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Old 08-10-2013, 01:34 AM   #1
\/4A
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Moving HDD to new pc


Hi,

I've been using an old Pentium4 PC for quite some time now and have had a dual-boot (Linux Mint 12 & Win7) but have just got myself a new more powerful PC and wish to move my drive to there.

Am just concerned that as soon as I connect and boot-up, one or both of the OS's may crash.

What's the best way forward? (I have ALL my data in the HDD I wish to move).

Thanks in advance.
 
Old 08-10-2013, 02:51 AM   #2
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/4A View Post
I've been using an old Pentium4 PC for quite some time now and have had a dual-boot (Linux Mint 12 & Win7) but have just got myself a new more powerful PC and wish to move my drive to there.

Am just concerned that as soon as I connect and boot-up, one or both of the OS's may crash.
Mint should be trouble-free. Being an Ubuntu descendant, it collects the necessary information and reconfigures itself dynamically on each boot, so I expect it just runs fine after transplanting the HDD. By the way, support for Mint 12 (Lisa) has expired in April this year, and I'd recommend you to upgrade to the most recent Mint 15 (which will be supported until January 2014, so you don't gain much), or at least the LTS Mint 13 (which will receive support until 2017).
Overview: http://www.linuxmint.com/oldreleases.php

However, I wouldn't bet on Windows. In many years of Windows experience, I've learned that this system is very likely to fail afteer it's been simply transferred 1:1 on a system with different hardware, especially the mainboard's chipset. You may be able to fix it by booting Windows in safe mode and then installing the drivers for the new hardware.
Even if that works, you'll definitely have to re-activate it.

But honestly, the only clean solution for Windows is a reinstall from scratch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/4A View Post
What's the best way forward? (I have ALL my data in the HDD I wish to move).
Are you telling us that there's no backup? Some years ago, a good friend of mine said: "All data that you don't bother to back up regularly, is unimportant by definition." - Meanwhile, that's my motto, too.

Anyway, before swapping the HDD and trying to reconfigure everything (which implies the risk of breaking something, especially on the Windows side), you should make a complete, up-to-date backup, preferrably on a big external (USB) HDD. Everybody should own one. ;-)
If you don't, and can't afford to buy one, you might ask around to borrow one from one of your friends. On the other hand, if you had the money to buy an entire new PC, you shouldn't be mean on accessories, IMO.

[X] Doc CPU

Last edited by Doc CPU; 08-10-2013 at 02:56 AM.
 
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Old 08-11-2013, 02:42 AM   #3
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Doc CPU, Thanks so much for the advise.

Mint migrated good enough, just doesn't recognize the Nvidia GT610 of the new PC, so as per your advise, I'll upgrade to Mint 15 Cinnamon (hope the nvidia will be OK there?)

Sorry for my wrong description; when I said "all my data", I was actually referring to all the software installed over the years and their related settings, user a/c's, browser settings, passwords, etc.. that have been been associated to "all my work" - that "feel" when you put on your PC and use it as opposed to a new install.
So as I write this, "Windows Easy Transfer" is busy at work backing up stuff.

Ask you something pls - if instead of having a dual boot, would it be better to just have Linux Mint 15 as the single main OS on the HDD and Win 7 as a virtual machine (and I restore my Windows Easy Transfer file into the Win 7 virtual machine I setup)? Would appreciate some views on this, pls.

Also, will Windows Easy Transfer automatically re-create my Windows user a/c on my fresh Win 7 install?

Thanks in anticipation.
 
Old 08-11-2013, 03:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by \/4A View Post
Mint migrated good enough, just doesn't recognize the Nvidia GT610 of the new PC, so as per your advise, I'll upgrade to Mint 15 Cinnamon (hope the nvidia will be OK there?)
If you let Mint 12 (with 18 months of support) get that out of date, is using mint 15 with 9 months support a good idea?

The repo nVidia drivers in Mint 13 will work with the GT610.
 
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:58 AM   #5
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/4A View Post
Doc CPU, Thanks so much for the advise.
you're welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/4A View Post
Mint migrated good enough, just doesn't recognize the Nvidia GT610 of the new PC, so as per your advise, I'll upgrade to Mint 15 Cinnamon (hope the nvidia will be OK there?)
Are you using the open source driver, or the extra one? The vendor-supplied driver may need reinstalling to be adapted to the new video chip.
And you're deliberately speaking of Cinnamon, I assume? Because Mint "usually" comes with the MATE desktop (which is my favorite), and the pre-packaged ISOs using Cinnamon or KDE are just alternatives (though Cinnamon is being promoted quite aggressively).

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/4A View Post
Sorry for my wrong description; when I said "all my data", I was actually referring to all the software installed over the years and their related settings, user a/c's, browser settings, passwords, etc.. that have been been associated to "all my work" - that "feel" when you put on your PC and use it as opposed to a new install.
I see. No need to apologize, though. Of course I consider all these user-specific settings an important part of "all my data", not only document files you're working with. It's just these user-specific settings and the system-wide customization that makes a Windows re-install such a laborious procedure.

