Subscriber Bill Dawson wrote with a question about making an identical copy of his hard drive (cloning his hard drive) so he could install it in a new computer:
I have been reading your tips for some time and I wonder if you can answer this question for me.
Can a Acronis True Image Home 10 cloned hard drive be placed in a new computer and function correctly?
Many thank Bill Dawson
I wrote back to Bill to say, first, I assume he meant v2010, not v10. Version 10 is about 4 versions old.
The answer depends on the operating system. Prior to Windows XP, it would work — Windows 98 would work. I think Windows Me would also. However, Microsoft built some of its anti-piracy controls into the later versions of their operating system.
These notice the significant change in hardware and Windows will freeze very early in the boot process (at least in my experience with WinXP — I haven’t tried it with Windows 7, but I have no reason to think that Microsoft would make it easier to move the OS from machine to machine).
It may not be possible to put a cloned hard drive with Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 into a different computer, unless you properly prepare the operating system before cloning (basically converting the OS to an unregistered, cloneable OS), and assuming you can do this legally with your Windows license. Since that effectively disables your current installation, I’m not going to suggest that as an alternative.
OEM/System Builder versions of Windows operating systems are licensed only for the computer on which they came installed, even if you got the CDROM or DVD with the computer. Retail full versions, not retail upgrade versions, are currently licensed able to be moved from one computer to another,
You can restore the image from one computer onto another computer. But, it’s not trivial and the additional software you need does not come with Acronis True Image Home 2010. Acronis sells it as an add-on "Plus Pack" package for ATIH 2010.
Here’s an excerpt from Acronis’ web page for the Plus Pack,
- These three powerful features, originally only available in the Acronis corporate product line, are now accessible to technical home users. The optional Acronis True Image Home 2010 Plus Pack integrates seamlessly within the Acronis True Image Home 2010 standard version*, and leverages its intuitive graphical interface.
- Restore to Dissimilar Hardware Restore a computer to dissimilar hardware regardless of make, model, or installed components, or to a virtual machine.
To check it out, use this link: http://terryscomputertips.com/Acronis
There are two key links on this web page — in the left column, under Add-ons, is the Plus Pack. In the right column, there’s a special offer for Acronis True Image + Plus Pack.
The Plus Pack’s official price is $29.99 (USD). I just checked their web site using my affiliate link and found that, while the Plus Pack is $29.99, they’re offering a copy of ATIH 2010 WITH THE PLUS PACK for $39.99 (for ATIH 2010) + $10 (for the Plus Pack), or $49.99, instead of $49.90+$29.99. Those are download prices, with a CDROM priced higher.
Remember that all this discussion is about being able to install a bootable, runnable copy of the original image.
If you’re only interested in installing the image into a second partition on your hard drive (assuming you have, or make, the available free space), you can do that without getting the Plus Pack.
You can simply copy the image onto your new computer’s hard drive and install Acronis True Image Home 2010 onto the new computer. Then, you can use ATIH 2010 to copy individual files and folders of data from the image into folders on your hard drive.