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I plan to buy a notebook that is equipped with an old magnetic disk drive and Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and eventually want to replace the drive for a new SSD, later.

Is it possible to migrate a Windows 7 installation to another HDD by just making a 1:1 copy of the old drive?

I ask because on Windows XP exchanging the HDD by coping it had not worked without tricking the installed Windows XP (this issue is caused by the HDD's serial number).

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

while it is easy to clone (ghost) the disk and replace it, you may consider a different approach with an SSD where disk space is a rather scarce commmodity.

for example, the cost per GB of an Intel X-25m SSD easily exceeds 7 dollar.

it's better to trim the heck out of windows 7 (vLite) and install the OS from scratch without the bloat that comes with a OEM installation.

so, if you're able to save 10 GB installation size, you saved disk space worth $70 or more.

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As I understood the problem that XP had with cloning are not present in Windows 7 anymore. Do you actually tried this out? – Martin Nov 20 '09 at 23:25
    
i have to do this quite frequently (cloning drives with Ghost, Ghost Enterpise v11, that is, not their pathetic consumer product which is a different software alltogether) and never had any troubles, regardless the operating system. – Molly7244 Nov 21 '09 at 1:02

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