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Copy Old Windows Pro Laptop to New Windows Pro Laptop

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Beginner
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Thanks in advance for your advice.

I have a new Windows Pro laptop.  The new laptop has two (2) 256GB PCIe M2 SSDs.  The old laptop has Windows Pro a 2TB PCIe M2 SSD.  I have ATI2018 on the old laptop.

I want to accomplish three things with my new computer.

   I)  Replace the boot drive of the new computer with a new 2TB PCIe M2 drive.

   II)  Get the contents of the old laptop 2TB drive into the new laptop with its now new 2TB drive.

   III) Preserve the Windows license numbers of the old and new laptops so that I can sell the old laptop with its Windows Pro license intact.

From what I have read in the Forum and the ATI documentation, I think this will require two steps:

Step 1) Install the new 2TB drive in the new computer and move the contents from the 256GB boot drive into the new 2TB drive and make that drive bootable.

Step 2) Copy the contents of the old laptop’s 2TB drive into the new 2TB drive on the new laptop.

For Step 1:  On the new laptop, I would replace the 2nd 256GB SSD with the new 2TB SSD, then clone the boot 256GB SSD to the 2TB SSD using the Clone Disk Wizard in ATI2018, then replace the 256GB boot SSD with the 2TB SSD.  I would not replace the drive in slot 2 until I have booted from the 2TB SSD.  After successful boot from the 2TB SSD, I would then reinstall one of the 256GB SSDs into slot 2 and format that drive.  Does that sound like the correct process for Step 1 of this change? 

For Step 2:  On the old laptop I would create a complete Backup of the 2TB SSD on a USB drive.  Then I would connect the USB drive to the new laptop and use the process described in Article “59876: Acronis True Image 2018: How to Restore to Dissimilar Hardware”. Does that sound like the correct process for Step 2 of this change?  Will this ensure the Windows Pro license number on the new laptop is not changed and the Windows Pro license number on the old computer is preserved?

Am I missing any necessary steps or cautions?

Thanks again for your recommendations.   -Bob

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Forum Hero
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Windows Pro laptop.  The new laptop has two (2) 256GB PCIe M2 SSDs.  The old laptop has Windows Pro a 2TB PCIe M2 SSD.

Windows Pro - what version?  Are they both Windows 10, 7, 8, 8.1?  If they are Windows 7, let it go - Microsoft is dropping support for it in 9 months and will no longer provide updates or security for it.  Better to move on and upgrade (use the new OS that likely came with the system) and go from there.

  I)  Replace the boot drive of the new computer with a new 2TB PCIe M2 drive.

Should be do-able.  Windows 7 does not natively support booting from a PCIe NVME drive though so knowing the OS would be useful. Second, PCIe NVME drives are only bootable if they are GPT/UEFI.  Is your old system UEFI/GPT already, or running in legacy/MBR?

 Get the contents of the old laptop 2TB drive into the new laptop with its now new 2TB drive.

Acronis is a backup and restore application.  It does not just transfer applications or user profiles.  You can migrate data (files, folders, pictures, movies, music, etc.).  You can migrate an image from an old computer to a new computer, transferring everything, so long as Windows licensing is OK (should be if you have Pro on both machines and they are retail boxed licenses and not OEM licenses).  Again, if this is Windows 7, I wouldn't even bother with Windows 7 support ending soon.   Ultimately, you don't need Acronis to just copy data from one computer to the other, you could do this with copy/paste - if you want to migrate everything, it should be do-able, so long as Windows licensing is good and the new hardware doesn't have a limiting bios or something like that.

Preserve the Windows license numbers of the old and new laptops so that I can sell the old laptop with its Windows Pro license intact.

If you migrate an image from an old machine to the new one, it will move the license with it.  However, if these are retail full licenses (not OEM), you can update the keys again.  You will be fine so long as only one license key is registered on one machine at a time.  You cannot move OEM licenses to different hardware - are these full retail package licenses or OEM licenses that came preinstalled on these computers?

Beginner
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Thanks VERY much Bobbo for your quick and thorough reply.  If I can master this forum format, I will insert the info (Italics) that you asked about:

Windows Pro laptop.  The new laptop has two (2) 256GB PCIe M2 SSDs.  The old laptop has Windows Pro a 2TB PCIe M2 SSD.

Windows Pro - what version?  Are they both Windows 10, 7, 8, 8.1?  If they are Windows 7, let it go - Microsoft is dropping support for it in 9 months and will no longer provide updates or security for it.  Better to move on and upgrade (use the new OS that likely came with the system) and go from there.

They are both Windows 10 -- so far so good.

  I)  Replace the boot drive of the new computer with a new 2TB PCIe M2 drive.

