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Old 12-08-2012, 08:42 PM   #1
fuzzybabybunny
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Default Install OS drive directly from my Sony to new Asus, without formatting.

I'm in the middle of China and my Sony's power supply is going out. I bought an ASUS UX32VD and I want to put the HDD from my Sony directly into my new Asus and be up and running without having to reinstall all my work software, which is impossible to get at this point since I'm traveling.

I do not have a DVD burner.
I do not have a Windows 7 disk.
I do not have a startup DVD.
I want to take my Sony laptop and plug it into my new Asus, and have it be up and running just like before. Need to replace all the Sony drivers with Asus ones on the HDD transplant.

I need to make this work only with 2 HDDs (that can be attached to external enclosures) and a memory card reader.

Any idea how to do this?
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:13 AM   #2
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I'm not sure this is possible. The moment you move it, it will fail activation since the new system will not have the proper OEM license file of the old system.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:57 AM   #3
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I'm not sure this is possible. The moment you move it, it will fail activation since the new system will not have the proper OEM license file of the old system.
How would it know? It makes sense, I just havent seen that happen.


BTW, if its vista or higher, its likely swapping them out will work OK for awhile. Back in the day I swapped an install from amd to Intel, was fine after it did its driver changes.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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I've seen it happen and it usually get "noticed" during updates. For example I had a Gateway laptop that needed a motherboard so I replaced it just this past week. Turns out the motherboard used (same EXACT motherboard) is used in a bunch of Acer laptops, since Acer now owns Gateway I guess. Anyways, I had 7 installed on the HD in that Gateway and when I bought the Acer motherboard, which WAS listed as a Gateway but showed the Acer logo at POST, it caught it when doing the SP1 install. Had to use a *program* to load a new SLIC certificate and it was fine.

So it may not catch it at first, even though I have seen it give you a notice the first time you boot up Windows after the swap, but if it doesn't catch it then it'll definitely catch it when doing updates and WGA checks.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:09 AM   #5
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How would it know? It makes sense, I just havent seen that happen.
It would be an OEM preactivated Windows installation, so it's activated against a key baked into the BIOS. Once moved to the Asus that key will be different, making it impossible to stay activated.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:58 AM   #6
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So what am I to do? The next Asus will come with a new Windows 7 product key on the sticker on the bottom, right?

Basically, I *can't* reinstall all the software I need and to do a fresh install. I simply don't have them on hand and the time. I have to get my current install on my Sony SDD working in the new Asus.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
So what am I to do? The next Asus will come with a new Windows 7 product key on the sticker on the bottom, right?

Basically, I *can't* reinstall all the software I need and to do a fresh install. I simply don't have them on hand and the time. I have to get my current install on my Sony SDD working in the new Asus.
Can't think of anything LEGALLY you could do.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
So what am I to do? The next Asus will come with a new Windows 7 product key on the sticker on the bottom, right?

Basically, I *can't* reinstall all the software I need and to do a fresh install. I simply don't have them on hand and the time. I have to get my current install on my Sony SDD working in the new Asus.
Once it fails activation you can try using the key on the bottom of the Asus. There's no guarantee it will work, but if you get lucky it might take it or at least give you the chance to call MS and get it activated.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:22 PM   #9
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Once it fails activation you can try using the key on the bottom of the Asus. There's no guarantee it will work, but if you get lucky it might take it or at least give you the chance to call MS and get it activated.
Yeah this is true. There has been a few times that I've installed XP, Vista, or 7 with the wrong key/CD combo and even though it failed the key check I called and entered the key through the phone system and SOMETIMES it'd work... and even a few times I was told it did not work and held for a real person who just asked for my key and gave me a new number. Worth a shot.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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Yeah this is true. There has been a few times that I've installed XP, Vista, or 7 with the wrong key/CD combo and even though it failed the key check I called and entered the key through the phone system and SOMETIMES it'd work... and even a few times I was told it did not work and held for a real person who just asked for my key and gave me a new number. Worth a shot.
Problems will arise, though, if you try to activate a version of Windows sold for one region of the world while in a different region (i.e. a US version of Windows in Europe, or a European version in China, etc).
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:34 PM   #11
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Bottom line this isn't going to work. First there's the licensing issues. The copy of Windows you got with the Sony is licensed specifically for that unit, and there are no transfer rights. Yes, we all know you're not trying to do anything shady, but nonetheless it is technically software piracy to do what you propose.

There's also a technical issue you'd have to overcome, and that is that all the drivers already installed on the Sony HDD would cause Windows to fall over and BOSD at boot. Yes, there are ways to do that, but they tend to require an Internet connection, and so you'll get caught in a sort of catch-22 situation.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:19 PM   #12
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There's also a technical issue you'd have to overcome, and that is that all the drivers already installed on the Sony HDD would cause Windows to fall over and BOSD at boot. Yes, there are ways to do that, but they tend to require an Internet connection, and so you'll get caught in a sort of catch-22 situation.
To be honest, I doubt he'll BSOD. Windows hasn't been that picky since XP, at least as long as you don't switch from Intel to AMD platforms.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:22 PM   #13
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Once it fails activation you can try using the key on the bottom of the Asus. There's no guarantee it will work, but if you get lucky it might take it or at least give you the chance to call MS and get it activated.
So both computers are from the US.

There's no driver issue, only an activation issue, right? So if I put in the old HDD it will still boot up and work perfectly until it needs activation?

