Surviving the Laptop Upgrade Wars

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adrianoabobora1

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I totally suport this!!!
System upgrades are a real nightmare!
Not only softwares to re-install, there are software preferences, fonts, e-mail accounts configuration, and the list of things to do go on and on...
It´s really a shame that there´s no software out there to solve this problem.
Great article!
 
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You should look into application virtualization. There is an article on anandtech that you can read here:
http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=3237&p=5
I agree w/ the problem though. Registry makes it near impossible to transfer software to another machine and keep settings. And to be honest I dont see Microsoft doing anything to fix this. In fact they made it worse. When running Vista in VMware Fusion on my mac and then trying to boot up directly into Vista w/ Boot camp it says i have to reactivate all the time because the hardware has changed... Booo!
 

Supplesteed

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You think there is a product that will allow you to backup your Tecra running XP and copy it in total to a Satellite A215 and have it run? There is not and there will never be. An A215 will not run XP. There are no drivers for many of the components.
 
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Microsoft licensing does not allow for an OEM OS to be "transferred" it lives and dies with the hardware. Another thing you have overlooked is the easy transfer wizard which will merrily transfer most programs, files, registry keys and settings across to the new machine from the old via network, usb transfer cable or file store.
 
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oh and don't forget the differences in drivers and hardware platform which might upset transferred software :)

There are technologies in use today to help do this lift and shift though - user state migration toolkit and Desktop Deployment accelerators from MS are examples and others exist. They allow for a machine to be upgraded in situ with an OS and upgraded or hardware swapped.
 

barryegerber

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This is Barry. Appreciate your comments. On the XP to Vista upgrade from one laptop to another: I just want a Vista to Vista upgrade.
 

barryegerber

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This is Barry. Appreciate your comments. On the XP to Vista upgrade from one laptop to another: I just want a Vista to Vista upgrade.
 
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Stop whining... bite the bullet and burn you stuff to cd/dvd and reinstall everything like the rest of us. You make the entire process seem to complicated. Sure its time consuming, and nobody likes to do it... yet we all do. Perhaps, you know as well as I do "backup and restores" dont necessarily work well anyway.
 
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I couldn't agree with you more. Over the last year I started experimenting with Linux flavors since Vista wasn't something I was looking forward to.

Being a previous SuSE fan from college and with Mono on the Horizon, I thought I'd give it a go. SuSE was fast to get the software I needed but the configuration of it was insanely painful.

I eventually went to Fedora and was pleased with the ease of install and quick software retrieval. I also gave Ubuntu a try and let me tell you, I have never been able to finish a operating system install so quickly in my life. I even got to play some Black Jack on the live install operating system while Ubuntu was busily working on getting me set up, which was like 30 minutes.

Once installed, I went to the Synaptic package manager, picked the additional software I needed, told the system to install them and within 15 minutes I had a final product.

I also installed VMware Server and have a second computer running XP just in case. I just recently had to wipe my old XP machine and am still in the process of getting it where I want it to be, 2 weeks later. :(
 

hkgonra

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I don't see what the big deal is.
Reloading all your software is something I do annually anyway on my systems just to keep them in good working order. I look at it as a regularly scheduled pc enema.
 

hkgonra

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I don't see what the big deal is.
I think a laptop should have all data backed up for mat the drive and reload all software annually as part f regular maintenance. Look at it as a regular pc enema.
 
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What we need is a modular laptop build (that is reasonably priced) that allows component interchange like with a desktop. Want to speed up you laptop, just plug in a new CPU. Upgrade graphics? no problem, get a new card. Install a new wireless-n card? No white lists here!

Instead you get barely upgradeable memory, no options for video upgrade and white lists to make sure that even stuff you can change can only be swapped with the same crappy stuff at a highly inflated price. There is really no reason for this except to get you to buy whole laptop every couple of years rather than just upgrading a component.

For home use, it truly is just as easy to lug my desktop around. ;)
 

soulprovider

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Excellent article which reflects the main reason I am still using my 4 year old desktop system with its original installation of XP

I too was an IT pro involved in the rollout of numerous desktop and laptop systems but today the thought of messing about installing a ton of applications and tweaking their configuration is just too much.

I have no intention of upgrading to a new machine or for that matter even performing a fresh OS installation. When Windows breaks I simply restore from my most recent ghost image and get back on with things.

As long as AGP is alive and I can throw a new video card in my system to keep it viable for gaming then Microsoft and the system vendors will have to wait even longer before they see any of my cash.
 
