How can I start Windows 7 from a hard disk onto which Windows 7 was already installed?

Aung Thu Hein April 16, 2012
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When I tried to boot my computer from a hard disk onto which Windows 7 had already been installed, but using another computer, it says “DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER…”. What do I do? Is it concerned about changing settings in the Windows Boot Manager or the “BCDEDIT” thing?

  1. jhpot
    April 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Technically, moving a hard drive from one computer to another and expecting it to boot Windows is almost impossible, unless the two computers are exactly the same in terms of drivers. There are so many different factors that make up a Windows installation that it's extremely unlikely you could ever simply move a hard drive from one computer to another and get it to work.

    Legally, you can't just move a Windows license from one computer to another, at least when that license came from an OEM. So if that hard drive was part of a computer that came with Windows 7, you can't simply move it from one computer and expect it to work: it's against the terms of your agreement with Microsoft. It seems silly, but it's true.

    In fact, your installation of Windows can recognize whether it is plugged in to your computer or not, based on the CPU. So, even if you solve the problem of the "DISK BOOT FAILURE", you'll probably end up with a system that needs to be re-registered; Windows could even end up locking you out of the system in 30 days. In my experience that usually means re-installing Windows later on.

    tl;dr You should really just install Windows 7 from your installation disk, if you have one. The old installation is, for practical purposes, only going to work with its old computer.

  2. ha14
    April 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    First see in BIOS if your first boot is on the hard drive containing windows 7
    boot on windows 7 cd abd choose Startup repair.
    you can also use a restore point to revert to a state where everything was fine

    for command prompt repair of bootsect