Move bootable, Mint/Cinnamon SDD to a different laptop

My laptop died. I have promised it a proper burial.

The question now is, if I assume that the internal SSD is still good, can I just install it into the next laptop, as is? Or can it only be installed into the same make/model as the now-deceased laptop?


I have installed on multiple occasions, the SSD/HDD from a dead laptop to the same make model replacement(used ones of course) with no issues. If you change brand/models etc, you will see issues such as hardware not working, maybe video etc, however you can always try it. Somethings may just need minor tweaks, or if your WiFi isn’t working plug in a Ethernet cable to get network up and load what’s necessary for the hardware changes, really dependent on your level of “under the hood”.

So, IF you can acquire the same brand/model you should be fine.

Otherwise I would suggest booting your install USB to the LiveCD, mount your drive, backup what you need from the drive and doing a clean install.

Hope this helps.


Hey @nwarren!
Yes, you can simply plugin your SSD to a new laptop. If it has a different graphics card, you may need a different module installation (though most are available inside the actual Kernel). I did something similar when I moved Arch from a virtual machine (with virtual drivers) to an actual physical machine. All I needed was to install the Nvidia driver and everything works perfectly.

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Got it.
Thanks, Guys.


Hey guys,
I’ve had drives that would go from laptop to laptop and even laptop to desktop. I’ve also had the same that failed as well. I like to poke around and see what sparks…I mean works. In my limited experience it depends on distro and what drivers come with it.
That said, I’ve been installing Mint Debain Edition quite a bit lately and that is a piece of artwork! Booting from the live usb, I’ve been able to enable Wi-Fi before installing on everything I’ve tried it on. Old Mac laptops and iMacs, and medium age pc desktops. I’m seriously thinking about removing Mint, Win10, Manjaro and Ubuntu as multi boot on my HP laptop and go back with just LMDE and run the others in Virtual Box. Along with Kali. What do y’all think?
I forgot to add…backup first! Lol

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LMDE, a very tempting prospect! I’m interested to learn about others’ experiences with this process.

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Hey @GrillerMiller!
Your experience is indeed much better with the Debian edition of Linux Mint for the simple reason that LMDE uses a much newer Kernel than the current Ubuntu-based Mint. Of course, this will change at the end of this month, where the new Mint will come out. A newer Kernel means more modules (AKA drivers) available.

@nwarren - my experience with LMDE has been great - as I tried it on a couple of systems. Unfortunately, I had to “downgrade” to the original Mint so that I had a reference system to test things out for people who encountered problems with it.

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This is good news about Mint’s new version becoming available at the end of this month, @vasileios . At that point, I’m guessing that I can move my SSD to a different laptop, install the new Mint, and anticipate that that will resolve all of the former, hardware-migration incompatibility issues which LMDE so gracefully handled.

Thanks. I’ll hold out for the new Mint.

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Always good to know what is coming, as i will also wait for that ISO of the new Mint and give it a test drive. Might you know if software installations will be more Windows like, and not Terminal dependent?
Or if there is a really good Terminal course for amateurs? So far am only able to cut and paste commands from experts like yourself. That works though am not learning how to do it…


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I’ve been monitoring Mint lately and they will be putting out a new GUI (Graphic User Interface) for their upgrade process.

Per the terminal material, we do have quite a few courses on our LMS - if you happen to be a member there. Also, there are quite a few videos too you can check out.

As always, you are a wealth of knowledge. Not entirely unhappy with Ubuntu just clueless about how Terminal interface is actually working though have had moderate success with software installs.
Ready to test drive Zorin and the new Mint soon once I find the zip drives that are somewhere…

I tried to abbreviate my password on Ubuntu and it insists on a longer password that it seems is very frequently required. There is probably a workaround for this? Mahalo

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Hey @mauip!
There’s a process to reduce the requirements of a password, but I wouldn’t recommend this - as it has a terminal-based process to do so. As long as you make a password 6-8 characters, it should be enough. Keep in mind that all the passwords I use are by default at least 8 characters, so I haven’t received such a warning.

If I’m understanding correctly, I can open Dolphin, copy my home directory, and paste it in my external ssd and then switch distros without worrying about losing anything?
Thanks, Mike19

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Hey @Mike19!
Yes, as long as you have the hidden files visible (CTRL+H). Just copy the folder inside the /home directory and all of your personal files and settings will be copied along.

Keep in mind that in order for those settings to become applicable, you will need to have the applications installed in your new distro.

Great!! That sounds easier than I thought. So when I have the new distro up and running, all I need to do is replace the home folder with the one I saved to the sdd?

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Yes. The only thing to remember is the following:
If you have installed any additional applications beforehand (on the system you are copying from), I would recommend you fist install them before doing the full home folder copy.