Is it possible to copy all Windows 7 files from one HD to another and boot from the new HD? - Super User most recent 30 from superuser.com 2021-02-26T13:38:09Z http://goboef.nl/?id=feeds/question/270465 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/rdf http://goboef.nl/?id=q/270465 15 Is it possible to copy all Windows 7 files from one HD to another and boot from the new HD? Kairu http://goboef.nl/?id=users/76374 2011-04-13T18:20:19Z 2011-10-24T10:31:13Z <p>Well, the hard-drive on my laptop died (it was displaying &quot;SMART failure prediction -- Hard-disk Drive dailure might be imminant).</p> <p>So I took it out and hooked it up to an external enclosure and copied all the files (system files and personal files, hidden and visible) off of it to another computer.</p> <p>After that, I went and bought a new hard-drive. My previous hard-drive was a 250-GB 5400-RPM Western Digital. The new hard-drive is a 500-GB 7200-RPM Western Digital.</p> <p>So I placed the new harddrive in the external enclosure and copied all the files I had copied off my dying harddrive on to it (my new harddrive). I placed it back into my laptop and booted it up.</p> <p>I was expecting it to work when it said, &quot;operating system not found&quot;. I rebooted again and brought up the Bootable-Devices menu and sure enough my new harddrive isn't even listed on there. Although, it doesn't detect it as a bootable device, the BIOS does detect the new harddrive (as I am running the BIOS' drive-diagnostics-program on it now which is almost complete). So I'm not sure what is going on.</p> <p>I should mention that while backing up my files, I had no trouble getting all the files off my dying harddrive with the exception of a few (non-system) files associated with a Virtual Machine I had.</p> <p>So I suppose my question is: Is it possible to boot from the new Harddrive? Or will I have to reinstall Windows 7 all over again?</p> <p><strong>Too long; Didn't Read...</strong></p> <p>I copied all my system-files (hidden and visible) from my old, dying hard-drive (250-GB 5400-RPM ) to a new harddrive (500-GB 7200-RPM). Is it possible to get Windows 7 to boot from the new harddrive?</p> <h2>Anotation 1</h2> <p>I copied the contents of the old drive over to the new harddrive using CloneZilla and CloneZilla inidcated a successful process. I plugged the new hardrive into my laptop and I am still getting the &quot;Operating System not found&quot; error. Did I forget to do something? Do I have to fix the Master Boot Record or Boot Sector?</p> <h2>Gratitude</h2> <p>I have to thank everyone's answer to this question as they were all prompt, courteous, and informative. Thank you! I have solved this seemingly huge problem of mine and I will know how to do it in the future should it ever happen again! Not only is my operating system completely intact but because of your contributions and time, I did not have to resort to buying a copy of Windows 7 to reinstall it. Thank you very much! I am very grateful.</p> http://goboef.nl/?id=questions/270465/is-it-possible-to-copy-all-windows-7-files-from-one-hd-to-another-and-boot-from/270469#270469 9 Answer by TheCompWiz for Is it possible to copy all Windows 7 files from one HD to another and boot from the new HD? TheCompWiz http://goboef.nl/?id=users/73850 2011-04-13T18:30:59Z 2011-04-13T18:30:59Z <p>There is a lot more to booting an operating system than simply having a bunch of files on the disk. There's a reserved bunch of blocks at the start of the disk that contain some special boot instructions which tell the computer how to boot.</p> <p>If your old hard drive isn't dead yet... I would highly recommend you look at a tool like clonezilla or Symantec Ghost to clone your hard drive. It will correctly copy the special bits of the drive that are needed to boot, as well as resizing the volume to fill the entire disk.</p> http://goboef.nl/?id=questions/270465/is-it-possible-to-copy-all-windows-7-files-from-one-hd-to-another-and-boot-from/270473#270473 3 Answer by Majenko for Is it possible to copy all Windows 7 files from one HD to another and boot from the new HD? Majenko http://goboef.nl/?id=users/69290 2011-04-13T18:33:11Z 2011-04-13T18:33:11Z <p>There is an awful lot more to booting a disk than just having some files on it.</p> <p>The disk must be prepared properly. It requires certain data to exist in certain places of the drive. Namely, the boot sector and boot loader.</p> <p>The computer by itself is incapable of loading windows. All it is capable of loading is 512 bytes from the very beginning (block 0) of the hard drive.</p> <p>This is called the "boot sector". This data is read and then executed as a small program. It is then up to this program to then load the "boot loader" - more advanced than the boot sector, but still along way from windows.</p> <p>It is then the job of this boot loader to start booting windows.</p> <p>When you install windows all these things are put in place automatically. They do not get copied over with the files when you copy them from one disk to another.</p> <p>You will need to reinstall windows afresh on the new drive, and then copy your data across from the old drive. Just copy the data - not windows or your programs (they will need reinstalling from scratch again).