Windows 10: Moving HDD with Windows 10 into Complete new PC. Solved

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  1.    28 Dec 2015 #1

    Moving HDD with Windows 10 into Complete new PC.


    Hello Everyone.

    I have a question,
    I am building a new PC and I want to sell my old one.
    But I want to keep the HDD of my old PC with windows 10 installed.
    I was wondering if I put the HDD in the new PC, will it automatically run Windows 10 or do i need to purchase a new key?

    Thanks in advance.

    Lunatic
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       28 Dec 2015 #2

    Hello there! IIxLuNaTiCxII Welcome to the Ten Forums!

    The immediate answer is besides the transfer of the 10 product key over to the new machine is that your present 10 drive's OS will need to be replaced with a fresh brand new copy of 10 in order to create for one a brand new Hardware Profile needed to see 10 activated by MS there on the new machice as well as simply being a total hardware change besides the hard drive by itself which would need to see a clean install of it's own!

    Backing up anything you want to keep from the drive first before the move would be the first advice along with the advisement of being prepared to wipe the drive clean and start all over from scratch. That is how it always goes for any new machine that then requires a brand new OS installation to work on it. 1)Clean Install 2) contact MS for seeing the key transferred over 3) live happily ever after!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 12,396
    Windows 10 Pro
       28 Dec 2015 #3

    Night Hawk said: View Post
    The immediate answer is besides the transfer of the 10 product key over to the new machine is that your present 10 drive's OS will need to be replaced with a fresh brand new copy of 10 in order to create for one a brand new Hardware Profile needed to see 10 activated by MS there on the new machice as well as simply being a total hardware change besides the hard drive by itself which would need to see a clean install of it's own!
    Windows doesn't need to be reinstalled on the new hardware. It's not only easy but also practical to transfer the HDD / SSD containing an existing Windows installation with all installed software and user data to a new PC.

    On an elevated command prompt, enter the following command:

    Code:
    %windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /shutdown

    Let the Windows System Preparation Tool (Sysprep) generalize the Windows installation, remove all hardware related data including drivers, and shut down the old PC. Remove the HDD, plug it on the new PC and start it. Windows will now go through a so called OOBE first run boot installing new default drivers.

    That's it, couldn't be easier. Notice that Windows needs to be reactivated afterwards.

    This extract from a tutorial on our sister site the Seven Forums, the tutorial applies to all Windows versions and editions (Vista or later):

    Note   Note
    What does Sysprep generalizing do to my Windows 7 setup?

    • All system specific information is removed or uninstalled
    • Security ID (SID) of your hardware setup is reseted
    • All system restore points are deleted
    • All event logs are deleted
    • All personalization is removed (taskbar, toolbars, folder options, start orb etc.)
    • Built-in administrator account is disabled (if it was enabled) and needs to be re-enabled after the transfer if needed

    What happens when booting first time after sysprep generalizing?

    • First boot configuration is run
    • New SID is created
    • Re-arm counter is reseted if not already re-armed three times
    • Windows 7 is booted using first boot default drivers and settings


    Tutorial: Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Notice that an upgraded Windows cannot by default be sysprepped. If your current Windows 10 installation is upgraded from an earlier version of Windows, or from an earlier build of Windows 10, or if you have done a so called repair install, you need to edit Windows registry a bit before you can generalize Windows installation with Sysprep. In that case see the necessary registry modifications in this Ten Forums tutorial. Tutorial is about a different way to use Sysprep but the part Upgrade (its Step 2) in it shows the registry edits needed to be able to run Sysprep on an upgraded Windows.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 2,036
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       28 Dec 2015 #4

    Windows doesn't need to be reinstalled on the new hardware. It's not only easy but also practical to transfer the HDD / SSD containing an existing Windows installation with all installed software and user data to a new PC.
    In addition, Windows 8/10 are very forgiving. In fact, you don't even need to run sysprep. Just connect the drive to the new PC and boot up. Windows will display the message: Getting your devices ready.... then re-install the drivers for the new PC hardware. Been there, done that many times.
    NOTE: Make sure that you have an internet cable connected so that Windows can download the neccessary drivers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    29 Dec 2015 #5

    topgundcp said: View Post
    In addition, Windows 8/10 are very forgiving. In fact, you don't even need to run sysprep. Just connect the drive to the new PC and boot up. Windows will display the message: Getting your devices ready.... then re-install the drivers for the new PC hardware. Been there, done that many times.
    NOTE: Make sure that you have an internet cable connected so that Windows can download the neccessary drivers.
    so I Just have to put the HDD in the new PC and everything will work and i don't need a new copy of windows 10?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 2,036
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       29 Dec 2015 #6

