How to transfer Windows to another computer

Porting Windows. Transferring a system without losing data to another computer

This article will describe how to move Windows 7 from local drive C to local drive D. This method is a universal instruction and is suitable for solving the following problems:

1. Importing Windows 7 to another Computer2. Transferring Windows 7 to another hard disk or local disk

I want to warn you right away! This article is primarily aimed at advanced computer users. If with the computer you are on the “you” then problems with understanding the instructions on how to transfer Windows to another drive or hard drive should not have. If you are a novice user, read the article carefully from cover to cover. If you understand the items in the instructions and have no questions, then fine. If you find this difficult then think long and hard! It might be much easier for you to install a new Windows on the right partition!

Well, that’s pretty much it) Now let’s breathe in and go)

Why migrating Windows 7 is better than just reinstalling it?

Sometimes you need not to reinstall Windows 7, but to move it to another computer or another drive, for example from drive C to drive D and keep all the settings, installed programs, drivers, etc.д.

Of course, you can also put a clean system. But then you have to install drivers, programs, etc.д. In general, it is long and painful. And if we transfer Windows to another disk we will save all the settings plus a lot of time, effort and energy. And the system will remain in the exact state to which you are accustomed. but on a different local disk or hard drive.

What do we mean by that

It is important to understand that we consider the issue of transferring the OS to a new computer, not just the data on a new hard drive. It is not just the motherboard that is changed, in a sense the heart of the computer, but the entire system unit.

In this transfer everything. documents, personal data, cache, even the various garbage, photos and videos, history, and so on. That is, when you turn on your new computer, it will be exactly the same as the old one. True, the OS may run faster if the new machine is more powerful.

On the Internet you can find tips on how to transfer the system to a new hard drive, e.g. from an HDD to an SSD. But this is not the question at hand.

We are talking about a complete transfer of the operating system with all its data, even the ones the user would never guess about. Let’s begin at !

How to deactivate OS and clear the registry key?

Topical question for those who are going to sell old hardware with previously installed licensed Windows 10. By deactivating PC and clearing the key data you protect the product you have purchased from unauthorized use by new computer owners. Do not forget to save your license number so you can enter it on the new machine.

  • In the search box (the magnifying glass icon next to the “Start” button) type cmd. In the menu that appears, select “Run as administrator”.
  • You will see “Administrator: Command Prompt” window. Type slmgr.vbs /upk and reboot your system. This deactivates the operating system on the old PC.
  • Command slmgr.vbs /cpky in the same line will clear the registry key. If the process has completed correctly, the system will display a message: “Product key was successfully deleted”.

You will get a working computer, but without your Windows 10 license. You will have limited access to some of the features: personal settings, desktop personalization, etc. will disappear. However you may continue to use the device.

How to determine if a Windows 10 license can be migrated

Microsoft uses different channels to distribute Windows 10 licenses, but two main channels are available to regular consumers: retail and from the “original equipment manufacturer” (OEM).

If you have a retail Windows 10 license, you are allowed to transfer your product key to other devices. If you upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 purchased with a retail license, you are also allowed to transfer your product key to another computer.

As a rule, there is no time limit for transferring a license, provided that you correctly deactivate the previous installation. In some cases, you might encounter activation errors that you cannot fix until you contact Support and explain the problem.

If you own a device on which Windows 10 was preinstalled (such as Surface Laptop 3 or Dell XPS 13 laptops), only the OEM license is available to you. In this case the product key is not transferable and cannot be used to activate another device.

If you upgraded to Windows 10 Pro from Windows 10 Home by purchasing an upgrade through the Microsoft Store, you can transfer your license to your new computer because the product key will be converted to a digital license tied to your Microsoft account.

How to move the Windows harddisk: Keep the disk, change everything else

No. Here is a list of changes you will encounter.

  • all system restore points are overwritten. they won’t survive the move and sysprep does not work with them
  • delete the event logs
  • disabled (if activated)
  • all special Personalization settings are disabled, including the taskbar, etc.п.

Getting started with the move. In this paragraph moves disk with Windows 10 installed.

  • if you didn’t see any, the computer should shut down. This means that it’s time to take a screwdriver and remove the hard drive.
  • Assembling the new configuration (again, only input devices: no flash drives or additional drives). Our task is to boot the system on a “new” drive, so that a) BIOS “got used” to the new hardware and b) the system is reinstalled with the new parameters. Now you will see a window (did not see and error again? You will find a link with errors in it Sysprep ), where it looks as if you are installing the system (as if it was the first time); and everything is fair. with passwords, new username (your old account remains untouched)
  • See the Desktop, check the Device Manager for properly installed hardware if necessary. After that, turn off your computer:

Device managers: on the left side of the old build, on the right side of the new one; you will just have to “add” the video card

  • Put the correct devices into the ports and plug in additional drives if needed. Turn on your computer and check, repeating the driver installation procedure if necessary.
  • If after installing Windows you are greeted at the Welcome screen with only your new account. make it display all accounts. To do this, use the article ” “.

The former user 1 joined 123 after the transfer

I should add that I have tried this method of transferring the hard drive with Windows many times and it almost never failed. However, sometimes it makes sense to install Windows cleanly.

If you replace or buy a new computer or laptop when replacing the motherboard you have to either install the system from scratch or use the Sysprep utility to transfer all data and installed programs. This is a built-in utility from Microsoft which helps the user to prepare your system for a migration to new hardware without having to reinstall the operating system.

When you run sysprep, your operating system clears all information about. The unique information about the installed operating system will also be reset. The main thing that interests users in this method is that all data and installed programs will remain untouched. Т.e don’t have to make a backup and reinstall all the software on your computer. Microsoft warns that in addition to information about drivers and devices, information about activation of your Windows will be lost, so you will have to activate your licensed Winodos 7 either by phone or via the Internet (except for the OEM version). OEM version binds activation to hardware, so it can be done only by phone.

Begin preparing our operating system for the migration.Run the (already installed) sysprep utility on the computer using (as administrator) the command line (Start. Run. cmd):

A utility settings window opens with the following items and settings:

In the Action on system cleanup select Go to system (OOBE) welcome screen and check the Prepare to use checkbox. In the shutdown select the option Shut down. You can also choose to reboot the system if you want to capture an image of it after booting from a DVD or flash drive. Do not boot after the Sysprep procedure on the same computer, t.You will have to do it all over again before transferring to the new PC.

Press OK and wait until the system is restored to its initial state. When the process is complete, the computer will shut down. Now you can change the motherboard on your computer, or transfer it to a new computer.

The Windows 7 operating system will start, and devices will be detected.

Probably will be a reboot (this is normal), and at the end of the installation will need to select the language and configure regional settings.

Enter the date, the default settings, automatic system update mode, etc.д. At the end of the installation, log in as Test user, log out, and you can log in as your account as you always have. Now you only need to install new drivers and work normally on the computer.

Transferring Windows 7 with software installed is a simple procedure which can be done with the help of Sysprep utility much faster than a full installation from scratch. But there are nuances to this method. Microsoft does not guarantee 100% proper functioning of this method when porting, for example, different chipsets, like from Intel to AMD or vice versa. But in practice we have had cases when the system recovered and worked correctly. If you are performing the transfer with similar models and chipsets, you shouldn’t have any problems or conflicts.

Installing EaseUS Todo PCTrans

You can download free or trial version of EaseUS Todo PCTrans at Run the pctrans_free_installer.exe. This is an analogue of the C2R installer of Microsoft Office, which downloads the latest full version of the PCTrans distribution from the Internet. The program has full support for the Russian language, you can choose it when installing.

All Windows versions are supported, from Windows XP to the latest builds of Windows 10.

If you do not have a direct access to internet, you can download the full version of PCTrans on any computer by clicking “Download offline”.

PCTrans installation does not cause any problems. Click Next, Next, Done.

