Upgrading PC -> Transfer HDD to new PC?

Hi guys,

I’ve been running a Dell Optiplex 780 (quad core 16GB), it’s served me well but there’s just no room for expansion, it’s a SFF and I thought I could live with an internal for all my Kontakt libraries. I’m now at the stage where I’m having to save projects with Kontakt files on the USB (not great).

I’ve bought a Dell Studio XPS 8100 i5, there’s space for 2 (or 3) HDDs, I currently have 2 installed.

So here’s the rub… rather and go through the pain and anguish of locating, installing, authorisation, trouble shooting I planning to ‘clone’ the HD from my working system, and install it in the new one.

I’ve done some reading and know it’s possible but not without its problems, has anyone ever tried this before, were you successful and if not why not?

I have a horrible feeling I’m going to have to do this the painful way, I’d really appreciate any insight you may have?

BTW Both systems are running Win 10 64-bit!

Kind regards,

George Wood

One of the big problems with putting a harddrive with Windows already installed on one PC into another PC is that the motherboard will require different drivers from what Windows wants to boot with. This is usually problematic when it is down to different chipsets and ide/sata devices. Windows can fail at start up and just be useless.

It can be possible to boot straight up and then run updates and device driver updates and all would work, but another problem with Windows 10 is now that it really is lifetime of pc, when you swap to new hardware you may not get activation.

I personally would clone or back up the OS hard drive using something like Acronis True Image then go ahead and try to install the HD in the new machine, do all the updates and patching you need to do to try and get it working. If it fails, nothing lost as you still have the original disk of backup image to go back in the old machine. Nothing lost other than time.

Hi there,

Thanks for the speedy reply, you’ve identified all the potential pitfalls so my expectations are not high.

I’m probably looking at a good day to reinstall everything, and in many ways a clean infallible would be preferable (you just know it’s never going to be a painless exercise).

Thanks again!!

George Wood

PS if it all blows up I still have Elements 8 on my laptop :smiley:

Just remember that the Windows license is locked to the machine and not the HDD

Also when you have an original Windows DVD (in my cae WIndows7) and authorisationcode?
What I mean that you do not have a pre-installed PC-Windows.

I have the same fear when upgrading to a new PC, that’s why I still run my old computer.
THere is so much audio software with licenses and presets etc. that would cost me a few weeks to re-install a clean WIndows with all that.

P.s.: after a year or so my motherboard (ROM) crashed, They installed a new one (still the same model) and I had to re-authorise WIndows7 durinig first start. But after that it work just fine.


So I did the sensible thing and installed all rather software from scratch, I have a ‘lot’ of Steinberg plug-ins, luckily they all seem to have installed with no issues, they appear to be detecting all the licences on the dongle.

The third party plug-ins need to be done individually so are taking a little longer, currently about 2/3 through, I’m planning to back up after (fingers crossed) I get everything installed.

The MIDEX 8 is always fun, but does work with Win 10 64-bit.

Thanks again for all the words of help and advice.

George Wood