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Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)
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I bought a Windows 10 PC, and really like it. I installed all apps etc, and got them all working, and this took about 10 hours to setup. Great.

Now I wrant to buy another PC just like this, so I have a spare one to keep at a different location. I don't want to have to spend the 10 hours of setup re-installing apps etc. Is there a way I can clone the drive of PC#1, and copy it to PC#2. I'd expect that some apps wouldn't work (ie copy protected ones) as they would recognize a different PC and not like it - that's fine, but I'd hope the majority of them would work.

Is this doable.... and I'm willing to take it to a shop to do it.


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Peter Gannon
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Peter, you might want to start looking here.

Acronis Universal Restore

Before I did anything, however, I would take an image of the target machine first so you can always get back to where you started.

I'm sure there are other solutions, but I have used Acronis products for many years and have been happy with the results. I've not used Acronis backup (I do use Acronis True Image Home), but from what I see on their web site, it appears that it would work relatively easily.


John

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Another but +1 for Acronis. Acronis True Image has saved my butt a couple of times.


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Wouldn't 'True Image' possibly become an issue if run on 2 different machines?
It's great for cloning one machine to itself, but on different machines I assume machine keys and hardware may become an issue.

I've heard nothing but good things about Acronis, but this particular application has some other parameters that need to be considered.

It may have a better chance of success if you have an authorization key that allows multiple installs, but I think but W10 is pretty picky about that.

I'd likely take it into the local (trusted) shop.
We have people in our IT/MSP/Support department that could solve this quickly and efficiently, but unfortunately I'm not one of them.
I just question the success rate of running 2 OS clones on 2 different machines at once these days without hassle.


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Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)
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For backups, I don't like the idea of a single propietary file that promises to hold the whole hard drive. I prefer a regular uncompressed drive of files and folders. So Acronis is not for me - no option for uncompressesd. I guess I got used to this on the Mac - SuperDuper does it like that. I wish they had that for Windows.

Anyway - a different question, but related: Does anyone know of backup software that works like that - backups to a drive maintaining the files and folder structure. Copy and Paste almost works - but inevitably stops for something silly like "cannot copy this file, so I'm stopping the whole thing"


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Peter Gannon
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Since the 1990s I have used Total Commander, a shareware program from Germany. It was modeled after the old Norton Commander from DOS days. It's basically a much more powerful version of having two Windows Explorer windows open side-by-side. You can select files or folders with right-click, and drag anything between drives with the mouse. I find it indispensable. It has the potential to cause confusion in the hands of someone not skilled in file management, so I don't refer just anyone to it.

It can synch directories. It can change file attributes.

It will stop when it hits an unreadable file, but you can recover and continue.

I back up folders to other drives, removable and off-site, so I've never used Acronis or any other backup utility; I prefer to control things myself with Total Commander.

For a one-time small fee, I have lifetime updates. It's even free to use with a nag screen.

Here's the link: http://www.ghisler.com/

Highly recommended, and I used to teach DOS and hard drive organization.


BIAB 2024 Win Audiophile. Software: Studio One 6.5 Pro, Swam horns, Acoustica-7, Notion 6; Win 11 Home. Hardware: Intel i9, 32 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Presonus Studio 192, Presonus Faderport 8, Royer 121, Adam Sub8 & Neumann 120 monitors
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I use Macrium Reflect very successfully.

There are a couple of potential issues with hardware cloning and restoration to a different machine.

If you clone the entire drive, your backup clone contains all the licenses from your source machine. The destination machine might not readily accept these (e.g. the Windows license key)

If the hardware configuration is different on the destination system, then this might cause issues that are difficult to diagnose. E.g. registry settings might point to hardware that is not available, or has changed functionality. There may be some unknown territory here.

Macrium Reflect does allow redeploying to new hardware. From the Help:
"From the rescue environment you can launch Macrium ReDeploy to adapt the recovered Windows system to its new environment whether that is a virtual machine or a different computer. With Macrium Reflect ReDeploy, you can restore an image to a replacement computer or even create virtual hard drives to virtualize the machine, a technique sometimes called Physical to Virtual or P2V.

Macrium ReDeploy is now included all editions of Macrium Reflect except for the Free Edition."

I understand that Reflect, like most backup products, creates a single "save set" which is a single file containing the contents of the backup. It can perform full image, incremental or differential backups.

I also use a product named "Synchronize It!" from Grig software which copies whatever I want from anywhere to anywhere, and includes the ability to create and save reusable Sessions and Entire projects.

They also have an excellent File Compare tool that can be launched directly from Synchronize It. Both of these products get a lot of use, but Synchronize it does not perform full image, incremental or differential backups.



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I can't offer the advice on which program to choose since there are so many ones available.