Once it requires activation can't I just put in the CD key at the bottom of the Asus?

It seems really odd to me to tie an install of Windows to a specific laptop model.

Bottom line is that I HAVE to get this to work or else I'm sunk. I'll have to source a LOT of other software immediately in a foreign country if I can't get this to work.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
I'm in the middle of China and my Sony's power supply is going out. I bought an ASUS UX32VD and I want to put the HDD from my Sony directly into my new Asus and be up and running without having to reinstall all my work software, which is impossible to get at this point since I'm traveling.

I do not have a DVD burner.
I do not have a Windows 7 disk.
I do not have a startup DVD.
I want to take my Sony laptop and plug it into my new Asus, and have it be up and running just like before. Need to replace all the Sony drivers with Asus ones on the HDD transplant.

I need to make this work only with 2 HDDs (that can be attached to external enclosures) and a memory card reader.

Any idea how to do this?
Won't it be easier just buy a sony power supply or modify a different power supply with the same power rating?
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:59 PM   #15
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So both computers are from the US.

There's no driver issue, only an activation issue, right? So if I put in the old HDD it will still boot up and work perfectly until it needs activation?
Probably. We don't know for sure and there's always the risk that it will have driver issues.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:22 AM   #16
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Probably. We don't know for sure and there's always the risk that it will have driver issues.


Yeah maybe I just have bad luck but I usually get blue screens. If you are gonna try it then download all the new drivers beforehand and uninstall major components in device manager. You don't want to go wild and uninstall so much that windows crashes before you can shutdown.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:25 AM   #17
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FYI the key on the bottom of the machine they give you doesn't activate against the BIOS/SLIC, they have a separate OEM key for that.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:48 AM   #18
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While not immediately helpful, it would be good to reflect on your software choices, and try to prevent something like this from happening in the future.

I'd swap drives, and hope for the best. You may be able to find some kind of crack that bypasses activation, but I don't know anything about that. You could also end up pwned downloading shady executables.

I'm also curious about this...

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Won't it be easier just buy a sony power supply or modify a different power supply with the same power rating?
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:02 AM   #19
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The only way I think you could try to accomplish this would require backup software like Acronis 2013+Migrate or Macrium which has a redeploy function to allow restoration of backups to dissimilar hardware. You'd also also need a spare hard drive in an external enclosure to back up to.

You'd install the backup software on the Sony, back up the hard drive, then redeploy the backup to the ASUS. If it works, the ASUS will tell you on first boot that Windows is not genuine and will ask you for a product key. You'll then need to provide the OEM product key from the bottom of the ASUS laptop. If the ASUS was purchased there, it is possible that Windows will activate normally as long as you are within the region of purchase.

Of course, YMMV on whether it works. You have lots of potential failure points (i.e. software activation is the big one, both Windows and installed software like Microsoft Office, Adobe, etc; there is also the possibility that the backup redeployment might also fail). However, this is the only way I can see it being successful without a lot of problems and remaining within the terms of the software licenses.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
I'm in the middle of China and my Sony's power supply is going out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulcheung View Post
Won't it be easier just buy a sony power supply or modify a different power supply with the same power rating?
This. Why not replace it with something compatible?
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:06 PM   #21
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This. Why not replace it with something compatible?
I don't even know if that's what's wrong with it. I'm totally guessing as to the problem.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:48 PM   #22
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I don't even know if that's what's wrong with it. I'm totally guessing as to the problem.
What kind of symptoms are you having that make you suspect the power supply is failing?
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:52 AM   #23
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Just wanted to update everyone:

I bought Acronis 2013 with Plus Pack to get the Migrate feature, which allows you to install the system image on dissimilar software.

I made an image of the disk and put it on an external.

I prepared all the drivers and put them on the external somewhere.

I used a USB flash drive to create an Acronis Start Up disk.

I took out my SSD and installed it into my Asus. I plugged in the Start Up Disk and the external with the drivers and image.

Booted, let Acronis do its thing, and voila, it worked.

The old Windows key didn't work anymore so I put in the key on the Asus and it activated just fine (Both my Asus and Sony) were bought in the US, but the Asus was activated in China.

Couple points:

1. An external CD/DVD drive is not necessary to boot from. I bought one thinking that I needed it so I wasted $30. A USB stick is sufficient to boot from. Basically, it makes a lot of sense to always have on hand a USB stick with Acronis and all your system drivers for any kind of quick recovery.

2. With that said, Acronis would not read the driver files on the USB stick that it was booting from, so make sure that the driver files are residing on something else. The disk wasn't even an option when Acronis asked me where the driver files were. I had to put them on the disk with the system image in order for Acronis to find them.

3. Windows gives you 7 days to activate.

4. Going from a Sony to an Asus was a bit weird because of all the Sony-only apps still installed. Lots of errors on start up.

5. My Computer properties still says my computer is a Sony
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:54 AM   #24
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What kind of symptoms are you having that make you suspect the power supply is failing?
Bah, I got confused. I didn't realize that the PSU on a laptop is basically the power brick which can easily be replaced.

Anyway, when I turn on the power nothing will show up on the screen and the power button light will turn off, then back on, then off, then back on, etc. Does this no matter how many RAM sticks are installed and if the HDD is out or not. And it does this randomly. Sometimes it boots up and works like normal. Like now. It works now for some stupid reason.
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