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Transferring Windows 7 to a new computer

I purchased a new motherboard and CPU in an effort to upgrade both my system processing capability and my hard disk space. My original plan was just to clone an existing 1TB drive onto part of a 2x2TB RAID array, but I was struck with many issues, even with disk cloning. I went through a lot of trouble trying to find a method that worked. So after much pain, here’s what I found:

1) The current stable Redobackup is too old to detect the effective RAID device that my new mobo bios was creating. It refused to select a target device.

2) The current stable Clonezilla also has issues. It detects an md device, but then has issues determining its size and refuses to actually write data to it.

3) The GParted livecd seemed to work best. I used gparted to copy partitions from the original drive to the new drive. I then used dd to copy the boot sector, just in case.

What I found is that Windows 7 gets *REALLY ANGRY* when you just pop an existing installation into a new mobo/cpu. It basically is unstartable. I found an article that suggests running Sysprep with “generalize” and “out-of-box” as a part of transferring to a new machine:


Following these instructions and running Sysprep I then found an issue with the Windows Media Player Network Sharing service – it needed to be stopped in order for Sysprep to work right.

(that link may not work without a login).

So, what I ended up doing thus far:

  1. Clone existing 1TB drive onto new, temporary 1TB drive.
  2. Boot old mobo system with cloned 1TB drive, run sysprep per instructions.
  3. Put sysprepped temporary 1TB drive into new mobo system, boot, let Windows do its first startup, finally install (most) drivers.

I found some issues with some of Asus‘ drivers, so I had to do these steps *AGAIN* in order to get to a working system.

My next step is to clone this now updated 1TB drive onto a 2TB bios-based RAID array and hope for the best. I hope someone finds this information useful!