[SOLVED] Upgrading win 7 to 10 questions

R1 owner

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Apr 10, 2017
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So, here's the situation;

-I got a brand new pc build ready to be installed on my desk.
-I want to upgrade to win10 from an originally puırchased windows 7 that I've been using for 10 years now. (I still have the box and activation key written in it)
-I want to holdon to my installed programs, also licenses in my registry. Migrate if I can. Re-installing everything again will take me at least a week. But if there's no way, I'll accept it.

My current Win7 OS is on on [C:] - 488GB partition from a 1TB HDD.
My new OS Drive will be 512 GB PCI-e NVMe M.2 SSD

Questions as follow:

0) How can I migrate to a new motherboard, new SSD and upgrade to win 10 and possible to keep my programs and settings at the same time?

1) Do I need to buy a new OEM key from microsoft because of the motherboard change? or can I activate win 10 with my current win 7 key?
2) Do I need to clone my [C:] first to my SSD, then boot the new pc with SSD, then upgrade to Win10?
3) Do I need to clone / migrate OS only to my new SSD? Then copy everything else from the older HDD that is now a "storage" unit?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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To verify:
Old PC = Win 7
New PC, want Win 10. Preferably without buying a whole new license
This new PC also has an NVMe drive as your boot drive
Want all the original applications etc ported tot he new PC.

Too many moving parts.

There are two parts of a WIndows install. The actual operation, and the licensing.
We can almost certainly get your license applied to the new PC for $0.
The old OS and applications? Probably not.
And as much as it sounds like a good idea, and the easy way forward, you probably don't want to.

Licensing:
  1. Upgrade your current system to Win 10. $0.
  2. Link this PC and Win 10 license with a MS account https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
  3. Later, we'll go therough the Activation Troubleshooter to get the new system and its OS activated
  4. Or, we can use your actual Win 7 license to activate a new Win 10 install on the new system. Yes, this works. I've done it.

Operation:
Cloning between drive in the same system usually works, and is no problem.
Trying to apply that OS to a whole new system, there are 3 possible outcomes:
  1. It boots up just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It boots up, but you're chasing issues for weeks.
#1 is the least likely to happen

And going from a SATA HDD to an NVMe SSD is a whole other level of pain.
Just doing that often fails.

Additionally, you'd be carrying over ALL the old gunk from your current Win 7 install. New PC is a good time to start fresh.


Recommendation:
Clean install of Win 10 on the new system. After it is installed, apply your valid Win 7 license, and it should activate no problem.
 
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USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
114,654
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To verify:
Old PC = Win 7
New PC, want Win 10. Preferably without buying a whole new license
This new PC also has an NVMe drive as your boot drive
Want all the original applications etc ported tot he new PC.

Too many moving parts.

There are two parts of a WIndows install. The actual operation, and the licensing.
We can almost certainly get your license applied to the new PC for $0.
The old OS and applications? Probably not.
And as much as it sounds like a good idea, and the easy way forward, you probably don't want to.

Licensing:
  1. Upgrade your current system to Win 10. $0.
  2. Link this PC and Win 10 license with a MS account https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
  3. Later, we'll go therough the Activation Troubleshooter to get the new system and its OS activated
  4. Or, we can use your actual Win 7 license to activate a new Win 10 install on the new system. Yes, this works. I've done it.

Operation:
Cloning between drive in the same system usually works, and is no problem.
Trying to apply that OS to a whole new system, there are 3 possible outcomes:
  1. It boots up just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It boots up, but you're chasing issues for weeks.
#1 is the least likely to happen

And going from a SATA HDD to an NVMe SSD is a whole other level of pain.
Just doing that often fails.

Additionally, you'd be carrying over ALL the old gunk from your current Win 7 install. New PC is a good time to start fresh.


Recommendation:
Clean install of Win 10 on the new system. After it is installed, apply your valid Win 7 license, and it should activate no problem.
 
Reactions: R1 owner

R1 owner

Commendable
Apr 10, 2017
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1,535
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USAFRet, thank you for the detailed reply, just what I was hoping for.

