Cloning HDD in PC to SSD for Laptop


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I have Win 10 Pro on my ageing PC, and want to transfer my OS and installed programs from the PC's 1000Gb HDD boot drive onto a smaller SSD (128) to replace the original 2.5 HDD (80Gb) that is in my Dell laptop. (I will then use the 1000gb HDD as an external storage drive for the laptop.)

I did try doing this a while ago, but the cloned SSD did not boot up correctly in the laptop, unable to use the touchpad and keys. I gave up when I was swamped with work, but now need to revisit the transfer.

A clean install from the OED CD is not possible - I need to transfer a particular suite of programs which I cannot re-install, so cloning is the only acceptable solution.

Any problems I should be aware of, or recommendations for (free) cloning software. Better still, idiot-proof step by step instructions! All advice gratefully received.
 
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You can't (or at least shouldn't) clone a system drive from one PC for use on a different PC or laptop. For one thing, all the drivers in Windows will be for your PC not your laptop. Whilst you could install all the laptop drivers the potential for conflict would be large. In addition, Windows configures itself at install time based on the hardware platform on which it finds itself. Thus your PC system is configured for the PC and the laptop platform will be quite different.

I note your inability to reinstall a suite of programs (why is that I wonder?) but what you propose is likely to cause you way more issues than a simple reinstall. There is a distinct possibility that the PC Windows system won't even boot on the laptop.....
 
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You can't (or at least shouldn't) clone a system drive from one PC for use on a different PC or laptop. For one thing, all the drivers in Windows will be for your PC not your laptop. Whilst you could install all the laptop drivers the potential for conflict would be large. In addition, Windows configures itself at install time based on the hardware platform on which it finds itself. Thus your PC system is configured for the PC and the laptop platform will be quite different.

I note your inability to reinstall a suite of programs (why is that I wonder?) but what you propose is likely to cause you way more issues than a simple reinstall. There is a distinct possibility that the PC Windows system won't even boot on the laptop.....
Thank you for that reply. The laptop already has a registered copy of Win 10 pro (properly updated from the earlier Win offering when support for that version was discontinued). I understand your "why is that" remark, but to make this clear, the difficulty in re-installing the program is two-fold, first my version ($480 in 2014) is out of date and I have no wish to upgrade it in forking out another four hundred bucks, and secondly the original program disk, invoice and registration code were misappropriated by my ex at the time of our divorce. My other software items are available but would take many hours to download and re-install. Thus my interest in cloning both the OS and installed programs without the improbable assistance of my ex.. The PC, with its own separate registered Win 10 Pro will be subjected to a clean re-install and donated to a local charity.

My question revolved around the difficulty of the cloned disk being recognised by the laptop. So perhaps my revised question should sooner be how can I boot up the laptop (possibly using a recovery disk from my PC) and change the drivers on the cloned disk so that it will enable it to boot and run normally. I have available a USB external drive caddy if that would work.
 
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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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There are likely to be any number of stumbling blocks to you being able to complete this task successfully.
#1 Physical architecture, switching from Intel to AMD or vice versa is difficult, I recall having to edit a disk one time to remove a particular AMD system file in order to prevent an instant blue screen on boot.
#2 Along the same lines.... IF the old PC is a legacy device without UEFI BIOS, and the associated settings (secure boot, GPT Partition schema, etc) you will likely need to really dumb down the new laptop to make it behave like an older Legacy Machine.

You can't boot a UEFI, Secure Boot, GPT, installation on an old Legacy BIOS machine that is looking for an MBR (master boot record) when you've got an EFI partition hosting the Windows Boot Manager.

Likewise you can't just take an old MBR Legacy installation and pop it into a new machine, without adjusting the pertinent BIOS settings to deal with it. Not overly complicated but necessary.

I wish you good luck.
Seriously.... some of these actually work out much better than expected while others can be an unsolvable can of worms.

Not sure if this might be something worth considering but you might want to look into something like Disk2Vhd and virtualizing the old system to run in a Virtual Machine environment.
I used that back in the day on a couple old XP machines to help the owners preserve some old and unique software conditions on those systems.
Might be worth a look see.
 

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