Workstation / notebook strategy

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

I would like to find out if it is possible (and reasonably easy) to
"clone" a workstation onto a laptop so that I can take my work
environment on the road.

I do 95% of my work in the office, but occasionally I would like to be
able to take the entire system out of the office. This is mainly for
vacations, but also for demos. It is only an occasional need, so I am
thinking that if I could easily just clone the workstation onto the
notebook, I would have everything I need.

I would also use the notebook as my "experimental" machine where I
would install trial software until I am sure I like it. I often
downoad several competing shareware titles for evaluation and end up
uninstalling all but one. I am sure this messes up the registry. If I
could do that on the laptop, I could periodically overwrite everything
and start fresh.

I would want the cloning to completely overwrite the notebook HDD and
I would want it to be (as much as possible) an exact replica,
including all of the data files (probably easy) and also all of the
installed software (probably not so easy) as well as the user
customizations.

I have been reading about Norton Ghost and other utilities. They seem
intended primarily as backup utilities. Can they be used to clone one
machine onto a different one with different hardware?

Does it even make sense to clone in this manner? The notebook will
have completely different peripherals. Won't that mess up the system
configuration or the registry or something?

Does Ghost even copy the registry and other system settings?

How good (reliable) is Norton Ghost?

We have a fairly fast (100MB, I think) ethernet LAN. I currently use
Beyond Compare to sync files and folders. It works great and is very
fast. I could use it to sync the entire hard disk, I suppose, but that
wouldn't get the registry and the installed software. Maybe this is
not even possible because of licensing restrictions -- even though I
will never be using the two machines at the same time.

Anyway, I would appreciate suggestions on whether anything like what I
want to do is reasonably feasible. If not, I'd appreciate alternative
suggestions.

Thanks

--
For email, use Usenet-20031220 at spamex.com
9 answers Last reply
More about workstation notebook strategy
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    I hope I am wrong, but I think cloning the desktop to the laptop will be
    very hard due to licensing restrictions. I am mostly a linux user, but
    I do have a Windows box and was very surprised when I found out MS
    doesn't even provide a way to back up the system! You can back up most
    files, and "settings" (whatever that means), but I never found a way to
    do a full system backup and restore, at least without 3rd party
    software. This seems to be a matter where Microsoft's (percieved) needs
    trump those of the user.

    How about just switching over to a laptop for everything? Lots of
    people where I work are doing this, including me. Throw in a couple
    gigs of ram, a 2GHz Pentium-M processor, a 7200 RPM drive, and a docking
    station (for your keyboard, mouse, and big LCD screen) and you're all
    set, no need for a desktop. For that matter Intel is abandoning the P4
    line of processors and future desktops will be based on the Pentium-M,
    so what do you really lose?

    <http://arstechnica.com/news/posts/20040507-3747.html>
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 15:39:57 -0600, timeOday
    <timeOday-UNspam@theknack.net> wrote:

    >
    >I hope I am wrong, but I think cloning the desktop to the laptop will be
    >very hard due to licensing restrictions. I am mostly a linux user, but
    >I do have a Windows box and was very surprised when I found out MS
    >doesn't even provide a way to back up the system! You can back up most
    >files, and "settings" (whatever that means), but I never found a way to
    >do a full system backup and restore, at least without 3rd party
    >software. This seems to be a matter where Microsoft's (percieved) needs
    >trump those of the user.

    You are joking, right? I'm sure Microsoft has whole departments
    dedicated to making sure that their licensing strategies do not
    inconvenience legitimate users in any way at all. After all, they are
    practically going broke because of all the pirated software ;-)

    >How about just switching over to a laptop for everything? Lots of
    >people where I work are doing this, including me. Throw in a couple
    >gigs of ram, a 2GHz Pentium-M processor, a 7200 RPM drive, and a docking
    >station (for your keyboard, mouse, and big LCD screen) and you're all
    >set, no need for a desktop. For that matter Intel is abandoning the P4
    >line of processors and future desktops will be based on the Pentium-M,
    >so what do you really lose?

    Well, that is the other option. Prior to my current setup, that's
    exactly what I had. Back in those days, the docking station was about
    the size of a small suitcase, but it worked.

