Make good harddrive from broken computer the boot drive on new computer?

Posted on 2012-08-29
Last Modified: 2012-08-30
Motherboard died.  Decided to buy new box.  My old 2 TB boot drive is good.  Has Win 7 Pro installed.  The new HD is also 2 TB, but Win 7 Home.  Plus all the reinstalling that would be required.  I've moved the old and made it the boot drive.  Windows startup gags telling me that hardware changes have been made (I'd say) and to boot to the Windows installation CD.  I've done that expecting and Win says "loading files".  When finished loading, I'm presented with "install" or "repair"..   I've chosen repair but I'm put back in the loop with the boot manager telling me there's a problem communicating with a device, etc.

I'm trying to avoid an entire reinstall of Win 7 Pro and ALL my software.  Lots!!!!

Any way to do it
Question by:Fritters
    LVL 89

    Expert Comment

    by:John Hurst
    There is only a small chance that a prior hardrive will boot in a new machine with different hardware. Since it won't boot here, chances are it is not going to.

    Best to move your Windows 7 Pro licence to the new machine (if not OEM and therefore not legal) and avoid Windows Home. Either way you have to re-install.  Sorry.

    .... Thinkpads_User

    Author Comment

    OK. followup.  I have (that is, had) two Win 7 Pro machines.  I have the installation keys for each set (32 & 64).  If I use the CD from the unbroken (laptop) by mistake, when I activate, I think it will deactivate the laptop I didn't want to touch.  Is there a way to determine which activation/installation key was used on the laptop so I can install using the other one from the broken desktop?
    Or when I go to activate, it will tell me which machine is about to be deativated and let me change the key if it's the wrong one?
    LVL 77

    Accepted Solution

    There is no way of deactivating a windows key other than to not use it.  This is a licensing issue, if you have the correct number of licenses for the active computers you are ok.  The only gotcha is OEM versions of the Operating system.. they live and die with the machine (defined as the motherboard) that they are originally installed on.

    What you may want to do is use magic jelly bean key finder and have it check the machine that is working and see what key it is using and to use the other key

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