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  1. #1
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    Move Win 7 boot disk to newer hardware

    I currently have an older set of hardware running Windows 7. I recently was given a newer system box with better specifications (motherboard, memory, video, etc.). If I take my old hard drive and attach it to my new box, will Windows 7 run correctly? I know that this means a lot of changes in the Hardware Application Layer, but what kinds of issues might I run into?

    If this will not work, how do I go about "deactivating" my current license for Win 7 and then reinstalling it on the newer hardware?

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    It will probably "basically" work, but you'll need to update a lot of drivers in order for it to "fully" work.

    One advantage you will gain by reinstalling everything fresh onto the new hardware is that you'll start with a new hard drive. Hard drives eventually fail, and so you will be resetting the "failure" clock back to zero if you start with a new drive.

    Another advantage you will gain by retiring your current hard drive is that your current drive becomes a full backup of your system.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Instead of retiring the old HD, I would install a new HD also, Clone the OS to the new HD, then after that is up and running properly, format the old drive and turn it into a data storage unit and possibly partitioned as an Image storage unit as well. Using this HD for storage allows an older HD to function longer since it has much less activity accessing the HD.

    You could also, I suppose, use the old drive as a full backup. Even still I would partition the old HD to allow the data partition as well. I just feel that storing Images on a separate partition is much better usage of the space rather than a clone of the OS, IMO.

    If you do decide to move your data to the old HD, use the approved method to move your data. This allows all the pointers in the OS to point to the new data locations. Any folder that has a move tab in properties (including the Store folder in WLM) can be moved in this manner.
    Last edited by Medico; 2013-09-17 at 05:22.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions, but I am still not sure how the OS will respond when it finds itself on a completely different hardware platform than when it was installed. Is it that easy to just move the system disk from one motherboard to another without any major issues? I thought Microsoft had some kind of way to make a sort of hardware fingerprint of your system configuration at the time of installation, and that afterward you could only change something like four of the system components without having licensing issues. Has this changed?

  5. #5
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    MS, a fine day to you.

    You wrote : four of the system components without having licensing issues. Has this changed?

    I do think that it has changed and by a lot. Windows used to have a key " to validate " an install, on the DVD that one used to load the OS. Now, if you have paid attention, when requesting a likewise key from MS on installing W-7 and W-8, it will search your machine, identify all the components, you will see some HD activity, DVD and CD LEDs activity. Pay attention. This is a fingerprint of your machine, it is also used to generate your keys thus locked to that machine.

    I have a W-7 machine that kept asking for the validation, I got in touch with MS on the phone with a techie, a nice person as MS WANTS you to use their software. He got me to accept his access to my machine and then I saw exactly the above noted activity, he was peeking at all on this putor. Then, as he was satisfied, he issued me with a key that I had never seen before, I keep all my pertinent keys in a .doc. I am on that machine now.

    Now, after this dithyrambic note, let me say that I have no confirmation of this action, just observation on two such validations. When you change your HD, you might have to go this route, it will ask you for the keys, maybe ! Go ahead, type them in and if they are not recognized you will have to call MS. Your quote of 4 of the system components, applied to W-95 for sure, if you have to go this route now, it is that only one component change will trigger the problem which is not one.

    Do not hesitate, MS wants you as a customer. Jean.
    Last edited by handcuff36; 2013-09-17 at 12:50.

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  7. #6
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    In the past, Microsoft would not call you out on a system change if 3(IIRC) months had elapsed since the original "footprint" was made.

    Zig

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  9. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I believe the PC will boot , but most likely will need new drivers downloaded after the fact. You will also likely have to contact MS for assistance with activation on the new hardware, but as long as the OS is no longer being used on the old PC, the activation should be successful.
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  10. #8
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    The OP needs to indicate if the Win 7 was an OEM copy or a retail copy. You can move a retail copy to another system but an OEM copy is only supposed to be used with the machine it was installed on.

    Personally I have never had much success in moving a Windows HD from one system to another. I always end up reinstalling it. I have retail upgrade copies of XP, Win 7, and Win 8.

  11. #9
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    Reboot^n

    Did you have any success, MauryS?
    My experience is that you may have to let you new machine reboot with the old disk in it quite a few times to get it happy. If it has the internet connected and the interface can become live, then Windows 7 is reasonably self-healing, searching for the right drivers and installing them, component by component - thus the multiple reboots.
    It's also my understanding, as is Zig's, that the installation lock-down period is 120 days, after which Microsoft sees you as a bona fide user and allows a new hardware signature to be generated.

  12. #10
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    clone partition or migrate os to the new hd

  13. #11
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    Thanks for all help and suggestions. Due to family circumstances, it was better for me to just use the newer hardware for Win8. Still running my Original install of Win7 without problems, even after a couple of years.

    Thread closed.

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