I was wondering if anyone knew, is it possible to move a whole entire Windows 7 install from one hard drive to another? Complete with registered, username, passwords and drivers (which would probably have to be later removed/reinstalled)?
Yes! It is possible to move your hard drive contents to a new PC but you will likely have to re-activate Windows after it's done. In fact, you can count on having to re-activate. Therefore, I'd probably just install a fresh copy of Windows on the new PC (update it and get some AV/AM client running) and then migrate all my files to it afterwards. There's even a tool for this, Windows Easy Transfer Wizard. That may be all you need to know right there!
But if you don't want to reinstall and simply want to move your existing Windows to a new PC that also has a different hard drive, you may want to look into "hard drive imaging" software (not to be confused with graphics imaging software) to get Windows on to that new hard drive. And depending on whatever new hard drive you purchased you may already have imaging software on the CD/DVD that came with it. But again, you will almost certainly have to reactivate Windows. About the only advantage imaging a hard drive has is that you're almost guaranteed to have all your stuff right down to every last bookmark. But if you then move your hard drive to a different PC (or image it and put it in a different PC) you'll also end up with a ton more "bit rot" too. Stuff that may even interfere with proper operation! Therefore, imaging a hard drive is really only advisable if you're simply upgrading or replacing a hard drive for the same PC, not if you're moving it t a new/different PC.
And since we're talking about hard drives and moving files around, I hope you do regular backups. You're really playing with fire if you don't at least save the stuff you care about. Stuff like photos, documents, music - stuff you can't replace. Hopefully, stuff like that is also on a CD/DVD, thumb drive or even an external hard drive somewhere. And if you're really smart you'll keep copies of your backups off site like in a bank safe deposit box or possibly with an online service like Drop Box. So if you haven't made backups of your stuff do it NOW! Do it RIGHT NOW!!! Do it before you can't! Because it's only a matter of time...
I have had very good results using a free version of xxclone from http://www.xxclone.com
When i use the option under the "cool tools" tab to Duplicate Volume ID, this effectively makes it the same drive according to windows and I have not yet been asked to re-activate windows... so i guess its a complete clone as per the software name suggests.
Yes, this is possible.
There are a lot of specialised programs just for this. Some of these are:
This is not an exclusive list. There are more programs which a specialised in this, and quite a few ways to do it with just standard tools. However these programs usually have a small edge, such as detecting empty parts of a filesystem and skipping those. Thus speeding things up and using less discspace.
Regardless of which tool you use:
If you are going to move the disk to an other computer then you can run into problems. E.g. if the hardware is sufficiently different and incompatible with the drivers loaded on your old computer when it can fail to boot. If the hardware is sufficiently different windows might decide that you have to reactivate.
Therefor, if you do want to move it to another computer: