Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Moving internal hard drives between two computers

    I have a netbook with Windows 7 which I seldom use. I also have a laptop with Vista which I use often but suffers from spontaneous reboots. Because the problem is intermittent, it is difficult to diagnose, but I am relatively certain that the problem is the hard drive. I looked it up and both hard drives are compatible, so I would like to use the netbook hard drive to replace the hard drive in the laptop. Will I need to reinstall the OS from scratch, or will Windows 7 detect the new hardware it is attached to and adjust itself accordingly?

  2. #2
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I should add that it is Windows 7 Starter; not sure if this makes any difference, since I haven't read about any limitations of Starter that should be relevant.

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Slough, Berkshire UK
    Posts
    927
    Thanks
    58
    Thanked 52 Times in 50 Posts
    Do you have an installation disk for win 7 or a repair disk if you created one when you first got machine? (although on the netbook this would have been difficult unless you had an external CD/DVD writer).
    This will be needed to attempt boot repair as the hardware in the different computers may make it not want to boot.

    You could try creating an image backup of the Laptop disk on to an external HDD. then putting the Hard drive from the netbook into the laptop and restoring the image to it choosing to reformat it as well when offered. Then it should boot OK as a the drivers will be for the laptop.

    Or if you have a genuine licensed copy of win 7 you could just do a clean install on the changed disk when in the laptop.
    Last edited by curiousclive; 2012-07-26 at 15:49.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Polk County, Florida
    Posts
    3,760
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 424 Times in 338 Posts
    Your main problem here is that you are talking about two OEM installations (it appears) of Windows. You can swap hard drives between machines, but you cannot swap the OS between machines. If you decide to swap drives around, you will need to do a clean install of the OS that came pre-installed on the machine. The machine and the OEM installation are married.

    The only recourse is to use (buy) a Retail version of the OS you want to use; that can be moved (uninstalled, i.e. format the drive to erase the existing data) from one machine to (installed on) another.

    I hope I haven't made that too obtuse...
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  5. #5
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Thank you both for the advice.

    Yes, these are both OEM installations and I do have recovery discs for Vista but not for 7 yet (there's a recovery partition, and I could borrow an external DVD writer to burn the recovery discs).

    Bbearren, can you elaborate on how the machine and OEM installation are married? Is it just a matter of drivers?

    So it sounds like what I will have to do is swap the drives but use the Vista recovery discs to install Vista on the drive that currently has 7. And vice versa.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Polk County, Florida
    Posts
    3,760
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 424 Times in 338 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by sviddx View Post
    Bbearren, can you elaborate on how the machine and OEM installation are married? Is it just a matter of drivers?
    No, it's a matter of licensing. An OEM Windows installation is licensed to the particular machine on which it is installed. The license is not valid if you move the Windows installation to a different machine.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    If you were just upgrading the particular machine, say with a new MB, which would require new components as well (CPU, Ram, etc.) in all probability, you would most likely have to contact MS to activate as a major hardware change will trigger this OEM license thingy as well, but in that case you are considered using the same PC.

    As bbearren has stated, moving to a totally new PC would most likely not allow activation.

    With Win 8 on the horizon, there can be found pretty good deals on Win 7 licenses. Look around and see what you can find. Amazon and eBay are 2 good sources. Be sure to read the ratings of the sellers. Look for Retail versions, not OEM versions.
    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

  8. #8
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    14
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Hm, it seems Microsoft will get themselves into a Theseus' ship dilemma.

    Anyway, I'm on a tight budget and wasn't aiming to upgrade the OS anyway. I was just hoping since I want to swap the hard drives, maybe I could save time if I didn't have to worry about reinstalling Windows. But all that's important to me is to swap the hard drives so that the reliable one is in the laptop I use regularly and the one I believe is responsible for my spontaneous reboot issue is in the netbook I seldom use. I should still be able to use the recovery discs to do fresh installations of Windows, on the proper machines, right?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Polk County, Florida
    Posts
    3,760
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 424 Times in 338 Posts
    You should be able to reinstall the OS that was installed on the machine, yes.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •