Replaced HD in iMac, didn't back up Windows/Bootcamp. What do I do now?
May 14, 2015 9:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm an idiot. I had Applecare come out and fix a display issue, and then I asked the guy to diagnose my HD. He spoke little English, and my Korean is very, very poor (I'm in Seoul). He said it's old, so just replace it. I said okay, with little thought.

He took the old HD and installed a new one. Now I have OS X of course, but don't have a partition, or Bootcamp, or my Windows 7 OS. Do I have to buy Windows again? Ack, I'm a mess...leaving on vacation on Monday...need to get this figured out ASAP.

Sorry I'm such a computer illiterate, but I am. Please hope me all you people who can function in the modern world!
posted by Joseph Gurl to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have my Windows product ID key, if that helps.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:21 PM on May 14, 2015

You can download the appropriate DVD ISO of Windows 7 to reinstall with Boot Camp via Microsoft Software Recovery. (It sounds like you don't have a backup of the old partition, but if you did, let us know.)
posted by eschatfische at 10:04 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Put the old HD in an enclosure.

Install bootcamp and windows on your new drive.
Connect the old drive.
Copy your files.

Forget about rescuing your Windows license. It will recognize its on a new HD and will insist in entering the license code.
posted by Mac-Expert at 10:10 PM on May 14, 2015

If you have your ID key, you should be in good shape. You'll need to download Win7 install disk to run boot camp again, which is easy, but not as easy as it used to be.

I see someone beat me to MS Software Recovery, but the alternative is to download from this bittorrent mirror of the Digital River downloads taken down by MS within the last year. I used an image from this site earlier this week, so I'm confident it's legit.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:11 PM on May 14, 2015

Another possibility is buy an external HD cloner and "clone" your HD over to your new HD. They are well under $100 but I don't recall see them for Macs, as they are generally for Windows. I used one to clone my stuff to an SSD last year.
posted by kschang at 2:34 PM on May 15, 2015

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