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New laptop - direct SSD swap from old one?


LC1

Question

My laptop died a few days ago. Haven't got time or skills fucking about with a motherboard swap (pretty sure that's what died), so I have bought the exact same model second-hand off eBay.

My question is simply whether I can open it up and swap my existing SSD into the new one and just fire it up? Will it work straight away, as if it were my old machine? Or might I need to tinker with anything? Or is best practice to just copy over old files to the new SSD?

I'm mostly concerned about my installed software and preserving my browser favourites and saved passwords for websites etc, rather than my files.  

Thanks in advance! B|

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Bus Stop Boxer

Ive been mulling similar, as i built the machine i'm typing this on, for a recording studio pc, so its got a big PSU etc.

Its not being used for music these days, due to complete disaffection, so i use it to post shite on DOSBODS instead.

A laptop must munch through far less juice. Ive got 3 SSDs in it and was mulling just whacking it in a laptop to see what happens. Like you i want all the hassle of back ups avoided.

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I used to do that with a run of Dell Inspirons that I had, yes, it worked, there were some variations in graphics cards and other minor hardware bits but they were recognised and sorted out after a reboot and driver update or two.  The OS might complain (I am assuming windows) about not being registered/licensed, but should give you the leeway to update a license and keep running.

Once running though I would still do a proper backup of data you want to keep including the likes of favourites, when SSD's go you could be left with zero access to any of the past data.

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Windows 10 will deal with it, Windows 7 less so, but depends on the hardware differences.

Its not generally the best idea, a fresh install on the new laptop and then transfer your data over will be the better solution in the long run.

If the new laptop came with Windows 10, the key will be stored on the BIOS, any Windows 10 of the correct variant (i.e. Home / Pro) will pick this up and activate. Otherwise you can activate with any old Windows 7 or 8 keys now.

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Depends on the old laptop and your replacement.

The new laptop is likely to not have space for an SSD but will have an NVME card connected to the motherboard as it takes up far less space.

You best bet would be to get a hard drive caddy and place the SSD in it to copy the files over. Bipra Tool Free 2.5" SATA To USB 3.0 Hard Drive Caddy HDD Enclosure Case (Black USB 3.0 Tool Free) : Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

Total cost £7 and your DIY time.

Also with windows I've found the best way to keep it speedy is to reinstall windows once a year so you are best just copying what you need rather than reusing what was on your old machine. 

Edited by eek
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If exact same model is close enough (i.e. not vastly different revisions or spec) then should be fine. If it's windows it'll likely just update any drivers if there are minor differences and if Windows 10 or 11 may automatically re-activate so nowt else to do. If it doesn't re-activate then you may need to use the licence key that came with the new one as it recognises the hardware is different to wants a different licence depending on the licence used on the old one (e.g. OEM, if full retail should be fine).

Corporates often have a custom build, with all their necessary software and setting already done, to install on loads of the same kit (e.g. loads of laptops bought in bulk for their employees) so should be fine as you're in effect doing the same thing by moving the SSD over.

I presume you have a backup of your stuff so it's just the faff with not having to re-install all the software you're hoping to avoid, so worst case it'll not boot properly if there is a major difference and would have to faff around safe booting to update the drivers manually, or something like that I tend to do a fresh install onto a new drive then copy my stuff from latest backup, to ensure all working optimally on the new hardware but if was doing what you were I'd do what you intend doing. B|

 

Edited by BoSon
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If you need to re-license your (old) windows install on the new one, you will need the new license key.

Use a tool like "belarc advisor" to get all the license details from the new (and old) laptops and store it somewhere offline (email / memory stick).. 

https://www.belarc.com/products/belarc-advisor

or "jellybean" (But some virus progs pick this up as a PUA (Potentially unwated application)

https://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/

or, for Just windows: (and not office / etc)

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/3-simple-ways-to-find-your-windows-10-product-key/

 

 

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Bus Stop Boxer

Can confirm i took a Win 10 SSD drive out of my self built desktop music machine, that has ended up being the daily driver, with a 500watt psu, and put it in a 10 year old Dell 2nd gen i5 laptop.

Worked with no tweaks whatsoever. No licence issues. Even the antivirus remained calm in its new environment.

Stuck an extra 4gb RAM in, now have a daily driver using much less leccy for £14 the RAM.

 

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