However, I can say that I used a cloning program on a new hard drive to replace a failing one, and the process took about 15 minutes. Every single program except one ran perfectly. I had to do a disk install and authorization and that one also ran perfectly. Didn't lose a single file. This was many years ago so I'm pretty sure it's even easier now.

BUT REMEMBER THIS: Cloning and imaging are generally used on the same machine in the event of a crashed HD. Pop in a new drive and reinstall on the same machine, as I did, or recall the image to restore a corrupted HD. All the hardware settings are the same. Cloning to a new computer isn't like that.


Then, there's this from a website:
Quote:
Unfortunately, what you describe isn't practical. And that's as true with cloning the drive as with imaging it.

When you install Windows onto a PC (or, for that matter, when it's installed at the factory), the operating system configures itself to that particular hardware. Put an exact copy onto a different computer and you're going to have nothing but trouble.


Not being a computer geek.... I would say that installing the programs manually, although it will take some time, might be the best option to insure success. You can always copy the databases without any issues.

If you clone, the hardware is different and that might present issues as the writer expressed. Worst case, you'd have to wipe the drive, reinstall the OS and go manually.


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I get the issue with a single file; however, I've used Acronis products (although True Image Home is not the same as the Universal Restore capability within the Backup products, which is what is required for what's being asked here).

That being said, I've used my True Image Home "single file" (actually, multiple files, as it lets you break them down into CD or DVD size files) successfully years after creating the image.

The link talks about it in the context of using Acronis Backup (rather that True Image). True Image may work, but you still have to account for Windows licensing as well as the computer SID (which should be unique from machine to machine, especially if you want to network them). So the Universal Restore accounts for that before restoring the backup file.

But it's best to do what you feel comfortable with.

Once done, however, you'll probably have to re-authorize software such as products from Native Instruments, IK-Multimedia, Presonus, etc, but that's not too difficult. Even with Cakewalk products, if you were not able to de-authorize before putting it on a different machine, you can always call them to reset your license count (I've done this several times over the years).


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One important clue here is that Peter said his new PC would be an exact hardware duplicate. An archived version of Windows therefore should install without prompting by Microsoft to require reauthorizing Windows.


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If you have the same motherboard it should work with 10, where as 7 you can clone it to another motherboard, will just need to reactivate some programs.
That was the main reason I stuck with 7, I think if your motherboard blows on 10/8 and you put a different one in it don't boot.
http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=368803#Post368803

But there maybe some software now to make it work on 10 ?

a quick look:
http://www.laplink.com/index.php

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc721940(v=ws.10).aspx

http://www.acronis.com/en-au/business/universal-restore/



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The OS product key is different between machines with the exact same hardware specs. And the key is part and parcel of the installation authorization process to prevent piracy.

Peter, let us know if you get an exact duplicate using software cloning of the machines. I'd like to know.


You can find my music at:
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Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.
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Thanks Pipeline, another nice tool on technet.

With that and stuff like process explorer, etc, they have been a great source of very helpful tools.

I did notice they use the word 'reset' though, which implies it would eliminate Peter's use (I think).

"Resets Windows Product Activation. Sysprep can reset Windows Product Activation up to three times."

One thing none of us have asked; what kind of license does Peter have to begin with?

I have one W7Pro license that explicitly states I can install it on three computers, but I suspect most users assume a one computer license (like OEM).
If PG can install his OS on more than one machine, he may be golden with many of the options offered previously.

I might also suggest PGMusic apply to become an MS Partner as a company. This can lead to some interesting licensing options for many MS products they may be using and paying for already.




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Peter, Acronis True Image 2016 and 2017 have System Restore included. According to System Restore specs it will do exactly what you need:

http://www.acronis.com/en-us/business/universal-restore/


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I know but your neighbors did

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Windows SyncToy 2.x is perfect for reg file and folder backups.

DE


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Short term memory is getting shorter.
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Yes, SyncToy is very handy.


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Originally Posted By: MarioD
Peter, Acronis True Image 2016 and 2017 have System Restore included. According to System Restore specs it will do exactly what you need:

http://www.acronis.com/en-us/business/universal-restore/


Thanks Mario, I just found that in my Acronis account !

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Thanks for all the tips. I plan to bring it in to a service place that do it.


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Originally Posted By: rharv
I might also suggest PGMusic apply to become an MS Partner as a company. This can lead to some interesting licensing options for many MS products they may be using and paying for already.


Bob, I don't know for sure but PG Music may already be a MS partner. PG Music was a Microsoft research partner for ++ Songsmith ++ . Microsoft now offers Songsmith for sale ++ HERE ++ while PG Music sells extra Songsmith styles ++ HERE ++ .

++ HERE ++ is a list of music related research Microsoft is presently working on.


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Yes it's an absolute pain to have to install everything again when you had it setup just how you want it with all the programs you use.
I have done too many re-installs to ever want to go through all that again, and just when you think you got everything there is always something you've missed just when you need it for a job.

I don't wanna do that !

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