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I have been building and cloning systems from Mac OS X.x and Windows.
The beauty with Mac OS X.x is that the OS is designed for their hardware. There are also free system cloning/restoring applications out there like CarbonCopyClone and Netrestore.
The problem with Windows is device drives will differ from machine to machine. If your source system doesn't have the base system devices in Device Mangler (Device Manager) that are usually backward compatible for modern hardware your cloned system image will cause your new machine to blue screen or do reboot loops.

As far as software licensing I usually deal with OEM and site licenses.

Here are a few good pointers to migrating/imaging a Windows system...
In Device Mangler (Device Manager)
Under Computer set your ACPI driver to the basic Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC
Under IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller set the controller to Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller and make sure IDE channels are just Primary IDE Channel and Secondary IDE Channel

Now get Acronis® True Image 11 Home
http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/
Create a boot disk with the software and then image your source machine to an accessible hard drive (internal, external, network).
Then restore the new machine with the image created using the same boot disk.
 
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I accomplished exactly what you want to do for free using MS WinPE 2.0 with the ImageX component. You can get this through WAIK which is also a free download. Learning Command Line options is no fun. I printed out the list of commands I needed to do and created a hardware independant image (full backup) in 15 minutes. There are a plethora of articles covering this process on the internet.
After the image is created, I deployed it on different laptops and desktops with ease. I did have license issues with Adobe but they were easily resolved by inputing the appropriate keys for every computer.
Image deployment also takes less than 20 minutes on our hardware.
Note: OEM licenses may interfere with this process, but I have not experienced this yet.
 

chinoman

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I am not an IT guy or geek, but I used the following with W2K and the hardwares in the new PC, after the upgrade, worked between 95 and 100%. I have a triple boot (98, W2K, XP) hard drive that can boot 2 PC's that have quite different hardwares, eg. ALI chipset and VIA chipset.

1. Go to Hardware Profile in your currently working PC. Copy the current profile (probably the only one) to a new one. In the Hardware Profiles windows check "Wait until I select ..." near the bottom.

2. Reboot your PC using the New Profile

3. To play it safe disable (blanking) all administrator password.

4. Go to Device Manager and bring up Properties for each of the devices that you KNOW will not be in the New PC. Then "do not use..." those devices from the current profile (New Profile). NO need to do this to the following sections in Device Manager: Computer, Disk Drives, DVD Drives, Floppy related, Ports, System Devices, USB. While doing this you will be prompted to reboot a few
times. Just choose "NO". When you are all done, SHUT DOWN the PC using normal procedures.

5. Clone/create the hard drive (partitions, OS, softwares to a new one.

6. After connecting your new hard drive to your New PC, use the following procedures below in exact order to try and reboot your New PC. You may be tempted to skip other procedures and jump to the second last one but doing so, if I remember correctly, will not work. As you think you are nearing success or the end of installation, your keyboard will somehow be disabled when prompted to enter CD key. Therefore the process will not be completed, and at that point you need to erase the whole new hard drive and start from procedure 5.

7. If your new hard drive in your New PC boots all the way to Desktop, you are in business. Otherwise:-

8. Boot New PC using W2K CD
Choose Repair
Choose Repair Using Emergency Repair Process
Choose Manual Repair
Uncheck Inspect Startup, Verify System File Check ONLY Inspect Boot Sector
Follow screen instructions to repair and reboot

9. Reboot (will probably fail)

10. Boot New PC using W2K CD
Choose Repair
Choose Repair Using Emergency Repair Process
Choose Fast Repair
Choose 2nd option: NO Emergency Repair Disk
SKIP drive examination, follow screen instructions to repair and reboot

11. Reboot (will probably fail)

12. Boot New PC using W2K CD
Choose Setup W2K
Choose Agree
Choose Repair existing W2K and follow screen instruction

13. After a complete and successful re-installation in the New PC, modify Network ID & REGEDIT by changing all entries of your old system's computer name to a new name. Otherwise your New PC will not work properly with the old one under the same LAN.

 

Brainbent

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I can't remember the number of times I have had to reinstall software because a restore wouldn't work due to too many hardware changes. I never had problems before Win2000, but the problem has gotten steadily worse over time to the place where now, Microsoft actively enforces this (with very few exceptions - see Vista Enterprise). For anyone who has bothered to read the OEM (System Builder) EULA, Vista is strictly limited to one machine and is not transferrable. Only Full Retail Versions may be transferred (but probably not backed up and restored, just reinstalled) to another machine. Because of the more proprietary nature of laptop hardware, they are the worst to deal with. I feel your pain, but have (very) limited hope of a solution forthcoming. I am constantly upgrading and modifying my systems to test software, hardware and multiple configurations of both. By the bye, I am one of those who will not be upgrading my laptop until the titanium exterior oxidizes to dust. . .
 
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