Trying to restore my system image to another computer

I lost my Dell laptop to a fire a few weeks ago. I have a Windows 7 system image saved to an external hard drive and I happened to have an $1100 HP laptop laying around with an empty hard drive, but now I'm trying to restore the system image on the HP laptop, and I'm getting errors trying to perform the job. Someone please help me here. Thanks.


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What you're seeing is normal

You have two issues. One is that the drivers for your two systems are not the same so restoring one to the other won't work. The other may be that your Dell was loaded with proprietary software and had it's own Windows license that will not transfer to another PC. Even if you could successfully complete the image transfer, Windows won't let you boot and run the OS. There isn't anything you can do (legally) to fix this.

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What should I do then?

I see. But the system image backup is the only thing I have. I have a relatively new laptop with an empty disk that I personally bought for this type of situation. I really need my data back.

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Get data back

Boot the HP machine with what ever OS it has.
Plug in the external hdd and see if you can copy out Your Stuff.

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The HP machine has no OS

I acquired the machine with an empty hard drive. It has no operating system, and it's just laying around.

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Then you need to fix that.

For some you can run Linux if cost is an issue.

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order a copy from hp.

you can order a replacement copy of the os from hp at a reduce cost. or if you have a full retail copy, not one that came with another computer, you can use it.

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I never had an OS to start with...

When I acquired the machine, it was purchased without an operating system, and therefore there isn't an OEM media. The hard drive is clean, and unused.

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That's why you order it or

Use another OS like Linux. There are folk that feel there is entitlement to the OS and lose sight of the easy fixes or exits.

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did hp sell with oem?

unless you purchased it from hp without an oem, then you can still get a copy of the oem that should have came with the machine. What is the full model number?

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HP still sells OEM recovery s/w

If the laptop was a recent purchase you can try to buy the recovery s/w from HP. HP has the process build-in into the support website. Navigate there and see if you can actually d/l it provided you qualify -OR- flat buy the recovery disc/flash from them. If the s/i is in stock, you now have a legal OEM version. Otherwise, as others explained you can buy retail version of windows and then "swap over" data as required. HOWEVER, whatever data is on so-called proprietary s/w needs to be gotten too like MS word or excel, etc., for best results. Free versions that use similar BUT NOT exactly same s/w are available in such cases, such as:

If you install any Linux besides understanding its use, you can still access your data in most cases for retrieval. IMHO, getting the same windows versions from any legal source should be the way to go to lessen user hassles. You can aslo try totally legal recovery sources like:

Use the above or similar if HP doesn't have your OEM in stock.

FYI- You really can't use one OEM version and install on another PC, it just won't work.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Contact HP and see if you can buy the recovery media for that machine.

Look on the HP web site and see if you can download the recovery media.
Might be free.

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You said you had a system image

You should be able to extract the files from that image with the software that created it. Depending on that software, the process depends on several things. If the software came with or allowed you to create bootable recovery media, you do it that way. For instance, if you have a bootable CD, you don't even need a PC with an OS. You boot from the CD with the drive upon which you have the system image and see if you can extract the files to some other location on that drive...presuming it's a hard drive, of course. I'm using Acronis True Image which will do just that but there are other offerings out there that also work in a similar way. You didn't mention how that image was made. If, however, it was a Windows backup image, you will need a PC with that same Windows OS installed in order to get your files back. Here's where you get creative. Good luck.

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(NT) It indeed is with a Windows OS
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A friend with that OS might be able to help
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Pretty sure I used the following instructions when I did it

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