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Imaging to a new system


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#1 mimsydreams

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 09:45 AM

Hello. So, it's been many many years since I've done this, so I thought I'd ask the experts for some advice.

My old laptop died (dell inspiron with win7) so I got a new one that's a completely different model of inspiron. I installed a new copy of win 7 on the new one. Can I image my old drive and restore it on the new laptop and still maintain use of the new copy of windows?

I guess mostly I'm asking is if a image backup is just all files, system settings, programs, etc and not the OS? Or would the OS have been imaged as well?

Thanks!



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#2 SleepyDude

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 10:37 AM

Hi,

 

I guess mostly I'm asking is if a image backup is just all files, system settings, programs, etc and not the OS? Or would the OS have been imaged as well?

 

An image backup includes everything, OS, system settings, programs and data. If you restore a image backup to a completely different machine there is a big chance that Windows will not boot because it tries to load drivers for the old machine.

 

There are backup software with features that includes restore a backup image to dissimilar hardware, in the process the software will adjust Windows to load the drivers needed for the new hardware. In the process the new Windows installation is overwritten.

 

Many backup software can mount the backup image without the need of restoring and this way is possible to copy files/folders stored inside, this is ok to recover data files but usually doesn't work for programs because during the program installation, files are copied to several locations, the registry is changed, etc.


Edited by SleepyDude, 17 September 2016 - 10:39 AM.

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#3 mimsydreams

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 11:05 AM

Thanks for the reply, SleepyDude!

I thought it wouldn't work that way. Someone said that I had done that year ago when migrating their system to a new computer. I just couldn't remember doing it and didn't think something like that would work successfully unless it was the exact same type of computer.

But you're saying it is possible to transfer the image on to the new computer, but it would write over the new OS installation? I could live with that. I just don't want to have to reinstall all of my programs again from scratch as most are difficult to find.



#4 SleepyDude

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 11:19 AM

But you're saying it is possible to transfer the image on to the new computer, but it would write over the new OS installation? I could live with that. I just don't want to have to reinstall all of my programs again from scratch as most are difficult to find.

 

Yes is possible but you need a backup image of the old computer created using a software with that capability.

 

One warning about the result, is possible that some programs, including Windows will loose activation/registration because they detect the hardware change and this could lead to a new key needed...


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#5 smax013

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 03:49 PM

As noted, you will have at least two potential problems...1) Windows activation (and maybe some activation of some programs) and 2) different Windows drivers.

For the first item, you may not have an issue since both computers are Dell computers. When "re-installing" Windows on Dell computers, you usually do not need to complete the activation process due to how they license Windows from Microsoft. The thing I don't know if Windows from any Dell computer will work with any other Dell computer or just the same model Dell computer. So, there is a chance that it might work and not mess up any activation issues.

For the second item, there are two potential solutions...1) uninstall drivers on the old computer so that Windows is just using a "base vanilla system" when you image the drive or 2) use a cloning/image program that can handle dissimilar hardware as noted above. Since the old computer is dead, it sounds like option #1 will not work for you.




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