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How do I migrate data from XP to Windows 7...for 50 computers?

Last response: in Windows 7
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March 7, 2011 6:29:32 AM

Before I type my first post...I thank you in advance for your help. I will be brief so you don't have to read to much.

For my business...
I currently have: 50 computers running XP Professional. (each user has their own programs and data)
I will buy: 50 brand new computers with Windows 7 Professional.

All computer are hooked up to my Server 2008 r2.


My question: Is there a quick way to migrate the data or do I have to go computer-to-computer to migrate files. :??: 

Any tips, tricks and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.
a b $ Windows 7
March 7, 2011 3:57:26 PM

you could ask each person to do a file and settings transfer and dump that file on the server, and then they could pick it up when the new machines arrive.

reinstall for the programs i'm afraid.
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a c 366 $ Windows 7
March 8, 2011 3:52:20 PM

For moving User data: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd671583

As far as your specific program data, you need to check with the program vendors how they store their files, what backup/resotre methods you can use and so forth.

For 50 computers you should be using server storage for backups and central data access anyway. Many programs will allow you to configure for network setup and file storage.
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March 9, 2011 7:33:46 AM

Thanks for the great advice! I like that idea of asking everyone to do the transfer to the server...I never that of that. But even so, I guess Like hang-the-9 said, I will still have to load on the programs.

Yes, I know they should save to the server, but users still save to their hard drives, and we run many programs from the local computer for maximum speed. However after next year we will be looking at Virtualization. Thanks again...this place is great!
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a b $ Windows 7
March 9, 2011 7:38:05 AM

if you are looking at virtualisaton do you really want to buy new hardware? surely thats one of the benefits of virtualisation is the ability to user older and lower spec hardware?
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March 9, 2011 7:56:36 AM

Our current DELLS can barely run the XP OS, they are that slow and old. They have not been cared for and full of dust, etc. Also they can not meet the minimum requirements to run Windows 7.

So we are picking up lower end Optiplex. If & when our Optiplexs can no longer run programs (or next version of Windows), then we will Virtualize.

I am new to this concept of Virtualization, do you think my plan is a good one? Or should we Virtualize now? Either way, we need new computers. Our current ones are about 7 years old.
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a c 366 $ Windows 7
March 9, 2011 12:39:14 PM

You need a huge amount of power at the back-end to run a virtualized environment with any type of advanced programs. We are rolling out a limited test right now where I work, and it's laggy with not so many users, on a 3 million dollar infrastructure. You'd want a gigabit ethernet setup to all computers also. Will cost about the same as 50 new desktops would be, maybe more.

Make sure you don't fall into a trap of getting the lowest possible PC models, you'll just spend more upgrading them in the future or scrapping them when they don't run some new software you need.

What type of programs are you running? Anything video or processor heavy won't work well for virtual PC. The only time I have seen good results was in basic use like web applications, Office documents.
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March 10, 2011 9:43:54 AM

Thanks for the valuable info! Currently we have some 6e, but I've noticed in certain areas we have a mix of cat 5 & 6e. How odd! Needless to say, we will have to fix that. But I digress...

The programs we will run will be basic office programs (Office 2010, Explorer or Chrome, and other light programs). I'm guessing anything heavier can run on the local workstations?

I'm not sure what you mean when you say..."you'll just spend more upgrading them in the future or scrapping them when they don't run some new software you need." Wouldn't the workstations only need to run the OS? It's impossible to guess, but don't you think 64-bit quad-cores would still be relevant for many years to come?

BTW, you said it's laggy with not so many users. How many users do you have on it now?

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a c 366 $ Windows 7
March 10, 2011 12:36:04 PM

Type of cabling is not relevant to the network speed, even good cat 5 can easitly run gigabit speeds. But are your switches gigabit?

When I wrote about getting PCs I read your post wrong, when I read "lower end Optiplex" I ended up interperting it as used computers. If you will upgrade the PCs, you will have no need to virtualizing anything, why pay for 2 licenses for everything?

Our hospital is moving to small linux-based devices, solid state, no drives, for virtual desktop use. The pilot program now probably has a few hundred users conected at the same time. You can sense the lag between input and what happens on the screen. Not unusable, but not a good user experience, a bit like a poorly dubbed movie where the audio is a bit off from the video.

If you can move most of the workers to basic use stations, then you may see some improvement with going virtual as far as costs for hardware, repair, etc..., if all of your users need to use some video/processing power, you may as well stick to regular desktops.
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a b $ Windows 7
March 10, 2011 1:22:55 PM

I've seen it work in local gov, the experience isn't great from the user point of view - a little laggy, but the cost and power and maintainance savings have to be large enough to be worth it for the cost of a slightly poorer usability. Hang seems to know what he is talking about, I just wanted to make sure you weren't going to buy desktop hardware and then virtualise the desktop.
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a c 366 $ Windows 7
March 10, 2011 1:31:06 PM

+1^ There is no need to buy full PCs and then also run virtualized desktops on the server. You may have missed that in all the stuff I wrote. You lose the benefits of going virtual, which is lower hardware purchase and maintanace cost, and easier application setup and trouble-shooting (reboot the device, and all is back to normal, user gets a fresh Windows setup).
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March 13, 2011 10:27:52 AM

Thanks for the great advice! It makes sense to me now. I guess the lag you're talking about is like when I type on Google Docs - it's cool and all, but when I type there is a one second lag before I see the actual text appear on the screen. I think my users would be frustrated.

I started auditing the users, and it seems many of them want me to keep their settings (desktop backgrounds, etc). So I guess I'll have to do the file and settings transfer method! ARGH! hehe...

Thanks for all your help you guys! I'm ready to take on the future...without virtualization!
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