...
    I thought I had as well ...

    But you've convinced me. Especially since my backup/recovery plan is based on system images, there's no excuse for starting with a ported/tweaked installation.

    You're also right about my "weeks" estimate. In hindsight, since this was my first Win-7 system (directly from XP) I've spent a lot of time just learning Win-7, which is of course not lost. Not only standard features like libraries, custom power schemes, and moving User folders to a secondary drive, but Win-7 oddities like peculiarly recursive search results that I eventually tracked to Win-7's default "junction" silliness. Now at least I can straighten that mess out quickly ... symbolic directory links work much better for replacing XP-style folders that XP-based apps may still be looking for ...

    Thanks for the nudge back to a rational plan ...
    GG

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I concur, new install on new PC. If all your data is stored externally, it's easy enough to get back. Installing the OS, tweaking and customizing the OS, and installing your apps, then creating an Image of the fresh install can be accomplished in a few hours. Just use a step by step process. I might also create a new Image after each process (app installation, major customizations, etc) in case something unexpected happens. Then it's easy to get to that point again.

    Remember, in addition to your data stored externally, store any downloaded apps you bought and the appropriate activation keys for those apps externally as well so you do not have to go through the process of contacting the app manufacturer to reactivate.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

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