Move Windows onto Another PC using Backup?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader 'Larenal' writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I want to be able to backup my entire laptop's hard drive (including the Windows Registry) and in case I have to change my laptop, I'd like to be able to restore the image in the new computer. Is this possible with Acronis True Image? Thank you. "

My response:

This is a great question.

There is a workaround -- but unfortunately the scenario you've asked isn't possible. Here's why:

You want to transfer MS Windows onto another PC. This isn't allowed by Microsoft because they want you to obtain a separate license for every PC you own. I've talked about this in the past: Windows is capable of detecting hardware changes and would recognize any hardware changes immediately (such as a new PC) and would prompt you to reactivate your license.

Since your previous Windows License is married to your old PC, this would fail the reactivation. That said: if you don't activate Windows using a proper license, your PC would be susceptible to exploits, viruses, Trojans, etc. More info:

Forced to Reactivate Windows after Hardware Change

Activate Windows on more than one PC

Even if Microsoft did allow you to transfer Windows onto another machine, the transfer likely wouldn't work. The reasoning is that each installation of Windows is designed to work on that specific machine -- hence, all the drivers and intricacies of the Windows Registry would not port well, and probably cause the system to crash or behave erratically.

If you want to install Windows on another machine, the best bet is to install a fresh copy, then port your user data (documents, emails, bookmarks, etc) over onto the other machine using True Image.

Download Acronis True Image

Acronis True Image 2009 has been reviewed online our site. Note that there is a 15% off coupon until June 2nd:

Acronis True Image Review / Download

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