Transferring (cloning) Windows to another SSD/HDD drive



Windows 10, Windows Server 2016

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In this article, we will explore how to migrate an installed Windows from one hard drive to another using only built-in tools without using third-party programs (such as Paragon, AOMEI or Acronis). These instructions will help you, for example, to migrate Windows from HDD to a new SSD drive, or to clone installed and configured Windows to another computer (there are nuances) or a new hard drive of a larger size.

As an example, we’ll clone an installed Windows 10 to a new drive using a bootable USB flash drive, command line and the built-in robocopy utility.

transfer, windows, another, computer

Note that operating system migrations by copying to a new disk are only guaranteed to work when migrating within the same computer (or similar hardware) when you clone your Windows onto another hard disk of the same computer. If you want to copy the installed Windows to a disk for another computer, then to run it on the new hardware you will have to fiddle with the drivers of disk controllers, chipset, video card.

You will be able to clone your hard drive to a smaller size if the space on your current Windows system disc is less than the capacity of your new disc. If not, you will have to remove/move some files from the disk. Usually this question arises when using an SSD with a smaller capacity than a regular HDD.

The procedure of transferring Windows to another disk depends on whether your computer is in BIOS or UEFI mode. Run the command:

If the BIOS mode is Legacy. you have a Legacy/CSM BIOS (or UEFI is running in Legacy/CSM mode). If it says UEFI. you have a modern computer and Windows is installed in UEFI mode.

  • If your computer is in native UEFI mode and has a GPT partition table, I will label the commands for such computers UEFI GPT ;
  • If you have an older computer with BIOS or with UEFI but in Legacy mode and the partition table is MBR. the commands will be labeled BIOS MBR.

The first step is to create partition tables on the new disk. You can do it directly from within Windows 10 using diskpart. If the disk is new, initialize it using the diskmgmt console.msc or the PoweShell command Initialize-Disk:

Get-Disk | Where-Object PartitionStyle.Eq ‘RAW’ | Initialize-Disk

Now create a partition table on the disk. Open a command line with administrative privileges and run the command:

In the context of diskpart, run the following commands.

list disk select disk 1 (depending on the number of your new disk the previous command gave you) clean

Further commands differ depending on the type of your platform.

transfer, windows, another, computer

convert gptcreate partition efi size=100format fs=”FAT32″ quick label=”EFI “create partition msr size=16create partition primaryformat fs=”NTFS” quick label=”NEW_SYSTEM “exit

We have created a GPT partition table on the new drive, two small service partitions (EFI and MSR), and one large partition in the remaining space (see details. more info about the GPT partition structure for EFI).

If the disk already has partitions on it, you can change the partition table type from MBR to GPT without data loss using the built-in mbr2gpt utility.exe.

For BIOS MBR the following commands:

convert mbrcreate partition primary align=1024active format fs=”NTFS” quick label=”NEW_SYSTEM “exit

To clone Windows to a new disk you will need a bootable USB stick with the Windows 10 installation image on it (the easiest way to create such a stick is to use MediaCreationTool).

Reboot your computer and boot from the installation disk. When the Windows installation window appears press ShiftF10 to open the command line. Run commands in this window

In the screenshot below you can see that the original Windows partition on the old drive is assigned drive letter E: and the large partition on the new drive (labeled NEW_SYSTEM) is assigned drive letter D:.

If you have not assigned drive letters, you can do this from diskpart: select disk 1list partselect part 1assignlist volume

Now you need to copy the files from the old disk with Windows installed to the new disk. The easiest way to do it is to use robocopy. The following robocopy command will copy all symlinks, files and folders with attributes, NTFS permissions and timestamp. This will copy the log to the root of the destination drive:

robocopy E:\ D:\ /E /SALL /XJ /R:3 /W:3 /UNILOG: “D:\rcopy.log” /TEE

This may take a long time, depending on the size of the old drive (in my case, it took about an hour to copy a 60 GB drive).

transfer, windows, another, computer

Now you can shut down the computer and disconnect the old hard drive.

The next step, setting up the Windows boot loader on the new drive.

Ways to transfer Windows to another disk

There are basically two ways to do this:

Transferring OS to a new disk using standard Windows utilities

Not all Windows versions are equipped with such tools. built-in migration utilities appeared only in “7”. We will consider it as a donor.

