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Transfer Windows 10 to a different Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Amylynn716, Nov 25, 2019.

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  1. Amylynn716

    Amylynn716 Thread Starter

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    Ok so a friend of mine gave me a laptop that is running Win 10 and after 2 weeks the hard drive when to [profanity removed by mod]. I can't get it to boot at all. I have 2 other laptops here with perfectly good hard drives but everything else is junk. Keyboards, screens, all junk. My issue is that they are both running Win 7. One of them I'm not worried about losing whatever is on it so I'd like to replace the bad hard drive with a good one. I have no recovery disks for any of them nor was I able to to make any backups before the hdd died. I'm not worried about losing any data. I'm ok with a clean slate but I have no idea how to get Win 10 on the 'new' hard drive. Do I have to wipe Win 7 from it first? And if so, can I do that while it's in the laptop I need to transfer it to, since I don't have anything else to use? All the YouTube videos and websites seem to start with a hard drive that already has win 10 installed on it or it's still in the old working device. I can't find anything specific to my situation. Or would it just be easier to buy a new SSD instead?? Please help!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2019
  2. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Since you had win10 previously, it is very simple;
    1 Download the media creation tool from ms; https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
    2 Purchase a new drive for the laptop
    3 Install the drive and use the usb you made with the media tool to clean install win10
    4 No need to activate or have an install key. Win10 will phone home and activate itself

    Done.

    Note prior to installing win10, I would go to the support page for that laptop and download all of the drivers you will need ie chipset, touchpad, video, etc. Put these on a different usb OR you can just put them in a folder on the install usb. It makes any install go much easier if you have all of the drivers you need in one place. Use a usb of at least 8gig and you should have room to put a folder with drivers and whatever utilities you use ie ccleaner, irfanview, whatever.
     
  3. britekguy

    britekguy

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    See the pinned topic on the Windows 10 Forum for doing a completely clean (re)install of Windows 10.

    All you need is the new disk drive, as noted by crjdriver, and the Windows 10 installation media and you're good to go.

    I have not had any issue with Windows 10 and drivers in general for quite some time now. For myself, I'd install it and see if there are any issues then, if there are, collect drivers from the computer's OEM only for those devices that are behaving odd or not working at all. I'll be surprised if there were more than one, if that.

    It always makes sense to collect the installers for any third-party programs that are "must haves" for you and to install same promptly after Windows 10 has been installed.

    After the machine is configured you should institute a regular cyclic backup protocol that includes full system images as well as separate user data backups.
     
  4. Amylynn716

    Amylynn716 Thread Starter

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    I will have to install the new drive into the Win 10 laptop to do anything to it because I don't have any other computer available. Will that all still work? Should I clear Win 7 off the new drive first? And again, can I do that from the laptop I need to put it into? I guess I'm just trying to decide if it's work all the hassle of using a used drive or if I should just go buy a new SSD drive and start fresh. The only device I have that is running Windows 10 has an inaccessible harddrive. I don't think I'd be as confused if I could do this from 2 different devices instead of all at the same one.
     
  5. britekguy

    britekguy

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    You are going to have to get the Windows 10 installation media created, and that has to be done on another computer. Since you say you have no functional computer that will mean asking a friend, going to the library, etc., to get the latest Windows 10 installation media.

    The condition of the HDD/SSD being installed to is irrelevant if you follow the instructions given in the topic,
    Doing a Completely Clean Reinstall of Windows 10, at the top of the Win10 forum. Part of the reinstallation is getting rid of all existing partitions on the used drive and letting the Windows 10 installer repartition it as needed.

    You cannot possibly do this process entirely from one machine unless you were to somehow have the latest Windows 10 installation media already available to you and ready for use. Since Version 1909 is so new, that's unlikely, though if you were to have Version 1903 it would be OK to use that, and it will update itself in the near future.
     
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  6. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Actually it is possible however it requires a reasonably high level of skill AND you must be comfortable working CLI in linux however it can be done. The computer in question would need at least 3 usb ports to do this task; one to run the bootable linux; one to store the ISO file, and one to use to create the new bootable win10 install usb.
    If using a linux distro that runs completely from ram such as parted magic [and allows removal of the usb after booting] the task could be completed with just two usb ports.
     
  7. britekguy

    britekguy

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    OK, then I'll revise my statement to: Your average user, and even many techs, would not consider going through the gyrations necessary to avoid using another machine to complete this process except under the most exceptional of circumstances.

    I'd certainly not suggest to someone who's never laid a finger on a Linux box that this is a practical alternative, nor one I would choose even if I knew how to do it if I could make a quick run anywhere else and just download from another computer. These days most local libraries have computer banks and I know of few people who couldn't impose upon a friend or neighbor to get this downloaded.
     
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  8. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    I agree just correcting the statement that it cannot be done.
     
  9. britekguy

    britekguy

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    Heck, if I had a smartphone with an unlimited data plan I'd likely download the ISO on that, saving it to either a microSD card and copying it later to a thumb drive or, if I had the adapter, straight to the thumb drive from the phone.

    Of course, since I consider smartphones to be true microcomputers that happen to have a phone feature, that would be using another machine anyway.

    The live Linux method is the classic illustration of the phrase, "Where there's a will, there's a way." I just don't happen to have said will.
     
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  10. Amylynn716

    Amylynn716 Thread Starter

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    I'm sorry if I sound clueless but I guess I kinda am right now. I understand basics but my knowledge of Windows 10 is limited. I haven't really been in a position to need to know much about computers since Win 98. So I can create recovery media from any computer that has Win 10 on it? I'm sure I can find someone to let me use their computer. And I will need this whether I reuse a hhd or if I get a brand new SSD, right? I appreciate everyone taking the time to break this down for me.
     
  11. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You can create the install usb from any computer; it does not have to have win10 as an operating system.
     
  12. britekguy

    britekguy

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    I will ask you to please read through the sticky topic, Doing a Completely Clean Reinstall of Windows 10, at the top of the Win10 forum. It gives step-by-step instructions for doing precisely what you are wanting to do.

    I wrote it to make the process as easy and painless as possible for all and sundry, and tried my darndest to make the steps comprehensible to complete beginners as well as those with lots of experience.
     
  13. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Amylynn: in summary :-

    You will need a working computer to make the Windows 10 install USB stick on, it can be running Windows 7 or 10, that doesn't matter.

    Once you have that Usb stick made you can put the drive with Windows 7 on into the laptop you want to use and install 10 onto it using that Usb stick.

    If you tell us the make and full model name of the laptop you want to put 10 onto and use, then we can help you find the drivers you might need.
     
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  14. Amylynn716

    Amylynn716 Thread Starter

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    Thank you!!!! I'm off to read the sticky about Win 10 now that I have the info I need. The computer I'm transferring the HDD to is a Dell Inspiron 3537.
     
  15. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Amylynn716 likes this.
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