    For the past 3 years, I have been 100% on a laptop. My wife and I have
    a small business. She has the nice workstation and I have the laptop.
    No docking station. In fact, I don't think they even made one for this
    machine -- just a port replicator. When I use her machine, I realize
    that it is noticeably quicker.

    The new laptop will be a Compaq NC6000. It looks like it does not have
    a docking station -- just a port replicator. I'll have to look into
    that.

    If I can't figure a way to clone easily, that's probably what I'll do.

    Thanks

    --
    For email, use Usenet-20031220 at spamex.com
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Top Spin wrote:

    > I would like to find out if it is possible (and reasonably easy) to
    > "clone" a workstation onto a laptop so that I can take my work
    > environment on the road.
    >
    > I do 95% of my work in the office, but occasionally I would like to be
    > able to take the entire system out of the office. This is mainly for
    > vacations, but also for demos. It is only an occasional need, so I am
    > thinking that if I could easily just clone the workstation onto the
    > notebook, I would have everything I need.
    >
    > I would also use the notebook as my "experimental" machine where I
    > would install trial software until I am sure I like it. I often
    > downoad several competing shareware titles for evaluation and end up
    > uninstalling all but one. I am sure this messes up the registry. If I
    > could do that on the laptop, I could periodically overwrite everything
    > and start fresh.
    >
    > I would want the cloning to completely overwrite the notebook HDD and
    > I would want it to be (as much as possible) an exact replica,
    > including all of the data files (probably easy) and also all of the
    > installed software (probably not so easy) as well as the user
    > customizations.
    >
    > I have been reading about Norton Ghost and other utilities. They seem
    > intended primarily as backup utilities. Can they be used to clone one
    > machine onto a different one with different hardware?

    They can if you plan carefully.

    > Does it even make sense to clone in this manner? The notebook will
    > have completely different peripherals. Won't that mess up the system
    > configuration or the registry or something?

    Depending on the source configuration you can get anything from refusal to
    boot to flaky operation to stable operation. If it works at all you'll
    probably have to install device drivers.
    >
    > Does Ghost even copy the registry and other system settings?

    Ghost makes a complete image of the partition that you tell it to copy.
    That includes registry and everything else.

    > How good (reliable) is Norton Ghost?

    Quite reliable in copying partitions.

    > We have a fairly fast (100MB, I think) ethernet LAN. I currently use
    > Beyond Compare to sync files and folders. It works great and is very
    > fast. I could use it to sync the entire hard disk, I suppose, but that
    > wouldn't get the registry and the installed software. Maybe this is
    > not even possible because of licensing restrictions -- even though I
    > will never be using the two machines at the same time.
    >
    > Anyway, I would appreciate suggestions on whether anything like what I
    > want to do is reasonably feasible. If not, I'd appreciate alternative
    > suggestions.

    If the notebook and the desktop are not using the same or very similar
    hardware this is going to turn out to be more of a nuisance than it's
    worth. If you are using applications or an OS that require hardware-keyed
    activation they will deactivate upon detecting the hardware change.

    If you want to have identical working environments on two different machines
    your best bet is to use VirtualPC or VMware to set up a virtual environment
    that can be copied in its entirety and run on any machine on which the
    supporting software is installed. This involves a performance penalty
    though.

    > Thanks

    --
    --John
    Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    timeOday wrote:

    >
    > I hope I am wrong, but I think cloning the desktop to the laptop will be
    > very hard due to licensing restrictions. I am mostly a linux user, but
    > I do have a Windows box and was very surprised when I found out MS
    > doesn't even provide a way to back up the system! You can back up most
    > files, and "settings" (whatever that means), but I never found a way to
    > do a full system backup and restore, at least without 3rd party
    > software.

    Did you try "Backup"?

    > This seems to be a matter where Microsoft's (percieved) needs
    > trump those of the user.
    >
    > How about just switching over to a laptop for everything? Lots of
    > people where I work are doing this, including me. Throw in a couple
    > gigs of ram, a 2GHz Pentium-M processor, a 7200 RPM drive, and a docking
    > station (for your keyboard, mouse, and big LCD screen) and you're all
    > set, no need for a desktop. For that matter Intel is abandoning the P4
    > line of processors and future desktops will be based on the Pentium-M,
    > so what do you really lose?
    >
    > <http://arstechnica.com/news/posts/20040507-3747.html>

    --
    --John
    Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Top Spin wrote:
    > I would like to find out if it is possible (and reasonably easy) to
    > "clone" a workstation onto a laptop so that I can take my work
    > environment on the road.

    No. You touch on some of the reasons later, but the biggie is the hardware.
    Motherboards are not plug and play, and you will need to re-install the OS
    to correspond to the hardware you are running on.

    > I do 95% of my work in the office, but occasionally I would like to be
    > able to take the entire system out of the office. This is mainly for
    > vacations, but also for demos. It is only an occasional need, so I am
    > thinking that if I could easily just clone the workstation onto the
    > notebook, I would have everything I need.

    I have no great suggestions here. Briefcase will do some of this for you,
    and there are ways, with some awkwardness to export your email environment
    to and from a notebook.

    > I would also use the notebook as my "experimental" machine where I
    > would install trial software until I am sure I like it. I often
    > downoad several competing shareware titles for evaluation and end up
    > uninstalling all but one. I am sure this messes up the registry. If I
    > could do that on the laptop, I could periodically overwrite everything
    > and start fresh.

    > I would want the cloning to completely overwrite the notebook HDD and
    > I would want it to be (as much as possible) an exact replica,
    > including all of the data files (probably easy) and also all of the
    > installed software (probably not so easy) as well as the user
    > customizations.

    This you could do. One way is with DiskCopy, which will save and restore
    entire system images across the network, starting with a bootable floppy.

    > I have been reading about Norton Ghost and other utilities. They seem
    > intended primarily as backup utilities. Can they be used to clone one
    > machine onto a different one with different hardware?

    Norton Ghost is not that great a product, though it does work. Symantec
    thought so much of DiskCopy that they bought the company.

    > Does it even make sense to clone in this manner? The notebook will
    > have completely different peripherals. Won't that mess up the system
    > configuration or the registry or something?

    Exactly.

    > Does Ghost even copy the registry and other system settings?

    Yes - Ghost copies the entire disk partiition.

    > How good (reliable) is Norton Ghost?

    I have used both, and recommend DiskCopy v8 or later instead.

    > We have a fairly fast (100MB, I think) ethernet LAN. I currently use
    > Beyond Compare to sync files and folders. It works great and is very
    > fast. I could use it to sync the entire hard disk, I suppose, but that
    > wouldn't get the registry and the installed software. Maybe this is
    > not even possible because of licensing restrictions -- even though I
    > will never be using the two machines at the same time.

    Licensing is an issue, particularly if you have installed software that
    requires activation. I've heard that newer versions of XP no longer do
    this, but it's becoming more popular.

    > Anyway, I would appreciate suggestions on whether anything like what I
    > want to do is reasonably feasible. If not, I'd appreciate alternative
    > suggestions.

    Have you considered working off your notebook all the time? How about
    installing a VPN network at your workplace? This supports a remote
    encrypted data link. If the offsite location has DSL or T1, it will be just
    as if you are located in your office environment. Dialup works too in a
    pinch, so you can check your email at work, access shared files, access your
    own desktop system, etc.
    --

    Mike Russell
    www.geigy.2y.net
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 22:00:07 GMT, "Mike Russell"
    <REgeigyMOVE@pacbellTHIS.net> wrote:

