Changing from Linux to Windows


Jul 8, 2015
My aunt bought a Toshiba laptop very cheap (probably from a local online classified ad or Facebook Deals w/Friends or something similar). She bought it to give to one of my uncles, who is disabled and mostly homebound. He only wants it to play some simple games offline, and to browse the Web a little. My problem is that the laptop has Linux Mint for an operating system. I played with it some and can't figure a lot of the features out. I would much rather have a Windows OS on it, as I'm more familiar with it and can show him how to use it better than a Linux OS. The laptop has factory stickers on it saying it is set up for Windows XP and is Vista compatible. I know nothing about Linux. Is it possible to image the HDD of my XP Professional laptop and transfer the image to the Linux computer? If so, please tell me how to accomplish this. I would like to put some type of Windows OS on it because if something ever goes wrong with it he would most likely ask me to work on it for him. He doesn't have the money to go buy a new install disk, and neither do I, so I need a solution that is easy and free. I've seen this done from one Windows computer to several others, but never from a Windows computer to a Linux. Please help! I need this done as soon as possible. Thanks.


Aug 21, 2006
Does it have the sticker with Windows XP license code under the laptop? You would need that to activate the copy (also the laptop propably came with a Windows XP home edition, and that license key wouldn't work with the professional version you have, license key sticker should say the version). If it has the pro license cloning the os from your computer should work atleast technically. Otherwise you would need a Windows XP home oem install media. For cloning it shouldn't matter what operating system there is previously installed on the harddrive, all data will be overwritten anyway.

Although for system security and stability considerations I would recommend you to atleast try and see if you two can work it out with the linux mint. It will get security fixes and has less chance to get viruses and malware (most are made for windows). This might limit the offline gaming though since there aren't that many games that work directly on linux (nowadays more and more games start coming with a linux support aswell, but I assume that laptop is too old for new games taking it came with windows xp installed). Should be fine with browser games etc though. And if want to learn to use some linux you can always use wine to emulate windows to enable running some older games on it.

There are pros and cons for both options and ultimately you have to decide which works best for for you (and your uncle).
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