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Transferring image of 1 computer to another
Thread poster: Reed James

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 20:18
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
May 26, 2006

Hello.

I would like to know this for when I get a new computer... I have an IOmega external hard drive on which I save an image of my entire hard disk in case of a system crash.

What if I transferred this saved image to another computer? Would it work, or would the registry be affected by the 2nd machine? Thanks.

Reed


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Mihail M Mateev
Bulgaria
Local time: 03:18
Member
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
an answer May 26, 2006

Dear Reed,

The system will work fine (all the software), except drivers for some of the devices of the new PC.

For example, if you had a IBM Network Interface Card on the old PC, and a 3COM Network Interface Card, you will have to install the drivers for the 3Com NIC on the new system.

(Note: Well, I know that 3Com NIC drivers are integrated in the modern systems and one does not have to install addiotional drivers, but this is just an example, think of the NIC device and names of the vendors more generally. Even so, the system will tell you that there was a new hardware found sn it id going to indstall the drivers itself...)


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 20:18
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
That's great! May 26, 2006

Mihail,

That is impressive! That saves hours of installing software, etc. I was fearful of the registry, it is still a mystery to me. Thanks.

Reed


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 20:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sorry but .... May 26, 2006

... if it were as easy as Mihail suggests, no-one would ever need to buy original software!

You will need to install all your software (applications) on the new machine; then, it's true, you could recover your data files from the external hard-drive.

HTH


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xxxtlmurray
Local time: 20:18
English
It might work, might not May 26, 2006

Corporations do it all the time in the process of installing new employee machines using images stored on a server. Functionally, the technique sort of works in that you get a machine that sort of works, complete with apps and so on.

The reason I used "sort of" is that there is a high dependency on the hardware being the same: The more differences between machines, the less the technique works. In may situations you get a machine that works but is slow, or has funny things happen with, say, video or USB devices. And even when the machines are exactly the same, testing shows that it is not uncommon for the new machine to run a bit slower, not in processing speed, but in responsiveness to things like right-clicks. It's just sluggish at the desktop.

But, that said, even it technique were doable, I would not do it. The reason is that it is the nature of Windows to be in a continually degrading state or downhill slide. Registries never get smaller over time. General dll clutter never cleans itself up out over time.

Thus, I would fortify my office with a large quantity of alcohol and cigarettes, some music, and take the time to properly install applications. From your old machine, think of very application and what you want out of it, such as custom dictionaries or templates. Grab your e-mail address book. So on and so forth. In short, you want to install the apps from scratch and repurpose your data.

Also, Windows has a migration assistant. I've never used it, but only because I don't trust Microsoft to do it right, but it could definitely be worth checking out.

[Edited at 2006-05-26 21:59]


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 20:18
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Better safe than sorry May 28, 2006

I think I'll pass on transferring an old computer's system to a new one, as tempting as it may seem. It sounds counterproductive to upgrade to a better machine and then make it slower than it should be.

Thanks for the advice, tlmurray.

Reed


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 02:18
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
"I think I'll pass on transferring an old computer's system" May 31, 2006

Sensible decision - not just because the chance of success is rather slim. It's also because these milestoneshelp up clean up all the cr*p that gets collected with years on our harddisks. It includes also our ways of thinking and working.

It's exactly the same thing as moving: chance to dump things and get finally the right furnature - "...I always wanted that sofa and now's the time ..."

You know what I mean.

Just make sure, you do alot some time - my suggestion would be no less than a day, maybe even three - to move. The first day you'll stumble from one pothole into another one - talking out of experience. Then it starts to get better and the third day you are f-l-y-i-n-g.

regards



[Edited at 2006-05-31 12:28]


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 20:18
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your advice May 31, 2006

Vito,

I like your approach. It sounds like I will save time in the future if I take enough time to do the move. Thanks.

Reed


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:18
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Don´t missmatch migrating data and using an image May 31, 2006

tlmurray wrote:

Corporations do it all the time in the process of installing new employee machines using images stored on a server. Functionally, the technique sort of works in that you get a machine that sort of works, complete with apps and so on.

The reason I used "sort of" is that there is a high dependency on the hardware being the same: The more differences between machines, the less the technique works. In may situations you get a machine that works but is slow, or has funny things happen with, say, video or USB devices. And even when the machines are exactly the same, testing shows that it is not uncommon for the new machine to run a bit slower, not in processing speed, but in responsiveness to things like right-clicks. It's just sluggish at the desktop.

But, that said, even it technique were doable, I would not do it. The reason is that it is the nature of Windows to be in a continually degrading state or downhill slide. Registries never get smaller over time. General dll clutter never cleans itself up out over time.

Thus, I would fortify my office with a large quantity of alcohol and cigarettes, some music, and take the time to properly install applications. From your old machine, think of very application and what you want out of it, such as custom dictionaries or templates. Grab your e-mail address book. So on and so forth. In short, you want to install the apps from scratch and repurpose your data.

Also, Windows has a migration assistant. I've never used it, but only because I don't trust Microsoft to do it right, but it could definitely be worth checking out.

[Edited at 2006-05-26 21:59]

The MS assistent works just fine and allows you to move your data and settings from one PC to the other. If you stick to what is the only right MS method of saving data (ie everything in c:\cuments and settings, which is the worsest choice you can make), this assistent will transfer all your data.
As with everything, be carefull when transfering, as the new PC might differ in settings. Check the data to be saved when using this assistent. Moving data from other partition than c: to a new partition other than c: is very easy, when you use network. You just need to copy them.

When you get a new machine, install all the software from new and then migrate the settings. This is surely the better way.

Regards
Jerzy


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