Question Switching Internal Hard Drives with 2 Different OSs - Windows 7 & Windows 10

Nov 27, 2021
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I would like to upgrade my Lenovo T460 laptop to Windows 10, but I have a lot of legacy apps on my current internal Window 7 hard drive that I need to use on occasion. This won't work in Windows 10. My questions:
After I install Windows 10 on a new internal SSD drive...

1) Is there a way to direct the boot drive to my current Windows 7 drive in an external USB case....without... having to wipe the drive and start from a new Windows 7 installation? Can I simply use is as is? If not....

2) Once Windows 10 is installed on a new internal drive, can I simply switch the drive back to my original Windows 7 (with apps) drive and run everything successfully without problems? Is there anything in the system ROM that would keep this from working?

I have searched everywhere for the answers to these specific questions and I haven't been able to find a straight answer.
Thanks,
tbeerski
 
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USAFRet

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1. No. You can't take an internal drive+OS, connect it externally, and have it boot up.

2. You mean physically swapping drives? Should work.


What specific applications do you use that work in Win 7 but do not work in Win 10?
 
Nov 27, 2021
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USAFret
Thanks for the response. I own an older copy of Adobe Creative Master Suite that as run great on Win 7 for me for years. I hear it has issues on Win 10, so I want to ensure it works when my client comes back in a few weeks. It kind of bugs me to have to go the Adobe Cloud route to rent the apps I already own.
I figured that I will now try to install and run Abobe on the new Win 10 installation to see what happens. If problems arise, I can always switch the drive back for a few weeks....or...just buy the darn cloud suite.
I could always do a dual boot drive implementation. Let's hope I pull of Adobe on Win 10.
 

Wu-Zi-Mu

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1) Is there a way to direct the boot drive to my current Windows 7 drive in an external USB case....without... having to wipe the drive and start from a new Windows 7 installation? Can I simply use is as is? If not....
Yes, you can put it in an enclosure and connect it to a USB port. You need to make sure that the enclosure, the USB cable and the port all support USB3 or it will be deathly slow. Then you can press the change boot device key when starting the PC (usually F9 or F10 or something like that, check your laptop's user manual) and select the external drive.

I think you'll need to make some changes to your registry so Windows believes it's an internal drive, because it otherwise refuses to boot from external drives. I think AOMEI software can do this.

Also make sure you don't accidentally unplug the drive while running Windows from it (obviously)
 

USAFRet

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Yes, you can put it in an enclosure and connect it to a USB port. You need to make sure that the enclosure, the USB cable and the port all support USB3 or it will be deathly slow. Then you can press the change boot device key when starting the PC (usually F9 or F10 or something like that, check your laptop's user manual) and select the external drive.

I think you'll need to make some changes to your registry so Windows believes it's an internal drive, because it otherwise refuses to boot from external drives. I think AOMEI software can do this.

Also make sure you don't accidentally unplug the drive while running Windows from it (obviously)
No, you can't simply take a WIndows OS drive, put it in a USB enclosure, and just boot from it.
Doesn't work like that.
 

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