</p> http://goboef.nl/?id=questions/270465/is-it-possible-to-copy-all-windows-7-files-from-one-hd-to-another-and-boot-from/270476#270476 9 Answer by user541686 for Is it possible to copy all Windows 7 files from one HD to another and boot from the new HD? user541686 http://goboef.nl/?id=users/59271 2011-04-13T18:41:56Z 2011-04-14T05:19:24Z <p>It's possible, but like the others have said, it involves more work. You need to set up a master boot record (MBR) to boot the disk, and set up the Windows boot loader to boot from that disk, using BCDEdit. It's by no means difficult, but you need to know what you're doing.</p> <hr> <p>If you want to try it, follow these steps:</p> <ol> <li><p>Set up the partition scheme you want. (<strong>Edit:</strong> Don't forget to mark the boot partition as <strong>active</strong>!)</p></li> <li><p>Run <a href="http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749177.aspx" rel="nofollow noreferrer">BootSect.exe</a> on the new hard disk. I <em>think</em> the program can be found in <code>C:\Boot\BootSect.exe</code>. Let's say your new drive (as an external drive at the moment) shows up as E: on your computer; type this into the command prompt:</p> <pre><code>C:\Boot\BootSect.exe /nt60 /mbr E: </code></pre> <p>Be <strong>especially careful</strong> to not accidentally do this to other drives!</p></li> <li><p>Now copy all the files over to the new drive (E:), ensuring that <strong>you also copy hidden and system files</strong>.</p></li> <li><p>Now use <code>BCDEdit</code> to fix the <code>device</code> and <code>osdevice</code> members of the <code>E:\Boot\BCD</code> file. You need to type in something like:</p> <pre><code>BCDEdit /store E:\Boot\BCD Echo Your boot entries are now printed. Copy the correct GUID. BCDEdit /store E:\Boot\BCD /set {YOUR-GUID} device partition=E: BCDEdit /store E:\Boot\BCD /set {YOUR-GUID} osdevice partition=E: </code></pre></li> </ol> <p>Your volume should now be bootable.</p> http://goboef.nl/?id=questions/270465/is-it-possible-to-copy-all-windows-7-files-from-one-hd-to-another-and-boot-from/270501#270501 1 Answer by Moab for Is it possible to copy all Windows 7 files from one HD to another and boot from the new HD? Moab http://goboef.nl/?id=users/40928 2011-04-13T19:24:37Z 2011-04-13T19:24:37Z <p>You are best to "clone" the old hard drive to the new one, then all you may need to do once the new Drive is installed is to do a startup repair to get it booting again.</p> <p>Use this <a href="http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119" rel="nofollow noreferrer">Free Software</a> to clone the Western Digital drive</p> http://goboef.nl/?id=questions/270465/is-it-possible-to-copy-all-windows-7-files-from-one-hd-to-another-and-boot-from/270578#270578 0 Answer by Ben Preston for Is it possible to copy all Windows 7 files from one HD to another and boot from the new HD? Ben Preston http://goboef.nl/?id=users/76414 2011-04-14T00:40:45Z 2011-04-14T00:40:45Z <p>You can use a Linux liveCD and use the <code>dd</code> command (or <code>ddrescue</code>) and make a bit-for-bit copy. Not terribly complex, just be sure you don't mix your drives up. :)</p> http://goboef.nl/?id=questions/270465/is-it-possible-to-copy-all-windows-7-files-from-one-hd-to-another-and-boot-from/272164#272164 1 Answer by jose for Is it possible to copy all Windows 7 files from one HD to another and boot from the new HD? jose http://goboef.nl/?id=users/77050 2011-04-18T02:08:12Z 2011-04-18T02:17:49Z <p>would this help, is vista and 7 based on the same? asuming your drive is setup correctly boot secter. heres how to tie in the bootloader.<br> neosmart easy bcd says </p> <p><a href="http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Vista+Bootloader+from+the+DVD" rel="nofollow noreferrer">http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Vista+Bootloader+from+the+DVD</a></p> <p>Step Four: Nuclear Holocaust</p> http://goboef.nl/?id=questions/270465/is-it-possible-to-copy-all-windows-7-files-from-one-hd-to-another-and-boot-from/272193#272193 0 Answer by kaykay for Is it possible to copy all Windows 7 files from one HD to another and boot from the new HD? kaykay http://goboef.nl/?id=users/72248 2011-04-18T04:35:10Z 2011-04-18T04:35:10Z <p>if you want to find the product key of your windows 7 installation you can install the everest software and in the operating system section it will tell you product key and product id both.</p> <p>if you can boot from your old hard drive only once and able to install everest then you can get your product key.</p> http://goboef.nl/?id=questions/270465/is-it-possible-to-copy-all-windows-7-files-from-one-hd-to-another-and-boot-from/349861#349861 0 Answer by HaydnWVN for Is it possible to copy all Windows 7 files from one HD to another and boot from the new HD? HaydnWVN http://goboef.nl/?id=users/102661 2011-10-24T10:31:13Z 2011-10-24T10:31:13Z <p>You can't find the licence on a label on the bottom of the laptop... Because it's hidden under the Battery!</p> <p>It's not uncommon for Lenovo's to have the licence there, i've also seen licences under the hard drive enclosure (requiring taking the HDD out to view) but that wasn't a Lenovo :)</p>