Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Maintenance and Backup
Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
Great info thanks, (propaganda) hahahaha (lmao).
Hey Leo. Your info is not exactly correct. If you use good commercial-quality drive imaging software, most today have an option to restore on a different machine. It'll bypass the machine-specific stuff , load generic drivers, etc. . In my experience it has worked better than 80% of the time - of course there is a lot of tweaking and clean up afterwards. But if you don't have the physical media for your applications, it's sometimes your only choice
I've done this successfully on two different models of Dell machines running xp. My Older Dell 2300 had a number of problems and I didn't want to go through the headaches of reinstalling XP and all my programs and then all the updates. I also had a Dell 2400, with a different motherboard, but had most of the programs I needed and was running well. I used an Acronis Image of the 2400 and restored it to the 2300. After rebooting and finding most of the right drivers automatically, with very little work on my part, the Dell 2300 was up and running in a lot less time than reinstalling XP.
Acronis True Image has an addon purchased separately that allows a backup to be restored to a different hardware configuration. So, if you do a restoration with a larger hard drive or to a new PC it is supposed to work. I haven't tried it yet to be honest.
I use Synchtoy to do a complete back up of Drive C to an external drive. I have wondered long about what is the point of a complete backup? There are always system files in use which fail in the back-up procedure. In the event of needing to restore the entire disk well, it still would not work because of the missing system files. So again what is the point of a back-up? (Yes for data I agree)
A free download of a program named "Easy Transfer" from Microsoft can help transfer your data and settings if you're doing a clean install upgrade from XP or Vista to Windows 7. Note that if you're upgrading from Vista Premium to Windows 7 premium you can do an "in place" upgrade leaving all your data and programs inplace BUT if you are upgrading from Vista Home Premium to Window 7 Pro (or higher) you will have wipe your hard drive and do a clean install (you won't find this information on the Windows 7 Pro box). The "Easy Transfer" program can be a big help in this case. You can find it and information about it at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features/windows-easy-transfer
My understanding is that Microsoft will not allow you to install the same copy of the Windows operating system on more than one computer. If the second computer has a significant number of different components (e.g., mobo or CPU) the installation will not succeed. Please correct me if I'm wrong. It would certainly make my life a lot easier.
RE: the Microsoft installation. I got the lockout trigger once when I installed a copy of XP pro upgrade on a laptop with XP home because the hardware signature was so different. It was originally on my desktop. I had bought a full version of XP pro for the desk top so wanted to upgrade the version on the other PC to pro as well. Per the message I had to call Microsoft. I did and explained to them I had bought an additional copy of XP and had moved the upgrade to the laptop. I told them it was only installed on one machine. They were very nice -not third degree or treating me like I was a criminal- and from beginning to end I was up and running in under 10 minutes.
I have used the Paragon app that allows restoration to different hardware (it replaces the inappropriate drivers with correct ones), but the sticky wicket is that the restoration will have to be re-activated once it is up and running. The original installation cannot legally be run once the new one is activated.
Another way to do this successfully is by doing a repair install of Windows after copying the backup to a new drive. I've done this for friends on many occasions and only rarely has it not worked.
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