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Does Cloning Work ?

So, as you saw in the title I want to clone my HDD because I will buy a new PC and I don't wanna lose my data. And I wanna know if cloning actually work and if yes, if I clone my HDD to another and put it to my new PC will affect for my motherboard drivers or GPU drivers and all that stuff ?
And also will my saved game files be cloned properly so I could continue my story from where I left off ?

THANK YOU GUYS
21 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cloning work
  1. With a new motherboard or any big system change you should always reinstall Windows. You can connect your old HDD to your new pc and copy your data across.
  2. Yes, cloning works. You get an exact copy of your existing hard drive. It's great for doing hard drive upgrades. It's not so great for a new computer. Sometimes it works ok, but lots of times you get fussy driver conflicts that cause instability and they are not always easy to fix. Reinstalling windows is a better choice with a new computer.
  3. anotherdrew said:
    Yes, cloning works. You get an exact copy of your existing hard drive. It's great for doing hard drive upgrades. It's not so great for a new computer. Sometimes it works ok, but lots of times you get fussy driver conflicts that cause instability and they are not always easy to fix. Reinstalling windows is a better choice with a new computer.


    And my saves ? :((
  4. Best answer
    Given some restrictions, cloning can work.

    However....
    "I want to clone my HDD because I will buy a new PC and I don't wanna lose my data."

    That is not the recommended use case for a clone operation.

    With a "new PC", a clean install is strongly recommended.
    This also depends on the differences between old and new systems. AMD->Intel...you really, really need to do a full reinstall.

    Also however...more recent versions of Windows (Win 10) are better than previousl
    Still no guarantee, though.

    And you are trying to do too many things at once.
    New system, plus cloning to a new drive. You won't know what part of this exchange actually failed.

    Finally, you may run into licensing issues.
    What OS is this, and where did it come from? If it was a preinstalled Win 10, or just about any previous OS...it almost certainly can NOT be activated on your new hardware.

    But, Read and do this before you change any parts:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html
  5. USAFRet said:
    Given some restrictions, cloning can work.

    However....
    "I want to clone my HDD because I will buy a new PC and I don't wanna lose my data."

    That is not the recommended use case for a clone operation.

    With a "new PC", a clean install is strongly recommended.
    This also depends on the differences between old and new systems. AMD->Intel...you really, really need to do a full reinstall.

    Also however...more recent versions of Windows (Win 10) are better than previousl
    Still no guarantee, though.

    And you are trying to do too many things at once.
    New system, plus cloning to a new drive. You won't know what part of this exchange actually failed.

    Finally, you may run into licensing issues.
    What OS is this, and where did it come from? If it was a preinstalled Win 10, or just about any previous OS...it almost certainly can NOT be activated on your new hardware.

    But, Read and do this before you change any parts:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html


    Ok thank you very much
  6. USAFRet said:
    Given some restrictions, cloning can work.

    However....
    "I want to clone my HDD because I will buy a new PC and I don't wanna lose my data."

    That is not the recommended use case for a clone operation.

    With a "new PC", a clean install is strongly recommended.
    This also depends on the differences between old and new systems. AMD->Intel...you really, really need to do a full reinstall.

    Also however...more recent versions of Windows (Win 10) are better than previousl
    Still no guarantee, though.

    And you are trying to do too many things at once.
    New system, plus cloning to a new drive. You won't know what part of this exchange actually failed.

    Finally, you may run into licensing issues.
    What OS is this, and where did it come from? If it was a preinstalled Win 10, or just about any previous OS...it almost certainly can NOT be activated on your new hardware.

    But, Read and do this before you change any parts:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html


    So, if I login with my Microsoft account, I can activate windows as many times as I want ? And thus having two activated systems with my account logged in ?
  7. icutthraot_tc said:
    USAFRet said:
    Given some restrictions, cloning can work.

    However....
    "I want to clone my HDD because I will buy a new PC and I don't wanna lose my data."

    That is not the recommended use case for a clone operation.

    With a "new PC", a clean install is strongly recommended.
    This also depends on the differences between old and new systems. AMD->Intel...you really, really need to do a full reinstall.

    Also however...more recent versions of Windows (Win 10) are better than previousl
    Still no guarantee, though.

    And you are trying to do too many things at once.
    New system, plus cloning to a new drive. You won't know what part of this exchange actually failed.

    Finally, you may run into licensing issues.
    What OS is this, and where did it come from? If it was a preinstalled Win 10, or just about any previous OS...it almost certainly can NOT be activated on your new hardware.