    IIxLuNaTiCxII said: View Post
    so I Just have to put the HDD in the new PC and everything will work and i don't need a new copy of windows 10?
    Yes, It will work but won't be activated since you change the MB.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    29 Dec 2015 #7

    topgundcp said: View Post
    Yes, It will work but won't be activated since you change the MB.
    How do you mean it won't be activated?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 2,036
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       29 Dec 2015 #8

    IIxLuNaTiCxII said: View Post
    How do you mean it won't be activated?
    Means you need a new product key for the new Mother Board.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       29 Dec 2015 #9

    IIxLuNaTiCxII said: View Post
    so I Just have to put the HDD in the new PC and everything will work and i don't need a new copy of windows 10?
    The SysPrep tool was intended mainly for seeing drives swapped between almost if not identical machines as far as how much of a difference there would be between the machines. Whether you saw 10 upgrade over 7, 8, or 8.1 or saw a clean install of 10 when going out to buy 10 the existing copy of 10 will automatically be seen as invalid on the new build. You would then either need to call into MS to see you can get the existing installation reactivated on the new build or buy 10 outright either by download or on media where you get a new product key automatically to use.

    With too large a difference in hardwares when moving a drive from pc to pc the common rule of thought and advice has always been to recommend a fresh full clean install or expect problems to surface from the massive change in things like memory, sata, and other controllers on the new board which will likely have a different chip set to start with either being a newer model by the same board manufacturer or by another company entirely. The clean install could just as easily be for the previous version to then see another upgrade while the better results are by seeing a full clean install on the new build and buying the 10 if needed.

    I previously moved a Vista drive from an old XP build into a new one for Vista and called MS to see the key transferred over but still ended needing to replace the then buggy Vista install with a fresh copy to see Windows running properly. That was going from DDR memory to DDR2 at the time plus going from 2gb to 4gb when expecting to be trying out the 64bit Windows by that time which ended up being the case used for beta testing 7 back then. Always expect that a clean install may be needed with any large scale change of hardwares.

    With 7 it was an automatic clean install every time from beta to retail over the years. And with 10 the upgrades with the 10240 build in mind came out buggy every time while the 10586 has seen smooth going as well as grabbing a Black Friday discount. The guide mentions seeing a full system image backup made before proceeding regardless of which route you take just the same. If you have a lot invested in softwares that would be the course of reason to follow.

    Another thing to make note of here from Kari's guide over the SevenForums is in regards to Window Media Player and it's own network service interfering with things:

    I have tested all above mentioned methods with all versions of Windows 7, from Starter to Enterprise. It works every time, with one exception: for reasons unknown to me, sysprep seems sometimes dislike Windows Media Player networking service, which is by default started every time Windows 7 starts. In about every third time I've done this, I've got an error message when trying to generalize:



    However, this is not a big problem. You just need to stop the WMP networking service, and run sysprep with generalize option again. You can stop the service in question by typing net stop WMPNetworkSvc to command prompt, and hitting Enter:
    In case you didn't get to go over the guide there fully I quoted that for you here just in case that type of problem surfaces. At the same time however you will still want to be prepared in the event a clean install ends up being needed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 12,396
    Windows 10 Pro
       29 Dec 2015 #10

    Night Hawk said: View Post
    The SysPrep tool was intended mainly for seeing drives swapped between almost if not identical machines as far as how much of a difference there would be between the machines.
    I have to voice my objections. Sysprep with the generalize switch is the recommended and supported way to move Windows installation to totally different hardware. This from https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825033.aspx

    Important

    You must use the Sysprep /generalize command to generalize a complete Windows installation before you can use the installation for deployment to a new computer, whether you use imaging, hard disk duplication, or another method. Moving or copying a Windows image to a different computer without running the Sysprep /generalize command is not supported.
    Personally I have successfully used this method for instance in moving a Hyper-V vm Windows installation to a self assembled and built desktop, and moving Windows installation for instance from an HP Envy laptop to an Asus desktop. Quite a difference in hardware. I've done this dozens of times, never had a single issue.
    Last edited by Kari; 29 Dec 2015 at 21:38.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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