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Reinstalling Windows 7 On A New Hard Drive

#1 User is offline   jvness 

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 02:09 PM

I currently I am running Windows 7 on my laptop. I downloaded Windows 7 from the Windows website, not a cd. I backed up Windows 7 on my external hard drive. I purchased a new, bigger hard drive, but I am wondering once I install the hard drive will I be able to just connect the external hard drive to the laptop and reinstall Windows 7? Or what is the easiest way to do this? Thanks.
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#2 User is offline   crazy4laptops 

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 02:35 PM

View Postjvness, on 21 January 2011 - 02:09 PM, said:

I currently I am running Windows 7 on my laptop. I downloaded Windows 7 from the Windows website, not a cd. I backed up Windows 7 on my external hard drive. I purchased a new, bigger hard drive, but I am wondering once I install the hard drive will I be able to just connect the external hard drive to the laptop and reinstall Windows 7? Or what is the easiest way to do this? Thanks.


"Backed up Windows 7 to an external hard drive"
What do you mean by that? Did you copy the windows folder to an external drive? If so, that won't work.

Unfortunately Microsoft has removed their Win7 disk downloads, that would be your easiest option. Just to download the version you need, burn it to DVD, and use the license key that came with the download.

This may help- http://downloadsquad...ta-7-with-wint/

If it doesn't work, try this- http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp
If you need instructions/help on how to use Macrium reflect, let me know.
Even the experts started out as beginners
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#3 User is offline   jvness 

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:36 PM

When I originally downloaded Windows 7 to my computer I downloaded it to my computer and then backed up my hardrive on my external hard drive, thats what I ment. I just simply backed everything up after I downloaded Windows 7.



View Postcrazy4laptops, on 22 January 2011 - 02:35 PM, said:

View Postjvness, on 21 January 2011 - 02:09 PM, said:

I currently I am running Windows 7 on my laptop. I downloaded Windows 7 from the Windows website, not a cd. I backed up Windows 7 on my external hard drive. I purchased a new, bigger hard drive, but I am wondering once I install the hard drive will I be able to just connect the external hard drive to the laptop and reinstall Windows 7? Or what is the easiest way to do this? Thanks.


"Backed up Windows 7 to an external hard drive"
What do you mean by that? Did you copy the windows folder to an external drive? If so, that won't work.

Unfortunately Microsoft has removed their Win7 disk downloads, that would be your easiest option. Just to download the version you need, burn it to DVD, and use the license key that came with the download.

This may help- http://downloadsquad...ta-7-with-wint/

If it doesn't work, try this- http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp
If you need instructions/help on how to use Macrium reflect, let me know.

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#4 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 11:30 AM

View Postjvness, on 21 January 2011 - 02:09 PM, said:

I currently I am running Windows 7 on my laptop. I downloaded Windows 7 from the Windows website, not a cd. I backed up Windows 7 on my external hard drive. I purchased a new, bigger hard drive, but I am wondering once I install the hard drive will I be able to just connect the external hard drive to the laptop and reinstall Windows 7? Or what is the easiest way to do this? Thanks.


If your goal is simply to upgrade your hard drive, the easiest thing to do is clone the contents of the old drive onto the new one. EasusToDo Backup can handle this just fine.


If you want to do a fresh install, you'll need either the very large installation file you downloaded from Microsoft and ran to install Win7 in the first place, or a Win7 disc.


Lincoln
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#5 User is offline   jvness 

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 08:16 PM

If I use that program to clone my hard drive will I save all of that data to my external? And then reinstall the old hard drive to the new one? If I purchase a new hard drive and install in to my computer, I will I be able to get Windows 7 on my new hard drive? Because I first had Vista and I downloaded Windows 7 from the Windows website. So once I use that program you previously mentioned how will I then get Windows 7 back on my computer? Thanks.




View PostLincolnSpector, on 23 January 2011 - 11:30 AM, said:

View Postjvness, on 21 January 2011 - 02:09 PM, said:

I currently I am running Windows 7 on my laptop. I downloaded Windows 7 from the Windows website, not a cd. I backed up Windows 7 on my external hard drive. I purchased a new, bigger hard drive, but I am wondering once I install the hard drive will I be able to just connect the external hard drive to the laptop and reinstall Windows 7? Or what is the easiest way to do this? Thanks.


If your goal is simply to upgrade your hard drive, the easiest thing to do is clone the contents of the old drive onto the new one. EasusToDo Backup can handle this just fine.


If you want to do a fresh install, you'll need either the very large installation file you downloaded from Microsoft and ran to install Win7 in the first place, or a Win7 disc.


