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I have a problem: today at work I was told that tomorrow afternoon I have to give my pc back and take a new one just arrived.
It could be a good new, but I'm a developer and I use a lot of different software to work (Visual Studio, Delphi, Eclipse, Android, Apache, MySql, etc...) and I can't think about starting to reinstall and configure everything... usually it means one week lost... and some data usually get lost too with those migrations...
So, is there any way I can use my current disk as system disk on new pc?
I'm afraid because motherboard and cpu are completely different...

Is there something I could do to prepare "migration"? Any kind of Sysprep command so when Windows Seven boots start recognizing new devices without getting lost with previous ones?

UPDATE:
Perhaps I've just found a suitable solution here: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/135077-windows-7-installation-transfer-new-computer.html

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acronis can apparently make an image that will work even with xp. –  barlop Apr 26 '12 at 17:19
    
@barlop: sorry, but Acronis is not for free, correct? –  Marco Apr 26 '12 at 17:20
    
I recently read there is a free version wdacronis(wd specific) and a seagate one but they may not do that feature. On a related note, with win xp there was something about HAL replacement. –  barlop Apr 26 '12 at 19:19
    
I'm adding a comment instead of an answer since I'm in the process of doing this myself and cannot comment on whether or not it works, but VMware has a (free - I think) product called vCenter Converter Standalone that can make a virtual machine image of an existing machine. I think you can then run the VM in their free player. –  Paperjam Apr 26 '12 at 20:00
    
possible duplicate superuser.com/questions/412498/… –  Moab Apr 26 '12 at 20:04

4 Answers 4

What kills most drive transfers is the disk driver. Sysprep is designed to remove most drivers which allows you to boot to an installation environment and redetect the drivers. As others stated, you need configure the Hard drive settings in the BIOS of the new system to match your old one (AHCI, RAID, or IDE). I'd grab a secondary hard drive and make clone of the current disk in case something goes horribly wrong. There are a ton of disk mirroring solutions out there so pick your preferred flavor. (I use easeus disk mirror)

From your description, you may need to reorganize how you are saving your data. If you are concerned about data loss when a workstation goes down, you are doing it wrong. Your data should be arranged in a way that it is either stored on redundant network locations, or have automatic backups to a secondary storage device. There are hundreds of backup schemes out there and a ton of tools to help set this up. The investment of a little time and hardware can save a ton of time rebuilding lost files.

Finally, you might think about building some automated installation scripts. Most programs come with a silent installer option to make doing this a breeze. While the time investment to set this up is longer than a simple install, it makes the chore of reinstalling an easy one. Being able to rebuild a system quickly is really useful when you have a team all using the same software.

Food for thought, good luck.

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Symantec Sytem Recovery will do this easily. It restores to different hardware System Recovery Desktop Edition has an eval version. I have used this many times for systems with complex software installs. It will warn you about drivers for the new hardware but I would grab video, NIC and any others you can and have them ready on a USB drive or something. This has saved me many hours over the past few years.

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I have only done this once before with Windows 7, but many times with Vista and XP. Generally with all of them, moving to a new physical system requires a little work, but it is quite manageable normally.

As a general rule, I reinstall windows on top of itself. This preserves your data and most installed programs while reconfiguring the registry and getting the proper drivers installed. I have known people to move harddrives and just install the appropriate drivers without reinstalling windows, and this has worked in some cases, but overinstalling windows normally gives cleaner results.

The one case where I would expect significant problems, that I have never personally tried, is moving from a 32 bit system to a 64 bit system.

As with all major changes, you probably want to make a thorough backup of the data before making the change (or better, just double check the automated backups you already have....)

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If you're running Windows XP it is unlikely that your installation will work with the new system as the installation builds the environment around the chipset and other motherboard-specific elements.

If you're running BSD or Linux, it should be no problem.

If you're running Windows 7 it is probable that it will work.

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I'm using Windows Seven 64bit... but "it is probable that it will work" isn't so much to work with ;) What can I do in your opinion? –  Marco Apr 26 '12 at 17:19
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I've moved disks with Windows 7 from one system to a completely different system. As in different motherboard generations, chipsets and even manufacturers, and had it work. I don't have a large sample since, hence I use cautious terminology, but I do note that Microsoft has worked really hard to address situations like these. If you still have issues, you can probably repair the existing install through the boot menu repair option. I would be surprised if yuo had issues, but if you do, working with chipset drivers should also address it. –  BloodyIron Apr 26 '12 at 17:24
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@BloodyIron - There's a registry key change that you can make to easily resolve that to change on the fly like that. (It's WAY easier than on XP.) The only thing I could see being a problem here is if it tries to use the WRONG AHCI driver...which is pretty unlikely. –  Shinrai Apr 26 '12 at 19:23
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@BloodyIron - I didn't see your response because you didn't @ me...I just happened to stumble back in here for something else. :) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci, change the value of "Start" to 0 (it's probably 3). Then just reboot and cut AHCI on. –  Shinrai Apr 30 '12 at 21:14
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@shinrai thanks for the positive feedback. I'm pretty sure I have a lot to learn from this constant fire hose of knowledge. I feel I have plenty to contribute too. :D I just wish I could get to the gaming section at work too, :P –  BloodyIron Apr 30 '12 at 21:25

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