Should be do-able.  Windows 7 does not natively support booting from a PCIe NVME drive though so knowing the OS would be useful. Second, PCIe NVME drives are only bootable if they are GPT/UEFI.  Is your old system UEFI/GPT already, or running in legacy/MBR?

Both system are UEFI/GPT.  So far so good...

 Get the contents of the old laptop 2TB drive into the new laptop with its now new 2TB drive.

Acronis is a backup and restore application.  It does not just transfer applications or user profiles.  You can migrate data (files, folders, pictures, movies, music, etc.).  You can migrate an image from an old computer to a new computer, transferring everything, so long as Windows licensing is OK (should be if you have Pro on both machines and they are retail boxed licenses and not OEM licenses).  Again, if this is Windows 7, I wouldn't even bother with Windows 7 support ending soon.   Ultimately, you don't need Acronis to just copy data from one computer to the other, you could do this with copy/paste - if you want to migrate everything, it should be do-able, so long as Windows licensing is good and the new hardware doesn't have a limiting bios or something like that.

Preserve the Windows license numbers of the old and new laptops so that I can sell the old laptop with its Windows Pro license intact.

If you migrate an image from an old machine to the new one, it will move the license with it.  However, if these are retail full licenses (not OEM), you can update the keys again.  You will be fine so long as only one license key is registered on one machine at a time.  You cannot move OEM licenses to different hardware - are these full retail package licenses or OEM licenses that came preinstalled on these computers?

Oops.  These are OEM licenses (has "...OEM" as the last characters of the Product ID).  Sounds like you are telling me I will have to re-install all of my applications on the new Windows 10 and then copy the data associated with those apps from the old laptop to the new laptop.  Ouch!  Does this mean there is no way to transfer the apps, the app settings and the data from the old to the new using ATI2018 without moving the license?  Does it also mean that OEM licenses (both on old and new systems) can never be changed?

If I migrated an image from old to new with ATI2018, what Windows license is left on the old laptop?  I have seen some very cheap Windows 10 Pro licenses on eBay.  Could I just purchase one of those and reload the old system with that new Windows license?

Thanks again for your help Bobbo!  

 

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Oops.  These are OEM licenses (has "...OEM" as the last characters of the Product ID).  Sounds like you are telling me I will have to re-install all of my applications on the new Windows 10 and then copy the data associated with those apps from the old laptop to the new laptop.  Ouch!  Does this mean there is no way to transfer the apps, the app settings and the data from the old to the new using ATI2018 without moving the license?  Does it also mean that OEM licenses (both on old and new systems) can never be changed?

If I migrated an image from old to new with ATI2018, what Windows license is left on the old laptop?  I have seen some very cheap Windows 10 Pro licenses on eBay.  Could I just purchase one of those and reload the old system with that new Windows license?

Thanks again for your help Bobbo!  

Happy to help.  I think you'll be OK since you're using Windows 10.  The nice thing with Windows 10, is that once that hardware is licensed once, it can always be licensed again (with the same type of OS).  So, regardless, you should be able to swap any Windows 10 image to either of these computers, so long as the image is using the same OS (Win 10 home = Win 10 home or Win 10 pro = Win 10 pro).  You just can't migrate between the two if the original OEM license was different than what you are putting on it now (Win 10 home ~ Win 10 pro).

Main thing - backup of both systems with a full disk backup and make sure they have a unique name that is easy to differentiate.  Worse case - anything bad happens, you can restore that image and try again.  

But, you should be absolutely fine in this case since they're both using the same Win 10 OS - makes things so much easier than the older Microsoft Operating Systems!

 

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Uh Oh Bobbo - I must have made a BooBoo! 

I got the cloning done.  Now I have a 2TB PCIe as Disk 1.  I installed a 1TB PCIe as a test for Disk 2.  All looks good.  BIOS and Windows Explorer see both PCIe drives (as C: and D:).  To be sure I was ready for the big move, I made an ATI 2018 Backup from the 2TB to the 1TB.  When I selected the D: drive (1TB PCIe) as the Backup target, ATI gave me this message "It is not recommended to back up a partition to itself".  I had never seen this when backing up to an external USB drive.  I assume the message meant that ATI would back up the D: drive also as part of the backup.  So in the Exclusions portion of the OPTIONS selection I added "D:\" as an exclusion.  I proceeded with the backup.  When I went to perform a Recovery as a test, I received some confusing options when I selected the partition to be recovered.  I must have selected the wrong one, because after the recovery, I ended up changing my BIOS, Boot options and changed the 2TB to a 1TB drive.  What a mess! 

I think I have now rebuilt my C: drive and BIOS options.  However, I am afraid to try to backup to an internal PCIe drive (1TB) again.  Can you tell me what is happening?  What does that message about "not backing up a partition to itself" mean?  How can I perform a backup to an internal PCIe drive? 

