[SOLVED] How can I move existing PC programs to a new computer using either cloning software, or a new Windows 10 installation?

charles_i

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Has anyone had success with using one of the cloning programs to move existing PC programs to a new computer? I am not concerned about Windows 10, but I have some installed programs which cannot be relicensed to a new PC. My only option is to be able to clone my existing hard drive, unless I can move it and reinstall a new version of Windows 10 without harming the installation and registry settings of my existing programs.

Are there any recommended solutions for this?

Charles
 

USAFRet

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It seems to me, that if it makes a clone of all the data on the HD that would include the registry, and all of the settings, and links to file systems etc. relating to each program, as it is all data as far as the HD is concerned and you are cloning all of that as well, are you not? The only thing that changes is the serial number of the HD, I would think, and it's being recognised by a new motherboard when you plug it in. So, logically, I don't understand why it doesn't work.

I'm retired, so it's unlikely that I can get access to changing a lifetime license from an institution.

Charles
Moving a drive, or a clone of a drive, between systems (primarily the motherboard), there are 3 possible outcomes:
  1. It works just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It "works", but you're chasing issues for weeks/months.
We've seen all 3. #1 is actually the least likely to happen.

For your particular software...it depends on how it is licensed and what it looks for in 'hardware'.
The drive ID, the motherboard? Something else?
 

USAFRet

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Has anyone had success with using one of the cloning programs to move existing PC programs to a new computer? I am not concerned about Windows 10, but I have some installed programs which cannot be relicensed to a new PC. My only option is to be able to clone my existing hard drive, unless I can move it and reinstall a new version of Windows 10 without harming the installation and registry settings of my existing programs.

Are there any recommended solutions for this?

Charles
No, you can't.

Applications need to be installed with the OS.
You can't "clone" parts of an install like that, and you can't port applications between OS's...cloning or otherwise.

And also, you almost certainly can't clone or move the whole drive+Os between systems.
 
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"cloning" makes an image of your current disk and transfers that.
it doesn't pick & choose certain pieces of data.
even if you could copy & paste the data to the new system;
you would still need registry entries, system files, user files, etc relating to each program.

while you can clone your current disk, it wouldn't make any difference
vs just plugging the same disk into the new system and using it.
and neither is recommended in a new system.

your new system will have a new motherboard, new CPU, new memory, etc.
so the OS needs to be freshly installed along with the new drivers for the new hardware.

your best option may be just contacting the developer\distributor of each application and explaining the situation that you want to register them to a new computer and void existing registration.
 

charles_i

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"cloning" makes an image of your current disk and transfers that.
it doesn't pick & choose certain pieces of data.
even if you could copy & paste the data to the new system;
you would still need registry entries, system files, user files, etc relating to each program.
It seems to me, that if it makes a clone of all the data on the HD that would include the registry, and all of the settings, and links to file systems etc. relating to each program, as it is all data as far as the HD is concerned and you are cloning all of that as well, are you not? The only thing that changes is the serial number of the HD, I would think, and it's being recognised by a new motherboard when you plug it in. So, logically, I don't understand why it doesn't work.

I'm retired, so it's unlikely that I can get access to changing a lifetime license from an institution.

Charles
 

ex_bubblehead

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It seems to me, that if it makes a clone of all the data on the HD that would include the registry, and all of the settings, and links to file systems etc. relating to each program, as it is all data as far as the HD is concerned and you are cloning all of that as well, are you not? The only thing that changes is the serial number of the HD, I would think, and it's being recognised by a new motherboard when you plug it in. So, logically, I don't understand why it doesn't work.

I'm retired, so it's unlikely that I can get access to changing a lifetime license from an institution.

Charles
If this software looks at the disk serial number (it may also look to the motherboard as well) as part of the license then cloning will not work. This may well be a case of either live with what you have now, for the sake of this software, or bite the bullet and start the inquiries to the vendor as to how to move the license from one system to another.
 

USAFRet

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It seems to me, that if it makes a clone of all the data on the HD that would include the registry, and all of the settings, and links to file systems etc. relating to each program, as it is all data as far as the HD is concerned and you are cloning all of that as well, are you not? The only thing that changes is the serial number of the HD, I would think, and it's being recognised by a new motherboard when you plug it in. So, logically, I don't understand why it doesn't work.

I'm retired, so it's unlikely that I can get access to changing a lifetime license from an institution.

Charles
Moving a drive, or a clone of a drive, between systems (primarily the motherboard), there are 3 possible outcomes:
  1. It works just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It "works", but you're chasing issues for weeks/months.
We've seen all 3. #1 is actually the least likely to happen.

For your particular software...it depends on how it is licensed and what it looks for in 'hardware'.
The drive ID, the motherboard? Something else?
 
What are the restrictions of licensing of the apps in question?

One possible solution:
Buy a samsung 2.5" ssd of sufficient capacity to hold the used contents of your current C drive.
Use the samsung data migration app to move your C drive to the 2.5" ssd.
This is a logical C drive mover, not a clone which is a bit for bit copy.
The app and instructions can be downloaded here:

Then use the 2.5" ssd and try to boot on the new pc.
If successful, install the motherboard and other drivers and test your critical app.
Depending on what the app checks, you may or may not work.

