I have a Dell D630 laptop that has Windows 7 Professional on it that was in dire need for replacement so I recently picked up an HP G62 laptop that comes with Windows 7 Home Premium.

I don't need both laptops and I'd rather spare myself the time reinstalling all my programs and making sure I didn't forget to migrate any of my data over by simply swapping hard drives from the Dell to the HP. Well, I tried just that and my HP laptop instantly BSOD'd on startup. I'm currently running 'Startup Repair' but it's been sitting there for over 20 mins saying "Attempting repairs..." and nothing is really happening so I don't have much faith in this.

The good news is that before I swapped the drives I made an Acronis image of the Dell drive and stored it on my NAS so I can pretty much try anything with this drive and still get back to where I was if need be.

I find it hard to believe that what I want to do would be rather difficult, although it sure is looking that way. I'd appreciate any advice in making this happen.



All the answers were great, so thank you. I accepted djechelon's answer because the Win7 migration tool saved me quite a bit of time.

5 Answers 5


If you have a spare hard drive or partition, you can use Migration Wizard. On Windows 7, I found that it really makes an image copy of your system.

Copy all the data it suggests to the spare disk, then format Win7 on the new laptop from scratch, then restore backup.

It's not as fast as swapping disks, but it will save you the time to reinstall all the programs!

  • Can you provide a link to this migration wizard, is it free? I have a spare 1TB USB HD
    – SiegeX
    Feb 5, 2011 at 18:59
  • It's provided with Windows. Try to press orb button and start typing "migra". It should appear. I don't know the English name for Italian "Trasferimento dati Windows". Windows data migration? Trasfer? Dunno Feb 5, 2011 at 21:17

Is your Dell Windows an OEM version of Windows 7 Professional ?
If yes, then transplanting it is impossible, and illegal besides.

The Dell Windows may lack drivers required for HP, maybe for the hard disk. If the HP came with a driver CD, you might need to add these drivers for the Startup Repair to work.

If you have an installation DVD for Windows 7 Professional, I would suggest installing it on the HP as a clean install, just to see if it works at all. Getting it from a torrent is completely legal if the Windows Pro version you have is not OEM (a Dell OEM serial is not allowed on HP).

If this doesn't work, then the project is infeasible without the right drivers.

If it does work, then the fun part begins.
Unless of course if you decide to just reinstall your applications as a simpler solution.

  • Ah yes, I forgot about the legality too
    – Martheen
    Feb 5, 2011 at 10:11
  • Hmm, I got Win7 Pro from Microsoft for the $30 school rate. I still have the email that they sent me with the key and the download link. Hopefully the license is also there otherwise this whole operation is moot.
    – SiegeX
    Feb 5, 2011 at 10:12
  • This sounds like a general-purpose DVD. I would suggest then to try a clean installation and to forget about your Dell image.
    – harrymc
    Feb 5, 2011 at 10:26
  • Yes, this was not a Dell specific Win7 install. I had to install it manually and go to Dell's website to get some of the drivers. I just checked MS's EULA and they throw downloaded copies from MS in the same bin as retail copies so it looks like I can legitimately transfer the license. It looks like a clean install is still the least painful option. Now i'll just need to image the HP disk first.
    – SiegeX
    Feb 5, 2011 at 10:36
  • 1
    I would suggest also saving all the HP drivers using Driver Magician Lite, just in case.
    – harrymc
    Feb 5, 2011 at 11:29

There are lots of different low-level driver installed in your Dell laptop. Upon booting, Windows tried to load those drivers, and failed because obviously none of them was designed for your new HP laptop


I would suggest just re-installing everything. The problem with a transplanted OS like this -- especially across very different hardware platforms -- is that there will inevitably be less-immediately-obvious problems, like those which are preventing it from booting, in hiding which will cause program errors and random system failures.

It is a pain, yes, but in the long run it will save you time.


You would be breaking the MS license agreement putting OEM Pro from Dell on a HP OEM Home system, besides it will kill the activation even if you get it booting, the Dell Key will become invalid on HP hardware. You will need to buy a pro key and change the key once it is on the HP, then re activate it.

OEM software is tied to the hardware it was sold with for life.

Be sure to make your HP recovery discs



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