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A quick hardware upgrading question

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December 12, 2011 2:25:11 PM

For a job, I am upgrading the internals of a few computers. The only parts I will be keeping from the old computers is the HDDs (WinXP) and the optical drives.

I need the HDDs to work on the new hardware and I need everything exactly the same as before they were upgraded.

From prior experience, I know that upgrading the motherboard and such, but keeping the same HDD, will result in bootloops and blue screens and other errors.

Now onto my question. Am I right thinking that I can image the HDD to an external drive, do a clean install of XP and get it up and running on the new hardware, then restore the image from the backup drive? Wouldn't this make everything work correctly and appear as if nothing was upgraded to the end user?

Any help is appreciated, thanks!
a c 154 G Storage
December 12, 2011 2:44:03 PM

I don't think so.

XP is depending on the motherboard chipset drivers, and others to work properly. If you restore the XP image, you will overwrite everything.

You could use windows easy transfer app to export all of your user settings and files to an external drive, and import them back after a clean installation. Only your apps would have to be reinstalled.

You could use the same procedure if you were to upgrade to Windows 7 which is a better and more secure os. Such a clean install will also be necessary if you are converting from 32 bit to 64 bit. You need 64 bit to access any more than 4gb .

If you are upgrading, there is a home premium upgrade family pack which seels for $135 or so, and gives yoy three copies of the activation code.
December 12, 2011 2:56:22 PM

See, that's what I was thinking, but looking at the general attributes of most imaging tools, they say you can restore the backup to "the same drive or a different drive."

So if you are right, I don't understand how the makers of imaging software would be able to advertise that if, when you restored the image to a different drive, everything was screwed up.

And thanks for the tips for the Windows 7 upgrade, but there are legacy programs that won't run properly and are needed for business purposes.
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a c 354 G Storage
December 12, 2011 3:17:25 PM

bigerikbaby said:
See, that's what I was thinking, but looking at the general attributes of most imaging tools, they say you can restore the backup to "the same drive or a different drive."

So if you are right, I don't understand how the makers of imaging software would be able to advertise that if, when you restored the image to a different drive, everything was screwed up.

And thanks for the tips for the Windows 7 upgrade, but there are legacy programs that won't run properly and are needed for business purposes.


You can restore to the same drive in case your OS is infected with a virus, or restore to a new/different drive if your old hard drive dies. This has nothing to do with moving the drive to a new motherboard/system.
a c 154 G Storage
December 12, 2011 3:20:47 PM

bigerikbaby said:
See, that's what I was thinking, but looking at the general attributes of most imaging tools, they say you can restore the backup to "the same drive or a different drive."

So if you are right, I don't understand how the makers of imaging software would be able to advertise that if, when you restored the image to a different drive, everything was screwed up.

And thanks for the tips for the Windows 7 upgrade, but there are legacy programs that won't run properly and are needed for business purposes.


If you use the same motherboard chipset, imaging/cloning would work. It is not the drive in question, but the different motherboard/chipset that is the issue. If the motherboard chipset is the same, you need not even image the drive in the first place. But I am assuming that you want a better performing cpu and motherboard, and that will probably mean a new chipset.

To see what programs might be at issue with windows 7, you can run the Windows 7 upgrade advisor:
http://windows.microsoft.com/upgradeadvisor
December 12, 2011 3:20:56 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
You can restore to the same drive in case your OS is infected with a virus, or restore to a new/different drive if your old hard drive dies. This has nothing to do with moving the drive to a new motherboard/system.


That makes a lot of sense now that I think about it. Thanks :) 

That being said, do you or anyone else know of a way to do what I am trying to do with the least amount of effort?
a c 154 G Storage
December 12, 2011 3:23:43 PM

bigerikbaby said:
That makes a lot of sense now that I think about it. Thanks :) 

That being said, do you or anyone else know of a way to do what I am trying to do with the least amount of effort?


What motherboard and cpu do you now have, and what would you like to have?