To verify:
Old PC = Win 7
New PC, want Win 10. Preferably without buying a whole new license
This new PC also has an NVMe drive as your boot drive
Want all the original applications etc ported tot he new PC.
YES. But after your reply, I'm more inclined for a clean install and then put everything back piece by piece to avoid possible issues.

We can almost certainly get your license applied to the new PC for $0.

Licensing:
  1. Upgrade your current system to Win 10. $0.
  2. Link this PC and Win 10 license with a MS account https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
  3. Later, we'll go therough the Activation Troubleshooter to get the new system and its OS activated
  4. Or, we can use your actual Win 7 license to activate a new Win 10 install on the new system. Yes, this works. I've done it.
Just to clarify; if I just build the new pc, boot it with a Win 10 Uefi USB disk, then my old Win7 license is able to activate Win 10 aswell. If I understand correctly, then I don't need to go step 1,2 and 3. And this would be a great news.

And this brings up another question:
When I install my old HDD to the new system after everything boots fine, I install my drivers etc. the HDD will still have the old Win7 installation on it, even if it's not the boot drive anymore, can this cause problems for me?

If so how can I avoid any possible funny business with this old hdd?

I just want it as storage from now on. And probably going to delete a ton of stuff because I'll install the programs & copy essential files to the NVMe drive from scratch.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Yes, your old WIn 7 license should activate a brand new Win 10 install.
Should, being the operative word.

If it fails to do so, then just leave it Unactivated until such time as you're ready to purchase a new, valid, Win 10 license for this new system.

For the old drive, you'll want to wipe that thing clean. Delete all partitions, not just a "Format" in File Explorer.
Given a proper boot order, it should not try to boot from that drive.
I find having a USB dock invaluable for things like this. You don't power that drive up until the system is already booted up from its normal drive.
Commandline diskpart function and the clean command....poof, all gone.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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And to ease copying your data from the old drive, you want to discover and copy all that stuff first. Off to a USB stick or online somewhere.
Not the whole 'Documents' folder, just the individual files.
This gets around any permissions issues you'd otherwise have.
 

R1 owner

Commendable
Apr 10, 2017
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I find having a USB dock invaluable for things like this. You don't power that drive up until the system is already booted up from its normal drive.
Is this what you mean by usb dock? Cable Matters USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station

I copy everything I want from old HDD to my portable disk, then use the docking station to connect it to my pc after everything boots from SSD, treat this HDD like an external drive and wipe. Yes?

Commandline diskpart function and the clean command....poof, all gone.
This part was too tech-savvy for me. Didn't understand :??:
 

512-Bit

Proper
Apr 17, 2019
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0) How can I migrate to a new motherboard, new SSD and upgrade to win 10 and possible to keep my programs and settings at the same time?

As far as I know, probably not.
I have seen an option in the windows USB installation tool to let you "Upgrade this PC now" instead of creating a USB tool, that may give you the option.


1) Do I need to buy a new OEM key from microsoft because of the motherboard change? or can I activate win 10 with my current win 7 key?

Changing your mobo doesn't affect your product key. Just be sure to write it down somewhere, as new mobo = no product key installed.
You can activate windows 10 with your win7 key. If it doesn't work though, you may have to call microsoft support to fix it.

2) Do I need to clone my [C:] first to my SSD, then boot the new pc with SSD, then upgrade to Win10?

That would be logical, if you want your win10 on your SSD and to keep your programs, you need to clone your drive to it first, then upgrade.

3) Do I need to clone / migrate OS only to my new SSD? Then copy everything else from the older HDD that is now a "storage" unit?

Wdym
 

R1 owner

Commendable
Apr 10, 2017
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3) Do I need to clone / migrate OS only to my new SSD? Then copy everything else from the older HDD that is now a "storage" unit?

Wdym
I was asking if It's possible to just copy the OS files only with a 3rd party software. Nothing else. But that's a reach i suppose.
 

512-Bit

Proper
Apr 17, 2019
236
24
115
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I was asking if It's possible to just copy the OS files only with a 3rd party software. Nothing else. But that's a reach i suppose.
I am not really sure if you can do that, but you can try.

Be sure to back the files up though, in case of corruption or other file read error.
 

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