Posted 20th Dec 2022 (Posted 23 h, 38 m ago)
As lock down continues here my lifeline (laptop) has developed a charging problem (it charged last when turned on and the lid closed ) . Anyway, I have the hardware to clone the drive, and an old PC I could put the cloned OS drive into as a backup.

Microsoft had (has?) a hardware hash check to stop pirating of OS drives, but I think there maybe cloning soft that works around this now?

Anyone rec a suitable soft - free one ideally - that can do this easily?
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  1. Avatar
    Windows takes a fingerprint of your hardware every so often, if it finds it's changed too much, especially if it detects a new motherboard and processor, it may deactivate your copy (usually you can reactivate it with a MS webchat but sometimes you get someone who says no)
  2. Avatar
    think this is the one most people use for free
    macrium.com/ref…ree

    i cannot remember but it rings a bell for me!
  3. Avatar
    I did exactly this maybe 3y back. It did work, though no further software updates from MS iirc

    Used
    Acronis True Image
    software. iirc, it was an independent company then but has been bought by Western Digital. They bundle this software with all storage disk they sell.
  4. Avatar
    Not sure if the Free version of Macrium reflect supports use of a cloned drive with different hardware, such as the "old PC" you mention, or required a ReDeploy process.
    Acronis True Image did / does(?) natively support different hardware, but not used either solution for a while so functionality recollection is fuzzy.

    True Image is arguably the more comprehensive solution as it is full-blown commercial, but kinda weirdly Acronis actively permitted/promoted the bootdisk versions as freebie downloads direct from its servers, maybe because it nearing end of life, but obvsly still functions. Go figure.

    Random example TI 2021 boot disk is a 700MB ISO download at dl.acronis.com/s/A…iso and you'll need to mount / burn the ISO somehow. Acronis has suggestions for this including Rufus for USB but not convinced Rufus likes TI, YMMV
    kb.acronis.com/con…810
  5. Avatar
    Windows 7 onwards pretty much reconfigure themselves automatically if hardware is different. Occasionally, it doesn't work, and you'll need a HAL level cloner. TrueImage used to be my go-to, but haven't used for years.

    Windows activation might or might not work, depends on the change. Unless you've a retail licence, reuse is against the rules... but up to you.

    One issue I have run into is that most cloning software doesn't like mismatched sector disks (512->4k). Can use Windows' built-in commands to get round (cloning functionality is built-in!).

    Here (edited)
  6. Avatar
    I found Minitool Partition Wizard the best (Free).
  7. Avatar
    Clonezillla
  8. Avatar
    Author
    Surprised by this. Didn't think the big names would go anywhere near this. Was thinking some little company might be making the move to stand out..like the red fox of dvd copying.
  9. Avatar
    Author
    Thanks all. Looked into the acronis and holy hell, way too complicated. I just wanted to tick a box on the software and have it done with. Will check clonezilla too as have heard good things but not avoiding hardware hashcheck.
  10. Avatar
    Have you took the battery out and plugged the laptop in to run off mains to try that? HP one run like that.

    Also had a look for the hooky win 10 keys normally around a tenner but couldn't see any tonight.
  11. Avatar
    Download the Sergei Strelec iso and put it on a USB drive. Has all the apps you need to get the job done. Bosh.
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