Building new computer

By Digitalimages ยท 4 replies
Apr 19, 2014
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  1. I am currently building a replacement desktop computer. I am using an ssd for the operating system and have a new cd of windows 7 pro. I have a complete backup of my windows 7 64bit operating system on my old hd. It was saved with a raid hd. Is it possible to use the programs on this old hd after installing the new windows 7 64bit system on the ssd? I have many programs and don't want to have to reinstall all of them on the new computer. fyi, the new computer has a 3tb blank hd installed.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    If you mean can you just copy over the programs in Program Files and expect them to work, then absolutely not. All applications have to be reinstalled, although there may be ways and means where you can export the settings, or 'migrate' your system. I have no experience to say that will do the trick.
    My own method would be to take a drive image. I.e. a complete re-loadable copy of your entire C: drive. Even that will not work if you are moving from 32-bit to 64-bit working. However, you have complicated things by having raid storage, and you also need to have some skills to restore to an SSD (it invariably being much smaller than the HDD you come from). Not to mention the new PC will probably not boot until you do a repair install-in-place to get the completely new driver set required.
    As I see it you have no real alternative to a complete fresh OS install and reinstall of all applications. Only your data can be copied across from the backup. Emails, browser favourites and the like you should be able to use 'export' and 'import' facilities of the email package and browser.
    Allow a good two weeks of hard work. Sorry, but that's what it takes. It's a good time to decide what you really need to keep and what you can leave behind.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  3. Digitalimages

    Digitalimages TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for your input. I'm not telling all of this correctly. I have a new cd with windows 7 pro 64bit. my old computer hd has everything on it including windows 7 pro 64. there is no difference in the type of windows. is there a way to install win7pro on the new computer ssd and have this new install see the programs on the old hd if I physically put it in the new computer as an additional drive? what would happen? would I have to uninstall windows from the old hd before?

    I know I am probably going to have to clean up everything and bite the bullet and install the programs again. Last question, Can you install windows on the ssd and then install all the new programs except the ones I want to load quickly on the 3tb hd?
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    Basically what you would be doing is creating a dual boot condition. Where you have two operating systems installed. Neither OS will see the application installed on the other OS. And while booted into one of the OS's, the other OS partition can be wiped clean.

    As @gbhall said, you will need to reinstall all your application if you choose to clean install. But if you want to transfer your OS to a new drive, there is cloning software that will do this for you.
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    As @cliffordcooley says, there is cloning software available which might help your problem.
    This mentions Macrium Reflect of which there is a free version (limited, but capable of doing what you need, I think). You are fortunate that the OS versions are the same, but still expect to have to do a repair installation on the new PC due to the motherboard and other devices being different. Please note the assumption in that article is that you are cloning just the HDD and not going to a completely new hardware setup. That adds extra steps. Here is an example

    There are a number of other disk cloning packages, such as or partition wizard. However you do it, you will be lucky to have no problems. Be sure to start with a complete, full backup and always be prepared to bite the bullet and do a full clean install. As to your last question the answer is yes
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014

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