Question Different machines, same install: how practical?

jhsachs

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I'm asking because I have two systems that I use the same way, and I spend a good deal of time configuring them. It sure would be nice if I could configure one, then just clone the disk for the other.

I'm sure the hardware must be similar for this to work. But how similar? I can think of many possible answers, for example:
  • It really doesn't matter as long as the address length and brand of CPU are the same.
  • The motherboards must be the same brand and have the same series and generation of CPU.
  • The motherboards and CPUs must be exactly the same.
  • Forget it; even if the systems are identical it won't work.
I could work with all of those conditions except the last. I can experiment with this, but it would be nice to start with a general idea of what I'm going to find.

I'm running both Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04 on both machines. Application software won't be an issue; I run only utilities and plain-vanilla stuff like browsers.
 

USAFRet

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Not practical at all.

First off, you need two actual OS licenses.
Having that, just install each as needs be. Cloning won't really save you any time.


In this context, "similar hardware" means actually identical.
 

jhsachs

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USAF, I appreciate your effort to answer my question, but I hope you'll try again, or someone else will. You ignored some of what I said and misinterpreted some of it, and that impairs my confidence in your whole answer.

First off, you need two actual OS licenses.
For Windows, of course I do. For Ubuntu, that has no meaning. That is not the question I asked.

Just install each as needs be. Cloning won't really save you any time.
In the original post I explained why it would. Perhaps I am mistaken, but you didn't even address that. It means nothing to just say "It wouldn't" after I've explained why I believe it would.

In case it wasn't clear, I'll expand: to configure two machines I have to do everything twice. To configure one and clone it, I don't. Furthermore, unlike configuration, cloning requires almost no intervention. And half of the time it takes is a sunk cost, because I have to perform the "copy disk to file" half of the cloning operation anyway to have a system backup (see your signature image :)).

In this context, "similar hardware" means actually identical.
That's one possibility I foresaw, but in view of the above, I hope you'll excuse me for wondering what your reasons are for believing that. Is Windows or Ubuntu so finely tuned, for example, that it installs differently for a i7-4770K and an i7-4770S, and a clone simply won't boot?

In any case, I said that I can work with a requirement for identical hardware, so "means actually identical" does not mean "not practical at all." It just means that my hardware choices are more limited than I might like.
 

USAFRet

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A clone across 2 different systems may or may not work.
It is exactly like trying to move the physical drive.

2 very very similar systems? It might work.
Try it and see what happens.

Your Linux will almost certainly work.
Windows is far more picky. Win 10 is a LOT better than previous versions, when presented with different hardware. But still not 100%.
 

kanewolf

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That's one possibility I foresaw, but in view of the above, I hope you'll excuse me for wondering what your reasons are for believing that. Is Windows or Ubuntu so finely tuned, for example, that it installs differently for a i7-4770K and an i7-4770S, and a clone simply won't boot?

In any case, I said that I can work with a requirement for identical hardware, so "means actually identical" does not mean "not practical at all." It just means that my hardware choices are more limited than I might like.
The motherboard and not the CPU is what has to be the same. If you had an MSI Z97 motherboard for the 4770K and a Gigabyte H87 motherboard for the 4770S the probability of Windows 10 being "transportable" is low.
 

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