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  1. #1
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    Redeploy image for Windows 7 Pro between two laptops?

    I have two nearly identical laptops that I no longer use, and want to do something "crazy". Both are the same model of Toshiba laptops with 4 GB of RAM and similar i7 processors. The 2011 model has the ability to use an SSD, but the 2007 model can NOT.

    I gave the older one to a friend, and they have used it for a few years. My wife recently stopped using the newer Toshiba. I would like to try transferring my friend's system to the 2011 model, and let her benefit from using a 128 GB SSD. To set up ALL my friend's software from scratch takes about a week of work, and I'm hoping to avoid spending that much time ...

    Several years ago I created an Acronis image of the "clean Windows 7 install" for the new machine. Then I would restore her current Acronis image of the 2007 machine on the 2011 hardware (using the 128 GB SSD). I would also restore the Acronis image of the "clean Windows 7 install" of the 2011 machine on the 2007 hardware (using the 500 GB hard drive).

    I am hoping that the machines are similar enough that this would not cause any severe problem that would render the Windows installation inoperable. Toshiba has some very nice software that downloads and installs ALL the drivers for a particular machine. The end result is two laptops where the Windows product key on the Microsoft sticker for each laptop won't match the Windows as installed.

    I use Acronis True Image Home 2013. I haven't had time yet to restore her image file onto the new hardware yet.

    Just wanted to check if anyone knows of potential gotchas that might make this unfeasible. One thing I know little about is possible SID problems.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    You're going to have to use an imaging program that can cope with different hardware automatically.

    I haven't used Acronis True Image for years but it looks like the version you have won't restore to dissimilar hardware unless you add (and pay for) the True Image 2013 Plus Pack in order to add Universal Restore.

    Hope this helps...

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    If both OS's are Windows 7 Pro, you shouldn't have a licensing issue; it's the laptop that has the license, not the installation. But as Rick pointed out, the hardware may be dissimilar enough to cause difficulties. I don't use Acronis, so I have nothing for that aspect of it.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett
    ... it looks like the version you have won't restore to dissimilar hardware unless you add (and pay for) the True Image 2013 Plus Pack in order to add Universal Restore.
    I wasn't able to find out whether it's still possible to add/buy True Image 2013 Plus Pack but Acronis True Image 2016 appears to now include Universal Restore and is, IMHO, a very reasonable cost to upgrade (and very much cheaper than purchasing the equivalent version of something like Macrium Reflect).

    Hope this helps...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgrosz View Post
    I have two nearly identical laptops that I no longer use, and want to do something "crazy". Both are the same model of Toshiba laptops with 4 GB of RAM and similar i7 processors. The 2011 model has the ability to use an SSD, but the 2007 model can NOT.

    I gave the older one to a friend, and they have used it for a few years. My wife recently stopped using the newer Toshiba. I would like to try transferring my friend's system to the 2011 model, and let her benefit from using a 128 GB SSD. To set up ALL my friend's software from scratch takes about a week of work, and I'm hoping to avoid spending that much time ...

    Several years ago I created an Acronis image of the "clean Windows 7 install" for the new machine. Then I would restore her current Acronis image of the 2007 machine on the 2011 hardware (using the 128 GB SSD). I would also restore the Acronis image of the "clean Windows 7 install" of the 2011 machine on the 2007 hardware (using the 500 GB hard drive).

    I am hoping that the machines are similar enough that this would not cause any severe problem that would render the Windows installation inoperable. Toshiba has some very nice software that downloads and installs ALL the drivers for a particular machine. The end result is two laptops where the Windows product key on the Microsoft sticker for each laptop won't match the Windows as installed.

    I use Acronis True Image Home 2013. I haven't had time yet to restore her image file onto the new hardware yet.

    Just wanted to check if anyone knows of potential gotchas that might make this unfeasible. One thing I know little about is possible SID problems.
    The success of a restore using a vanilla Acronis version will depend on how close the hardware is, between versions. A few years ago my mobo went the way of the dodo and I replaced it and used a new CPU as well, and an Acronis restored image booted at first, found new hardware after the initial boot and asked to reboot to a completely hardware problem free installation of Windows XP. Truth be said, the then available dissimilar hardware restore Acronis addon failed miserably in a different circumstance.

