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Can I clone my HP laptop to a Dell laptop?

by susanrokita / February 27, 2014 7:21 PM PST

I have a Dell and an HP laptop, both with Windows 7 and more than ample hard drives. The Dell laptop has a sporadic problem with the screen, so I don't use it. I would like to use the Dell as a backup for my HP. In the event the HP crashes in the future, I would like a complete copy of my HP on the Dell (which would include all my internet bookmarks, all my preferences, all my working files, programs, updates, etc.). I'd like to update the backup every month. There is nothing on the Dell that I would want to save. The only problem is that I know my working file names but I don't know all of the other file names I would need to copy, and I know there are HP files and Dell files that are unique to those individual laptops. Any advice on how to go about it in the easiest way for someone who is not a computer tech?

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All Answers

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Copy the folders that contain the data that you created.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 27, 2014 8:38 PM PST

My Music, My Pictures, My Documents, etc.

Windows 7 will stay as is on the Dell.

All the "programs" that you want to backup would have to be installed, from the original discs, onto the Dell.

Remember, this is not a backup, it is just a copy


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Copy the folders that contain the data that you created.
by susanrokita / February 27, 2014 11:35 PM PST

As you may know, many programs are already loaded on a computer when you purchase it, while others are downloaded from the internet, and there are automatic updates to programs such as MS Office, leaving me without original discs. That's the reason I want to clone or copy my entire HP to the Dell laptop.

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As that topic is rather well done.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 28, 2014 12:21 AM PST

The clone fails because the OS and drivers are locked to the old PC.

Most folk would never be able to fix that and even if I told you how, you may explode over the cost of fixing it. Not only that, Office and other apps detect the change of the hardware and want to be re-activated so you paid dearly to fix the clone job and then the MS Office fails because it was not activated on this laptop.

So with one note here about LibreOffice, I don't want you to waste your days fixing the clone job at a few hundred bucks (you'll need the full retail Windows OS and license) plus drivers for the laptop and then helper apps for that laptop.

I've lost count of folk today that ask "what is a helper app?" Maybe Windows' ship has sailed? That is, folk are expecting easy. This won't be easy. And there is no step by step. Only guides.

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Re: clone
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 27, 2014 8:43 PM PST

If you take the hard disk out of the Dell, into an external enclosure, you can make a clone of (the hard disk of) your HP laptop onto that hard disk.

Software can make such a backup and restore it is, for example,
- Windows 7
- Clonezilla
- Acronis
- Easeus Todo backup


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