The entire procedure can be divided into three steps:

We will go over cloning step by step:

  • First, open the “Control Panel” and in the first subsection click on the item “Archiving computer data”;
  • here we are interested in the “Create a system image” tab, click on it;
  • a window will appear where you need to identify the drive you are going to write the image of the operating system to (this can be a DVD, a flash drive or a partition of an existing hard drive, and the first and second options are not the best, since the image of an already installed Windows is quite bulky, you will need several DVDs or flash drives);
  • After selecting a medium and clicking “Next”, the utility will ask you to mark the partitions you want to clone, by default this list already contains all the partitions needed to transfer the operating system, so just click “Next”;
  • a final confirmation window will pop up, if you agree with the info provided here, press the “Archive” button and wait for the process to finish;
  • when the system image has been created, you will be prompted to create a bootable disk (this option is present in the “Archiving and restoring” tab after “Create a system image”);
  • We agree and choose the drive where the OS copy will be written to, since we do not know the size of the image, we will not do any calculations, we just insert a blank DVD or a flash drive;
  • after selecting the drive, click “Create Disk” and wait for the Windows copy to be written.
  • next step is to transfer the created system to HDD or SSD, for this purpose reboot your computer and enable the boot menu (usually the F11 key is used, but there are other variants. you can see them on the BIOS startup screen);
  • After selecting the media, the process of booting the Windows recovery environment begins, here we have to select the language and click “Next”;
  • The standard procedure of searching for the previously installed operating systems will start, which will result in the formation of a list of two items: the name of the already installed Windows and the offer to restore the system using the previously created image, here we choose the second option;
  • if the media with the image is inserted into the drive, the system will find it and offer to accept;
  • the prompt to format the disk is skipped (it is already ready) and you get the final window, where you should click on “Finish”.

After recovery is complete, Windows will reboot and create its copy on the new disk. You need only to assign it as a system image.

Consider now third-party utilities to perform the same action.

Transferring Windows 10 using Acronis True Image utility

This is an official free program designed to clone Windows family operating systems (version 7 and up), it is used to transfer a preinstalled OS to harddrives/solid-states from certain manufacturers.

So, download, install and start the program. Choose the “Clone system disk” tab.

Then choose AUTO mode, which produces “one-to-one” cloning.

The target disk automatically becomes bootable after the procedure, which means you do not need to change anything in the boot menu. The transfer process itself may take quite a bit of time, but in any case less than the installation system from scratch.

Transferring Windows 10 from HDD to SSD using Aomei Partition Assistant

Pretty popular free program, Russified, which makes it pretty easy to transfer Windows from HDD to SSD or other hard drive.

WARNING. The utility is compatible with Windows 7/8/10 provided they are installed on the MBR disk. The utility does not work with GPT drives

Here is a full algorithm of how to transfer Windows to another hardware:

  • Go to the “Partition Assistant” menu, choose the “OS Transfer” tab, and click “Next” in the window that appears;
  • select the partition where the operating system will be copied to;
  • The utility will prompt you to change the size of the selected partition, but you can skip this step since you can perform the required disk partitioning later;
  • another warning window will appear (that the target disk will be bootable after the process is finished), in fact the reassignment does not always happen, but this is not bad, because we have BIOS;
  • Press “End”, “Apply”, “Jump” buttons one by one and wait for the end of the system transfer, which will start after the PC reboot.

As you can see the cloning procedure is much easier than in case of using the built-in utility.

Transferring a Windows system using Minitool Partition Wizard (Bootable version)

Another free utility, which is on a par with Aomei Partition Assistant in its ease of use. But the Minitool product has one big advantage: you can download a fully functional Partition Wizard image from the official site of the software developer. And the free version of Aomei allows you to create only a demo image of the operating system, which will not work with some important functions.

You can write the image to any media, including a USB key (Rufus is recommended).

From this medium you can clone the operating system to a new or additional HDD / SSD drive, without being affected by all sorts of restrictions from the OS, because the recording process takes place without installing.