Swapping Bootcamp drive between computers

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by msintros, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. msintros macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2014
    So I'm running a Mac Pro 2,1 right now with Windows 7 running in Bootcamp from its own drive (the entire drive is partitioned for Windows). I'm planning on upgrading to a 5,1 (or 4,1 with 5,1 firmware upgrade). At the moment I have a 5770 graphics card in my machine and the "new" one will probably have either a GTX680 or 780 card. My question is, is there any way to just take the Windows drive out of my existing computer and pop it into one of the bays on the new computer so I don't have to completely re-install everything? I know I'll probably have to install additional drivers so that Windows can use the new hardware, but I don't know how to do this or if it can even be done. If someone could give me a brief walkthrough so I know what to expect, I'd really appreciate it. Also, if there is anything I should know about the performance of these graphics cards in Bootcamp, that'd also be nice.
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604


    Sep 21, 2010
    Windows is really bad about this sort of thing, especially with generational motherboard and chipset changes like you will be doing. At least you are going from Intel to Intel, so I suppose it's worth a 5 minute try to plop it into the new computer, but I strongly suspect that it won't boot to the desktop.

    During initial installation, Windows installs certain low level drivers based on your motherboard's hardware at the time. Without the right drivers in place, you'll either blue screen during bootup or simply lock up with a black screen and no message at all.

    Different video cards is not a problem, Windows will default to a generic driver that will work will all typical video cards.

    Often, but not in call cases, OS X drives can be moved from computer to computer. I don't know how it does this, but I suspect that there are so few valid Mac hardware configurations that OS X simply includes drivers for all of them.

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