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Copy Operating System, Progams, and Files to New Computer


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#1 UpgradeMe

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 08:19 AM

I just bought a new (used) computer which has 2 160 GB hard drives, and I would like to know how to make an exact copy of the hard drive on my current computer onto the main drive of the new one.

The old computer has Windows XP Professional and the new one, also, but the old one has Microsoft Office 2003, while the new one does not. I bought the old computer new in the box, but it was very old. A farmer's coop kept around extras until they decided to replace the old computers and then sold them all new and used. I was lucky enough to get one of the extras that had never been used for an absurd price ($79 PPD). It's a P4, but a nice PC., and it's in almost new shape after 2 years. However, I needed more processing power to power a television tuner and software, so I bought the new computer, a duo core. Unfortunately, the old computer, although new in the box when purchased, did not include a restore disk. I suspect that the restore disks were shipped separately with the purchase, when the coop originally bought the computers.

I have all the installers for all the programs on my machine, so I can easily just hook up my current USB backup drive and begin installing the programs. Also, I can easily make backups of my "Start Menu" and "Desktop". I already have a backup of all my important pictures, music, video, and document files. The only problem is that I will lose MSOffice 2003 if I cannot copy it over to the new machine, and I would like to keep the program. Do I have ANY options? Are there any programs that make this possible?

Thanks in advance for any help...

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 08:50 AM

The only way to copy an O/S and installed programs to a different drive...is to use cloning software to do so, copying the entire partition/drive.

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#3 strolln

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 09:25 AM

An alternative you might consider is OpenOffice. It has most of the functionality of MS Office and can read/write MS compatible files. The missing functionality is mostly the lack of VBA for macro writing and Outlook.

Edited by strolln, 03 July 2010 - 09:27 AM.

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#4 UpgradeMe

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 11:43 PM

Thanks guys. Hamluis, for simple reference, is cloning software easy to use? I mean, is it as simple as choose drive to clone, and choose drive to which to copy?

#5 strolln

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 08:12 AM

Yes, cloning software can be that simple. You do understand that cloning won't accomplish what you want to do, right? Cloning is most useful to clone a small HDD so a larger one can be installed in the same machine. Cloning an HDD between different machines is very troubleprone and may not work at all. If you were to clone the HDD from your old machine to the new machine you would lose the software/programs installed on the new machine and then the new machine may not even boot using the cloned drive.
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#6 hamluis

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 08:44 AM

Strolln is right...cloning a hard drive won't necessarily allow for use between differing systems with differing hardware.

I wasn't focusing on the right things when I made my previous reply :thumbsup:.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 04 July 2010 - 08:45 AM.


#7 UpgradeMe

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 01:37 PM

OK, so the OS and some of the programs may have code in them that does not allow for the programs to be moved from one machine to another (based on the machine ID?). I guess I can see why considering that anyone could make multiple copies on multiple machines that way. What about things like, for example, start menu or desktop? I have all the installers for my programs (except MS Office), but setting up the start menu and desktop would be a little troublesome. Can I overwrite just those folders? Seems like those would be more like "My Documents", which I would assume can be copied over to a disk in another machine...

Thanks for the help. I've been confused on this issue for a long time....

BTW Strolln...I do use OpenOffice. I have found that some of the basic features of the program are better than MS Office for me. Copying and Pasting data, for example, is one thing I've experienced troubles with using MS Office, while in OpenOffice, this seems to be more reliable. Also, moving data from one source to another, I have had more luck with OO. I really will miss the tools of MSOffice, especially "Picture Editor". Guess I'll just have to buy a copy...I know it's only like $40-50. I shouldn't be complaining...

Edited by UpgradeMe, 04 July 2010 - 01:45 PM.


#8 hamluis

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 02:01 PM

If you have the capability of installing programs...then any data files can be moved from one system/drive to another.

The desktop can be saved...but it's really not of much value to most users, since most of what is reflected is nothing but shortcuts. If the programs aren't installed, the shortcuts are useless. If the programs are reinstalled, the shortcuts can be/will be recreated.

The start menu is governed by installed programs, being nothing but shortcuts to programs which are properly installed.

The only complication with moving files in the Documents & Settings group...is the fact that you may have to take ownership of the files in order to access them.

I find that the only things that one really needs to be concerned with when moving files to a new system...are the email folders, favorites, cookies. These tend to be the only files that I make sure that I move from one system to the next. I keep my data files on several other hard drives.

Louis

#9 UpgradeMe

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 05:43 PM

Thanks again. Yeah, favorites and cookies are good ones...

I will transfer over the start menu, because I have set it up a certain way, and it's kind of complicated, so it will be easier for me. Also, the desktop is set up in an unusual way, so it's pretty much the same situation. Also, the "My Documents" folder. Overall, it should be an easy move, I guess. Just need to get a copy of MS Office...

Appreciate the help...

Edited by UpgradeMe, 04 July 2010 - 05:43 PM.





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