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The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-22-2005, 04:20 PM   #1
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The PC is dead, long live the PC

Time to replace an unreliable PC. The new one is on the way.

I've heard about utilities that will move all the programs and settings, so I don't need to dig out the originals, find the registrations (or get new ones from the vendor), and then download all the updates. (Data is not a problem -- I can get all that brom backup CDs.)

Has anyone used any of these? Any recommendations?

Preferably, I'll go to CD, not over a LAN. The problem with the old one is random freeze-ups, and a several hour transfer is problematic.

Thanks,

Dory36
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-22-2005, 04:29 PM   #2
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

Dory, I can't tell you what software to use to port over your profile etc., but once you have, slave your old hard drive to the new computer for while, they always miss something, and it's much easier to just copy paste the files than re-burn cd's etc. I suspect if you just copies your ntuser.dat file and the profile directory you log into onto your new computer, you should retain many of your settings. Will you be upgrading operating systems? Things get a little more complex then....
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-22-2005, 04:30 PM   #3
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

Try Norton Ghost.
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-22-2005, 05:14 PM   #4
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

Thanks, lawrencewill and spanky.

I am going from XP Pro to XP Pro, so that part should be easy.

I have Ghost. I understand it handles a lot of this sort of thing, at the expense of wiping out whatever is on the new boot disk. The only other catch is that the old PC has G: as the boot disk...
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-22-2005, 05:36 PM   #5
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

Quote:
Try Norton Ghost.
I love ghost, I use it to multicast new images to clients all the time.

Highly recommended!
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-22-2005, 05:39 PM   #6
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

Ghost is good but not super friendly.

May I suggest an unpopular option? Reinstall everything even though its a pain in the butt. I've tried the "side slide" option many, many a time and usually at some point realized that something wasnt working right and ended up doing it from scratch anyhow. The end result was usually a more stable system anyhow.

I'm not sure if XP will even allow itself to side-slide, even with Ghost. It will probably detect the new hardware platform and make you call MS before XP will authenticate. They've tightened up the hatches a little bit lately.

If you cant find a serial number or non-single-use key and definitely do legally own the software, I can think of at least one person who probably owns just about everything and might have a spare key handy...

I'll bet the problem with your old system is either memory or power supply. Reseat your memory modules and replace the supply if you have a spare. Might keep it stable long enough to get some stuff transferred over.

The "settings and files wizard" on XP is surprisingly good at carrying over your data and the 99 million little settings, wallpaper and whatnot from your old machine. I've used it a couple of times with fairly good results.
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-22-2005, 06:58 PM   #7
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

One other thing...if you dont have one get yerself a usb2.0/firewire external drive chassis. They're available in the $25-30 range for a basic no frills model. Drop a decent size older spare hard disk in it and its waaay better than fiddling with cd's or network transfers. Handy for spot backups and offline storage as well.

Make sure you get one with a fan in it, and if you have a 5400rpm drive, use that. You wont get much benefit from a 7200rpm drive except more heat.

Heres a passel of them.
http://www.dealsonic.com/plumax.html

If you have a machine without either a USB 2.0 or firewire port, you can add a PCI firewire/USB 2.0 combo card for $17 on the drop-down boxes below when adding to cart.

In a pinch, you can also mount a cd or dvd burner in most models and have a handy external burner.
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-22-2005, 07:06 PM   #8
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

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Make sure you get one with a fan in it
Crud, I didn't even think of that =P

I bought one a few months ago for my $50 120GB BestBuy HDD. Oh well... if it fails, it fails.
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-22-2005, 07:19 PM   #9
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

Is it a metal case? If so, does the case have good contact with the top surface of the drive? If so...you're ok if its a 5400rpm drive and ok for an hour or two with a 7200 in a reasonably well vented area.

I wouldnt run it a real long time in a cabinet or anything though.

My original external was a big honking aluminum beast that had a frame in it that the 3.5" drive mounted into. Good metal to metal contact. The case acted as a very good oversized heatsink. I had a 4400rpm (yes...4400) quantum drive I picked up to put in there. USB 1.1 only which is why it ended up on the scrap heap. Still works though...5 years later.
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-22-2005, 07:21 PM   #10
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

Heck no, i'm too cheap for a snazzy metal case, it's the cheapest plastic USB/Firewire external enclosure I could find.... besides, with the blue LED on the front, how could I go wrong?

To date, it has been running for 3 months, and has yet to have a single MB of data written to it....
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-22-2005, 09:43 PM   #11
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

If your new computer has an empty bay, you could just move the old hard drive into your new computer. Use it as a 2nd drive.
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-23-2005, 01:41 AM   #12
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

I'll probably move pretty much all the data by just moving a hard disk into the new PC.

The major pain is the dozens of paid shareware programs that need registration numbers. The last time I did this, I lost a handful because I could not find the email where I had received the registration info.

The rest are just a hassle, as th says. I have all the disks and numbers - just need to dig them all out from whatever box they are in. I also ran Belarc Advisor which collects a good number of these registration numbers from the PC itself.

I hadn't seen the external HD boxes - thanks for the tip.

Dory36
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-23-2005, 03:18 AM   #13
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

I think all you need to copy the operating system and registry over to the new drive.
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-23-2005, 03:25 AM   #14
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

here is an article on XP cloning

http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=418
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-23-2005, 03:28 AM   #15
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

Most shareware programs that I've seen will allow you to call up the registration code by going to the "Help...About" box. You might try that if you can't find registration emails for them. Or you could send an email to the developer as they may know how to pull that info out of the registry.

I would also recommend the idea of doing a clean windows install rather than trying to migrate. I've never seen a migration like that where everything worked like it was supposed to. When you start transferring system files, my experience is that you bring a whole bunch of cruft over from the last system which results in a noticeable slowdown of the new system. You'll get better performance if you start fresh and only reinstall what you need (I'd bet that you'll find there are many programs that you think you need but won't actually end up using).

Quote:
I'll probably move pretty much all the data
The major pain is the dozens of paid shareware programs that need registration numbers. The last time I did this, I lost a handful because I could not find the email where I had received the registration info.
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-23-2005, 03:33 AM   #16
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

Hi Dory36

any windows XP or XP Pro

Go to start
programs
accessories
system tools
files and settings transfer wizard
follow directions works well between same operating systems
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-23-2005, 09:05 AM   #17
 
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

My PC just died too. It would shut down itself after running for a few minutes. Turns out that the CPU heatsink fan isn't spinning. I just ordered a new heatsink (can't find a 6mm x 6mm 20CFM fan.)

When I change PCs I pop the old drive in the new PC as a slave, and reinstall everything manually on the new drive. Reinstalling manually is a good idea because you will have a 'clean' system. I try to do this once per year. Microsoft's operating systems aren't designed to run for years, installing programs, uninstalling, running, ... The OS tends to accumulate 'stuff' which degrades performance. Try a clean install on an older machine, you'll be amazed at how fast and responsive it is.
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC
Old 03-23-2005, 12:45 PM   #18
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Re: The PC is dead, long live the PC

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With the blue LED on the front, how could I go wrong?
I know that exact one. You know for a buck extra you could have had aluminum and a fan.

[arnold]Your puny 120GB $50 best buy drive is being mocked by my 160GB $49 fry's drive.[/arnold]
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