Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Can Ubuntu be a Drop-in-Replacement?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Beans
    593

    Can Ubuntu be a Drop-in-Replacement?

    I got a new-to-me laptop and I'd like to transfer my old laptop to this one. I know that, back in my younger, unenlightened window$ days, you couldn't just take the hard drive out of one computer and drop it in another one and expect it to work due to hardware and driver issues.

    My question is does Ubuntu suffer from this as well? Or is it able to adapt itself to the new hardware?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Beans
    599
    Distro
    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Can Ubuntu be a Drop-in-Replacement?

    I've taken an SSD from a 9 year old Intel Mini-ITX desktop machine and installed it in a more modern Intel NUC, lo and behold, everything worked.

    However, your new laptop may have different wifi, graphics and sound devices compared to your older one?

    I would simply try it - nothing ventured nothing gained.

    In my experience Ubuntu is quite versatile when presented with alternative hardware.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Beans
    593

    Re: Can Ubuntu be a Drop-in-Replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by tea for one View Post
    I've taken an SSD from a 9 year old Intel Mini-ITX desktop machine and installed it in a more modern Intel NUC, lo and behold, everything worked.

    However, your new laptop may have different wifi, graphics and sound devices compared to your older one?

    I would simply try it - nothing ventured nothing gained.

    In my experience Ubuntu is quite versatile when presented with alternative hardware.
    Honestly, I am seriously hoping for a different (i.e. better) graphics adapter. I can't do anything related to rendering with my current laptop.

    If I do try this, if it doesn't work as expected, you don't think it'd do any damage to the system to where I can't put it back in my old laptop and it pick up where it left off, do you? Thank you for the vote of confidence!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Beans
    5,579

    Re: Can Ubuntu be a Drop-in-Replacement?

    back in my younger, unenlightened window$ days, you couldn't just take the hard drive out of one computer and drop it in another one and expect it to work due to hardware and driver issues.
    It would also be a problem because the windows license is specific to one computer and specific hardware. Obviously that is not the case with Ubuntu. You should be able to move the drive to another computer and have the new hardware detected. I'd try the drive in the new computer and see what happens and don't make any changes if you think you might want to put it back in the old computer. If you get ereros, you might post again with the specific error before making any change. You might try using an Ubuntu 'live' system of the same version to test.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Beans
    599
    Distro
    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Can Ubuntu be a Drop-in-Replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by rebeltaz View Post
    If I do try this, if it doesn't work as expected, you don't think it'd do any damage to the system to where I can't put it back in my old laptop and it pick up where it left off, do you? Thank you for the vote of confidence!
    I do not think that you would cause any damage by transferring the (Ubuntu) drive to your newer laptop.

    However, it is always advisable to proceed cautiously and carefully..

    As yancek mentioned, try it and do not make any changes until you confident that there are no trapdoors.

    Is Windows OS also on your original drive? I keep forgetting about this because I last dual-booted more than 10 years ago?

    I have no idea if you can transfer a Windows drive seamlessly.

    By the way, what are the models of each laptop? Similar or markedly different?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Beans
    407

    Re: Can Ubuntu be a Drop-in-Replacement?

    With Ubuntu you should be able to just to drop in the HD. Only problem would be If old Ubuntu does not have drivers for the new hardware yet. 14.04 won't have drivers for 2019 hardware.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Beans
    550

    Re: Can Ubuntu be a Drop-in-Replacement?

    It should work, I've done it lots of times including changing motherboards in desktop cases. In most cases Ubuntu will simply load the correct drivers.

    The only potential fly in the ointment is if the old laptop is old enough to be BIOS based and the new one is UEFI.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
    Beans
    2,781
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Can Ubuntu be a Drop-in-Replacement?

    The only thing I've heard of when swapping hard drives is to be sure there are no user added drivers. For instance, if drivers from Nvidia were installed and active and the install were inserted into a machine with AMD graphics it may not be happy. Using drivers already installed 'out of the box' shouldn't cause a problem. I did something similar this past weekend. I had a desktop power supply that decided it had lived long enough and decided to take the motherboard along for its trip the the hereafter. I bought a new Ryzen motherboard/processor, installed them and everything worked, no surprises. I know graphics drivers can be a problem, I'm not sure about others such as Broadcom Wifi drivers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Squidbilly-Land
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Can Ubuntu be a Drop-in-Replacement?

    I've swapped drives multiple times in multiple different machines. In general, it works, but ...
    * NICs might not work due to the new system having an odd NIC; MAC changes cause udev to work through reassigning device names
    * Any fstab entries that aren't lookups, i.e. are direct device names like /dev/sda1, can fail totally. UUIDs have been the default for 15+ yrs, so it would be manually added storage.
    * Drivers, especially for GPUs that don't exist. Usually when a driver for a discrete GPU is installed, sometimes other drivers have to be blacklisted. This can end up with no GPU drivers on the new system. Best to remove any proprietary GPU drivers and un-blacklist the GPL GPU drivers BEFORE moving the disk.
    * I did have an issue moving a virtual machine server from Intel to AMD CPUs. Some of the VMs were specifically setup to use Intel CPUs, so it wasn't any surprise on an AMD VM host when the VMs weren't happy to boot. Fixed that in the VM settings, no other issues.
    * Obviously, moving a 64-bit install into a i686 CPU won't work.

    None of this is unexpected, right?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Beans
    585

    Re: Can Ubuntu be a Drop-in-Replacement?

    For what it's worth I can attest to success here. I've moved my server ssd to 2 different machines now with totally different hardware from the first installation. Not one single problem yet. To be fair I haven't had any custom drivers or firmware to deal with, that may be an issue. The only minor "issue" i had was that my static ip didn't work as my interface name had changed on the new hardware. Easy fix, just plan for it.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •