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  1. #1
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    Safely transfer Window 7 to new PC

    My new Dell XPS 8700 desktop should arrive in 4 days with Windows 8. I plan to move my two Windows 7 Ultimate hard drives to the new pc and boot from one of them. Will Windows 7 discover that it is not where it was activated and switch to reduced functionality?

    Also, my new system has an SSD as well as a 2 TB drive (and 16 GB RAM). How do I install Windows 7 to the SSD without having to reactivate Windows 7?

    I realize that these are mutually exclusive problems probably, but I want the best of both worlds, naturally.

    If I leave one of my Windows 7 drives on the old system (Dell XPS400) to maintain functionality and get a new activation code to install 7 on the new system will Microsoft discover that I am using my retail (upgrade) Windows 7 Ultimate on two different systems?

    By the way, I also have a retail upgrade version of Vista in case any jockeying is needed.

    I got this fancy 8700 on a cyber Monday deal along with a military discount totalling $520 off.

    Dell does honor Veterans.

    Thaks for any advice.

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  3. #2
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    Hi,

    Overall that seems doable but you may have a few headaches along the way.

    There are no guarantees that your existing disks will allow Windows to boot successfully, once in the new computer. It's possible that they will, but it is also possible that it may fail.

    I would try moving the disks and see how it goes. If the boot fails, you will need to consider imaging the disks using imaging software that support migration to different hardware - Acronis TI Premium, think Macrium Pro does it as well, as likely will one of the versions of EaseUS Todo Backup - can't say which.

    The Windows reactivation will mostly likely be needed because of the move to new hardware, not the SSD, but if you activate before moving the OS to the SSD, you may end up activating twice - admitting that Microsoft will allow it. The use of the same OS key in two computers is a license violation and you may find you can only activate it through the phone, which may or may not be successful.

    Moving the OS to the SSD can be done through either an image restore or a clone. I would say it depends on the size of your SSD and the size of the current HD and the abilities of the tool you use to restore the image or make the clone. Often the imaging tools can handle these changes without many problems.

    Finally, I know you didn't ask, but you could also consider keeping Windows 8 as the OS. If you don't like it, there are addons that ensure that you basically get an environment that is basically similar to Windows 7.
    Rui
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  5. #3
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    My two HD's in the old system are 250Gb each and I ran a system image of both earlier today onto a 500 Gb HD. The new SSD is the smaller of the two available from Dell.

    I've never restored from an image so I have no idea how that works.

    I recently reactivated Vista through the phone which was no problem but Vista is an archaic OS so they may be more lenient than for 7.

    I appreciate the warning about not reactivating until after installing to the SSD. There is a 30 day grace period before activation is required so I'll use that.

    I've heard about those addons for Windows 8. Do you have a suggestion as to where I might find them?

    Thanks.

    P.S. My mother was born in Lisbon in 1912.

  6. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Norm,

    Your new Dell will likely come with the Disks partitioned as GPT vs MBR. You'll have to at least turn off Secure Boot to get them to boot. I'm typing this on a Dell XPS 8700 so if you have other questions ask away. I installed a SSD after I got the machine and I'm using Win 8.1 Pro with Secure Boot. HTH

    Here's the wiki on GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by norm73 View Post
    I've never restored from an image so I have no idea how that works.

    I recently reactivated Vista through the phone which was no problem but Vista is an archaic OS so they may be more lenient than for 7.

    I appreciate the warning about not reactivating until after installing to the SSD. There is a 30 day grace period before activation is required so I'll use that.

    I've heard about those addons for Windows 8. Do you have a suggestion as to where I might find them?
    Probably you can see if the Windows 8 add-ons help you use the computer.

    Here are some of the add-ons:

    http://www.classicshell.net/gallery/Classic-Shell-4 (free)

    http://www.startisback.com/ ($3)

    There two are the most popular here on the Lounge. There are many others,though: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33642_7...-in-windows-8/
    P.S. My mother was born in Lisbon in 1912.
    So you have a bit of Portuguese in you. That can only be good .
    Rui
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  10. #6
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    Secure Boot? How do you turn that off?

    Also, I failed to mention that the three hard drives I now have are IDE. Will that be a problem installing them into the 8700?

  11. #7
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    There are no IDE connectors on your new computer's motherboard. However, it does have plenty of SATA ports. You could get an adapter to allow an IDE hard drive to connect to a SATA port.

    Here's something you might consider:
    http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?inv...ESA-BP&cat=CCD

    Also, this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16812232004

    It connects to the IDE port on your drive, and you then plug in a SATA cable.

    I'm not sure if these devices require power. My guess is that they don't. If not, then you could use them just for the data cable conversion, and then hook the power cable separately to the drive. You may need an adapter for the power connection. These are readily available.

    The adapter will stick out a bit from the drive. Make sure that there is room in your hard drive bay for the adapter to be on the drive. (There probably is.)
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2013-12-14 at 19:48.

