PC Geeks required – Need to copy apps from old to new laptop

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  • PC Geeks required – Need to copy apps from old to new laptop
  • Matt24k
    Member

    I am in need of assistance from the font of most knowledge that is STW.
    Mrs/Dr 24k needs a new laptop but has lots of older programs/apps on her current machine that are essential to the running of her research project data base. Unfortunately, post Phd., she is no longer linked to her University and continues her project unfunded as a labour of love. The problem is that some of these programs cannot be reinstalled as the keys were one time use.
    Both machines are HP, running Win 10 Pro 64bit and both will have a 2.5 inch hard drive.
    My initial plan was to remove the SSD from the old laptop and put it in the new one and then update the drivers as required. My research leads me to believe this may not work as each copy of Win 10 is associated with the machine that it was installed on.
    There are programs such as Zinstall and EaseUS that claim to migrate everything but the reviews I have seen are not filling me with confidence.
    If anyone has direct experience of this your comments and assistance would be gratefully received.

    hols2
    Member

    The problem is that some of these programs cannot be reinstalled as the keys were one time use.

    It will depend on how the copy protection is done. I use some specialist software that is limited to a single install, but can be transferred by deregistering one machine and registering another. However, you cannot reinstall back to the first machine according to the license terms, but I don’t what would happen if you tried.

    In that case, cloning the disk and moving to a different hardware configuration would be problematic. I did blow up the motherboard on that machine and just transferred the SSD to an identical machine, which worked fine apart from needing to reactivate Windows.

    A Windows license is much cheaper than specialist software, so I would try swapping the hard disk over or cloning, seeing if the apps work, then trying to reactivate Windows. If it won’t reactivate, then you should be able to buy a legit license and use that.

    allthegear
    Member

    Contact the software vendors and ask for a new key. Install as normal.

    Rachel

    hols2
    Member

    Contact the software vendors and ask for a new key.

    A lot of specialist software will not permit this. It’s sold as a single installation, often time limited.

    allthegear
    Member

    A lot of specialist software will not permit this.

    Exactly. If the software is licensed correctly, they will give you a new key no problem.

    Rachel

    scotroutes
    Member

    Who initially bought the software and does she still have the legal right to use it? If the answer to the latter is “yes” then I’d start by contacting the software companies.

    Matt24k
    Member

    Thanks for the replies. Some of the essential software was installed by the University IT dept. For one program a single use licence for an individual is around £1300 and that goes way beyond a labour of love in someones free time. There is no financial benefit for Dr 24k, she just has a strong sense of commitment to the particular species she studies.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Look for open-source alternatives. Ie migrate from Matlab to python or R.

    hols2
    Member

    Who initially bought the software

    Taxpayers. That’s why software companies can charge so much for licenses.

    allthegear
    Member

    If she is not licensed to use the software, and it sounds like she is not given she is no longer at the University, then copying it to another device is theft.

    Any replies on here giving advice on how to steal the software will place the publishers at risk, too.

    She might be pleasently surprised if she contacts the vendors – especially if she can show the use she is putting it to.

    Sorry if you don’t like the answer. I’m sure you wouldn’t be too pleased if I came around and took your bike without permission and gave it away to charity.

    Rachel

    allthegear
    Member

    What is the software? As per Jam bo’s comment, there are many Open Source alternatives that might be equivalent or even better!

    I know a few people in open source projects so might be able to get her in contact with the right ones.

    Rachel

    hols2
    Member

    copying it to another device is theft.

    I see it slightly differently. A license was paid for with taxpayers’ money to conduct research. The researcher is still working on that research, which presumably has some value to society. The software still works on the old laptop, so there’s no theft going on to keep using that. All they want to do is move it to a newer machine and keep using it for the purpose that it was bought for. In cases such as this, I think the software vendors have written very unreasonable terms into the licenses, but they don’t get challenged on this because universities and government users are accustomed to just handing over huge annual licensing fees. Small-scale researchers are utterly screwed by this.

    allthegear
    Member

    It doesn’t matter how you see it. The only thing that matters is the legal agreement signed between the vendor and the client.

    The OP’s partner is neither.

    Rachel

    Klunk
    Member

    even if you copy over correctly there is no guarantee it will work as the copy protection could generate the hardware key based on the current unique harddrive ID and mac address of the original laptop, it’s how I do it.

    iolo
    Member

    Just keep using the computer that has everything working on it?

    konagirl
    Member

    Does her previous University offer Adjunct status? Or indeed any University working in her field where she has or could make collaborations? There can be agreements with no financial ties where you are simply allowed to use the IT infrastructure (including software licenses) like Emeritus staff, where the Universities just absorb the cost for the benefit of collaboration / research output.

    Otherwise, as said, approach the vendor or look at open source alternatives or keep using the old laptop for the specific software use.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I think the software vendors have written very unreasonable terms into the licenses, but they don’t get challenged on this because universities and government users are accustomed to just handing over huge annual licensing fees. Small-scale researchers are utterly screwed by this.