This is a relatively safe procedure since the original source remains unchanged.
 
It seems to me, that if it makes a clone of all the data on the HD that would include the registry, and all of the settings, and links to file systems etc. relating to each program, as it is all data as far as the HD is concerned and you are cloning all of that as well, are you not?
yes, cloning the entire drive would.

but my comment, "even if you could copy & paste the data to the new system" is relating to your just copying the specific application's folders & files to a new Windows installation. not a disk clone.
The only thing that changes is the serial number of the HD, I would think, and it's being recognised by a new motherboard when you plug it in. So, logically, I don't understand why it doesn't work
since you are planning to use this in a new system,
you do not want your previous system's drivers and hardware statistics interfering with your new build and causing problems.
you want a fresh install of the OS.
I'm retired, so it's unlikely that I can get access to changing a lifetime license from an institution.
and why would your age and\or employment status have anything to do with them allowing you to transfer a license?
 
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Has anyone had success with using one of the cloning programs to move existing PC programs to a new computer? I am not concerned about Windows 10, but I have some installed programs which cannot be relicensed to a new PC. My only option is to be able to clone my existing hard drive, unless I can move it and reinstall a new version of Windows 10 without harming the installation and registry settings of my existing programs.

Are there any recommended solutions for this?

Charles
Best solution for moving a HDD between computers is ALWAYS a fresh install, if you need to preserve data, my advice is get a 2nd HDD as 'storage space' and keep a new drive with your fresh windows installation on it in case something happens to the newer pc.

Even if you 'COULD' move all your files/settings/programs to a new pc, that is ALWAYS asking for issues. Lets say you put an intel CPU/MOBO HDD into an AMD CPU/MOBO, it will most likely not work; if it does, you will have issues up the ass. Drivers for things that aren't part of the MOBO, Drivers for things that don't exist, etc.
 

robert600

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I use 'pctrans' to copy large data files from one pc to another. One of the things the program goes on and on about is its ability to copy installed programs across computers as well ... the program itself, the settings for that program, and the associated data files. I've never had a reason to try that aspect of 'pctrans' though so I have no idea how well it works. Might be worth a try in your situation. Or, if you told me what program you're concerned about and if I have it on my main computer, I could test tranfer it to another of my secondary computers and let you know how it works.

Here's a link to the software:

https://www.easeus.com/pc-transfer/copy-installed-software.html
 
I use 'pctrans' to copy large data files from one pc to another
is that like those 'trans' that hang out on the street corner and transfer diseases from one to another?

but seriously,
the program goes on and on about is its ability to copy installed programs across computers as well ... the program itself, the settings for that program, and the associated data files
unless all of the directories and registry entries for each specific application were pre-programming into the software,
i don't see how it could just magically know where all associated data would be located.

it only lists a few very common programs that it claims it can effectively transfer,
so i'd guess it is all preset for those specific program's data location(s).

may have to look into a trial run if available and see how functional it may really be.
 

robert600

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Yes ... I understand the above concerns ... as I mentioned, I've never actually tried that aspect of the program ... just thought it might be worth a try for the OP. It certainly does a nice job of transferring data files across computers. I never had any luck whatsoever with the built-in windows method for that.

At some point, I'll try to copy one of my programs to a secondary computer. I'll pick one where I've changed both the default configuration to a custom one and also a custom default storage location for the data files. See how it handles that. Hard to imagine it could actually do it but ... who knows.
 

robert600

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If I remember correctly, it also claims it can move programs from one drive to another on the same computer (keeping all custom configs and data). So for instance, apparently you could move MSOffice from c: to d:. Again, I've never tried it.
 

robert600

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unless all of the directories and registry entries for each specific application were pre-programming into the software,
i don't see how it could just magically know where all associated data would be located.
Answers to those questions are well above my 'pay grade'. But then I think about those software removal programs (CClean etc.). They seem to magically find well concealed registry entries and whatever traces some programs like to install. I have no idea how they remove all the hidden traces of programs. If you can find all the traces ... why wouldn't you be able to copy them over to another computer? Maybe ...sorta on the edge of possible ... mystery to me lol.
 

USAFRet

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If I remember correctly, it also claims it can move programs from one drive to another on the same computer (keeping all custom configs and data). So for instance, apparently you could move MSOffice from c: to d:. Again, I've never tried it.
Some applications, yes. I believe Office is one of those on their short list.

But people assume it can do ALL. Which it most certainly cannot.
 

USAFRet

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If you can find all the traces ... why wouldn't you be able to copy them over to another computer? Maybe ...sorta on the edge of possible ... mystery to me lol.
Different PC = different GUIDs in the Registry.

Application installs are very complex.
Dozens, often thousands of entries in the Registry and elsewhere.

Some things can be trivially moved. Either manually, or with an application such as we are discussing. And these are almost exclusively the very popular applications. Office, Adobe, etc.
Many others...most even...cannot.

The problem arises when people assume all, do it, and then end up with a borked up hybrid install.
Some things here, some things broken, etc.
 

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