Migration to a new PC

Roohster

Distinguished Member
Hi all,

I'm going to be helping my friend set up his new PC and need some advice/tips please.

His new machine has Windows 10 pre-installed and he wants to transfer/copy everything but the system from his old pc, preferably keeping all his apps/programs, documents and settings.

He's got a backup to an external drive that we made yesterday using Easus Todo and ideally I'd like to grab the old stuff from that so he can carry on working on his old pc while I set up the new one.

I found a couple of programs that sound like they might do the job, but they rely on connecting the two machines to each other and I don't have access to both at the same time.

One of the solutions I found was networking the two machines but I've attempted to set up a network before and got hopelessly confused.

Buying some software that will do the job isn't a problem.

Thanks in advance.
 
get a usb stick for a few quid and copy the contents of the folders you want like my documents etc export browser favorites as well and transfer like that, even if you need to do a few trips.. For apps and games you will need to reinstall on the new PS so only copy the installer files if you have them or download them again on the new PC and install fresh, copying installed software directly from one PC to another mostly wont work well or possible at all.
 

Roohster

Distinguished Member
Ah I was hoping to avoid reinstalling apps :(
The one he mainly uses is an ancient piece of accounting software that he doesn't have an install disk for... and it isn't sold any more so I'm not sure there's even a download available.

I've found a couple of utilities that claim to be able to do it but I have to admit I'm a bit out of my depth when it comes to using them :p


 
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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I wouldn't expect those utilities to reliably work for all old programs. Back in ancient times there just wasn't any list of all of the components of a program so writing something automated would be very difficult.

I'd restore the user data from backup, copy the program's installation folder over and then launch it and see if it works. And if not, which error you get.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
There is another method you could use but of course its not without issues of its own. Simply image the current drive and use it to image on the new PC. When it boots Windows will detect new device hardware and (for the most part) should install the relevant drivers etc. Obviously this method works best with similar hardware, and the more you stray from this model the more issues you may encounter.
I have used it primarily as a shorter term solution in situations where access is critically needed and a fully tolerant (or stable system) may not be of prime importance.

It is not a method that provides any guarantee of complete success and hardware specific software installations will always run questionably... if at all. Your windows license will also need reinitialising with a new key, and the issue of duplicate instances may arise elsewhere. Still, it is a very easy method to try since imaging is quick and labour lean process, you have little to lose in terms of time invested, so determining if it is an acceptable alternative will be easy enough.

Having said all that, the best methods of transferring applications and data have already been detailed in prior posts.
 

Roohster

Distinguished Member
There is another method you could use but of course its not without issues of its own. Simply image the current drive and use it to image on the new PC. When it boots Windows will detect new device hardware and (for the most part) should install the relevant drivers etc. Obviously this method works best with similar hardware, and the more you stray from this model the more issues you may encounter.
I have used it primarily as a shorter term solution in situations where access is critically needed and a fully tolerant (or stable system) may not be of prime importance.

It is not a method that provides any guarantee of complete success and hardware specific software installations will always run questionably... if at all. Your windows license will also need reinitialising with a new key, and the issue of duplicate instances may arise elsewhere. Still, it is a very easy method to try since imaging is quick and labour lean process, you have little to lose in terms of time invested, so determining if it is an acceptable alternative will be easy enough.

Having said all that, the best methods of transferring applications and data have already been detailed in prior posts.
Thanks Jim that does indeed sound pretty simple... and I have a backup of the original machine for safety.
 

JollyJamma

Active Member
Why don't you just use a harddrive cloning software from Crucial or Samsung?


It's not ideal but you can plug an old drive with your OS install on into a new PC and boot it up. It should work but it wont be ideal.

That being said, why don't you extract the CD keys for the software that your mate has and see if you can find an online installer for the software?

I get that you want to preserve data and not have to reinstall but sometimes you do need to do a clean reinstall of programmes and all.
 

Roohster

Distinguished Member
.... why don't you extract the CD keys for the software that your mate has and see if you can find an online installer for the software?
That's the main sticking point, he's using an old accounting program that he's had forever and there doesn't seem to be a download available anywhere. :(

I know a clean install would be the logical thing to do but by his own admission, he's the least computer-savvy person around (and I'm not far behind :p) and just wants his new pc to look and behave exactly like the old one.
 

JollyJamma

Active Member
Just use a hard drive cloning tool to replicate the entire install to a new drive.

I've done it with many computers and it isn't pretty but it does work. Uninstall all drivers from the current install before you clone the drive.

It'll save you likely getting a few BSOD when you boot it up in the new computer.

If your mate has already purchased a new computer, he might get free use of the Crucial or WD or Samsung replication software with the purchase of an SSD.

in 2008 I had to replicate a system that had been sent to Germany from South Africa for a custom Linux install to run an interactive projected image (back when it was fairly hot tech). I used a tiny Linux tool and got it all working so well, the OS still picked up the previous drives serial number for the new drive.
 

Roohster

Distinguished Member
Just use a hard drive cloning tool to replicate the entire install to a new drive.

I've done it with many computers and it isn't pretty but it does work. Uninstall all drivers from the current install before you clone the drive.

It'll save you likely getting a few BSOD when you boot it up in the new computer.

If your mate has already purchased a new computer, he might get free use of the Crucial or WD or Samsung replication software with the purchase of an SSD.

in 2008 I had to replicate a system that had been sent to Germany from South Africa for a custom Linux install to run an interactive projected image (back when it was fairly hot tech). I used a tiny Linux tool and got it all working so well, the OS still picked up the previous drives serial number for the new drive.
Thanks, I think this is the way to go. :thumbsup:
 

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