Question Will cloning my existing Windows 7 to a new gaming PC actually work ?

Chaz-Dave

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Cloning my existing Windows 7 to a new gaming PC, will it work ?

I am expecting a new gaming pc that doesn't come with an OS, and was wondering if I could just clone my present hard drive with Windows 7 (and all my stuff on it) over to the new pc? Would there be complications?
 

Lafong

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Cloning my present Win7 to a new gaming PC (Will it work?)

Would there be complications?
You cannot know unless you try it.

Windows 7 is less likely to succeed at this than Windows 10 would be.

You may live happily ever after or you may tear your hair out from the first boot attempt. Maybe you can "fix" it and maybe not.

You can spend 10 hours merely researching the question when you could use those same hours to do a clean install and reinstall applications.

If it would take 100 hours to do a clean Windows install and then reinstall and reconfigure all applications......maybe you take the risk.

If it would take 5 hours, probably you don't.

Clones aren't guaranteed to be 100 percent reliable even if you were only changing drives. Maybe 98.

Hard to quantify your personal chances. If you are something of an experimenter or risk-taker by nature, go for it.

Maybe set a time limit of how many hours you are willing to fight any difficulties before giving up and doing a clean install?

Do you have an over-riding aversion to Windows 10?

What about your licensing situation with Windows 7? It may or may not be valid on new hardware.
 
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Chaz-Dave

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I don't suppose I could just unplug the internal HDD and plug it into the new PC without cloning at all?

I would have preferred the interface of Win11, but I have read that it can be problematic, and MS have released a few updates that caused a few problems. Win10, the interface, not my cup of tea. I have it on my laptop and have installed shell over the top to make it look like win7, but it is still not as easy to find all setting etc than win7 is; it's straight forward. I know where everything is on Win7.
 

Chaz-Dave

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cant say, If I have lost important data, day and night... it's just time and compatibility. I don't have the time, and some for the programs I tried to install on my laptop (win10) didn't install.

If that did succeed, either cloning or moving the drive – would windows automatically search the new hardware configuration and update the drivers? I don't know how this works-Do you know?
 

Lafong

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cant say, If I have lost important data, day and night... it's just time and compatibility. I don't have the time, and some for the programs I tried to install on my laptop (win10) didn't install.

If that did succeed, either cloning or moving the drive – would windows automatically search the new hardware configuration and update the drivers? I don't know how this works-Do you know?
Are you unable to do a clean Windows 7 install?

Are you able but unwilling to do a clean Windows 7 install?

I wouldn't do what you intend (clone or move the drive) simply because even if it seemingly "worked", I would not have faith that it would continue to work indefinitely into the future.

I'd be afraid sooner or later I would run into licensing, driver, or update issues....or really anything I couldn't easily solve. I'd be angry at myself because I could have avoided the issue by spending X hours on a clean Windows install and a reinstall of all applications.

You have to decide on the level of risk you are willing to take.

I can't tell you if you have a 20 percent or 80 percent chance of long term success.....but it's certainly less than the success rate for a clean install.

It would be a different situation if you were only changing drives....but you are going to all new hardware.
 
Cloning my existing Windows 7 to a new gaming PC, will it work ?
I am expecting a new gaming pc that doesn't come with an OS, and was wondering if I could just clone my present hard drive with Windows 7 (and all my stuff on it) over to the new pc? Would there be complications?
Only proper way with a new pc is clean install.
If you try to move windows OS drive to another pc (cloning has the same implications),
then expect following possible issues:
boot mode compatibility - system doesn't boot,​
driver incompatibilities - bsods/crashes, bad performance,​
windows activation issues.​
 

Math Geek

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with win 10/11 it is "might work, might not"

with win 7 it is 99.99999% it will not work. it never did before and won't now. you need a fresh install of win 7 for a new system. nothing you can do about it. if you get super lucky and the new pc boots with the old install, you'll spend many many days here trying to track down and fix the multitude of problems that will creep up over and over.

sorry but in this case you have to reinstall.

if you have a couple programs that need win 7 and you would like win 11, then why not run win 11 and run win 7 in a VM for those couple programs. much easier and setting up a vm is very easy to do.
 
It's called clone to dissimilar and every cloning software out there has it as an option or has a stand alone program for that, including windows inbuild sysprep.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/sysprep--generalize--a-windows-installation?view=windows-11

It takes an image of your current system and strips out all the non-default drivers and anything else that could cause issues.

The only problem will be your license probably won't carry over, but calling MS through an automated process is reportedly re licensing it for many people.

Since the potential to screw up is very high you should really do a clean install.

edit: Oh, and a new system might not even have all drivers available for windows 7...
 

Chaz-Dave

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Highly unlikely it would work.
Either the physical drive, or a clone of it.

This Win 7 will require a fresh install in the new system.

But...why Win 7?

I know where it all is and how it works. The interface is simpler than 10 and shell over is a plaster. Iv never had it, but friends that have 11 have had issues with updates. I would have tried 11 out but I am trying to simplify my life. I dont want to spend loads of time fixing stuff.
 

USAFRet

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I know where it all is and how it works. The interface is simpler than 10 and shell over is a plaster. Iv never had it, but friends that have 11 have had issues with updates. I would have tried 11 out but I am trying to simplify my life. I dont want to spend loads of time fixing stuff.
And on my Win 10 and 11 systems, I have had zero 'issues with updates'.

As said above, it is very likely your new hardware won't have any Win 7 drivers.
 
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geofelt

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What are the specs of your old system, and the proposed new?
There are several issues involved.
Win 7 on your new system is likely to be a problem.
New systems do not include support for windows 7.

It really is best to do a clean install of windows on the new pc.
But, if that task is really nasty or impossible, you can try to move the system.

You could perhaps resolve that by first upgrading windows 7 to 10.
It is unlikely that your old processor can be supported easily by win 11.

First of all, protect yourself.

I would use the samsung ssd migration aid to copy your C drive to a ssd.

Remove your old C drive and set it aside for a backup.

Do all your work on the new ssd. You will probably need to use a 2.5" ssd but performance, even on a new system will be comparable to modern pcie m.2 drives.
If the new system will boot with the old ssd, then you may be ok simply by installing the new motherboard drivers.

If the change is from intel to intel, or amd to amd, then your chances of success are better than a mixed change.

I have found that a free win 7 classic shell app does a good job of making windows 10 look a lot like the old 7
 

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