    But, Read and do this before you change any parts:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html


    So, if I login with my Microsoft account, I can activate windows as many times as I want ? And thus having two activated systems with my account logged in ?


    1 license, 1 system.
    You can't have 2 systems on the same license.

    Authorizing your new system removes your old system.
  8. USAFRet said:
    icutthraot_tc said:
    USAFRet said:
    Given some restrictions, cloning can work.

    However....
    "I want to clone my HDD because I will buy a new PC and I don't wanna lose my data."

    That is not the recommended use case for a clone operation.

    With a "new PC", a clean install is strongly recommended.
    This also depends on the differences between old and new systems. AMD->Intel...you really, really need to do a full reinstall.

    Also however...more recent versions of Windows (Win 10) are better than previousl
    Still no guarantee, though.

    And you are trying to do too many things at once.
    New system, plus cloning to a new drive. You won't know what part of this exchange actually failed.

    Finally, you may run into licensing issues.
    What OS is this, and where did it come from? If it was a preinstalled Win 10, or just about any previous OS...it almost certainly can NOT be activated on your new hardware.

    But, Read and do this before you change any parts:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html


    So, if I login with my Microsoft account, I can activate windows as many times as I want ? And thus having two activated systems with my account logged in ?


    1 license, 1 system.
    You can't have 2 systems on the same license.

    Authorizing your new system removes your old system.


    So I have to log out from the older one ? But, windows won't be activated on the old system...
  9. Concerning nonMS 3rd party programs and utilities. After I realized I had to reformat HD and reinstall Windows, just before doing that, I copied my folders containing all my shortcuts onto external media. After doing a Windows reinstall, I was able to use the external media-held folders containing all my previous shortcuts as a giant roadmap -- "telling me" what and where to reinstall onto the replacement HD.
  10. icutthraot_tc said:
    USAFRet said:
    icutthraot_tc said:
    USAFRet said:
    Given some restrictions, cloning can work.

    However....
    "I want to clone my HDD because I will buy a new PC and I don't wanna lose my data."

    That is not the recommended use case for a clone operation.

    With a "new PC", a clean install is strongly recommended.
    This also depends on the differences between old and new systems. AMD->Intel...you really, really need to do a full reinstall.

    Also however...more recent versions of Windows (Win 10) are better than previousl
    Still no guarantee, though.

    And you are trying to do too many things at once.
    New system, plus cloning to a new drive. You won't know what part of this exchange actually failed.

    Finally, you may run into licensing issues.
    What OS is this, and where did it come from? If it was a preinstalled Win 10, or just about any previous OS...it almost certainly can NOT be activated on your new hardware.

    But, Read and do this before you change any parts:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html


    So, if I login with my Microsoft account, I can activate windows as many times as I want ? And thus having two activated systems with my account logged in ?


    1 license, 1 system.
    You can't have 2 systems on the same license.

    Authorizing your new system removes your old system.


    So I have to log out from the older one ? But, windows won't be activated on the old system...


    In the Activation Troubleshooter, it is much more than just "logging out".
    It completely decouples your old PC from that license.

    You cannot have the same license for 2 different systems.
    Along the way, you purchased one license. For one PC.
    Creation of a new PC does not mean you get to use that same license on both the old and the new.

    If you wish to use both systems, you'll need to purchase a whole new Windows 10 for your new PC.
  11. USAFRet said:
    icutthraot_tc said:
    USAFRet said:
    icutthraot_tc said:
    USAFRet said:
    Given some restrictions, cloning can work.

    However....
    "I want to clone my HDD because I will buy a new PC and I don't wanna lose my data."

    That is not the recommended use case for a clone operation.

    With a "new PC", a clean install is strongly recommended.
    This also depends on the differences between old and new systems. AMD->Intel...you really, really need to do a full reinstall.

    Also however...more recent versions of Windows (Win 10) are better than previousl
    Still no guarantee, though.

    And you are trying to do too many things at once.
    New system, plus cloning to a new drive. You won't know what part of this exchange actually failed.

    Finally, you may run into licensing issues.
    What OS is this, and where did it come from? If it was a preinstalled Win 10, or just about any previous OS...it almost certainly can NOT be activated on your new hardware.

    But, Read and do this before you change any parts:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html


    So, if I login with my Microsoft account, I can activate windows as many times as I want ? And thus having two activated systems with my account logged in ?


    1 license, 1 system.
    You can't have 2 systems on the same license.

    Authorizing your new system removes your old system.


    So I have to log out from the older one ? But, windows won't be activated on the old system...


