HDD Transfer (Old -> New)

I have an old computer:

Cyrix Cx486 Dx2 (50MHz)
430 MB HDD
15 MB RAM (Simms)
Running Windows 3.11

I want to transfer everything from my old HDD to my new Pentium 4 WinXP System with an 80GB HDD for backup purposes. What’s the easiest way of transferring. Software?? Parallel, Serial cables, etc. Thanks!

The fastest and best way IMHO would be to connect your old HDD to your new computer’s IDE cable. If you’re brave enough, i could give you step by step instructions on opening your computer and plugging in the old HDD to the new comp. Or you could get some techie friend to assist you with this.

You could also give your old HDD to a friend who has a CD-writer and ask him/her to write the data onto CD for you using the above mentioned method ( assuming s/he knows how to do it).

Since you run Win 3.11 on the old machine, setting up a network to transfer data to the new comp would be quite a pain (if at all drivers and software to enable this are still available for Win 3.11)

I agree with xash - putting the old HD in the new PC would be a very fast way overall, and would save you a lot of trouble in the end.

Thanks. I finally decided to open my computer, definetly not the first time its been done. A lot less time to transfer and i have it all backed up!

I see rayray’s problem has been solved, but I would like to see this thread continue, if that is O.K., because of some questions of my own I have always had. For instance, let’s say rayray has his entire C: drive backed up to CD and he wants to transfer it to a brand new HD with an OS already installed (let’s say Windows 98 for right now). Does he just need to copy the contents of his C: drive and his Program Files folder to his new HD for his programs to work? What about programs that throw .dll files into the Windows and System directory? What about programs that have entries in his registry file? Would you overwrite the new Windows and Sytem directories and the new registry file with the old ones? What if you’re upgrading from a Win9x to XP? Sorry for the hijack, but I think this is an interesting question.

rayray did you ever decide on what you are going to do with that old box?

There are some problems with doing that.

When you copy files onto a CD, all the files become write protected. When you transfer them back you need to go in and change that or some software will not work.

The other problem is some software requires an entry in the registry. Just copying all the files over will not make the entry needed. This of course depends on the software and the OS it was installed on.

One of the things I’ve done is transfer the application directory from the old computer into to the new one keeping the location path the same. Then I try to fire up the application. If it complains about a dll file, I search the old drive to find it (most likely in the windows\system directory) then transfer that file into the application directory. Then try to fine the software up again. Sometimes it takes a little time to find all the files used, but when you’re done you have a directory with all the files the software needs in one location.

I have several applications I’ve used for years. I’ve long lost the install disks or CD’s, but it doesn’t matter because I have the entire program self contained in one folder. When I upgrade drives I just copy that directory and I’m ready to go.

Another thing you can do is xcopy32 the entire disk to the new disk then upgrade to the new OS. xcopy32 is great for that. Very useful if all you want to do it upgrade the hard drive but not the OS. Xcopy32 comes with win95-98 and perhaps ME. The matter is very simple.

1- Unplug old drive.
2- install new dive, fdisk and format it how you want.
3- install old drive back in as “c”, new drive as “d”.
4- xcopy32 the contents of “C” to “D”
Use this set of switches:

xcopy32 c:\ d:\ /c /e /f /h /k /r /s /v

5- remove old drive
6- put new drive in it’s place
7 - done.

xcopy32 will mirror your old drive to the new drive.

One note: xcopy32 only works with fat or fat 32 systems. It doesn’t work with NTFS.

This is incorrect in general. While it is possible that you have your CD burning software set to change the read-only attribute on all files that are burned, burning the files to a CD definitely does not change their file attributes in itself. I’ve burned more than a thousand CDs and never had this happen, on a multitude of PCs.

And we’re not talking about writing to a locked CD-R either. I know that that doesn’t work.

Maxwell Edison, i’d like to add to the answers to your question…

As i understand it, you would like to know whether, when the hdd of the comp. is changed, just copying the files to the new hdd are enough for the comp. to be up an running as it were…

I would suggest that you first format the new hdd, assuming you need nothing from it, and then copy the entire backed up cd to the new hdd. The system files, registry files and all will automatically be copied to the new hdd ( this is assuming that you included every file in the initial cd backup - system files, hidden files, etc. )

In the case where the rest of the hardware of the computer remains unchanged, the computer should be up and running as if nothing ever happened ( other than showing up the new hdd in explorer with all new space and all ). You might want to make sure at this stage that all system files that originally did not have read only attributes are not now reset to read only. If they are, as Seven suspects they might be, simply reset them using the dos attrib command.

But, in the case that you wanted your old settings to work on a new computer ( which might have significantly different hardware components, such as display card, sound card, etc. ) this will probably cause some driver conflicts on initial boot up, which can moderately easily be fixed with a few more driver installations and 50 or so reboots :slight_smile:

Note that in the above mentioned cases, where the new hdd was formatted before the backup was copied, and then the backup was copied onto the newly formatted new hdd ( :slight_smile: ), all dll’s, registry settings, etc. will accompany the file copying… * i love the form that some sentences take when you try to explain some concepts on the board*

In the case where you overwrite the contents of the new hdd ( without initially formatting it ) you will still get a working hdd, but with significantly more conflicts to resolve. I suggest you stick to overwriting only if the OS versions of the two hdd’s were the same ( e.g. Win 98se with Win98se ) and you are sufficiently adept at resolving conflicts in windows.

I believe that there is software out there that makes this process simple, such as Ghost Image. I haven’t used any such software nor do i know their exact functions, since i always prefer working with DOS and doing a format and load, but you might want to further your research.

If you would like me to clarify or further expand on any specific points, do let me know. If you would like me to clarify my entire post, i’ll be out of town. :smiley:

I’ve noticed this happens in Adaptec/Roxio CD Creator 4, the copy I use in Windows. I should check the settings and see what’s up. Perhaps there is a weird setting I’ve overlooked.

I’ve not checked the CD’s I’ve made in other software.

I also should note when I copy files over from a CD in windows, I normally do it with a right-click/copy in explorer… not from a dos box.

I did something very similar last night. I opened my new second-hand computer (courtesy of micilin) and found that the IDE cable didn’t have an extra plug, so I unplugged the CD-ROM IDE, hooked up the old disk, copied everything over to the new HD, then removed the old HD and reconnected everything. The new computer was running W2000 and it went very smoothly indeed - W2000 recognised the new disk automatically on restart.

One more time, xcopy32 will not mirror a drive. It does not preserve long and short file name associations which can cause problems esp. with short name entries in the registry during boot up. This has been done to death before on these boards. Go do a search Seven. The help files for the superior xxcopy32 util. also explain this.

There are hard drive copy utilities that will copy a partition very nicely, available from your HD maker.

Having said all that, I strongly recommend that rayray… not do any of these. The new computer should come with a preinstalled OS and setup that will get obliterated doing any of these. This is not good. Only select files and such should be copied. Applications on the old computer should be re-installed on the new computer.