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    Norm,

    To turn off secure boot on your machine you need to repeatedly tap the F12 key while booting until you get this screen:
    20131210_173438.jpg
    Sorry for the shaky picture but you want the last option "Change Boot Mode Setting". Then you'll get this screen
    20131210_173708.jpg
    For your old disks you'll probably want the "Legacy Boot Mode, Secure Boot Off" option.
    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    Thanks. Is this control in BIOS or is BIOS gone and they now call it something else? I ask because I heard while Windows 8 was in development that BIOS was to be eliminated.

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    Jim,

    I thought I would need something like this for the IDE drives but I find it hard to believe that they have changed the configuration of the power supply plugs.

    Also, my present optical drives also use an IDE cable. Do you know what the 8700 uses for the optical drive? Is it a standard SATA connection and, also, could I transfer one of my old optical drives using one of these IDE to SATA adapters?

    I also have a floppy drive on my present system that connects to the mother board. Would I be able to move that to the 8700? Occasionally my wife brings home a floppy a friend gave to her.

  17. #11
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Norm:

    I am quite certain that the optical drive in your new computer is a SATA drive; SATA is the new standard (IDE the old standard), and also, that's the only kind of drive connector there is on the motherboard.

    You could indeed use one of these adapters to put an IDE optical drive into this computer. However, you need to consider that if you're going to add three additional hard drives, you will be running short on space in the case. (I believe you will have enough SATA ports.) Adding an additional DVD drive will take up even more space (and an additional SATA port). Also, all of those drives will be drawing a lot of power from your power supply. I hope your power supply is up to the task. (Often the ones which come installed from the factory aren't very powerful.)

    It is hard to say which kinds of plugs will be on your new power supply. It probably has the right kind (Molex), but there may not be enough of them. No matter what kind there is, you can easily get adapters and expanders in order to have sufficient connections for your drives.

    Your floppy drive won't work with this motherboard. However, you could get a USB floppy drive. That is what I would recommend. They don't cost much. Here's one for $20 at Tiger Direct:
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...9134&CatId=631

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    Jim,

    Of course the physical space will decide what I can install and I may have to keep the old system functional for my niece's children. She was given an old tower but without cables so I need to see if it's worth salvaging.

    As far as the power supply in the 8700 is concerned I must admit that I hadn't considered that. I have been exceeding the 350 watt limit in my old system for many years without a problem. My graphics card alone wanted to be in a 500 watt system.

    What happens when the power capacity is not adequate? Does the power supply die of exhaustion or does it have a circuit breaker? Is there a heat sensor that shuts the system down before the electronics can be damaged? Could I remove a side panel and replace it with screening to allow cooling or would that interfere with the electronics? I have two cats so I cannot simply leave the computer open.

    I think it will take a computer engineer to answer that.

  20. #13
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Most power supplies have a fuse in them; if you overloaded the power supply, you would likely blow the fuse. I'm not sure what effect too little power would have on anything else.

    Perhaps you haven't actually been exceeding your power supply's limits; even though your graphics card says that it needs to be in a 500 watt system, I doubt that it draws 500 watts itself. My guess is that they estimated what your total system requirements would likely be, including their graphics card, and then gave you a conservative (i.e. high) number, just to be safe.

    Here is some really good info about power supplies:
    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/page/power

    This review is particularly informative:
    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/artic...-Review/1687/1

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    Start up is where the big current draw comes, if you don't have enough you'll probably have start up problems. You can probably google and find a component wattage startup chart somewhere that you can use to add up all the component requirements during start up. The 500 watt recommendation for your graphics card would be for start up and also assuming a number of other components starting at the same time.

    As far as cooling goes, imagine a wind tunnel where air moves as smoothly as possible from bottom front of the case to top rear of the case (in most configurations). Opening up the side would disrupt this constant flow, BUT if there is a jumble of wires or the video card is extra long and blocks air flow or causes stagnant air pockets to form and heat up, then opening the side can help. Usually they are designed and built to exchange air pretty well but modifications can disrupt that.

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    Thanks for that. So now I must consider air flow as well!

    I checked on my order at Dell and discovered they had changed the delivery date from the 18th to the 30th without notifying me.

    I called the order modification dept. to see about getting the system with a 500 watt power supply which, they said, could not be done but they told me in passing that they were reducing the quality of the graphics card from NVIDIA Geforce GTX 660 1.5G GDDR5 which was to be in the system I bought to a NVIDIA Geforce GTX 650 1.5G GDDR5 and that I should be hearing from Customer Service about that by today.

    I have not heard from them but I looked up the difference between the 660 and the 650 at NVIDIA and found that the performance of the 650 is only 50% that of the 660.

    Also, I did a chat with Dell yesterday and have, in writing, a statement that I can modify the configuration as of yesterday without losing any of the discounts I received at the time of the purchase. After I received that information I called the Order Modification number they gave me in the chat and was told contrarywise.

    Does anybody have a contact number or email for a Dell senior executive or board member?

    Or any other ideas?

    I have now spent hours being yanked around by Dell (33 minutes on hold yesterday).

    Do they have someone who helps disabled veterans who are having much trouble with multiple departments?

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