To Deploy or not to Deploy ... that is the question!


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QT-Pro
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I have just been informed by Dell that, following their inability to supply a new motherboard for my Alienware laptop (purchased in 2017), they intend to supply me with a new laptop. As I use my machine to run my business with, the data and programs installed are of absolute importance to me. If I can avoid having to reinstall all my programs on a one-by-one basis and then recover my data by using Redeploy, that would be very useful.

Although the configuration of the new machine is likely to be very similar, as per their guarantee, being 3 years newer means that software required to operate things like fans, lighting, overclocking, Wi-Fi, etc. will be very different. I asked the Dell sales person if I could restore my system to the new machine using Reflect and she answered that she had never heard of Macrium Reflect and that it would not be possible due to the Windows key being completely different. It is my guess she hadn't even considered the Alienware Control Center.

I have probably answered my own question but just in case I'm missing something, I thought I would ask more experienced Reflect users anyway. Can it be done or am I barking up the wrong tree, please?

Beardy
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You can try it, the process I'd use would be image the new laptop as delivered using the recovery media (in case).
Note or extract the Windows key, just in case.
Restore to it, run re-deploy then boot up & see what happens, chances are pretty good it works.
Try the fix boot problems option if needed at this point.
If Windows isn't activated, use the change key option & use the specific key for the machine.
Edited 9 January 2021 3:57 PM by Beardy
jphughan
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I agree you should definitely capture an image backup of the new system as delivered. Then restore your old PC’s image and run ReDeploy. Since that will blow away everything that came on the new PC, you will indeed need to get drivers and such again. The easiest way to do that is with Dell/Alienware Update. You may also want to uninstall software that was only relevant to your old PC that you might find in Programs and Features.

And if it all goes sideways, just restore the backup you made of the new PC beforehand and start from there instead.
QT-Pro
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Sounds good.

The fact that this PC has been optimized for its hardware won't create a problem for the new one?

Also, what you are suggesting would require me to install Reflect on the new PC. Am I permitted to do that with a Home license?
The old PC will be returned to Dell with its hard drives cleaned so it would only be for a few days.

Beardy
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You can remove the licence from the old machine, the option is under Help in the main Macrium UI, which basically reverts that install to just the free version after that it can be installed on the new one & the licence used on there (basically transferring it).
The stipulation is it can only be on one machine at a time.

Support are helpful even if a machine dies so you can't remove the licence from it & need to install on a new one.
QT-Pro
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Won't Reflect need to be on both machines in order to use the Redeploy function?
Sorry if that's a stupid question. I've never done this before.

Both machines have Windows 10 Pro on them. As Windows updates itself regularly, I'm assuming there should be no problem replacing the new version with the one I have. On the other hand, I have heavily customized this copy disabling Cortana, telemetry, and lots of other stuff I don't want. I mention that because having watched a review video of the new machine, I note that Windows 10 setup is now very different from when I first used it 3 years ago.

Beardy
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Redeploy is run from the rescue drive, on the newly restored machine before booting it natively.
There's actually a fair chance Windows would handle the change without re-deploy, though I'd run it in this instance.
Obviously, Macrium will be part of the restored image.  I'm pretty sure it detects the change (it's been a loooong time), hence needing to deactivate on the old machine to transfer.
jphughan
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If you’re ReDeploying an image from a PC that has Reflect, don’t bother removing the license since that restore will also bring Reflect over. But yes ReDeploy would be used by booting your new PC from Rescue Media, which you can probably generate from the old PC and still use. Otherwise you might need to temporarily add Reflect to the new PC to build Rescue Media prior to restoring over that environment.
Beardy
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Also, if you're completely wiping the old machine before returning it, which I saw you mention the intention to do, there's no need to waste time & bandwidth downloading DBAN unless you already have it, or need to use some method "better" than simply overwriting the entire disk once for regulatory reasons. DISKPART's CLEAN ALL can overwrite the disk(s) (after selecting them) using the command prompt in the rescue media.
QT-Pro
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Thank you very much for all your advice guys. Now, I will have to wait to receive the new machine. Wink
Enjoy your Sunday.

GO

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