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I have a laptop that runs Windows Vista Enterprise. It's a HP-Compaq nc8430, and for a long time the GPU ran very hot as a sort of default behavior set in the bios. This problem was reported and experienced by lots of different people.

I asked about this problem here on Eventually I figured out (a) that it was the GPU generating all the heat, and (b) how to turn off or turn down the GPU. This corrected the heat problem.

However, the damage had been done, apparently. It's maybe 3.5 years old, but the keyboard no longer works. Some of the keys just don't work at all. I figure this is heat-related damage.

This machine is set up as a development machine. It's got tools and software on it, a nice setup for me. The network adapter still works. So I can connect to the thing via RDP, and continue to use it that way. This is a great idea, but I am now having intermittent RDP connection problems, which I also asked about here. So frustrating!

What are my other options? Is there a way to freeze-dry the Windows Vista OS image into a virtual PC and then run it on my newer laptop (Windows 7 Home)?

Other suggestions?

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Change the USB into a different laptop and reinstall (upgrade windows). It works on desktop PCs most of the time.

When you reinstall, make sure you choose upgrade rather than normal reinstall. I think you can keep all of your programs.

Basically your question is like, say I change my motherboard, can I do that? Here, instead of changing the motherboard, you pretty much change everything except the hard disk.

Maybe the PC will have to reinstall new drivers, etc. But that's pretty much all.

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Wou hou, my first answer selected as "the" answer. Thanks a lot. Awesome. Yea sereiously that's how you do it. – Jim Thio May 1 '12 at 2:08

You can always pull out the hard drive and put it in a usb casing, this will preserve your files, but you will use it as a spare drive, not a boot drive. If you're putting it on a newer laptop then it is likely the chipsets will be different and it won't boot if you try and either replace the hard drive or image it onto the existing hard drive in the new laptop. Honestly, if you don't care about the programs, but only your data, your best bet is to turn it into a usb drive. If you do want to go the imaging route, there are several superuser posts about it. Here is a good post that has a lot of information about imaging and backup options, but there are a lot more if you search.

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You can easily reinstall your OS on top of the existing drive, giving you a bootable install with all your data/programs. – Arda Xi Nov 6 '10 at 17:47
I'd go with @Arda's solution, really. Pop the drive in a new machine, and let the Vista repair wizard get it going again. – user3463 Nov 6 '10 at 17:56

Syamantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 will let you do several things to help. You can image the existing system and restore to different hardware. Drivers might need tweaking but it will warn you if you do the prep work.

You can also convert the image to a VMware or Microsoft virtual machine and mount it with whatever version you use.

There is an eval at BESR

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The VMWare converter is completely free: as is VMWare player: – shf301 Nov 6 '10 at 18:12
+1 for DaveM's solution, just use Acronis instead of Symantec - it has a nifly livecd for booting from vmware.. – kagali-san Nov 6 '10 at 18:41

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