Lincoln

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#6 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 07:27 AM

View Postjvness, on 23 January 2011 - 08:16 PM, said:

If I use that program to clone my hard drive will I save all of that data to my external? And then reinstall the old hard drive to the new one? If I purchase a new hard drive and install in to my computer, I will I be able to get Windows 7 on my new hard drive? Because I first had Vista and I downloaded Windows 7 from the Windows website. So once I use that program you previously mentioned how will I then get Windows 7 back on my computer? Thanks.



EasusToDo Backup--which is a free program, btw--does both drive imaging and drive cloning. Either one of these techniques will move everything--operating system, installed applications, data files--from the old HDD to the new one.

The difference: Cloning directly replicates the contents of the drive immediately onto another drive. Imaging creates a backup of the drive as a single, compressed, and very large file on other media (usually an external hard drive). You can then restore the image to another HDD.

For your purpose--upgrading to a larger hard drive--cloning is easier, assuming you can get both internal drives working on the same computer at the same time. That's pretty easy to do on a desktop, but requires a SATA-USB adapter for a laptop. The adapters cost about $20.

Lincoln


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#7 User is offline   jvness 

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 08:48 AM

Awesome Thanks, So When I use EasusToDo I will clone my current hard drive and save it to my external. Then when I install the new hard drive I will plug the external in and begin putting all of the previous hard drives information on my new hard drive? Correct?

View PostLincolnSpector, on 24 January 2011 - 07:27 AM, said:

View Postjvness, on 23 January 2011 - 08:16 PM, said:

If I use that program to clone my hard drive will I save all of that data to my external? And then reinstall the old hard drive to the new one? If I purchase a new hard drive and install in to my computer, I will I be able to get Windows 7 on my new hard drive? Because I first had Vista and I downloaded Windows 7 from the Windows website. So once I use that program you previously mentioned how will I then get Windows 7 back on my computer? Thanks.



EasusToDo Backup--which is a free program, btw--does both drive imaging and drive cloning. Either one of these techniques will move everything--operating system, installed applications, data files--from the old HDD to the new one.

The difference: Cloning directly replicates the contents of the drive immediately onto another drive. Imaging creates a backup of the drive as a single, compressed, and very large file on other media (usually an external hard drive). You can then restore the image to another HDD.

For your purpose--upgrading to a larger hard drive--cloning is easier, assuming you can get both internal drives working on the same computer at the same time. That's pretty easy to do on a desktop, but requires a SATA-USB adapter for a laptop. The adapters cost about $20.

Lincoln

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#8 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 04:02 AM

No. If you clone from old drive to new drive, you connect the new drive to the laptop with the adapter Lincoln mentioned. Then you run the clone application. Then you shut down the laptop and swap the drives, removing the old drive completely and installing the new drive. Then you boot the machine on the new drive and it should come up with everything in the same place as it was on the old drive. Keep the old drive in a safe place for a while as a backup. It will serve as such for a period of time until the changes become so many that it is no longer current. At that point, if the old drive is large enough, you can clone the new drive back onto the old drive to refresh the backup.

I have done this for years with my machines using Acronis True Image though. It is a good program but does cost a few dollars (currently $40 at Newegg).
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#9 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 07:52 AM

View Postjvness, on 25 January 2011 - 08:48 AM, said:

Awesome Thanks, So When I use EasusToDo I will clone my current hard drive and save it to my external. Then when I install the new hard drive I will plug the external in and begin putting all of the previous hard drives information on my new hard drive? Correct?


Not quite. As rgreen says, if you're going to clone it, you want to go from internal to internal.

If you're going to use an external drive as an intermediary, create an image backup, instead.

Easus does both.

Lincoln


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#10 User is offline   jvness 

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 12:47 PM

Perfect, You guys have been so helpful I just have one more favor to ask. If I using an external and I use EaseToDo can you give me steps to completely this whole thing? And by the way what is the adapter called that I need to get?



View PostLincolnSpector, on 26 January 2011 - 07:52 AM, said:

View Postjvness, on 25 January 2011 - 08:48 AM, said:

Awesome Thanks, So When I use EasusToDo I will clone my current hard drive and save it to my external. Then when I install the new hard drive I will plug the external in and begin putting all of the previous hard drives information on my new hard drive? Correct?


Not quite. As rgreen says, if you're going to clone it, you want to go from internal to internal.

If you're going to use an external drive as an intermediary, create an image backup, instead.

Easus does both.

Lincoln

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#11 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 07:17 AM

View PostLincolnSpector, on 23 January 2011 - 11:30 AM, said:



If your goal is simply to upgrade your hard drive, the easiest thing to do is clone the contents of the old drive onto the new one. EasusToDo Backup can handle this just fine.