    In the Activation Troubleshooter, it is much more than just "logging out".
    It completely decouples your old PC from that license.

    You cannot have the same license for 2 different systems.
    Along the way, you purchased one license. For one PC.
    Creation of a new PC does not mean you get to use that same license on both the old and the new.

    If you wish to use both systems, you'll need to purchase a whole new Windows 10 for your new PC.


    Okay, thank you so much !
  12. RolandJS said:
    Concerning nonMS 3rd party programs and utilities. After I realized I had to reformat HD and reinstall Windows, just before doing that, I copied my folders containing all my shortcuts onto external media. After doing a Windows reinstall, I was able to use the external media-held folders containing all my previous shortcuts as a giant roadmap -- "telling me" what and where to reinstall onto the replacement HD.


    Yes, that's what I don't know about as well. If I make copies of the files I want etc., how can I know where to install (or copy) them... thanks
  13. icutthraot_tc said:
    RolandJS said:
    Concerning nonMS 3rd party programs and utilities. After I realized I had to reformat HD and reinstall Windows, just before doing that, I copied my folders containing all my shortcuts onto external media. After doing a Windows reinstall, I was able to use the external media-held folders containing all my previous shortcuts as a giant roadmap -- "telling me" what and where to reinstall onto the replacement HD.


    Yes, that's what I don't know about as well. If I make copies of the files I want etc., how can I know where to install (or copy) them... thanks


    You can have your "files" anywhere.
    Doc/xls/mp3/video/jpg/whatever....they can go anywhere.
  14. If you do a Property or Properties on any shortcut, you will see to what and to where the shortcut points to: which EXE and which directory that EXE resided in previously. I did not mean to leave this out in my earlier post.
  15. RolandJS said:
    If you do a Property or Properties on any shortcut, you will see to what and to where the shortcut points to: which EXE and which directory that EXE resided in previously. I did not mean to leave this out in my earlier post.


    So, they go wherever they have to go by their won ?
  16. Most installs will either default to c:\program files or program files (x86) or "ask" you where do you want the program to go. The biggest help those shortcuts were to me: they reminded me of what was installed earlier because I had numerous programs and utilities all over the "c-drive".
  17. Cloning works great. My preferred tool for cloning is Acronis. Acronis seems to be continuously making the effort to support newer hardware, laptops, nvme etc. What I find is that if you cloning a machine from one motherboard to another, it is less likely to run into BSOD, in you do NOT cross up Intel, AMD, and nVidia etc. If you have an source image from a Intel build, it is least likely to run into issue jumping it to newer/more modern intel platform, similarily for AMD source, move to an AMD platform. Trying to bring a installed running build from Intel to AMD, and vice versa, or even jumping from nVidia SLI to AMD crossfire, etc. is likely to run into issues, most likely the BSOD. And to reduce the migration problems, it helps if you uninstall all platform specific drivers, before you clone and migrate. You can always install a new driver set after the clone and migrate.
  18. RolandJS said:
    Most installs will either default to c:\program files or program files (x86) or "ask" you where do you want the program to go. The biggest help those shortcuts were to me: they reminded me of what was installed earlier because I had numerous programs and utilities all over the "c-drive".


    While that may be true, just copying files to the same location they were previously installed in is not enough.

    Programs make registry entries when installing.

    Those won't be made when just copying.

    Programs need to be reinstalled.

    Steam has a provision to move games.
  19. Corwin, you're right as rain! I was implying installing, not copying. I should have typed installing (not copying) programs and utilities.
  20. RolandJS said:
    Most installs will either default to c:\program files or program files (x86) or "ask" you where do you want the program to go. The biggest help those shortcuts were to me: they reminded me of what was installed earlier because I had numerous programs and utilities all over the "c-drive".


    Yes, OK thank you !
  21. Corwin65 said:
    RolandJS said:
    Most installs will either default to c:\program files or program files (x86) or "ask" you where do you want the program to go. The biggest help those shortcuts were to me: they reminded me of what was installed earlier because I had numerous programs and utilities all over the "c-drive".


    While that may be true, just copying files to the same location they were previously installed in is not enough.

    Programs make registry entries when installing.

    Those won't be made when just copying.

    Programs need to be reinstalled.

    Steam has a provision to move games.


    Correct, if I have a Steam game backup what do I do if I want to install my saves on the other computer ? And also (please answer) if format my PC - because passwords are saved into windows - will I be safe from Spectre and hackers that want to steal my stuff ? (and do nothing on it, just clean install!!)
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