Question Move physical hard drive from old computer to new computer

Jul 28, 2020
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Many times I have been able to physically move the old windows 10 hard drive from old computer to new computer and it worked fine. However, with some of the new computers---especially the Dell 3471 it doesn't recognize that the hard drive is a bootable windows 10 drive. It recognizes it fine in BIOS but it fails to allow booting from it. I can stick the same hard drive in an older computer and it will boot from it just fine. I am wondering if it something to do with the secure boot options is stopping it from booting in these new computers? I tried turning off secure boot and playing with the BIOS settings and have been able to get it to boot from a usb flash drive but never from the old hard drive. I tried this with two different Dell 3471 computers with two different hard drives from working computers and they refuse to allow booting from the drive(s). Any ideas????
 

thx1138v2

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The hard drive contains the motherboard drivers and configuration for the motherboard that was installed when Windows was installed on the hard drive. Changing processors and/or motherboards will likely require different drivers. You didn't say what the exact motherboards and processors were but that plays a major role in booting the machine.

You probably had the same processor and/or motherboard for the times it worked but are now using different ones.

In particular, you'll not get a switch from AMD to Intel processors to work at all.
 
Jul 28, 2020
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Sometimes it works
Sometimes it fails completely
Sometimes it works, but you're chasing issues for weeks/months

The greater the difference between old and new parts, the less likely it is to work.
I realize that it might not work all the time but I am more interested in the reason why the new(er) computers don't even try to boot from the old hard drive. I realize that once it starts to boot it might not work due to too many differences in the hardware between the two computers. However, with windows 10 it more often works then not. I am trying to track down the reason why it doesn't recognize that the hard drive is bootable.
 

USAFRet

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I realize that it might not work all the time but I am more interested in the reason why the new(er) computers don't even try to boot from the old hard drive. I realize that once it starts to boot it might not work due to too many differences in the hardware between the two computers. However, with windows 10 it more often works then not. I am trying to track down the reason why it doesn't recognize that the hard drive is bootable.
What does it actually do when you power on?
Could be several different reasons and responses, depending on the exact system and what it is looking for.
 
Jul 28, 2020
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What does it actually do when you power on?
Could be several different reasons and responses, depending on the exact system and what it is looking for.
It recognizes the drive in BIOS but doesn't see it as a bootable device so it goes into the diagnostics screen and refuses to boot since no bootable media was found.
 

USAFRet

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  • Legacy boot vs UEFI
  • Actual boot partition (System Reserved) lives on some other drive in the old system
  • I'm sure there are others
Yes, Win 10 is a lot better than previous version for trying this. Still not nearly 100%, though.
 

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