Generally, if I switch the bootable disks of two laptops, will both of them be able to boot into each other's OS? If not, what is the reason that it is not possible? Differences between CPU ISAs, differences between operating systems, or something else?

If I have two laptops running both Lubuntu 18.04, will it be possible then?

What if one laptop has a 64-bit Intel CPU, and the other has a 64-bit AMD CPU?

closed as too broad by Rui F Ribeiro, Jeff Schaller, drewbenn, Stephen Harris, Haxiel Feb 28 at 7:40

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There's a good chance it will work, particularly if both have the same OS and CPU. I believe there can be difference between Intel and AMD CPUs, and if you have different versions of CPUs, like Red Lake, and KB Lake the chances of it working decrease.

If you're running Windows, the chances of it working become quite low, since Windows logs the hardware configuration of the machine where it's installed and will not boot if that configuration changes.

The other problem you will probably run into is that if there any difference in the peripherals you will be missing drivers for those peripherals when you swap the drives.

Your best bet is to try this with two computers that have the same hardware configuration and OS running on them. Under those conditions, it'll probably work.

Good luck!

  • "you will be missing drivers for those peripherals" -- that depends on the OS! Debian, for example, includes all its drivers in a typical installation. The only way drivers would be missing is if they would have also been missing if you installed on that hardware in the first place (e.g. for hardware that requires non-free drivers). – drewbenn Feb 28 at 0:25

At the Linux-based computer reuse and recycling center where I once volunteered, HDDs were mass-erased and mass-loaded with Ubuntu. Nowadays, they use Mint, but the same process is in use, for multiple makes and versions of laptops.

Where I work in a Fortune 50 establishment, I have on occasion moved HDDs loaded with Enterprise Windows 10 from one machine to another. It works, but will not work if you don't use Enterprise with a license server.

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