Thanks again for your help.   

Forum Hero
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Hmmm, maybe a couple of pics of what you saw, if possible?

My guess right now though...

You said you cloned the 1TB to the 2TB.  2TB was working OK then (booting fine and it was the primary boot option in the bios afterwards), correct? 

So what did you do with the 1TB drive at that point?  Does it still have the original OS on it, or did you format it?  I am thinking that the new 2TB drive and the old 1TB drive have the same disk signature after the clone so Acronis thinks it's the same drive if nothing was done

If this could be true, I would use Acronis to "add new disk" and wipe out the 1TB drive partition and re-add it as a new GPT disk, which should change the disk signature and make it "different" than the newly cloned 2TB drive.

Alternatively, you can use Windows to do this on the 1TB drive using an elevated "admin" command prompt and diskpart with the "clean" option.  Make sure to select the correct disk before doing this though!  ONce cleaned, you can just use windows disk management to intitalize the 1TB drive again and format it as GPT.  

Hopefully, once that's done, you will be able to use the 1TB as a backup source without being prompted like you are now.

Also, make sure to give each disk a unique name in Windows.  This will make it easier to figure out which is which in the rescue media as you'll see the volume names there too.  The give-a-way is that these are different sizes, but even so, it's easy to spot the volume label name in all of the Acronis menus/windows so making them unique really helps out (especially if you're doing this with similarly sized drives in the future).

Beginner
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Bobbo, sorry for the delay in replying.  I had created a very detailed explanation of every step I had taken before my system blew up.  However, when I started documenting the backup step for Source (after creating the backup name after selecting "ADD BACKUP") I noticed that on my ATI2018, a picture of a laptop is automatically in the SOURCE field.  Previously I had always left this default selection and next selected the DESTINATION field.  In the past I always had a laptop with a single drive.  However, the new laptop I am trying to build has 2 drives, C: and D: (you can guess where this is going). 

When I selected the destination as my second internal drive (D:), I received the "It is not recommended to back up a partition to itself" message.  I now realize that the picture of the laptop as SOURCE meant it was going to copy both drives to the destination (which was one of the drives being copied).  Once I corrected the source to copy only the C: drive (using DISKS AND PARTITIONS after selecting "Change Source"), everything worked fine!  What I was doing previously was copying both C: and D: to D:.  No wonder it made a mess of everything. 

Now that I have learned how to create a backup with a 2-drive laptop, I have been busy building my new system on C: and regularly creating backups to D:.  (I decided to skip the "recover to dissimilar hardware" approach because I had already made such a mess with a simple backup operation!).

Thanks for your patience and advice along the way.  I am sadder but wiser.... 

 

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Bob,

When you set up the backup initially in Windows, it sounds like you selected "Entire PC", which is the default.  Unfortunately, I wish it wasn't for exactly this reason.  

As you found, it is best to keep individual hard drives separate - 1) this makes it easier to deal with recovery, especially when you only need to fully restore a specific disk and 2) yeah, if all the disk involved are internal and already selected as the source, they really can't (or shouldn't) be the destination.

I absolutely agree with going the Disk and partition method so you can specifically pick just the disks intended for as the source!

Ultimately, you got it figured out though and that's the main thing!  Just bummed you had to go through the trouble of a blown up machine first.  

If/when you feel like imaging to different hardware, here are a couple of tips:

1) Backup of both systems first! Even a brand new machine should be fired up (especially if it's Windows 10 OEM so it can talk to Microsoft and activate the license for the hardware).  As long as you have a good backup, you can always restore back to that point in time

2) Whenever possible, don't restore to the original drive.  For instance, if restoring from an existing backup to a new system, it's better if you can remove the original hard drive in the new system to keep it in tact (even if you have a backup).  Of course, this may not always be possible if the drive is non-removable, or if $ is a factor, but if those aren't issues, working on a different hard drive allows for practice, without compromising the original.  Worse case, you just pop the original back in since it was never modified.

3) And always test the recovery media to make sure it can see the source and destination drives of a machine.  WinPE or WinRE rescue media built with Windows 10 is pretty awesome for compatibility, especially if you build with the MVP custom winpe builder and include the default "custom drivers" at build.  

4) Windows 10 makes recovering to dissimilar hardware a lot easier than previous Windows OS.  Most of the time, Universal Restore isn't even needed because the driver compatibility is so much better.  The only thing when swapping from an old Win 10 system to a new Win 10 system is to make sure the new one phoned home to Microsoft at least once to activate the hardware license and that the license type is the same if OEM (home and home or Pro and Pro... you can't migrate home to Pro or Pro to home if they're both OEM).

Beginner
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Thanks Bobbo!

Forum Hero
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You're welcome!