What is your objective in such a change?
December 12, 2011 3:27:40 PM

geofelt said:
If you use the same motherboard chipset, imaging/cloning would work. It is not the drive in question, but the different motherboard/chipset that is the issue. If the motherboard chipset is the same, you need not even image the drive in the first place. But I am assuming that you want a better performing cpu and motherboard, and that will probably mean a new chipset.

To see what programs might be at issue with windows 7, you can run the Windows 7 upgrade advisor:
http://windows.microsoft.com/upgradeadvisor


I understand now, and good find on the Win7 upgrade advisor, thanks for that
a c 354 G Storage
December 12, 2011 3:27:56 PM

Unfortunately, your best and most likely only option is to do as geofelt said above and use the windows easy migration/transfer tool.

Other than that, whenever moving to a new system a clean install is recommended. Sure it can take a while to reinstall all your programs and tweak the OS, but in the long run your system will be more stable.
a c 354 G Storage
December 12, 2011 3:42:16 PM

simplec1 said:
your best option if you have access to it is to use the USMT. It will allow you back user profiles and documents.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd560801(WS.10).aspx


This can be a bit over kill. even the link you provided states
Limitations

USMT is intended for administrators who are performing large-scale automated deployments. If you are only migrating the user states of a few computers, you can use Windows Easy Transfer for computers running Windows Vista® or Windows® 7.


Here is a link to the transfer tool.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/Transfer-fi...
December 12, 2011 4:06:48 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
Unfortunately, your best and most likely only option is to do as geofelt said above and use the windows easy migration/transfer tool.

Other than that, whenever moving to a new system a clean install is recommended. Sure it can take a while to reinstall all your programs and tweak the OS, but in the long run your system will be more stable.


Yeah, I was really trying to avoid this option, because I've done it before and it is a pain, so I tried to be clever and think of something different but it didn't work.

As an aside, I'm upgrading a computer from a Pentium 3 chipset (which is slow) to a faster system (TBD) for better performance for a business.

I guess I'll just have to do it the hard way, thanks all for your help.
a c 154 G Storage
December 12, 2011 4:23:09 PM

bigerikbaby said:
Yeah, I was really trying to avoid this option, because I've done it before and it is a pain, so I tried to be clever and think of something different but it didn't work.

As an aside, I'm upgrading a computer from a Pentium 3 chipset (which is slow) to a faster system (TBD) for better performance for a business.

I guess I'll just have to do it the hard way, thanks all for your help.


Have you considered the option to replace a (presumably sata) hard drive with a SSD?

The user will be amazed at the difference in quickness. That replacement could be done by cloning.
a c 354 G Storage
December 12, 2011 5:52:16 PM

geofelt said:
Have you considered the option to replace a (presumably sata) hard drive with a SSD?

The user will be amazed at the difference in quickness. That replacement could be done by cloning.


No. You will run into the same situation as cloning to a hard drive + other problems. As with cloning to other drives, the wrong drivers for the motherboard will be in place. Even worse, on windows 7 performance won't be as good as it should be because the "trim" function and other SSD specific functions won't be executed because windows will think the clone is on a hard drive, not an SSD.
a c 154 G Storage
December 12, 2011 6:15:54 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
No. You will run into the same situation as cloning to a hard drive + other problems. As with cloning to other drives, the wrong drivers for the motherboard will be in place. Even worse, on windows 7 performance won't be as good as it should be because the "trim" function and other SSD specific functions won't be executed because windows will think the clone is on a hard drive, not an SSD.


True, performance is not as good as it can be, but it is still much much faster than a hard drive. Some ssd's have garbage collection capabilities that will keep the drive performing, albeit not as efficiently as trim.

As far as I know the SSD presents itself to windows as a sata hard drive. Windows only knows that it is a ssd because of the very fast response times. If the user disables fragmentation, there is not much else to do.

As to cost, a SSD will probably cost less than a cpu/mobo/ram upgrade.
As to effectiveness, it absolutely transformed a semi obsolete laptop when I replaced the hard drive with a ssd.
!