Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Trying to merge desktop and application settings is more prone to failure than anything else. A clean set-up will get you what you want.
In regard to having two hard drives, I just bought a fast, new HP desktop and installed an old drive from a failed computer in as the secondary. Everything seems to be operating well. The primary drive is functioning nicely and my experience is that of being on a new PC. How should I proceed if I want to see my old desktop merge with the few new desktop icons when I boot up from the main hard drive? Along with that, I want the primary hard drive to contain all of the software and all the documents and other data files and the system settings from my old computer's hard drive? I'd like to use the secondary hard drive as a backup from my documents and data.
In this excerpt from Answercast #52, I look at the complexity involved in moving programs and settings from one machine to another. A clean setup is the best bet.
There are tools that will do some of it. Things like PC Mover may move applications from one drive to another, from one machine to another
But the overall thing you're trying to accomplish here - not practically possible.
The best approach to this is to reinstall the programs that you care about on to this new machine, on to the C drive.
Even though they're on that other drive (on that other secondary drive that you've got on there), there's really no practical way to move them. Ditto for things like merging your desktops. There is no practical way to merge two desktops.
The best thing I can suggest is to customize the desktop, to the degree that you want to, on your new machine. Recreate, in effect, the desktop that you're looking for. The desktop that is new plus the items that you remember being on the old desktop.
The same thing is true for documents and settings. Copy the documents from your backup drive; put them where you want them to be.
Settings for applications? Reset them up. Change the configuration options on the applications that you've now installed on your new machine to be the way you want them.
There really isn't a good way to simply merge this stuff (this collection of stuff on one hard drive) into Windows as it's installed on a new hard drive.
It's an incredibly complex task to even accomplish in software! That's why you don't see many offerings that try and do that. It's actually more prone to failure than anything else and it's typically not what people end up wanting.
The best thing to do, the most reliable thing to do, and the least frustrating thing to do in fact is to essentially rebuild your system from scratch:
Reinstall those applications.
Recover your data from your backup.
Reset your application preferences and move on.
Next from Answercast 52 - Why does it take so long for webpages to load?
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