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October 23rd 2012 5:17 pm

Extracting Windows 7 from HP Touchsmart?

Hi. I have an HP Touchsmart with Windows 7 preinstalled. But I also have a Dell Dimension 5150 upstairs I want to install Windows 7 on. Is their any way? Thanks.
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ZHDTester's pick

You can clone the drive but you will run into a myriad of errors since the Touchsmart has different hardware. Further you can potentially run into OS licensing issues and not be able to use Windows since the SIDs will be different.
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ZHDTester's pick

Windows Vista & Windows 7 OEM versions (like those that come pre-installed on an HP or Dell) are activated through a combination of something added into the BIOS on the motherboards and a certificate, and a specific key per OEM & version of windows. Each one of these is different for each OEM, so you cannot use an HP OEM copy of win 7 on a Dell machine.

If however, both the HP machine and the Dell machine are both licensed in the BIOS for the same version of windows 7 OEM, it is possible to use any windows 7 disk (even a retail copy), but you would have to change the serial number and the certificate, and install the proper version. The certificate is OEM specific, and the serial number is OEM & Version specific.

Your best bet is to pick up a copy of windows 8 pro upgrade for $40 that should be available starting Oct 26th and install that on the Dell Dimension 5150. The $40 price is only good through microsoft's website and only for a limited time. This sounds like a sales pitch.... but I'm considering picking up a copy or 2 of windows 8 even though i'm in no hurry to upgrade from windows 7. If you really want to avoid windows 8 and stick with windows 7, i'd suggest buying a copy ASAP.
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