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Author Topic: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another  (Read 7012 times)

Armando

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Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« on: May 03, 2007, 12:18:19 PM »
Hi everybody,

I think I'll have to send my laptop to Dell before my warranty is over (too many BSODs — memory parity errors).

However the idea of loosing more than a week of work, waiting for a replacement laptop and than reconfiguring everything makes me shiver… The reconfiguration part is actually the part I dread the most. So, here are my questions:

-In the eventuality Dell sends me a slightly different laptop (different Mother Board) are there any effective ways to transfer my actual system (win XP) or configuration (with apps, etc.) to the new one ?

I know a bit about solutions like PCmover, and Universal Restore by Acronis… But I wonder if they really work. Any experiences to share? I know ZRidling wrote about some…

Thanks a lot ! I'd really like some advices on this one...  :-[


mouser

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2007, 12:27:35 PM »
i have succesfully made an image of my entire system (xp) on my desktop, and restored it onto the laptop, with great results.

so rather than "moving" apps and stuff, i suggest making a complete drive image of your laptop hard drive onto an external usb drive. and then you can restore it again if you need be.  A good app for drive imaging is Acronis True Image, but there are others (see http://www.donationc...ckUpGuide/index.html).

by the way i think your instinct to back up your entire drive before sending it to be repaired is a very good one, definitely do it.

Darwin

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2007, 12:42:04 PM »
I just did this last week with True Image for the Windows/Programs partition and Ashampoo Burning Studio for the Documents partition (I was in a hurry and couldn't get Acronis to burn to DVD, initially). I've had to access both "images" to grab files for my wife and had no trouble. Given that I backed up to DVD, though, I may not be a happy camper when I get her notebook back as it has been noted by Carol that restoring from DVD's with TrueImage is molasses slow. Unfortunately, I wiped the harddrive before I sent it in and reset it to a virgin XP install (I'm paranoid) so it's inevitable that I'm going to have to face this!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2007, 01:07:24 PM »
i have successfully made an image of my entire system (xp) on my desktop, and restored it onto the laptop, with great results.

so rather than "moving" apps and stuff, i suggest making a complete drive image of your laptop hard drive onto an external usb drive. and then you can restore it again if you need be.  A good app for drive imaging is Acronis True Image, but there are others (see http://www.donationc...ckUpGuide/index.html).

by the way i think your instinct to back up your entire drive before sending it to be repaired is a very good one, definitely do it.

Thanks Mouser.
Backups are not a problem in my case. I have multiple backups of everything on my computer : http://www.donationc...99.msg58886#msg58886. I'm a bit paranoid... :)

So I guess you just used True Image -- did you have to use the Universal Restore option ?


I just did this last week with True Image for the Windows/Programs partition and Ashampoo Burning Studio for the Documents partition (I was in a hurry and couldn't get Acronis to burn to DVD, initially). I've had to access both "images" to grab files for my wife and had no trouble. Given that I backed up to DVD, though, I may not be a happy camper when I get her notebook back as it has been noted by Carol that restoring from DVD's with TrueImage is molasses slow. Unfortunately, I wiped the harddrive before I sent it in and reset it to a virgin XP install (I'm paranoid) so it's inevitable that I'm going to have to face this!

I feel for you... i will definitely wipe my drive before sending it. "Sensitive" (not that much...) info will not fall into Dell hands  ;)
Will you have to restore on a NEW computer, or just a repaired one ? In the  second case it should be pretty easy -- even if quite slow... but it depends : restoring from DVD is not that bad, I found. It's the first case that frightens me : restoring on a new computer with a different MoBo.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 01:10:47 PM by Armando »

cthorpe

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2007, 01:33:16 PM »
In the event that they send you a different machine back (even if it seems only slightly different), I'd recommend getting on another computer, getting on Dell's website, and downloading all of the drivers you can find for the new system.  Even if something looks the same as what you had before, you should still download all the drivers there.  Burn all the drivers onto a CD, and you should be ready to restore the image to the new machine.  Everything should boot ok (though you might have to reactivate Windows with MS if there is enough of a hardware change), and you should be able to install any new drivers.

Good luck!

Carl Thorpe

Armando

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2007, 08:35:58 PM »
Thanks Carl. I appreciate your advices.
So... Download the drivers I will. And back to Dell my lapy will go. I'm still a bit... frightened undecided.
Hope everything goes well...  :o

steeladept

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2007, 12:39:57 PM »
Armando - I do this for a living at a rather large enterprise and I can say from my experiences, you only really need to worry about two drivers (Assuming Windows here, don't know enough about Linux or Macs yet).  The hard drive driver and the NIC driver.  As long as you can get the system up with these two drivers everything else can be retrieved after you get the machine back.  The way we accomplish this is to ensure generic drivers are installed and used before making the image.  Once that is done, you make the image.  Then, whatever equipment they send back, you should be able to place the image back on it and get it booted.  Once that is done, just update all the drivers and you are back where you were.

Oh, and the tools I use are Symantec Ghost at work and Acronis True Image at home.  They both seem to work well for me.  I have only had a corrupted image twice that I can think of and both times they were attributable to the hard drive going bad anyway.  Of course there is always the other option not yet mentioned...Get another hard drive to send back to them.  Nah, the image can be burned to the disk and is a good archive anyway.

Given that I backed up to DVD, though, I may not be a happy camper when I get her notebook back as it has been noted by Carol that restoring from DVD's with TrueImage is molasses slow. Unfortunately, I wiped the harddrive before I sent it in and reset it to a virgin XP install (I'm paranoid) so it's inevitable that I'm going to have to face this!
 