    >Top Spin wrote:
    >> I would like to find out if it is possible (and reasonably easy) to
    >> "clone" a workstation onto a laptop so that I can take my work
    >> environment on the road.
    >
    >No. You touch on some of the reasons later, but the biggie is the hardware.
    >Motherboards are not plug and play, and you will need to re-install the OS
    >to correspond to the hardware you are running on.
    >
    >> I do 95% of my work in the office, but occasionally I would like to be
    >> able to take the entire system out of the office. This is mainly for
    >> vacations, but also for demos. It is only an occasional need, so I am
    >> thinking that if I could easily just clone the workstation onto the
    >> notebook, I would have everything I need.
    >
    >I have no great suggestions here. Briefcase will do some of this for you,
    >and there are ways, with some awkwardness to export your email environment
    >to and from a notebook.
    >
    >> I would also use the notebook as my "experimental" machine where I
    >> would install trial software until I am sure I like it. I often
    >> downoad several competing shareware titles for evaluation and end up
    >> uninstalling all but one. I am sure this messes up the registry. If I
    >> could do that on the laptop, I could periodically overwrite everything
    >> and start fresh.
    >
    >> I would want the cloning to completely overwrite the notebook HDD and
    >> I would want it to be (as much as possible) an exact replica,
    >> including all of the data files (probably easy) and also all of the
    >> installed software (probably not so easy) as well as the user
    >> customizations.
    >
    >This you could do. One way is with DiskCopy, which will save and restore
    >entire system images across the network, starting with a bootable floppy.
    >
    >> I have been reading about Norton Ghost and other utilities. They seem
    >> intended primarily as backup utilities. Can they be used to clone one
    >> machine onto a different one with different hardware?
    >
    >Norton Ghost is not that great a product, though it does work. Symantec
    >thought so much of DiskCopy that they bought the company.
    >
    >> Does it even make sense to clone in this manner? The notebook will
    >> have completely different peripherals. Won't that mess up the system
    >> configuration or the registry or something?
    >
    >Exactly.
    >
    >> Does Ghost even copy the registry and other system settings?
    >
    >Yes - Ghost copies the entire disk partiition.
    >
    >> How good (reliable) is Norton Ghost?
    >
    >I have used both, and recommend DiskCopy v8 or later instead.
    >
    >> We have a fairly fast (100MB, I think) ethernet LAN. I currently use
    >> Beyond Compare to sync files and folders. It works great and is very
    >> fast. I could use it to sync the entire hard disk, I suppose, but that
    >> wouldn't get the registry and the installed software. Maybe this is
    >> not even possible because of licensing restrictions -- even though I
    >> will never be using the two machines at the same time.
    >
    >Licensing is an issue, particularly if you have installed software that
    >requires activation. I've heard that newer versions of XP no longer do
    >this, but it's becoming more popular.
    >
    >> Anyway, I would appreciate suggestions on whether anything like what I
    >> want to do is reasonably feasible. If not, I'd appreciate alternative
    >> suggestions.
    >
    >Have you considered working off your notebook all the time? How about
    >installing a VPN network at your workplace? This supports a remote
    >encrypted data link. If the offsite location has DSL or T1, it will be just
    >as if you are located in your office environment. Dialup works too in a
    >pinch, so you can check your email at work, access shared files, access your
    >own desktop system, etc.

    Yeah, I will probably end up doing something like that.

    Thanks

    --
    For email, use Usenet-20031220 at spamex.com
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Generally, people only move their data-set:
    o Set aside a directory or partition to hold your data
    o That is the data-set moved between the 2 machines

    Smaller amount of data to move, and so faster.
    o To move an O/S, App & Data-Set is going to be slow
    ---- many minutes at least - slow & machines unusable during it
    ---- even ignoring the O/S h/w, driver & XP activation issues
    o To move your Data-Set alone is much quicker
    ---- potentially a few minutes or even seconds
    ---- particularly if only changed files are updated (www.secondcopy.com)

    You also have a working backup machine with recent copy of your work,
    so if you make a "mistake" or suffer a h/w failure, you have less downtime.

    Laptops can reasonably replace desktops now:
    o Laptop processors can be quick - Pentium-M with big 2MB cache
    o Laptop RAM can be both quick & large - 512MB, fast DDR
    o Laptop HD are the weak link, but improving - 7200rpm 60GB here
    ---- 100GB 7200rpm will be here soon (2004), 2005 will see far higher
    o Laptop battery life is good - Celeron do 3-4hrs, P-M longer *under load*

    Laptops can take a USB/Firewire external 3.5" drive (eg, WD Raptor),
    but that ties you to a power-point or car/air power invertor (not true mobile).

    Eventually laptops will move to dual 1.8" drives, remains to be seen if that is
    in RAID-1 (mirror form) or (R)AID-0 in striped form more for performance.

