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How I do I easily switch the HDD Contents of one computer to another

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October 7, 2011 5:12:51 PM

The Specs of Both Computers are:

HP Pavillion a475c
3.20 GHZ Intel Pentium 4 Processor
Half a GB of Ram
160 GB Harddrive (Partioned)
Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS (Replaced Original Graphics Card)
Windows XP Professional SP3
Abysmal Internet Connectivity

Emachine 1200-5w
892 MB Ram
160 GB Harddrive
1.6 GHZ AMD Athalon
Nvidia 6150se Graphics Chip
Windows XP Home Edition SP3
Nonexistant Internet Connectivity

I have been using the Emachine for Casual Gaming and The HP for Work Purposes. I want to switch the HDD contents of both.

Thanks for any help.
October 7, 2011 5:31:03 PM

I want to switch some of the contents of the drives not the actual drives.
October 7, 2011 5:43:26 PM

If the PCs are in the same house/building/whatever - The easiest way is to network the PCs together via ethernet crossover cable.
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October 7, 2011 5:47:48 PM

Programs will need to be installed on the system receiving them, because installing a program can make all kinds of changes to the Windows registry and even some system files; it isn't just a matter of copying a program directory like it was back in the days of DOS.
Data, however, can be copied. If these PCs have "abysmal" or nonexistent network connectivity, you'll need to use a form of "sneakernet" (a guy in sneakers runs the data on floppies from one to the other). Depending on the amount of data to be moved, you could burn it to one or more DVDs on each PC (which also creates a backup), or you could copy it to a large flash drive.
Considering how poorly both machines suck for their (and each other's) stated purposes, if you have the budget for it, $450-$550 per machine would go a long way.
October 7, 2011 6:18:56 PM

Onus said:

Considering how poorly both machines suck for their (and each other's) stated purposes, if you have the budget for it, $450-$550 per machine would go a long way.


Are you inferring that I should replace them both?


October 7, 2011 6:35:08 PM

Onus said:
Programs will need to be installed on the system receiving them, because installing a program can make all kinds of changes to the Windows registry and even some system files; it isn't just a matter of copying a program directory like it was back in the days of DOS.
Data, however, can be copied. If these PCs have "abysmal" or nonexistent network connectivity, you'll need to use a form of "sneakernet" (a guy in sneakers runs the data on floppies from one to the other). Depending on the amount of data to be moved, you could burn it to one or more DVDs on each PC (which also creates a backup), or you could copy it to a large flash drive.


So I should install any programs I want on the other computer then I should copy over any Saved data the programs made on the other computer?
October 7, 2011 8:20:20 PM

If they are meeting your needs, there's no need to replace them, but looking at their specs, they sure must be slow. Any "gaming" you are managing to do on a 6150 IGP must be limited indeed. You'd likely need new Windows licenses, but $400-$450 worth of hardware for each one could build something dramatically faster, even if nowhere near today's top of the line.
And yes, install desired programs, then you can copy the data.
October 7, 2011 10:25:33 PM

joeman99 said:
So I should install any programs I want on the other computer then I should copy over any Saved data the programs made on the other computer?


Yes, exactly. Window XP has a tool that will copy the data from an 'old' computer to a 'new one'. You will need to be careful if you use this tool (for example, it might replace all the bookmarks, homepage, etc from one PC with those of the other. see Files and Settings Transfer Wizard http://winsupportcenter.com/win5/a/fast.htm

These tools get old quickly (i.e. don't recognize modern programs) so may not be that helpful.
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