Transfer your Windows 7 installation to a new PC

January 25, 2011

(Originally published on the Seven Forums)

Windows 7 System Preparation Tool is a powerful, native Windows tool. When for instance used in so called Audit Mode, it let’s you to freely configure Windows 7 to be then deployed to other computers as hardware independent image.

In this tutorial we use System Preparation Tool (sysprep) to prepare your Windows 7 installation to be moved to a new computer, keeping all your installed applications, program settings and user profiles. You can use this method for instance when you have bought a new PC and want to transfer your existing setup completely, without need to reinstall everything, or when you want to make major hardware changes like change the motherboard or GPU, which would usually cause Windows to stop booting normally.

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Relocate user folders during Windows 7 installation

November 16, 2010

(Originally published on the Seven Forums)

There are several methods to move user profiles to another disk or partition after you have installed Windows 7. The easiest way is to use Audit Mode and System Preparation Tool, both built-in Windows 7 features, to permanently move the location of the folder Users.

When Windows 7 is installed, 5 or 6 system folders are created depending on chosen bit-version:

  • PerfLogs (Performance Logs), where Windows stores performance and reliability logs
  • Program Files, where applications and software are installed. Windows x86 (32-bit) stores all applications here, Windows x64 (64-bit) only native 64-bit applications
  • Program Files (x86), only in Windows x64. All non-x64 applications are stored here
  • Windows, which contains core operating system files and drivers
  • ProgramData, where some applications store application and user specific settings and configuration files
  • Users. This is the “home” of all user folders. When a new user account is created and this new user logs in first time, Windows creates a set of user specific folders (Users\New_User\)

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