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Disk Cloning Transfer When Migrating Files to a New Hard Drive

Updated on April 13, 2011

How fun is this. It will hit all of us (much like taxes and death) sooner or later. We all dread it. You know, you hard drive crashes, or, you buy a new computer and you want all the stuff on the old HD, or you just upgrade to a faster and bigger HD. Whatever. The thing is, file transfer between new and old computers or new and old HD's can be easy or a horror.

Most will try simply to remove the old HD into the new computer. This may or may not work. Your old HD is looking for the old motherboard, graphics board, drivers for them, old Bios, old this and that. If the system detects more than four differences it will likely negate it and not allow the old HD to boot. I know, I am there now. UGH. Like many before me, the only other option is file migration or backup of the old HD to the new HD in the new computer. Even this is not easy because while the data is on the new HD, it is the same old info creating the same conflicts on a new system. Again, chances are it may not work any better. Assuming it does work, there is a very likely hood that most of the icons on the desktop will no longer work and require some sort of re-installation of the software. How fun is this?  Some of the applications may not work as well. Maybe the better solution is simply transfer the files and re-install, but we are trying to avoid this!

Is there a sure fire method that allows one to migrate all the files and OS from one HD to another and have all your applications working?  I have yet to find one.

Acronis claims to be able to do this with their True Image Home and MigrationEasy 7.0. Ratings are high, however, my attempts to get either to work in their free trial download, failed. Once the True Image was downloaded and installed, I tried to backup the files. It seemed like it was working until the error box popped up. I tried many times on my XP Pro OS. Failing there, I downloaded MigrationEasy 7.0. Once it was downloaded, I tried to install it. Another error appeared-some internal conflict. I removed and reinstalled it. It installed. I was elated. Hooked up my new HD with the old HD, the software seemed to be fine until the required reboot. Then, the dreaded black screen appeared. It just hung there. No messages. After waiting 30 minutes, I unplugged the computer and tried again. Same issue. Their tech support in India were clueless. This is not how to win a customer!

Norton Ghost can backup the files but cannot clone the disk. I also tried PC Relocator, or Ahola Bob. This actually did work. With this, you install it on the old and new computers, connect the two with their USB cable and transfer the files. It takes hours, but the end result is all of the old files are on the new computer (not the OS). The downside is that many of the programs need re-installation to work. 

The Acronis debacle only made the whole situation more stressful. Just think had I bought the damn software first!


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      Sharoncharles 6 years ago

      In order to perform fast sharing of files over the Internet, there are various software or application available . It perform fast sharing of files and is easy to install and download too.

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      marellen 6 years ago

      I have two friends who lost their hard drive, took their computer to Best Buys and this was their solution. Charge them $1600.00 to try and recover their personal stuff: pictures, documents...etc.

      My solution, my son bought me a backup battery for lack of a better word: Duracell 4gb. Every few months I backup my files from my laptop onto this battery and if I have a crash or buy a new laptop, I should be able to insert this and download all my files. Good luck with your problem.