Basically you can clone win7 and use it on similar hardware. Similar means first of all the controller should work with ahci driver. If that is not the case it is always bad. If you use ntfsclone to clone the partition you have to use a hexeditor/dd to clone the serial number of the hd as well - 4 bytes at offset 440. Usually you can boot it - win8 even goes one step further when you use it as win8 to go on an usb hd. The problematic part however begins when you dont use oem activation. Even when the hd serial is the same the rest of the system is different and you have to reactivate. In that view linux is much better, no activation needed. You can install onto usb hd as well and as long as you use network-manager (because you will get different ethX devices) you can go online easyly. As long as you use the oss drivers you can boot it anywhere you have got support for the gfx chip. Well i even extended that and wrote a gfx autodetection for binary drivers but fglrx stopped working for xserver 1.12 on 64 bit and therefore i can not create an iso image with it. Wake up amd!
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Linux Driver Support Still Leaves A Lot To Desire