    As a re seller of “very expensive” software I’ve had a completely different price list of academia, with different EULA’s and terms, I’ve given software for zero cost to researchers in exchange of papers/publications (they never bother though). So don’t assume everyone pays the same price or that universities just sign off a payment without questioning it, I’ve had tiny amounts haggled on by people before.

    In general though the costs of developing and maintaining a bit of software will drive the price at the lower volume end of the market. #DevelopersNeedToEatToo

    For the OP, quick check is to make a VM of the existing machine and see what it does. Also if these are critical bits of software asking for a license transfer may be possible if you have good reasons – a letter from the Uni to confirm the situation may help.

    Matt24k
    Member

    Blimey, look what I’ve started 😉
    Thanks for the replies. For the sake of clarity we are not trying to duplicate the software on both machines. The old laptop has a dead touch pad, 2 knackered USB ports, a keyboard that has worn out and a penchant for locking up. It was migrated from Win 8 to 7 when new and then to Win 10. It is off for recycling.
    Her database was custom written using various bits of Office 2010 and stuff that I don’t pretend to understand. It contains 18 years worth of research that cannot be replicated so the thought process was not to take any risks. From memory previous laptop changes were far easier with XP and Win 7 using microsoft easy transfer which is not part of Win 10.
    The nicking a bike analogy is a bit wide of the mark in my eyes. It is more like taking an expensive set of wheels off a knackered bike to put on the new one.
    As for tax payers money…. My wife was entirely self funded from her earnings including paying for all of her University fees of around £25k without the aid of a Student Loan. As you can tell I am still slightly touchy about that as I had the funds earmarked for a mid life crisis car 🙂
    It looks like my safest course of action is to clone the old hard drive and try putting it in the new machine and see what happens. Worst case I take it out and then attempt other options.
    I was hoping to get a recommendation for a transfer tool that actually works.

    hols2
    Member

    It is more like taking an expensive set of wheels off a knackered bike to put on the new one.

    Exactly.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Subscriber

    As mentioned further up, I’d also be looking for other software, open source if possible, that can do the same task and the key thing is to find a way to get all the data into non-proprietary format. Irrespective of whether transferring the original software if feasible or legal, at some point it won’t be practicable to continue with it, and in that case the data could be lost if it hasn’t been moved to a neutral format. I would also want to have the data somewhere safe (cloud, backup hard disk stored in another building, etc) in case of theft, major malfunction, fire, etc, affecting the machine it’s stored on.

    thecaptain
    Member

    Stop with all the stupid “theft” comments. Whatever else it may be, it is not theft.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Subscriber

    Stop with all the stupid “theft” comments

    All?? Only one poster said using the software was theft, and another quoted them saying it wasn’t. If you mean my post, immediately before yours, I’m talking about somebody else stealing the computer.

    Klunk
    Member

    Stop with all the stupid “theft” comments. Whatever else it may be, it is not theft.

    Surely that depends on the terms and conditions the software was bought under ? though it might be logical to allow people to “move” software onto a new machine by issuing a new license but as a software seller we don’t get any guarantees on what is happening with the original installed version.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    My research leads me to believe this may not work as each copy of Win 10 is associated with the machine that it was installed on.

    The apps could be tied to that particular hardware via some chicanery like IDing the BIOS or MAC address of the network card. However purely from a Windows perspective, you should be able to boot the new machine at which point it registers itself as being eligible to run W10. Then clone the drive to the new machine.

    I’ve never heard of the other one but there’s nothing wrong with EaseUS at all, worst case scenario is the cloning fails and you’ll need to try something else (well, worst case scenario is that you get “source” and “destination” the wrong way round, with hilarious consequences).

    W10 should survive a drive transplant so long as you’re not changing CPU architecture (Intel <-> AMD) but in your case I wouldn’t risk it because…

    It contains 18 years worth of research that cannot be replicated so the thought process was not to take any risks.

    … you already have a huge risk. Where are your backups? If that drive dies tomorrow, you’re boned. Any sensible database app should have the option to export / import data to and from a backup. Or, y’know, clone it. This would be my #1 priority above and beyond fretting about new laptops.

    Though as Greybeard says, if I were you I’d really want to be starting afresh. Clean install of W10, reinstall the apps or better yet get modern replacements, migrate the data. Given its age and it’s upgrade history (and it’s “penchant for locking up – you don’t say…) you’ve got a time bomb on your hands there.

