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Moving hard drive from old pc to new pc w\o removing os


adrian2055
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Hey guys,

Quick question. I'm getting a new desktop in a few days and I wanted to know something. Is it ok to move the current hard drive from my dell desktop into my new shuttle pc without re-installing everything? The hard drive has vista ultimate retail version installed, all of my programs and group policy settings configured and I don't want to waste several hours re-installing and re-configuring everything. Is this wise or should I re-install everthing when I get the desktop?

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Ive never tried it on vista but i know that on XP you could switch the ide/sata/vga controller to the generic drivers, swap to a new PC, and go through driver hell to get everything working again (assuming it doesnt just BSOD on boot anyways)

you might be able to sysprep and move it but id say your better off just starting fresh.

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There are two steps you can try, one is a test and the other is the fallback in case the test does not work.

The first, which is your fallback, is in case you have to reload Vista and want to keep things like your settings, emails, etc. And that is to use the User State Migration Tool. It is designed to take your settings from one OS to another. Instructions are all here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library...28WS.10%29.aspx

Once you get your settings backed up, you can TRY to migration your OS in one of 2 ways, both involve using Sysprep. It is located in C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep. Here are your 2 different methods:

1. Sysprep /oobe /shutdown

2. Sysprep /oobe /generalize /shutdown

You choose the first option IF the hardware in the destination computer is very similar, such as having the same chipset but most importantly SAME Mass Storage Controller. For example, if your current motherboard uses an Intel ICH9 and your new one does also, then this may work. While the other motherboard components may not end up being installed, if you stay on the same Mass Storage Controller, you will at least be able to boot into the OS. Otherwise, if you are moving to a different Mass Storage Controller, when you boot up, you'll get a STOP 0x7b.

Option 2 if for moving to different hardware altogether. However there is a caveat to be aware of. If your Vista install does not already have support for your new Mass Storage Controller you will have to inject the drivers into the OS. This would require capturing the drive with ImageX and injecting the drivers with the WAIK. NOTE: you can only use the WAIK version for your version of Vista. You can't use the current one for Windows 7 as DISM will give you an error. This would also mean you need WinPE media and another drive (external hard drive, network share) to put your image on. There may be other options that I do not specialize in however. I don't know everything! :whistle:

In addition, if you generalize, Sysprep will remove any PnP drivers from your OS and you'll have to create a new User account in Welcome. Of course you can always delete this account and log in with your original one if you want. You should get that choice on the reboot.

After either of these options, you can transfer the hard drive to the new PC. Now, what to do if it won't boot into Vista and you get an error? Well there are a couple options left. If this is a hard drive from an OEM computer, it may have a recovery partition. You get to it (usually) by pressing F8 and there should be a Repair option in the menu. It may be another key. If you don't have this kind of drive then you can also fix the problem with a Vista install DVD. In either case, you would want to do a repair install, or it may say "repair windows" or something to that effect.

So, whether you can migrate the drive with just sysprep, or you do a repair install, after you are all back up, you use USMT to restore your original settings. However, repair install is usually good enough at keeping your old settings, but some shortcuts might not work among other things.

If this seems too much, then just start clean. I can make no promises that any of these options will work out perfectly, except for the USMT which will work in either case. Hopefully everything works out for you.

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Ive never tried it on vista but i know that on XP you could switch the ide/sata/vga controller to the generic drivers, swap to a new PC, and go through driver hell to get everything working again (assuming it doesnt just BSOD on boot anyways)

you might be able to sysprep and move it but id say your better off just starting fresh.

Well, as MOST of the things around:

jaclaz

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