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Replacing hard drive in new computer with good hard drive from broken computer


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#1 scooty43

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 05:32 PM

I have a Dell optiplex 760 SFF desktop  installed with windows 7 professional that has crapped out on me but the hard drive is OK. What I want to do is get a working refurbished computer of the same type as above and install the old hard drive in the new refurbished one because I have a lot of data and programs installed on the old hard drive. It would be cheaper than having the old computer (which is also refurbished) repaired. Since the old computer is the same type as the new, and with the same type hard drive and operating system, my question is: do you think it will boot properly? Thank you for any information you can return.



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 05:40 PM

It may and it may not. It depends on if the Dell you purchased has the exact motherboard as the computer that failed. If the cpu and chipsets are different your Windows 7 hard drive may not boot properly. If the motherboard part number is identical then I would say you would not have a problem booting. 

 

When you say the computer crapped out I assume you mean it does not power on and you do not see the Dell logo at boot, correct?



#3 HyperHenry

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 05:42 PM

Your OS is tied to your motherboard so it may not boot properly on a different machine. Also you may have to buy a new version of Windows to get it to activate.



#4 OldPhil

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:32 PM

Spinners are so cheap you would do better going with a new drive and a fresh OS, the copy what you want off the old drive.


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#5 mikey11

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:36 PM

buy whatever new computer you want to.....just install your old hard drive as a secondary/slave drive to access the files/documents that you need



#6 OldPhil

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:49 PM

Problem with slaving the drive is just about all programs will not function they need to be on the C: drive.


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#7 HyperHenry

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:57 PM

The ones that need additions to the registry wouldn't work but the rest should.



#8 scooty43

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:54 PM

It may and it may not. It depends on if the Dell you purchased has the exact motherboard as the computer that failed. If the cpu and chipsets are different your Windows 7 hard drive may not boot properly. If the motherboard part number is identical then I would say you would not have a problem booting. 

 

When you say the computer crapped out I assume you mean it does not power on and you do not see the Dell logo at boot, correct?

Thank you for your response! Yes. When I hit the power button I get 2 blinking green lights #1 and 3. When I press the reset button on the power supply, the power button comes on amber for about 10 seconds than the computer shuts down. Trouble shooting manual says it could be a problem with the system board.



#9 scooty43

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:57 PM

Your OS is tied to your motherboard so it may not boot properly on a different machine. Also you may have to buy a new version of Windows to get it to activate.

Got it. Thank you for your reply!!



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 09:27 PM

By Troubleshooting manual you mean the Service Manual, correct? Did you disconnect the power supply from the MB and then press the power supply button. It may also be a power supply. I don't know if Dell uses a standard 24pin power connector to the MB on this computer. If it does and you have a multimeter you can test the PSU according to the below video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac7YMUcMjbw

Power off computer, leaving the computer plugged in. Press and hold the power supply test button on the back of the power supply unit. If the power supply diagnostic light next to the switch illuminates, the problem may be with your system board. 

 

If the power supply diagnostic light next to the switch does not illuminate, disconnect all internal and external peripherals, and press and hold the power supply test button.If it illuminates, there could be a problem with a peripheral. 

 

If the power supply diagnostic light still does not illuminate, disconnect the power supply from the system board, then press and hold the power supply button. If the light illuminates, there could be a problem with the system board. If the power supply diagnostic light still does not illuminate, the problem is probably with the power supply.

 

There is a good dell thread here.



#11 brunoflorindo

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 12:22 PM

I've had luck moving hard drives to computers that were the same brand, same type of sticker (for example, Dell Windows 7 Home Premium) and different motherboard. I booted in safe mode, and after a successful restart it was good to go. It didn't ask for Windows reactivation either. Maybe I was just lucky. :) Since it's a Dell, you could enter the key from the sticker if it asks for reactivation. I'm not saying it's the right way, but it worked for me in the past.



#12 scooty43

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 12:34 PM

I've had luck moving hard drives to computers that were the same brand, same type of sticker (for example, Dell Windows 7 Home Premium) and different motherboard. I booted in safe mode, and after a successful restart it was good to go. It didn't ask for Windows reactivation either. Maybe I was just lucky. :) Since it's a Dell, you could enter the key from the sticker if it asks for reactivation. I'm not saying it's the right way, but it worked for me in the past.

Thank you for your response. It sounds good to me. It would be worth a try.



#13 HyperHenry

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 10:29 PM

Being that Dell is an OEM it may be that they all used the same product key. I'm no Windows expert but just thought about that.



#14 dc3

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 11:56 AM

When Windows is installed one of the last parts of the installation is where Windows gathers all of the drivers needed to be able to boot into the operating system.  These are drivers for the motherboard components.  These drivers will be different if the motherboard being used isn't exactly the same as the motherboard in the computer which the hdd/ssd was originally installed in.  Using the hdd/ssd in another computer could result in not being able to boot into Windows, or it may boot but have problems which can gradually get bad enough to require a new installation of the operating system.

 

But... there is a way to work around this by using sysprep.

 

If you run sysprep on the HHD/SSD with Windows 7 before using it with another motherboard you should be be able to boot from it without any complications.

Press the windows key OS4o0pO.png and the X key to open the Windows Mobility Center menu.

Select Command Prompt (Admin.) from the menu.  This will open the Command Prompt.

Copy and paste sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown in the Command Prompt.

Once you have completed this shut down the computer and do not power the drive back on until it has been installed with the different motherboard.

Note: You'll want to install the new motherboard chipset drivers for the new motherboard after moving the drive.

When the computer is started Windows will search for the needed drivers needed to start Windows.


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#15 scooty43

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 03:42 PM

When Windows is installed one of the last parts of the installation is where Windows gathers all of the drivers needed to be able to boot into the operating system.  These are drivers for the motherboard components.  These drivers will be different if the motherboard being used isn't exactly the same as the motherboard in the computer which the hdd/ssd was originally installed in.  Using the hdd/ssd in another computer could result in not being able to boot into Windows, or it may boot but have problems which can gradually get bad enough to require a new installation of the operating system.

 

But... there is a way to work around this by using sysprep.

 

If you run sysprep on the HHD/SSD with Windows 7 before using it with another motherboard you should be be able to boot from it without any complications.

Press the windows key OS4o0pO.png and the X key to open the Windows Mobility Center menu.

Select Command Prompt (Admin.) from the menu.  This will open the Command Prompt.

Copy and paste sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown in the Command Prompt.

Once you have completed this shut down the computer and do not power the drive back on until it has been installed with the different motherboard.

Note: You'll want to install the new motherboard chipset drivers for the new motherboard after moving the drive.

When the computer is started Windows will search for the needed drivers needed to start Windows.

Thank you for the information. It's well appreciated!






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