    So, I would probably try a restore with whatever Acronis version you have and see how that would fare. All you may need, if it doesn't work, is to buy the 2016 version, if you need to. It will allow you to download the regular version and a version to restore an image to different hardware. You better get the manual, as well, and prepare the restoration to your different hardware, downloading drivers etc.
    Rui
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I have used TeraByte's Image For Windows to restore to different hardware a number of times and have never had a failure. But I've never used Acronis, and am unfamiliar with it.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  7. #7
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    Hi AT the risk of being hollered out. Give this a look. If I'm out of line, then just delete and I'll get the message!
    As stated before I have never done this.
    http://www.backup-utility.com/univer...ware-1122.html
    Just give it a look. It it doesn't fit your situation, just disregard. I'm only trying to help.
    Last edited by holdum333; 2016-01-18 at 22:18.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holdum333
    Hi AT the risk of being hollered out. Give this a look. http://www.backup-utility.com/univer...ware-1122.html
    I've used AOMEI Backupper before and was impressed by it at the time. Early on, the only downside I found was that it was relatively unknown so reviews, articles, comments, etc. about it were few and far between. However, it worked really well for me for a period of time until about a year ago when I found that Windows 7 restores weren't working properly, resulting in regular BSODs rather than successful restores.

    I ended up changing to Macrium Reflect (which has a very similar GUI) based on the recommendations of many of the well-respected contributors here on this forum, and haven't looked back.

    Having said this, I note that there's a new version of AOMEI Backupper and that even the free version includes Dissimilar Hardware Restore. As a result, this may well be worth trying by the OP as an alternative to extending the capabilities of Acronis True Image 2013 by purchasing the True Image 2013 Plus Pack (if still available) or upgrading to Acronis True Image 2016.

    Hope this helps...

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Rick Corbett For This Useful Post:

    holdum333 (2016-01-18),rgrosz (2016-01-19)

  10. #9
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    AOMEI Backupper will also align your SSD whilst restoring dissimilar. What a great free product!

    As you are migrating to SSD I suggest you read the SSD "how to" here.

    cheers, Paul

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Paul T For This Useful Post:

    rgrosz (2016-01-19)

  12. #10
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    Thanks for all the great responses! Looks like AOMEI Backupper will be a nice fall-back alternative if Acronis can't handle the task.

    I hope to do some initial tests on the new laptop next week.
    Last edited by rgrosz; 2016-01-20 at 08:39. Reason: added "timeline"
    Rick Groszkiewicz
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  13. #11
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    Took a while longer than expected to actually do the first test. I restored the 01/26/2016 Acronis image from the old laptop onto the new laptop - it fails 3 seconds after Windows starts. After running the Windows Startup repair, it gives up after about five minutes. I researched possible solutions, but nothing seems to work.

    Next step is to use AOMEI Backupper to backup Windows 7 on the old laptop, then attempt the restore on the new laptop.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  14. #12
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    For some time I've used Windows 7's native Backup function to image HP PCs to a USB external hard disk and restore them (via the bootable Windows 7 Pro CD) to the same model (mostly) of HP PC. Works fine, and I just need to change the computer name of the target PC. No issues with licensing since we have a volume licence.

    There are no problems with the very similar HP models we use, and the backups even restore to old Dell Optiplexes, with an interesting automatic download of appropriate hardware drivers during the restore!
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  15. #13
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    I am doing a preliminary test with AOMEI Backupper. I learned how to create an image from my laptop, and will attempt a "universal restore" to a different laptop. I've been reading the online help while running the backup and restore, and I see a lot of broken English. Apparently this company originates from the Sichuan province of China:
    https://twitter.com/aomeitech
    http://www.aomeitech.com/help-us-translate.html
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  16. #14
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    I'm impressed - it actually worked properly on the first attempt. Tomorrow I'll go to my friend's house to create an image of her laptop with AOMEI Backupper.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  17. #15
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    Nice to know the blurb from the manufacturer is correct.

    cheers, Paul

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