Can i clone my hard drive and run the installed programs into other computer

I have windows XP installed on my laptop (Sony Vaio VGN CR 35-G/L). Now I want to install windows 7 on it but while installation I got to know that I cant just upgrade to Windows XP to windows 7 ultimate. I have to do custom installation and for that I have to format my C drive (bootable drive), which I cannot do as there are some very expensive licensed programs installed there for which I cannot get a new copy. I tried to virtualize my C Drive (by VM ware standalone 5.1) and run it through VMware (version 8.0). but it is showing "corrupt hard disk" and keeps on restarting. Is possible to clone my C drive in an external hard disk, and then install it on my new desktop HD so that I can upgrade my laptop?
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  1. I'm not saying that it's impossible. It would likely be extremely complicated to successfully do so. Depending on the Publisher, if you have a proof of purchase (ie legit disc/box etc) they should be able and willing to help you out. If it's a CAD program, you should be able to 'unregister' it from the computer so that you can successfully reinstall it.
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