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by JB Burke

Q. I have Windows 7 on my computer, with many applications installed and lots of customization done. A friend has built a new computer for me. Can I move my current hard drive to the new computer?

A. Unless the new computer is pretty much identical to your current system (unlikely), that probably won’t work. There will be a different chipset on the motherboard, a newer processor and other hardware differences that will prevent the original Windows 7 from booting on the new system. I recently spoke with a friend who tried just that approach, and he was unable to get anything to come up – even Safe Boot.

Unfortunately the Microsoft Windows Easy Transfer program only works when migrating from XP to Windows 7, not from Windows 7 to a new install of Windows 7. What you will need to do is to install Windows 7 on the new computer and manually reinstall everything you need from your current computer. I’d suggest that you keep the old one running while you do the cutover. You’ll surely find some things you forgot as you begin to use the new system.

Some of the things you need to move are email, address book, bookmarks (favorites), documents and other files and photos, along with all your applications. Much can be moved via an external USB drive. By having the old system still available you’ll be able to refer to it for application setup information, among other things. Perhaps the friend who built the new computer can assist you.

Published: Courier 6/6/10 - Page 5C