Why not just copy the image to your hard drive, slave her drive to your machine, then lay the image down on it there?  It is a lot faster, even with breaking open the cases to set it up.  Also, I can say from experience, don't shortcut and use a USB adapter.  THEY ARE SLOW when trying this.  If you want to do that, you might as well go from the DVD directly!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2007, 12:51:57 PM by steeladept »

Armando

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2007, 12:50:33 PM »
Armando - I do this for a living at a rather large enterprise and I can say from my experiences, you only really need to worry about two drivers (Assuming Windows here, don't know enough about Linux or Macs yet).  The hard drive driver and the NIC driver.  As long as you can get the system up with these two drivers everything else can be retrieved after you get the machine back.  The way we accomplish this is to ensure generic drivers are installed and used before making the image.  Once that is done, you make the image.  Then, whatever equipment they send back, you should be able to place the image back on it and get it booted.  Once that is done, just update all the drivers and you are back where you were.

Thank you very much for these advices ! Especially that I haven't sent my laptop yet, and I'll be able to apply them if it gets fixed or replaced.
(I Have to call the Dell tech before -- I did a bunch of tests and none of then shows a faulty ram module or anything. Weird. I hope I get this BSOD figured out soon because it really makes me nervous : every time I'm working on my thesis, I'm afraid I'm going to loose some wonderful ideas.  ;) )

Anyway.

I have a question for you steeladept : what would be the best way to ensure all the generic drivers are installed and used ?

Thanks in advance !

A.

steeladept

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2007, 01:07:46 PM »

I have a question for you steeladept : what would be the best way to ensure all the generic drivers are installed and used ?

Thanks in advance !

A.

I am looking for the exact drivers now that are generic by name, but the steps are to go into the device manager and find your hard drive.  Open the properties and go to the driver tab.  Then you update the driver.  Most likely you are using generic drivers anyway, at least if it is a brand name hard drive such as Seagate, but this is if you have special drivers for your hard drive, or if you switch from ATA to SATA drives (for example).

You can do a similar thing for the NIC, though I think I spoke before thinking on this one.  To my knowledge, there is no lowest common denominator NIC that you can use as a generic.  However, Windows does a pretty good job of matching one that will work.  If I remember right, Dell has only been using Intel and Broadcom chipsets for some time, so unless your model is really old, you will probably be fine with the ones already in Windows (as long as you didn't delete them to save space on your hard drive).

If it helps relieve a little anxiety; HP, Dell, Toshiba, IBM/Lenovo, etc. all tend to be VERY good about keeping exact hardware on hand for these fixes.  It is when you go to a repair facility that is not company owned that I have found in general seem to occasionally replace parts with "like kind".

Armando

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2007, 01:13:18 PM »

I am looking for the exact drivers now that are generic by name, but the steps are to go into the device manager and find your hard drive.  Open the properties and go to the driver tab.  Then you update the driver.  Most likely you are using generic drivers anyway, at least if it is a brand name hard drive such as Seagate, but this is if you have special drivers for your hard drive, or if you switch from ATA to SATA drives (for example).

You can do a similar thing for the NIC, though I think I spoke before thinking on this one.  To my knowledge, there is no lowest common denominator NIC that you can use as a generic.  However, Windows does a pretty good job of matching one that will work.  If I remember right, Dell has only been using Intel and Broadcom chipsets for some time, so unless your model is really old, you will probably be fine with the ones already in Windows (as long as you didn't delete them to save space on your hard drive).

If it helps relieve a little anxiety; HP, Dell, Toshiba, IBM/Lenovo, etc. all tend to be VERY good about keeping exact hardware on hand for these fixes.  It is when you go to a repair facility that is not company owned that I have found in general seem to occasionally replace parts with "like kind".

Again : thanks so much steeladept. That was an amazingly quick answer.

It's amazing how many great minds there are in this forum !

I love DC !  :-*

Darwin

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2007, 01:40:53 PM »
Quote
Why not just copy the image to your hard drive, slave her drive to your machine, then lay the image down on it there?  It is a lot faster, even with breaking open the cases to set it up.  Also, I can say from experience, don't shortcut and use a USB adapter.  THEY ARE SLOW when trying this.  If you want to do that, you might as well go from the DVD directly!

Funny - that's exactly what I did last week to mount the image so that I could extract some files from it for her. Worked like a charm and I'd already decided to do this when the computer is returned (Tuesday, apparently).

Thanks!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

steeladept

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2007, 01:46:34 PM »
Sorry I took so long to post this, but I had some issues connecting to DC for a short time.  Anyway, I kinda feel stupid now...When you are in the hard drive properties in device manager, just load new drivers.  When it prompts you to install them either automatically or from a specific location, choose from a specific location.  On the next screen, you are prompted to choose search and installation options.  Choose the "do not search, I will choose the driver to install" option.  The next screen will give you drivers to install.  On my system (and the ones at work), there was only one option called "Disk Drive" - that is the generic driver.  Depending on your setup, you may have other drivers, but the one simply called "Disk drive" is the one you would want in case that is what they swap out.

Armando

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Re: Transfer OS and APPs. from one laptop to another
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2007, 01:03:10 PM »
steeladept:
I didn't realise that, in your Reply #6, the generic drivers you were talking about were only (or mostly...)for the hard drive and the network adapter.  :-[
So, yes, that's easy to do.
Thanks!