Yes, you should be able to do that. However, you will have to do some preparation work first. As usual, the first golden rule of computing is to backup your data. You can either use the built-in Backup and Restore in Windows to do that, or use a third-party solution. I have personally been using Acronis True Image for years now. One of the key benefits is the so called "Universal Restore".
In previous versions of True Image (prior to 2014) you had to get a separate add-on called the "Plus Pack" to get this functionality. However, in True Image 2014 this is now an integral part of the True Image 2014 Premium. It is only included in the Premium version. Note that it is not available in the Lite or the Standard version of the software.
What you basically do is the following.
- You install the True Image software.
- You create a new disk image backup of the system disk.
- Then you create a True Image bootable media. You can do that inside
True Image, or you can download a bootable version of the software
from your Acronis online account.
- You install your new hardware - motherboard, memory, processor, etc.
You can either use your old disk drive, or use an empty, brand new
disk drive. If you decide to re-use your old disk drive, you can
safely format it to freshen it up a bit, as you will be able to
restore everything from the disk image backup.
- Power the system on.
- Insert your True Image bootable media. It can be a CD/DVD you burned
or a bootable USB drive. I The former can be a bit tricky to get it
working. I know that from my own experience with Linux based
bootable USB drives. The True Image bootable media is also Linux
based. So I recommend burning a CD or a DVD instead.
- Once inside True Image, select your disk image backup. Select
"Recover whole disks and partitions" and then "Use Acronis Universal
- On the "Drivers manager" screen, select where to look for drivers.
- Select to restore the whole disk with the operating system
(including MBR and Track 0).
- Follow the on-screen instructions and proceed with the restore.
The main problem with restoring Windows system disk image backups to dissimilar hardware is the drivers. Back in the time of the old Windows 2000 I tried to do this. It didn't work. I tried to simply put my old Windows 2000 disk drive in a newly built PC and power it on. It didn't boot. The old PC was based on a VIA chipset. The new motherboard was using an INTEL chipset. The chipset drivers in particular are the major obstacle in moving a Windows installation to a dissimilar hardware.
So if you had an INTEL chipset with your old Windows installation, and your new hardware is also using an INTEL chipset, then there is a good chance you will be able to migrate your Windows installation to a dissimilar hardware.
You can read more on the following links.