Lincoln:

Will EasusToDo Backup clone to external drives (or an internal drive connected with a USB universal adapter since Windows "sees" it as an external USB drive)? I ask because not all cloning programs will do that. Norton Ghost did not clone to external drives (don't know if Symantec changed that or not). I know that Acronis True Image will. This could impact how we help this poster.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#12 User is offline   compnovo 

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 10:37 AM

View Postsmax013, on 05 February 2011 - 07:17 AM, said:

View PostLincolnSpector, on 23 January 2011 - 11:30 AM, said:



If your goal is simply to upgrade your hard drive, the easiest thing to do is clone the contents of the old drive onto the new one. EasusToDo Backup can handle this just fine.



Lincoln:

Will EasusToDo Backup clone to external drives (or an internal drive connected with a USB universal adapter since Windows "sees" it as an external USB drive)? I ask because not all cloning programs will do that. Norton Ghost did not clone to external drives (don't know if Symantec changed that or not). I know that Acronis True Image will. This could impact how we help this poster.

Hi smax, good to see you posting again.
Yes, EasusToDo will clone to an external drive. I've used the app several times, always successfully --- can't believe you can get something this good for free. :D
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#13 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 05:34 PM

View Postcompnovo, on 05 February 2011 - 10:37 AM, said:


Yes, EasusToDo will clone to an external drive. I've used the app several times, always successfully --- can't believe you can get something this good for free. :D


jvness:

With the above being that case, these would be the nominal steps that you would use to clone your old drive to a new drive:

1) Buy the new drive.

2) Either buy an external drive enclosure or universal adapter. The advantage of a drive enclosure would be that you could then put the old drive in the enclosure after the new drive is installed and use it as an external portable hard drive if you wanted...you might, however, want to take rgreen4's advice and keep the old drive as cloned backup of the internal drive. The main advantages of the universal adapter is that you would be able to hook any type of internal drive up to your computer (which most people do not really have a need for) and you do not need to mount the drive inside the external enclosure only to have to take it out when you are done cloning and ready to install it in the computer.

Here is an example of an external drive enclosure: http://eshop.macsale...QM0GBK/....this is one that I use, but then I want Firewire 800 and eSATA connectivity...I would guess that you would only want/need one with USB so you can easily find one that is much cheaper through NewEgg or other sources...this is only meant as an example so that you know what I was talking about

Here is an example of a universal adapter: http://eshop.macsale...ogy/U2NV2SPATA/, but there are plenty of alternatives that might cost less available through NewEgg or other sources

3) Attach the new drive as an external drive to the computer with whatever you got between the external drive enclosure or universal adapter.

4) Use the cloning software to clone the old drive to the new drive. As I am not familiar with the program that the other recommended, I cannot give you precise instructions on how to do that. Someone else will. I can tell you that when I do this step with Acronis True Image, I usually boot the computer off the True Image CD and then clone the drive.

5) Power down the computer and disconnect the new drive from the computer (and if you used an external enclosure, remove it from the external enclosure).

6) Remove the old drive and install the new drive.

7) You are basically done unless you want to use the old drive as an external drive, in which case you install the old drive in the enclosure.

Now, not to confuse things (at least that is my intent), if you do NOT want to purchase either a drive enclosure or universal adapter, then you can make use of your current external drive using cloning...if you really want...assuming it is big enough compared to your internal drive. Be aware that this WILL kill all the data on that external drive (if you want to save the data on that drive, then you can use the imaging method that Lincoln mentioned...this assumes that you have enough room for the image file AND any data you have on the drive). The other caveat on this method is that you will need some way to boot the computer to then use the cloning software...I do not know if the suggested program has that ability or not...I know that you can do that with Acronis True Image by way of booting off the CD.

If you want to go this route, the process is nominally the same...

1) Buy new drive.

2) Hook up the external drive to the computer.

3) Clone the old drive to the external drive.

4) Remove the old drive from the computer.

5) Install the new drive.

6) Boot the computer with however the cloning software does it (with True Image this would mean booting from the True Image CD) with the external drive attached.

7) Clone the external drive to the internal drive.

8) Power down the computer and disconnect the external drive.

9) Boot up the computer with the new drive...you are done.

This method will take more time (you are doing the cloning process twice), but it will save money. Of course, you are now left with the old bare internal hard drive. If you are just going to store it as a backup, then that is not an issue. If you want to actively use that drive, then you would want an external enclosure, which would mean you would be spending that money after all and be better off just using the original method described above.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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