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Program to migrate everything from one hard drive to another?

mussel

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I just a bought a new computer and I am looking for software (cheap or even better, free) to move everything from the old hard drive to my new one, including installed softwares. The problem I have is that I don't know where I put some of the installation CDs and some have no CDs. Which software lets me copy installed softwares from one hard drive to another, it's even better if it let me decide which software to move, so I don't have to move some of junks. Also, I don't need to copy the old OS (XP) to the new one which is using Vista.
 

robin

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Moving installed software like that is more trouble than it's worth...
 

indy116

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Don't think you'll find a program that is able to move software like that. With registry entries and files placed all over, stuff just wouldn't work right, especially since you are changing operating systems.

If you need something to transfer your documents and such, try the file and settings transfer wizard. But probably the best bet is just copying to an external HD or something.
 

otc

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Not gonna happen.

Mirroring a drive is meant to work for the same hardware. What you want to do is only really easy to do with a mac...moving programs in windows is a bad idea(tm).

Copying your stuff isn't hard and you dont even need a program for it...just some drag and drop. Make sure you have hidden files turned on and you can even grab most of your settings out of the application data folder.

This is all further complicated by using Vista on one end which makes any program migration that might have been possible, a nasty mess unlikely to work.

Take a screen shot of your start menu so you remember what you've got and start over. Install the basics and don't bother with the rest until you need it (you may never use some of that stuff again).
 

Berticus

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The issue with mirroring or cloning is it'll also copy over the OS which the OP said he doesn't want. You could just use Windows Easy Transfer on the Vista DVD.
 

JoeWoah

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I second Norton Ghost. Still, I wouldn't actually ghost your hard drive. That's only worth doing when you have a fresh setup configured the way you want it and need to deploy across multiple computers with similar hardware configurations. That's not you.

Just use it for transfer your documents, outlook files, browser settings and the like.
 

SystemShock

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Originally Posted by otc
What you want to do is only really easy to do with a mac...
True dat. Just hook up a Firewire cable between two Macs, engage Target Disk mode, and bam!... you're good to go. Easiest file migration on the planet.
Of course, Apple in it's infinite wisdom recently decided to stop putting Firewire in their new MacBooks, so easy file migration might go the way of the dodo for Mac users too. Really farking bad call on Apple's part, though I understand why they did it... USB 2.0 won the USB vs Firewire war. Still tho', FW is just plain cool.
 

SWiFt08

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^^

didn't even know that..


what if my mac crash? how do I get my music and such or are they gone forever?
 

BrettChaotix

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OK the short answer is - it's more trouble than it's worth to try to move the programs over. If you really want the long reason why, let me know. Your best bet is to : 1) copy your important files (movies, documents, pictures, etc...) to an external hard drive, like a thumb drive if it will fit (make several trips if necessary). If you are really lucky and don't have a lot of data, email it to yourself. That will also give you an online backup copy. 2) Re-install programs from CD (or downloaded) and copy your files onto the new computer. So, yeah - that's the recommended suggestion. With that said, it MAY be technically possible to do what you want. ... this assumes that you are OK with moving the entire OS, settings and data over to the new machine.... I'm testing a product out now for my servers called ShadowProtect. They make a Desktop Version too. SP will do all the standard disk imaging stuff that Norton Ghost does but it also includes a feature called "Hardware Independent Restore" that let's you image a computer and restore it to a machine with different hardware (it yanks all the non-windows drivers on 1st boot so you'll have to reload some drivers - usually network, sound and video). This is the only imaging program I've tested that does HIR well. I've restored a copy of Windows Server 2003 that was on a Proliant DL380 server to a Dell Precision workstation, I've also restored a XP image onto a VMWare ESXi hosted Virtual Machine on a DL360 - no problemo. It's pretty impressive! Anyway, you'll have to figure it out on your own, and at your own risk but you get a 30 day free trial so give it a shot if you want to.
 

j

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It might be possible to have the effect you want but it's kind of a crapshoot. The way to do it would be to ghost the old drive onto the new one (overwriting Vista etc) then run a repair installation on the new computer and then upgrade to Vista. I'd be surprised if that actually worked, but theoretically, it could.

Now, if it were me, I'd start with the new computer and reinstall everything I had, and have no qualms about downloading (on torrents) anything I'm missing the discs for, since I own the software (or have licenses, whatever) and it would not, IMO, be stealing. Don't try that excuse in court, but the likelihood of getting in trouble for that would be near zero.
 

SystemShock

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Originally Posted by SWiFt08
^^ didn't even know that.. what if my mac crash? how do I get my music and such or are they gone forever?
Not sure I understand the question. Mac hard drives aren't magical, they're just like anyone else's... they go boom, so does your data.
But Apple has made it super-easy to back-up your stuff on the latest version of their OS, which is Leopard. You keep an external hard drive hooked up, and your stuff gets backed up automatically... don't really have to think about it anymore. But that's not a Mac-only thing, its just that Apple's version is super-easy and built into the OS. Their file migration is easy too. At least under Firewire, though I do understand you can do almost the same thing as Target Mode by connecting an Ethernet cable between two Macs. Edit- Oh, if you were talking about losing your iTunes music- yep, if your hard drive goes boom, you lose all your music. The iTunes store won't let you re-download everything fo' free. This is part of why you back sh*t up.
 

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