Question Transferring Windows data to a new HDD

Jibsman57

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Apr 23, 2020
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I have a laptop that has will not boot (insert a bootable device and press enter) or some such message.
The HDD has User data on the 2nd partition..
The OS (Windows 7, I believe) is MBR so I can't install Windows 8 or 10 without trashing the data.
The drive has 3 partitions. One marked OS, about 1.6g, one 280g and one marked Recovery (which will not restore, trying all the methods except buying a program online to recover it, which I don't trust)
I have tried reinstalling Windows 7 but the install hangs during file copy. The OS partition was 1.6g (not 16g) - not enough space. No idea how Win7 was installed... I don't remember if W7 created a boot partition and a data partition.
I removed the HDD from the laptop. The HDD is connected to my system with a SATA to USB connector.
I have access to the data, Users, Program Files, Program Files, (x86), Windows, etc.
I am copying the user's data to a temporary storage, so that is safe. So far so good.
The directories Program Files & x86 have apps like Office, Visual Studio 8, etc.
I don't think migrating these files to a different HDD with Windows 10 will do any good because most apps use the registry and well, Windows 10.
Am I stuck just migrating the user's C:\Users\JoeUser\ data?
Or am I missing something?
Cheers!
 
Did you double check that the 1.6Gb drive actually has windows on it or are you just going my name?
It's very possible the OS is on the 280Gb drive.

What you should do first is to find an empty 300Gb drive or space on a drive and clone or image the whole disk to it because the disk could be on its way out, starting to lose some data can turn into losing a lot of data.

After securing everything you can look into possible ways of fixing the OS or installing something else.
 

Satan-IR

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Windows 7 can't be installed in a 16GB either I think. Windows 7 64 bit needs at least 20Gb if memory serves right.

Apps need to be reinstalled.
MBR so I can't install Windows 8 or 10 without trashing the data.

I'd copy/backup personal files (user data) to the "temporary storage" and do a clean install of Windows 10, if you indeed plan to install Windows 10.
 
Windows 7 can't be installed in a 16GB either I think. Windows 7 64 bit needs at least 20Gb if memory serves right.

Apps need to be reinstalled.



I'd copy/backup personal files (user data) to the "temporary storage" and do a clean install of Windows 10, if you indeed plan to install Windows 10.
Oh they can, all the windows tablets, at least the older ones, had far less storage than 16Gb, I have one with 8Gb that runs windows 8.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Oh they can, all the windows tablets, at least the older ones, had far less storage than 16Gb, I have one with 8Gb that runs windows 8.
Well yes..a highly customized and cut down install, maybe.

A general Windows install? No.

I had/have an old Asus Transformer, 32gb eMMC drive.
The original Win 8 was around 10GB. Changing to a bare Win 10 consumed ~11.5GB.
And of course, actual use of the thing was painful.
And the next Windows update failed due to lack of free space.
 

Satan-IR

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Oh they can, all the windows tablets, at least the older ones, had far less storage than 16Gb, I have one with 8Gb that runs windows 8.
Yes I had a Windows tablet for a while with a shrunk Windows 7 or maybe 8. Real slow and painful to operate though, compared to contemporary iPads or Android tablets.

Yes as USAFRet said, a custom install with many knots and bolts cut out can fit in smaller space. A default/standard Windows 7 can't I think.

After the install is done and it does the cleanup, it will be smaller.
Yes but it needs the space to install then shrink.

Maybe a 32-bit Win 7 install can be just fit in 16GB and some hundred MB if some features/components are omitted during install?
 

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