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Vista Desktop no longer boots; migrating to new W/7 Proi HP system and needs help

Helping a friend who has a desktop system with Vista OS and the display died.  Then each reboot attempt failed.  He took out the hard drive and the graphics card to have them checked out.  Graphics card is fine, hard drive is being checked.  

Assuming they can get the hard drive fixed/working again; what is the best, safest way to migrate all user settings, etc., into a new HP system and not lose key settings.  He's considering an HP system 500 with Windows 7 Professional (does NOT like W/8).  Some time ago, used Windows Easy Transfer; is that the best way to go?

Thanks for your help.

":0)  Asta
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Asta Cu
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Asta Cu
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
This video shows the process; and states W/7 has that option included.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP0FlKRK6-w
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Easy transfer can work with Windows 7, not with Windows 8. Easy transfer can sometimes have issues, so be certain to back up everything first.

Windows 7 is now past best before date and on life support.

Look at Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit. It looks and works like Windows 7 if done properly. See my article on Improving Windows 8.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/A_16620-Ways-to-improve-Windows-8.html

At this point, better to purchase something that has working life left in it.
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
Thanks, John.  Will explore further with him and present your input this weekend.  I appreciate your help, as before.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks for the update and please let us know when you have presented the options.
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rindiCommented:
Windows easy transfer works very well for moving user profiles from one PC to another, (or even on the same PC from one user to another). You just need to make sure that you select the proper options. It doesn't move registry settings, so for that you must export the relevant settings and then import those manually.
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nobusCommented:
note that Easy transfer does not move any installed software
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
Thanks to you both, and here's as far as I've gotten today.  His SATA drive is now in an external case and connected to my system to do some in-depth scans.  

I plan to visit with him next week to find out what he will do.  The existing drive, which he removed from an older HP system has the old Vista system, but a lot of key software and data so understand there's a potential loss if he cannot find the initial software and licenses to reinstall required software for his needs.  The symptoms he had was that his screen on the old HP system (maybe 8 or so years old) went black and he couldn't get it to boot any longer.  He took the drive to a service and they inserted it into another Vista system and also could not get it to boot from Vista.  At first I thought it "could"be his motherboard, but at this point probably not.  the graphics card tested fine and so far, the drive in an external USB enclosure is being checked/scanned for virus/trojan/worm, etc. and then Malware.  The drive works fine.
Unclear about the next best action.

Do you think it's the Motherboard from the symptoms so far?

If he were to try to upgrade that drive in an external case to W/7 which is still his choice vs. W/8 it would help "save" his software?

Mind-boggled, but appreciative and listening.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You really need software to reinstall it on a new system (as noted Easy Transfer will not do this, and so far as I know, not even work on Windows 8.1). Also, software evolves so that what works in Vista may well not work in Windows 8.1 (I have lots of that around) and so the software must be upgraded. If lost, it must be replaced.
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rindiCommented:
I would install another disk and try installing an OS to it, or even first just boot a Live OS, like knoppix:

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=knoppix

The Live OS will show you whether the board works more or less, and installing an OS will tell you more, particularly if you install the mainboard's drivers so it gets properly stressed.

Also test the RAM using memtest86+. You should also test the disk with Vista on it using the disk manufacturer's diagnostic tool. You'll find both of those on the UBCD:

http://ftp.cc.uoc.gr/mirrors/linux/ubcd/ubcd533.iso

Many systems have a lot of old and useless software on them which no one really needs. Installing a fresh OS is a good time to get rid of all that extra ballast. So probably he doesn't really need to fine the installation media and their keys. It is probably possible to replace most of his old software with free software that doesn't need keys. For example, you don't need m$ Office, LibreOffice can easily take it's place, and it is free. Thunderbird can replace Outlook etc. Most of my Software actually are "PortableApps", which don't even need direct installation (also my LibreOffice and Thunderbird are such apps), and PortableApps has the advantage that you can even copy them to a USB stick for example and then have everything you need with you for use on other PC's:

http://portableapps.com
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
I will be meeting with him early next week to review all of this.

Thanks a ton!  Returning then.

Miles of smiles to you both
":0)  Asta
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nobusCommented:
for migrating all your programs - you could use the paragon adaptive restore : http://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/components/adaptiverestore/
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
Thank you;  I hope to meet with him later this week or this weekend to return with updates.
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
Quick update; he brought home a new HP system; I'll be meeting with him the next few days (I hope).  His original SATA drive is now in external case with USB3 connection option.  Would LOVE to know the best next step to use it externally with his new HP system and W/7 to import settings, etc., to make the migration easy.  Up to my eyeballs with other things, but listening with appreciation.
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nobusCommented:
copy the user folder from the old to the new system
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
I will be there this weekend and I will report back thanks a lot for all your help
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
closing, with thanks.  Did not use easy transfer, did take possession of the old SATA drive and migrated the data to his new system.  More to explore, but OK for now.
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