    Matt24k
    Member

    Thanks for your posts Cougar. We have multiple backups of the data on various external drives, Google drive and even Bluray discs. There is also a cloned HDD copy of the entire drive that I update weekly as I replaced it with an SSD sometime ago.
    I was hoping just to pop that SSD in the new laptop which also has an I5 processor and is an HP machine. My hope was I might need a few updated drivers but it may be more complicated.
    I know that the best option is just to run with a clean install on the new machine but to be honest I am not confident that the database will still work as it did not when I tried to export it to a later version of MS office.
    I have now been informed that although it would be nice to have Minitab, it isn’t really necessary to maintain the database.
    I appreciate the comments regarding moving software and realise that most people mean copy rather than move.
    New laptop arrives this week so I will try the various options with cloned drives of both the old and new machine so that I can always go backwards.
    As and aside it appears that you may have to turn System Restore on when you upgrade from Win 7 to Win 10.

    System Restore disabled or greyed out? Turn On System Restore in Windows 10

    disco_stu
    Member

    From memory previous laptop changes were far easier with XP and Win 7 using microsoft easy transfer which is not part of Win 10.

    If you have a computer with Windows 7 on it available to you you can copy Microsoft Easy Transfer to a usb stick/drive and it will work on Windows 10.
    I’ve used it recently to move some users from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

    TiRed
    Member

    If it is a database and analysis software, I’d export the data and install SAS University Edition, which is now free for higher education research use such as hers. Then conduct my analyses. Free software such as R and Python will do the same. She can probably install office 365 for data maintenance.

    What is the software? What does she need to do with it? There are many options.

    fatdaddy
    Member

    A slightly left field suggestion maybe, but what about converting the old laptop to a virtual machine and running on a hypervisor on the new one?

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Subscriber

    We have multiple backups of the data on various external drives, Google drive and even Bluray discs. There is also a cloned HDD copy of the entire drive that I update weekly

    But if you can only use that data on specific software that’s only on one machine and you can’t, in practical terms, get another copy, then your backups are useless if you lose use of that software.

    andyl
    Member

    Virtual machine sounds like a plan. First hit on google sounds like it is exactly what you should be doing as a safeguard against any problems: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/turn-missioncritical-pc-vm-dies/

    Why not install Office 2010 on the new machine if it’s an issue? If you need the files I can punt them over to you and you can use the existing key to activate it.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Is it a microsoft access database if it is based on office2010? In that case maybe all you need is the access 2010 runtime libraries. Maybe… Depends if it was compiled with other stuff of course

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    +1 for trying the virtual machine route (starting with a P2V conversion), probably cleaner to use Hyper-V for the hypervisor (although I only use VMware stuff so can’t really advise on the process). Any idea how the licence protection is done? MAC address would normally change during virtualisation but can be modified after. P2V leaves the source disk unchanged (at least it should do with a newish OS) so it’s something you can experiment with and see what happens without risking breaking the current machine.

    +1 for the convert to virtual route. Every copy of windows 10 has Hyper-V so no cost involved and fairly easy to setup.

    footflaps
    Member

    A slightly left field suggestion maybe, but what about converting the old laptop to a virtual machine and running on a hypervisor on the new one?

    Probably won’t work without a lot of hacking. The hypervisor won’t have the same Ethernet MAC address, BIOS id etc, so most node locked SW will complain. If you know what you’re doing you can edit all the various settings to better clone the original machine, but it’s a lot of effort (unless you have tools to do this) and might not work…

    I changed the motherboard in my work laptop recently, due to a fault in the old one, which upset all the licensed SW. Most vendors just issued me a new key, one flatly refused and wanted me to purchase a new license.

    Matt24k
    Member

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I will look into the Virtual Machine option for testing purposes. To be honest some of the other suggestions are way beyond my skill set.
    Also a bit of searching has pointed me in the direction of plenty of sellers of an Office 2010 key for less than a tenner if I do have to do a clean install. Before I get accused of doing anything underhand, I would like to point out that I have paid for this product and if I had not “upgraded” from Win 7 to Win 10, I would be able to transfer it FOC.
    I suppose this is my main issue as Win 7 and earlier allowed me to transfer relatively simply at no cost. Win 10 originally offered Laplink free to users but now it’s £31.95.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    I suppose this is my main issue as Win 7 and earlier allowed me to transfer relatively simply at no cost

    Did you use that method when you did the Win7 to Win8 upgrade? If so it sounds like the licence key protection is fairly rudimentary which gives cause for hope (if doing a P2V etc).

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Subscriber

    Some of the essential software was installed by the University IT dept. For one program a single use licence for an individual is around £1300

    I’m confused regarding your requirements. I had understood that you needed specialist software, some of which was expensive and not widely available. Is MS Office all you need?

    plenty of sellers of an Office 2010 key for less than a tenner if I do have to do a clean install

    I`m calling bullshit!

    You have 18 years of research in an office 2010 DB? So where did the first 10 years worth come from?
    Easy transfer does not move programs, it just copies a user profile. If you know what folders are included in a user profile then manually copying them is very easy.
    £10 for a 2010 key is dodgy, guaranteed, but then using software you don’t own doesn’t seem to be an issue for you.
    Oh, wait later on you say you have paid for all this software! So you should already have the keys, right?

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