The problem with that is you want to keep the programs and Microsoft has been making this progressively more difficult with every iteration of Windows since Win95. Typically you want to reinstall the programs with a fresh install of Windows. Trying to install an image on anything but exactly identical hardware starts introducing more and more room for random problems like you're experiencing. The general rule of thumb is you can back up data all you want (and should have a regular backup of important stuff anyway), but programs need to be reinstalled. You're also dealing with an OEM copy of Windows which introduces even more fun if you start altering the hardware configuration.
Also, since you're copying data from a HDD that seems to have been well on its way out, all of that data is now suspect. There's no real easy way to tell how long the drive has been on the way out and if it corrupted any data as a result of its slow descent into failure. This is another reason why you always have a secondary backup.
Someone might be able to give you some suggestions on programs that can find the license keys for programs, but that too is something you should have backed up somewhere. I have a printed piece of paper I keep with my original restore media that has copies of all the license keys for the software in that little CD binder. But as long as you keep trying to move programs over without reinstalling them, you're asking for trouble. If you can't find the license keys for some of the software, you'll probably just have to learn the hard way the need for backing up important information. That's often what it takes to sufficiently motivate most people, is experiencing some kind of massive data loss or having to buy software a second time since they can't find the license key info.
Start with a fresh install of Windows, then reinstall all the apps you have the proper licensing info for. You can drag the data files over, but don't even bother with the programs on the backup drive. That will just create headaches down the road and since it's completely unsupported, plus intentionally designed not to work, you're going to be on your own to try and figure it all out. IT pros don't even bother attempting that sort of thing, because they know it's like the old maps where at the edge they wrote "Here be dragons". Also, keep in mind those data files may well be corrupt since they were pulled from a bad drive. Count yourself among the lucky ones if you manage to salvage anything at all, because many in your situation do not.
Here's a challenge. I am a SWD, and for years have built computers, data recovery etc. I've hit a wall!
A DELL Inspiron 530 fails to boot (inc safe mode), no recovery options work, and I cannot boot into safe mode. There is 500G of data, better be carefull, so i take out the disc, and start pulling of data in order of importance.
1) I Mount the disk to my computer, copy data in order of importance - documents, email, random stuff, music
2) Do a sector by sector clone (I used EaseUS ToDo Backup Free). It seemed OK.
3) By the time this finished the original disk showed a format of RAW (pretty dead), but I had a copy. In other words, disk was on its way out.
4) I ran an analysis using Remo on my image, and it found the whole directory structure. So I cloned my clone, and attempted repair on one copy and low and behold, it looks OK. I stuck it back into my Dell computer, had to make it bootable, and it behaves the exact same as the original dead disk did.
5) I installed Vista Home Premium on a spanking new 1Terrabyte WD Green disk. Installed 127 updates, had a shower, installed a SP, then another 82 updates, and this went on for another couple iterations.
6) Computer done, I copied all the data back, recreated the user accounts. But then noticed this triple boot problem. Everytime I boot the PC, the fan whirls wildly, turns off, turns on, turn off, turns on - one beep and then everything is fine. This I tracked down to be the graphics card. As soon as I removed this, the machine behaved as it should.
7) But another solution would be preferrable, one that keeps the programs that are installed on this machine, or at least retrieve the license keys that were used. Of course he does not have all the original discs but even less licensekeys.
So my challenge begins.
I make the disc I want to repair a boot disk, and make my new install a 2nd boot. It fails on Safe Mode, comes back up with a Repair, but "Windows is unable to repair this PC".
I go to the command prompt, CHKDSK /F - couple of errors, which were fixed.
I would do an inplace install (which keeps settings and files), but I would need to be able to boot up first.
I run the SFC it fails, due to a pending update. Now I take ownership of the pending.xml file from c:\windows\winsxs (right click on the file, Advanced -> Owership -> Take Ownership). Then add new user (just type Everyone, Full Permission). Refresh the directory, and you can blow away the file. (which is not a great idea, but I had not no choice)
Now when I run SFC /SCANNOW it fails with "Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service". If I rerun the command and select the brand new windows installation instead (d:\windows) instead it runs fine. So this error message is somewhat misleading, there is no problem starting the service
I now reboot into the new installation, and SFC runs fine. Then I re-run SFC, and specify OFFWINDIR and OFFBOOTDIR to be the faulty OS, it comes back with "Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service"
13) I boot to a CD, same problem with SFC. SFC on new install is fine, SFC on faulty OS, comes back with the same message.
I have booted into the working OS, and done a Virus scan on both disks. Nothing.
I have tested Windows on my new Installation, it works fine, so there are no HW issues.
I have copied the drivers from the working installation to the non working one.
This is a far as I got.
I continue my journey and will share what I find. If anybody has any clues why SFC fails, please share with me.