Saturday, January 5, 2019

Windows 10 from Virtual to Real

In preparation for moving my stepfather's windows 10 installation to an SSD, I was trying out clonezilla. Having booted my virtualbox windows 10 machine to the clonezilla iso, I duped the virtual system drive out to a spare SSD (ye gods. Spare SSDs). Figuring out how to test it was a puzzle, so I tried what seemed like a dumb idea. I took the duplicate of the virtual drive downstairs to the Intel NUC I use down there as a shop computer. It runs Linux normally, but with some bios kicking so it would boot from USB drives, it started reading the drive.

And guess what. It booted into Windows 10, with all of my apps in place, no problems.  I didn't know it would do that. I had to update some drivers, and I did //not// check to see if it was authorized, and I did //not// plug the SSD into the NUC's one and only SATA port (USB3 was fine) but taking the ship out of the bottle and putting it in the ocean actually worked.

Cloning a Linux machine wouldn't have surprised me. They don't have stupid DRM baked in. The fact that playing that fast and loose with a Windows 10 license did work was the surprise.

Learn something new every day.

Note Bene: My basement machine would be pretty much useless with Windows on it, so once I did a long-overdue BIOS update on the NUC, I shut down, unplugged the windows drive, and everything went back to normal. After some more BIOS kicking so it would boot from the built-in drive again. Bleah. I don't like UEFI bios much. Intel's version, even less so.


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