IT'S ALIVE! After major surgery

It’s been too long since my last post and I thought I should let you know why.

After over eight years the motherboard of my PC died. It was a very slow process beginning from the day I got it.

This was a refurbished Dell XPS 8900 with Windows 10 Home installed and a faulty startup circuit. It occasionally required the start button to be pressed twice before it would actually start. It would, at times, begin the startup after the first press of the power button but then turn off after about 10 seconds. That would result in another press of the power button before actually reaching the home screen.

Over time I added memory, M.2, and Replaced the BT/Network card. Added and replaced numerous drives of various sizes and architectures, removed the DVD drive (of course), replaced the PS, and graphics card, and changed the case to one much smaller.

I dumped Windows after a couple of years and blue screens and installed Linux Mint (I think it was version 19 but not sure). I have worked with numerous Linux distros including Ubuntu and Mint over the years but settled on Mint as it was more comfortable for me overall.

After building way too many servers and PCs in my past I am not in the mood to repeat those experiences, so I searched for a complete system and settled on one of the many mini PCs offered on Amazon. Specifically, the Minisforum HX90 with Ryzen 9, 32 MB DDR4, 512GB M.2 with Windows 11 Pro ready to install. For many this may not be a good fit but for me it is.

The whole time I was looking for a replacement I was wondering if I could just transplant my 512GB M.2 Linux drive into the new PC without having to reinvent the wheel. The internet presented conflicting information regarding this.

When I received my new PC, I was very surprised at how small it was (a good thing for me).

I started out by replacing the included M.2 with my Linux M.2, added an internal SSD, plugged in my monitor, and fired it up. I figured the worst case would be having to reinstall Linux and rebuild or clone. No big deal, just a pain in the rear.

It took a little longer (mere seconds) to boot up the first time, but when it was completed to the desktop it was as if the transplant never happened and, for me, this proves primary boot drives can be transplanted as long as you’re dealing with Linux. Keep in mind this was from an Intel system to an AMD with ALL different hardware.

There was a bonus as there was no need for third-party drivers at all as opposed to the Dell graphics (which never worked requiring me to only use the generic driver).
After the initial kind of slow boot, this thing gets to the desktop in under 10 seconds from a cold start.

So, for those who are wondering about transplanting (Linux Mint), I can say from experience, it works flawlessly.


Awesome…I would never have thought it possible with different hardware.

Sheila Flanagan

Some 9-10 years ago I used to do this regularly - take the 256 GB SATA SSD out of my Intel CPU Dell Laptop, and run it in my AMD Phenom II desktop - with NVidia GPU.

Then switch back again…

It just worked… I’ve also done things like : use an AMD CPU system to build FreeNAS, then transfer the RAID volumes and boot drive into my HP N40L Microserver (also AMD, but low power Turion). If I can afford to get all my 8 TB drives in one hit, I may in fact do this again - and ZFSend my ZFS datasets to migrate (rather than swap in each drive, and let the resilver happen - and fraught with risk)…

I really like the look of that mini PC - been thinking about getting a pair of mini PCs to run VMware ESX (yeah I know Proxmox is better, probably KVM too - but ESX’s what I use at work). Been reading inconclusive reports that it’s ALWAYS better to use Intel CPU for VMware… I’m not convinced… Given you usually get more cores / threads on AMD - it would be more bang for the buck… I reckon 32 GB would probably be enough too - I’d mostly run headless Linux servers (e.g. max 4 GB per VM) on there anyway - maybe the odd FreeBSD and / or Solaris x86…


I have a refurbished Dell 9020 with a 512Gb SSD. I could probably do a similar transplant and save my Gentoo.
On second thoughts, that may not be wise. My Gentoo is compiled specifically for the Haswell architecture.
I would have thought there may have been problems with UUID’s of partitions if you moved a disk. There are if you copy the contents of partitions.
Well done.

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Forgot to mention, both were running Ubuntu 12, 13 or 14… wouldn’t even contemplate this on a Windows system…



Are organic computers a thing these days? :rofl:


Quite a few are packed with Blood, Sweat, and Tears.


Well, they pre-date man made devices by several million years, are massively parallel, and outperform man made devices at some tasks. Unfortunately they have built in obsolescence, but compensate for this by having an amazing ability to reproduce themselves.

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