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I am about to upgrade to a new laptop. Is it possible for me to just take my system drive and put it in the new one with little problems, or will I need to reinstall Windows?

I am currently running Windows 7 professional. I know with Windows XP you generally could not do this, but with Windows 7's so called self healing capabilities, I was interested to know if this is possible so I could save some time in the upgrade.

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not-programming-related –  Paul Jan 31 '10 at 18:05
    
Any progress about this Chris ? –  Enmos Proje Apr 27 '10 at 9:32

4 Answers 4

You can try using sysprep to clear any machine specific settings from your installation image. This should make it automatically try to install all the new drivers (or prompt as needed) when booting up on the new hardware configuration. Sysprep ships in-box on Vista and newer, under \Windows\System32\sysprep.

Definitely back up anything sensitive, in case something does go wrong.

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Is it really needed... If your new laptop is better than what you have, you could be keeping an oldest hard disk (slower, tiny, error prone, etc).
Recomendation: What you can do is to use something like: Acronis® Migrate Easy or something similar, to migrate your windows to the new hardware.

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Best way would be to just back up your data and try it.

I've also heard that hardware swapping should be easily possible with Windows 7, worst that can happen is that you have to reinstall anyway...second worse is that you have to re-verify the copy because the hardware has changed.

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It depends. I've had some luck doing that. A lot of it depends on how similar the systems are. For instance, there is no way you could take a drive from an AMD-based machine and put it in an Intel-based machine. Also, if it's 64-bit windows and the new proc doesn't support 64-bit, etc. You could always try it. AFAIK it won't hurt, it just won't boot. I would suggest doing it for a long-term solution regardless.

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nah its still Intel but im going from dual to quad core processors however i am going from an nvidia graphics set to ati would that make a difference ? –  Chris McGrath Jan 31 '10 at 18:36
    
I'm not sure, but my gut says it probably won't work. I think the biggest problem is going to be the proc. To be honest, I think Bobby said it best, back it all up and give it a shot. It might be totally fine. –  Chris Thompson Jan 31 '10 at 19:19
    
true enough ill try it once i get the laptop and post the results –  Chris McGrath Feb 1 '10 at 3:30
    
On the subject of the nVidia to ATI switch, you'd need different drivers. You should have basic video output (either an integrated graphics processor or something else) assuming the system boots, but you'll have to uninstall the nVidia drivers and install the appropriate ATI ones to take full advantage of your new GPU. –  Lifeson Mar 9 '10 at 19:20

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