Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a Laptop running W7 x64 Pro, from a student license. I plan to install the same W7 x64 Pro on a new Desktop machine, using the same license.

Now, in order to copy all my applications and settings/data to the new machine, is it a feasible and good idea to just make an image of the Laptop machine using the Windows 7 backup regime and to restore that image on the freshly installed Deskop W7?

Thanks! Winston

share|improve this question
Try this, follow my suggestion in link to generalize the installation, except do not select shutdown, select "quit" once it is done generalizing, make a system image. Transfer this image to the new hard drive, boot up and enter your key and install drivers....see "edit 1" – Moab Sep 19 '12 at 20:38
Thanks, I will look into that! – wnstnsmth Sep 25 '12 at 7:17
up vote 4 down vote accepted

is it a feasible and good idea to just make an IMAGE of the Laptop

Feasible: yes.
A good idea: no.

Your desktop will have different hardware and will require different drivers. While you can take an image of the old laptop, you still will have to do some installing on the new desktop. And it will likely involve sysprep or other software to remove parts from the laptop before you image it.

It will work, but you will end with all old software (good) and all old cruft (bad).

Personally I would make a clean install on the new desktop. Run all windows updates. Then make a backup of that (for future emergency use). Next would be installation and updating of anti virus software and the copying of old files from the laptop. (Either via a network or by temporarily putting the laptop disk in an external 2½ case).

However if you go for the image solution, read up on sysprep generalise.

share|improve this answer
This will also likely trigger a re-activation from Microsoft, so make sure you have your key handy. And remember that legally you can no longer use that key on your laptop. – BBlake Sep 19 '12 at 19:58
Alright, thanks for the answer. It makes sense. I will consider sysprep, also the answer by Moab in his other post. – wnstnsmth Sep 25 '12 at 7:17

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.