When hardware eventually goes bust, it would for my use cases nearly always be the best thing if I could just plug the old harddisk (or, if that one was broken, a new harddisk with the backup disk image of the old one) into a new PC and just have Windows boot and fix itself with the appropriate new drivers.
However, this scenary isn't supported my Windows:
Microsoft does not support restoring a system state backup from one computer to a second computer of a different make, model, or hardware configuration.
So I'd conclude at first that this isn't a good idea at all.
However, as others write:
apparently one can use the sysprep utility to prepare an existing installation to be moved to a new hardware.
This leaves me confused:
- It ain't supported, but there appears to be a utility that facilitates exactly this?
- Is it used by professionals in practise? Or is it a hack that only a home user would try?
- Can I only use this on a running system or also when I only have a backup image of the OS installation?