Need advice from computer Guru’s

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Sam West | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Feb 28 2011 5:24 AM

I recently purchased a new computer with a socket for a second HD. What happens if I take the practically new 500GB 7200 out of my old computer with all my data on it including L4 and place it the primary socket in my new computer and the new one that come with the computer and placing it in the secondary socket? Keep in mind they will both have windows 7 on them.

Posts 19273
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 28 2011 5:43 AM

I wouldn't try it. It probably won't boot. Just having the same operating system isn't enough. Your old computer has different hardware than your new one, and Windows 7 was installed with all the drivers relevant for the hardware on your old system. If you take the main bootable hard disk out of the old computer and put it in the new one in the boot socket (C:), it's not set up properly for the hardware on your new machine. You could take the HD out of your old computer and put it in the secondary drive socket of your new computer, and thereby be able to access the data on it. You could then delete the WINDOWS directory tree to free up a lot of space. You might still need to do a bit of tweaking for the new system to recognize the second drive and not try to offer to format it for you. But at least that will be doable. What you're proposing wouldn't be (if I'm understanding you correctly and not interpreting your question backwards, which if so, please forgive me).

Posts 89
Harbey Santiago | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 28 2011 6:05 AM

Sam West:

 

I recently purchased a new computer with a socket for a second HD. What happens if I take the practically new 500GB 7200 out of my old computer with all my data on it including L4 and place it the primary socket in my new computer and the new one that come with the computer and placing it in the secondary socket? Keep in mind they will both have windows 7 on them.

I agree with Rosie. So many things can go wrong it is not worth the try. What I would recommend is this. Bring both computers in the same network, copy the content of the old HD into the new HD. If you determine that the old HD could be installed in the new computer, install it, reformat it, transfer the old data into the "new" (i.e. reformated) drive. Good Luck!

"Viva Cristo Rey!!"

Deacon Harbey Santiago

Archdiocese of Baltimore

 

Posts 171
Abi Gail | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 28 2011 6:11 AM

I concur. I believe the Windows license is stored in the bios. The OS on your old drive will not be recognized by your new machine.

Edit: OH Wait...You specified Gurus...Fell free to ignore my uneducated input. Big Smile

~

Posts 1829
Rick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 28 2011 6:41 AM

Abi Gail:
I concur

Me too. At best it is just going to ask you what disk to boot from and if you use the old disk, Windows 7 may detect it has an all new hardware configuration and may not activate/behave properly causing headaches.

If you want to save your information on the hared drive, I suggest simply backing it up and then as you install the programs on the new system transfer your documents etc.

Posts 1993
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 28 2011 7:59 AM

Sam West:

I recently purchased a new computer with a socket for a second HD. What happens if I take the practically new 500GB 7200 out of my old computer with all my data on it including L4 and place it the primary socket in my new computer and the new one that come with the computer and placing it in the secondary socket? Keep in mind they will both have windows 7 on them.

What is it you're trying to achieve by placing the old drive in the new computer? If it's to make it easier to copy data off of it, just place it in the second position and treat it as a data drive (even though it has an O.S. on it).

If you want it to become the O.S. on the new computer, I'd say there's a chance it can work. Windows 7 is reasonably good at detecting and dealing with hardware changes when it boots. Presumably your new computer has significantly different hardware than the old one from which this drive is coming: motherboard / chipset; graphics card; audio and network (even if they're integrated on the motherboard); etc.

If you want to give it a try, here's how I'd do it:

1) Use Acronis TrueImage or Norton Ghost to make an image of the old drive before you put it in the new PC. This will safeguard you if something goes wrong and you want to put it back in the old PC in exactly the state it was before you attempted this.

2) Remove the current (new) drive from the new PC so you know it won't change at all while you try using the old drive.

3) Have all the required drivers for your new PC handy on a USB drive or optical disc, etc. Stuff I referred to above like chipset drivers, graphics card, audio chipset, network card, etc.

4) Put the old drive in the new PC and boot. You may get "Found new hardware" messages after logging in. Depending on the install mechanism for your drivers, you can either work through that wizard, or you can dismiss those messages and run "setup.exe" (or whatever it's called) for those drivers.

5) Open Device Manager and keep working through drivers until there are no more error / warning icons for hardware.

6) You may be asked to re-verify the Genuine Windows stuff. I haven't seen what that looks like in Windows 7, but I believe it's less draconian that in Windows XP.

7) If you get to the point where all your hardware is working and the PC is running as expected, use TrueImage or Ghost to take an image of the drive in this state.

8) Put the new drive in the second spot and do whatever you want to with it (take an image for backup, reformat, treat as a data drive, etc.).

Hope this helps,

Donnie

 

Posts 171
Abi Gail | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 28 2011 8:09 AM

Donnie Hale:
If you want to give it a try, here's how I'd do it:

If you do try this, please post the results. I would be most interested.

~

Posts 13419
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 28 2011 8:37 AM

Let me chip in here, and say that I've done exactly what you're suggesting on several PCs, with varying results. The problem is that the 'old' hard drive will have the motherboard drivers for the old computer, not the new computer. The worst case scenario is a blue screen of death on bootup. This was quite common in XP days, but is much less common now. Windows 7 has so many drivers built in by default, that it does a pretty good job of working out which drivers you need.

My experience suggests that success is more likely if the motherboards are similar. If one PC is running an nVidia chipset and AMD processor, and the other is running an intel chipset and processor, that's less likely to work.

My method is very similar to Donnie's though because I keep regular backups anyway, I don't bother with the disk imaging.

 

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Forum MVP
Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 28 2011 8:50 AM

Potential Windows 7 activation issue => http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971033 - booting up new computer with old hard drive could appear as piracy.  OEM's use a tool to prep Windows for installation on many disks with similar hardware.

Laptop hard drive to desktop had activation issues => http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/tried-to-move-windows-7-hard-disk-from-laptop-to/b0d48c3e-dab2-422e-9fe0-72f50c0f649b

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 13419
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 28 2011 8:54 AM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):
Potential Windows 7 activation issue => http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971033 - booting up new computer with old hard drive could appear as piracy.

That's true, but it isn't piracy. I've only once had that probably when performing a HDD swap or motherboard upgrade (out of perhaps 20 times). A free telephone call to Microsoft resolved things very quickly. In this case, I think the reason an auto-activation failed was because this particular HDD was in it's fourth PC by the time activation was rejected!

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