Cloning an installed program?

By raffaella front · 6 replies
Jun 29, 2010
  1. I have a valuable program on my laptop that I want also want to have on my desktop pc.The problem is I don’t have the original installation CD and no downloads of it are available either.

    Is there any free or inexpensive software that allows me to make a clone of the program directly from my laptop’s hard drive so I can then copy of it onto a flash drive and then load it onto my desktop?
  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    You can copy and paste, and try that.
    What program, and what does it do? Perhaps you can find a replacement?
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    If the program was installed using the Windows installer (e.g. you find it listed in Add/Remove Programs) then it requires the full installation package (what would be on that install CD or downloaded online if you could find it) to be reinstalled. Copy/paste alone won't cut it :(

    I think you're out of luck :dead:
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Simple programs work...
    They won't have shell extensions, or autostartup fancy stuff.
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    what's the name of it?
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Don't believe such a program exists, because if it did, people would clone all kinds of expensive apps instead of buying them.
  7. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    As far as I know, it only works one way. You can install a program from an installer, but you can’t create an installer from an installed program.

    Of course, this applies to installed programs. In contrast, portable programs, which don’t require installation, can be copied and carried around even on a USB memory stick, as their name implies. One more reason to choose portable apps instead of installed ones. And there are more reasons, but they would take us off topic.

    Now, getting back on topic, you don’t say what program it is. It’s also strange that a “valuable” program is no longer available. Even if it’s not, almost always there are many alternative ones that will do the same job, some of them possibly freeware.

    Anyway, in theory, there is a very round-about and highly impractical way of getting the program from your laptop on your desktop. First create a backup of all your files that are on your desktop system partition. Then create an image of your entire laptop system partition and install that on your desktop, replacing its own system partition content. Then uninstall all apps you don’t want and re-install the ones you originally had on your desktop. Finally, transfer your backed-up files back on your desktop.

    Far better, forget the whole above idea of mine! :)
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