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Restoring an image to a new HD

I've got a customer who's getting a message telling me either hard drive has crashed or somehow become unbootable. Wen setting these up, I have image files, created by clonezilla, that I restore to a new computer, as needed. I don't have one of that model on hand, so I am wondering if I can put a new HD in an old Dell desktop, boot off my clonezilla boot disk, restore an image to that new HD & ship it out to my customer? If not, or would it be better to put new HD in a drive caddy & restore that way or any other way to restore an image to a HD, without the computer that its eventually going to be used in?
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8/22/2022 - Mon

It depends on the OS & also on the Hardware. If the OS is Windoze, then restoring on other hardware you will at least have to make sure you don't boot after the restore. If you boot there will first be driver issues, & the OS activation will get unset, which means once you get the disk to the customer the OS won't be activated & some other things won't work because drivers got messed up. Bluescreens are likely. It really is best to do the restore onsite. Besides, if there is a problem, you are more likely to be able to fix it. If you ship a restored disk you weren't able to test on the correct hardware beforehand, you will probably have to go there anyway, making the customer's wait time longer, which means he won't be satisfied.

If the OS was Linux, then it is much more likely to work on most hardware, although even then it isn't guaranteed. It is always best to do this directly on the PC you are restoring to.

Not likely.
Let's see if I understand though....
You don't have access to the computer.
The computer won't boot.
The hard drive may be OK but not bootable.
The hard drive may have crashed.

I wouldn't work on a computer in this condition unless I had it hands on.
That falls in the category of "too hard".

You suggest burning a "foreign" image onto a new hard drive and shipping the owner that drive.
That isn't likely to be successful for a number of reasons:
1) Lack of drivers
2) Lack of legitimate software licenses.

I'm not sure that the "platform" you use for burning the hard drive is going to matter if you're using Clonezilla.  You will just get the same hard drive in the end.

OS is Windows 7 (yes, I know, but this POS software doesn't run on Win 10 & moving forward most new sales are going on iPads.)
The image I would be restoring from would be the same on that was use to set this computer up originally, if that matters or clears up anything.
After restoring, I would just be shutting the computer down, too, as I'd NEVER try booting off of a disk meant for another computer!

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James Murphy

The problem then would be you couldn't do any tests, so you wouldn't really know it works. It's still best you are at the actual PC when restoring.

Agreed. We've sold these all over the country & I am lucky enough that this particular customer is about a 30 minute drive from me. I'd hoped to prepare a drive, bring it there & make the switch. but may just pick up & return tomorrow before they open. Of course if it isn't theHD, that opens a whole 'nother can of worms!
This will also give me the option to test my idea.

Are you suggesting that "Wen setting these up, I have image files, created by clonezilla " was done from the computer that is now having issues?  If so, you should be able to restore to a drive and have it installed in the computer.

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well - i have put win 10 on many drives, and booted them on different hardware - even from laptops to desktops and VV.
they all worked fine - and started updating drivers.
That said - this does NOT work with Windows 7.  If you want to try , i suggest to install windows 10 on a test system, and run your software either in compatibility mode, or in a VM.
i noted that you've sold these systems over the whole country, so likely you'll have more to come; justifying the test i described above

I've been able (in the dim past) to replace hard drives (that were still working but in need of replacement) on Windows 7 computers.
So, if the image is from the *same* computer and not simply from the *same computer model* then it should just work to:
1) image
2) burn the image on the new hard drive
I've done many of these without a hitch and settled on Clonezilla as my favored tool.
This works well for single drives and not RAID.  But other tools likely can.


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nobus - Win 10 has nothing to do with this, my mentioning of it was to head off the comments about Win7 being obsolete & that I should go to Win 10. Your second reply was what I was wanting to get verified.
CompProbSolv - not the same computer, but the same model. Keep in mind these are pretty much configured the same way, it's not like ordering a 7010 from Dell & then having a whole lot of different options available to configure in the ordering process.Its the restoring to a drive from an image that my question is about.
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.

gromack:  I had already mentioned a caution about it being the same "model".  I'll elaborate:
Often, the same model will have *all* the same parts.  But not always.  
If not always then there can be different drivers needed.
Often, you can get away with the difference if it's just a peripheral device and you have the luxury of being able to install the correct driver after putting the computer into service.
So, you *may* get away with it:
1) If the image you're using is for the exact same computer then very likely that's fine.
2) If the image you're using is for the same computer *model* then it's likely to work but with some hand-holding possibly needed.  This means there's some risk.  Is that risk acceptable to you?  Only you can know that.
3) If the image you're using is for the same computer *model*  but there's a major mismatch (such as hard drive drivers) then the venture could fail.

I hope this defines the possibilities adequately for you.

i know you're on W7 - i only posted the comment about W10 to show how different these OS are
and running W7 in a VM  on W10 will probably be your best choice in the end.

you can put a previous image of PC1 on a drive  - and use ANY PC for that - and ship your drive to the site wher PC1 is - and that should work - i see no problems here.
may i ask why you suspect problems with that procedure?

Sorry to have neglected this for so long, but I've been way busier than I usually care to be.
The short answer is yes, this does/did work.
In this particular case, I just brought my external HD with the inage files & restored to an new SSD in the store.
The next time I had the same models on hand, I plugged the SSD into a dell desktop, booted from the clonezilla boot disk, resored an image to a new SSD, replaced it in a new POS computer & all went as I'd hoped.
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ok good to hear all is well
please proceed to close this Q

Thanks to all!