Solved! Cloning after Laptop death :) For free?

Thomas_247

Prominent
Mar 11, 2017
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Hi,

I am writing to ask for any advice but hope this might be helpful to others as well. My old computer blew up. I have bought a new T540p (lenovo) with Win 8.1 64bit OEM installed on a 500GB HDD. I have removed the 500GB SDD from my now defunct Thinkpad X61 (also ran Win 8.1 64bit)
I tried the X61 SDD in an external drive enclosure and I can access the files on it  I also have the full version of Win 8.1 with install discs at hand. I have an external HDD enclosure and another external HDD 1TB USB 3.0
The obvious thing to do is to clone the existing T540p HDD onto my existing SDD, but first I also want to get all programs and files from that old system off so I can reinstall them onto the new system.
I don't want to use a tool like Zinstall for $169 - that is crazy out of my budget as an individual personal home user.
I am not sure if I could use something like Laplink, but am considering it, but not sure about it: http://www.laplink.com/index.php/individuals/pcmover-for-windows/image-assistant
Here is what I want to do:
1. Create a VHD diskimage from that dead Lenovo T61 PC's harddrive which can be used to access the programs and files also later. Image into a format that is compatible with virtual machines and Windows. I will keep Image on an external HDD 1TB so that I can also mount VHD later (in case there is anything I forgot that I needed on it). I assume I can use Paragon Rescue Kit (free version) maybe for this? https://www.paragon-software.com/home/rk-free/
2. Install Oracle Virtual Box onto T540p
3. Now mount image of T61 under Oracle's Virtual Box on T540p
4. Gather info on old programs by running their Help About screen to get serial number information & check provisions for exporting those settings
5. Use Belarc Advisor (free) to get information about what was installed, including software serial numbers and license keys. https://www.belarc.com/products_belarc_advisor
6. Copy all data and any program installers from SSD individually by hand onto 1TB external HDD. (VirtualBox has a very low transfer rate from and to USB2 devices)
7. Wipe that SSD now totally clean ready for clone from T540P HDD
8. Clone the T540p HDD onto SSD steps (safe process)
- Go to boot sequence of T540p and make sure boot from CD / DVD is top of list
- Make a Paragon boot CD disk for copying cloning T540p HDD onto SSD
- Test this boot disk actually can boot T540p with Paragon functioning before proceeding
- Take out T540p OEM HDD from machine put into external HDD enclosure
- Put empty wiped SSD into T540p machine as internal HDD.
- Boot T540p from Paragon boot disk again
- Complete cloning sequence from T540p OEM HDD (in external enclosure) onto SSD with Paragon software.
- Detach T540p HDD in external enclosure and put to the side
- Boot the T540p from SSD

Finally step:
- Create VHD image of T540p HDD to keep on 1 TB HDD for prosperity in case anything goes sideways.
- After a week or so, as long as all is well wipe the T540p HDD and chuck it into my old Inspiron 640m (cloning Win XP OS from Inspiron onto the HDD first.)

Can you suggest for me anything I missed in these steps?
I assume this is going to involve me buying a version of Paragon rather than using a 30 day trial but I am fine with that.
There are a number of free and commercial packages so for other users who might want to do the same thing, suggestions of ways to all this with free package will be useful.
I have done this before but I am not a commercial user or IT expert and have limited budget. I am happy to use the free software usually to do a straight clone from HDD to SSD. However this is a bit more than I have done before. I would like to use Paragon commercial to have confidence to use an up-to-date version of Paragon that can support what I need to do because of concerns with:
- Virtualisation
- Win 8.1 is tricky
- UEFI in modern machines
- already seems quite complicated and want to make my life easier :)
Any comments or advice on how to do this whole process without spending a penny and the software needed?
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


To clone, the free version of Macrium Reflect will do this easily.

To resurrect and discover all the serial numbers may be problematic, because a lot of that is stored in the Registry. Which, if you're not booting from that drive, will be difficult to find.

Belarc Advisor can retrieve all that, but I think only from the currently running OS.
If you're not booting from that...probably not.
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator
Hard to tell from what you've written, but it seems like the basic principle of what you want to do is clone from the old latop to the new laptop. Is this true?

I fear that cloning the drive from the dead system to the new system may not work.
Even though they are both Lenovos, it may not work. And then you run into the OS licensing issues.

If I'm mistaken, please inform me.
No steps...just the basic principle of what you want to do.
 

Thomas_247

Prominent
Mar 11, 2017
3
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510
0
Hi USA FRet,

Thanks for your answer. You are right cloning a dead system directly over won't work and there are OS licensing issues.

I am not trying to do that (sorry my post is so long)

Ijust want to get all the serials from my dead system software by temporarily re-animating it, and then bury it (by preserving it intact as a disc Image on an external drive) and take the data off manually.

Then I want to wipe the SSD drive, and clone my new computer's system onto it so I can put it into my new lenovo machine.

And then do the same again with the HDD spindle drive I have taken out from the new machine (save it as image on an external drive, wipe it and clone a new OS to it) and put it into a significantly older machine.

My question is sort of considering all the steps involved wouldn't it make sense to buy a package like Paragon to make life easier? But which package - they have like 10 different products.

I have emailed Paragon to ask them this same question and will post their answer.
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


To clone, the free version of Macrium Reflect will do this easily.

To resurrect and discover all the serial numbers may be problematic, because a lot of that is stored in the Registry. Which, if you're not booting from that drive, will be difficult to find.

Belarc Advisor can retrieve all that, but I think only from the currently running OS.
If you're not booting from that...probably not.
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


To clone, the free version of Macrium Reflect will do this easily.

To resurrect and discover all the serial numbers may be problematic, because a lot of that is stored in the Registry. Which, if you're not booting from that drive, will be difficult to find.

Belarc Advisor can retrieve all that, but I think only from the currently running OS.
If you're not booting from that...probably not.

If and only if you can get that drive (or a VHD representation of that drive), running inside a VM...maybe.
 

Thomas_247

Prominent
Mar 11, 2017
3
0
510
0
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