How to migrate Windows 10 to different hardware

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by technorama, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. technorama

    technorama Registered Member

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    I have a fullblown Windows installation (10 Pro 64 bit) running on an Intel NUC5i3SYH machine with a Sasmung EVO 850 SSD as the boot device (with 50% as system partition and the rest as data partition). Now I want to upgrade to the latest NUC, a skylake 6i3.
    And change the boot device too: After problems with M.2 on the 5i3 I will try the new NVME 4 lanes and will install a Samsung SM951 256 GB SSM for the Windows system.
    I could do a clean install (again) but this time I want to transfer the running system with all its installed programms to the new computer.
    What is the best way to do this? Simple cloning with for instance Macrium Reflect 6? Or backup and restore with Acronis 2016 and adapting the drivers afterwards with Universal Restore? A problem could be the drivers for the NVME device, or has my Windows 10 installation them already and can be booted without any additions? If not how do I get them onto the boot medium?
     
  2. technorama

    technorama Registered Member

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    I did a simple clone job with Macrium Reflect 6 (which had no problem with my 4k Display, O&O for instance still does not work correctly) from an USB 3.0 hard drive dock to the NVMe device. And it worked as hoped for: As a starter I flashed the BIOS to the latest version from Intel. Then in the flawlessly booting restored Windows 10 I then had to update the drivers, most importantly the LAN driver. (I had downloaded them all from the Intel site before as I have learned with recent NUC installs that their update utility is a pain in the ass.)
    And finally I had to reactivate Windows. For this I had bought another very cheap Windows 7 Pro 64bit key on ebay (7 Euros!). After some 30 seconds everything was back to normal. But not that overhelmingly faster than with the "old" Samsung SSD, that I had hoped for.
     
  3. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Starting with Windows 7 (or even Vista most likely), a Windows install will often work when used on different hardware, unlike in XP where you would most likely get a BSOD.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Yes, it's getting easier to do this.

    As a test I restored a Win10 image from a MBR system to an empty SSD in a UEFI system. The installed drivers were stripped from the restored Win10 and installing default IDE and AHCI drivers wasn't needed. A HAL change wasn't needed (64-bit). The SSD was converted to GPT and Win10 booted successfully.
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Well, not always a success. A UEFI Win10 system was converted to MBR and imaged. The image was restored to a MBR system and the installed drivers were stripped. The new Win10 booted to the circle of rotating dots but after 60 seconds I saw a BSOD, Inaccessible Boot Device. AHCI drivers were installed to the non booting system but they didn't help. Still the same BSOD.
     
  6. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    For cases like that, you can do an In-Place Upgrade to get it to work. You start an In-Place Upgrade on the original computer, and then the first time Windows is restarted during the upgrade, power off the computer and put the drive into the new computer. I've never done this myself, but it is how Microsoft say to do it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Success. I was trying too hard. I just did a standard restore without stripping out the drivers and Win10 on the target computer loaded normally. The first test (Message #5) was repeated without stripping out the drivers from the restored Windows. Win10 on the target computer loaded normally.

    So Win10 is easier to transfer to different hardware than previous Windows. The Win10 I was using is the latest Insider version. Build 14385.0

    Win10 automatically Activated. (I have other Win10 on this computer, Activated)
     
  8. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Wait, you need to reactivate it? I'm probably keeping the same SSD (Samsung 850 Pro), but my gaming laptop is technically 4 years old...

    Does anyone know the exact licensing terms for Windows 10 Education?
     
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