    The P-M has finally made substitution for a desktop a reality.
    --
    Dorothy Bradbury
    www.stores.ebay.co.uk/panaflofan for quiet Panaflo fans & other items
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/dorothy.bradbury/panaflo.htm (Free Delivery)
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    On Sun, 08 Aug 2004 17:05:22 GMT, "Dorothy Bradbury"
    <dorothy.bradbury@ntlworld.com> wrote:

    >Generally, people only move their data-set:
    >o Set aside a directory or partition to hold your data
    >o That is the data-set moved between the 2 machines
    >
    >Smaller amount of data to move, and so faster.
    >o To move an O/S, App & Data-Set is going to be slow
    >---- many minutes at least - slow & machines unusable during it
    >---- even ignoring the O/S h/w, driver & XP activation issues
    >o To move your Data-Set alone is much quicker
    >---- potentially a few minutes or even seconds
    >---- particularly if only changed files are updated (www.secondcopy.com)
    >
    >You also have a working backup machine with recent copy of your work,
    >so if you make a "mistake" or suffer a h/w failure, you have less downtime.
    >
    >Laptops can reasonably replace desktops now:
    >o Laptop processors can be quick - Pentium-M with big 2MB cache
    >o Laptop RAM can be both quick & large - 512MB, fast DDR
    >o Laptop HD are the weak link, but improving - 7200rpm 60GB here
    >---- 100GB 7200rpm will be here soon (2004), 2005 will see far higher
    >o Laptop battery life is good - Celeron do 3-4hrs, P-M longer *under load*
    >
    >Laptops can take a USB/Firewire external 3.5" drive (eg, WD Raptor),
    >but that ties you to a power-point or car/air power invertor (not true mobile).
    >
    >Eventually laptops will move to dual 1.8" drives, remains to be seen if that is
    >in RAID-1 (mirror form) or (R)AID-0 in striped form more for performance.
    >
    >The P-M has finally made substitution for a desktop a reality.

    What is the primary difference with the Pentium-M over all previous
    chips?

    --
    For email, use Usenet-20031220 at spamex.com
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Re P-M:
    o P-M is closer to the P3 architecture than the P4 architecture
    ---- P3 development kept going re embedded-P3-incarnations
    o P3 is not a bad architecture
    ---- P3 was abandoned re ease of clock-scaling (back them)
    ---- P4, conversely, would scale more easily on clock-speed (to now)

    P-M is a mobile processor:
    o P-M lacks SMP, has a lower bandwidth I/O, very large cache used
    o Few P4 features - basically fsb is quad-clocking & SSE2 extensions

    So P-M is certainly not a server chip in its present form.
    It's right for laptops - more per clockspeed than a P4, lower watts & heat.

    P4 does have some performance benefits over the P-M in some applications,
    so the P-M is not some universal solution - but for laptops it's a better choice.

    Intel wanted to move to dual-core - but the P4 core isn't so great
    o Prescott was not going to be thermally efficient amongst other things
    o Desktop P4s required BTX to get enough cooling to CPU VRMs & Caps
    o Prescott / 90um has issues of leakage - which increases your idle wattage
    ---- idle wattage is an issue with alternating dual-core active chip areas

    P-M is not a perfect CPU - the Mobile Athlon is more attractive:
    o You can't (as yet) stick a P-M in a desktop board
    ---- so desktop low wattage, good performance, low heat/noise isn't available
    o You can, conversely, stick a mobile-athlon in a desktop board
    ---- so desktop attributes enjoyed by the laptop world are available
    ---- I'm thinking particularly of 24/7 SOHO servers (except on price)

    P-M architecture will replace the P4 - but what about the "P4 solutions":
    o BTX form-factor & LGA775 were as much solutions for P4
    ---- for the thermal output of the P4 Prescott
    ---- for the current issues of the P4 Prescott amongst other things
    o Suspiciously, BTX/LGA775 could become a Slot-1 or Skt-423
    ---- remains to be seen how robust LGA775 is in the mkt-place
    ---- BTX is a step to proprietarisation, and ignores graphics wattage

    Realistically, the desktop thermal issue will probably return later - it's
    just a question of changing the tools so best to keep performance scaling.

    The top-end P-M solutions are very good - but have a price premium.
    I think the P-M architecture came out of the embedded-P3 development??
    --
    DB.
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