Sure, you can have Windows up and running on a new PC within two hours, maybe less - if you're working with default settings. However, in my Windows time I used to customize and tweak the system so extensively that it took me days to get all this done again. There's a few obvious things like e-mail accounts that can be exported on the old system and re-imported on the new one. But many programs store their settings in places you don't even know - or they bury them somewhere in the Windows registry, where it's quite tedious to find, export and re-import them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/4A View Post
Ask you something pls - if instead of having a dual boot, would it be better to just have Linux Mint 15 as the single main OS on the HDD and Win 7 as a virtual machine (and I restore my Windows Easy Transfer file into the Win 7 virtual machine I setup)? Would appreciate some views on this, pls.
It depends. ;-)
If you use Linux most of the time and just need Windows occasionally, that may be a good option. There's one big advantage of having it this way: The Windows installation is easy to back up: Just copy the VM somewhere else, and that's it. But bear in mind that there are some drawbacks if you use Windows in a VM. GPU features may be limited, so Windows in a VM may not be suitable for gaming. And don't forget that for running a VM, you need plenty of RAM. You need the added amount for both systems at the same time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/4A View Post
Also, will Windows Easy Transfer automatically re-create my Windows user a/c on my fresh Win 7 install?
I guess so, but I'm not sure. After XP, my Windows knowledge has become very shallow. I only touch Windows 7 with protective gloves, because it feels so obnoxious. XP was the last Windows I felt halfway comfortable with.

[X] Doc CPU
 
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
If you let Mint 12 (with 18 months of support) get that out of date, is using mint 15 with 9 months support a good idea?

The repo nVidia drivers in Mint 13 will work with the GT610.
That's a good one!
Well, the reason I've never got down to doing it's because of the way we have to do a fresh install as opposed to an upgrade in Windows; and again the talk of backing up what I've referred to as "all my data" comes in.

Is there a reason Mint does not have an upgrade system?
 
Old 08-11-2013, 05:26 AM   #7
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Thanks, Doc CPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc CPU View Post
Are you using the open source driver, or the extra one? The vendor-supplied driver may need reinstalling to be adapted to the new video chip.
And you're deliberately speaking of Cinnamon, I assume? Because Mint "usually" comes with the MATE desktop (which is my favorite), and the pre-packaged ISOs using Cinnamon or KDE are just alternatives (though Cinnamon is being promoted quite aggressively).
Not quite sure what you mean by 'the extra one'; I've not actually installed any drivers and all I have is the CD that came with the card.
Where can I source 'the right driver'?. Cascade9 has advised,
Quote:
The repo nVidia drivers in Mint 13 will work with the GT610.
I literally mean Cinnamon - prefer the "chunky feel"



Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc CPU View Post
I see. No need to apologize, though. Of course I consider all these user-specific settings an important part of "all my data", not only document files you're working with. It's just these user-specific settings and the system-wide customization that makes a Windows re-install such a laborious procedure.

Sure, you can have Windows up and running on a new PC within two hours, maybe less - if you're working with default settings. However, in my Windows time I used to customize and tweak the system so extensively that it took me days to get all this done again. There's a few obvious things like e-mail accounts that can be exported on the old system and re-imported on the new one. But many programs store their settings in places you don't even know - or they bury them somewhere in the Windows registry, where it's quite tedious to find, export and re-import them.
Yep, that's exactly what I mean.

The Windows Easy Transfer's completed and now am backing up "all my data" (hope you know what I mean) from my current Linux Mint 12 install - am logged in as "root" and am doing one user at a time from the filesystem >> home >> "each user's directory"
Assuming it will backup all user specific settings including firefox & chrome's current open tabs and session, I hope.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc CPU View Post
It depends. ;-)
If you use Linux most of the time and just need Windows occasionally, that may be a good option. There's one big advantage of having it this way: The Windows installation is easy to back up: Just copy the VM somewhere else, and that's it. But bear in mind that there are some drawbacks if you use Windows in a VM. GPU features may be limited, so Windows in a VM may not be suitable for gaming. And don't forget that for running a VM, you need plenty of RAM. You need the added amount for both systems at the same time.
Yes, I use linux Mon-Fri for work and now that you mention it, yes I do use Win for weekends - chat, gaming (dolphin Nintendo Wii emulator) so I'll take your advise and do the same dual-boot thing.
 
Old 08-11-2013, 05:28 AM   #8
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/4A View Post
Well, the reason I've never got down to doing it's because of the way we have to do a fresh install as opposed to an upgrade in Windows
to save myself a lot of trouble, I never simply "upgraded" Windows, but always did a clean, fresh install. True, Windows did offer the option of upgrading in-place and that way, most of your personal settings survived. However, during an upgrade-style install, the Windows installer always tried to preserve as much as it could from the previous system, so that you ended up with a wild mix.
But then again, my Windows installations usually "lived" more than five years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/4A View Post
Is there a reason Mint does not have an upgrade system?
Oh, it does, in the same way as Ubuntu. But it's a bit tricky to do (it involves using the command line, manually changing the software package sources and so on), and even the Mint guys recommend not to do that, but instead go for a clean install of the new version. That's annoying, yes - and that's why I'm recently peeking at Linux Mint Debian, which uses a rolling release and eliminates the need of full system upgrades, because every package is updated continuously.

[X] Doc CPU
 
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by \/4A View Post
Not quite sure what you mean by 'the extra one'; I've not actually installed any drivers and all I have is the CD that came with the card.
Where can I source 'the right driver'?. Cascade9 has advised,
There are 2 different drivers that you can use with nVidia video cards- the open source drivers (nouveau) and the closed source drivers from nVidia.

The closed source drivers are generally faster for games, and have some extra features (eg VDPAU, nVidia hardware video decoding).

If you want to use the closed source drivers, dont try to use the the drivers on teh CD that came with the card. They are normally out of date.

Its best to use the drivers that are found in the distros repos (repositories) as they have the most testing done with that distro. It can make security updates and other updates run more smoothly as well.

Its easiest to use the mint 'hardware drivers' tool- in fact that tool (and the similar tool with ubuntu) are the only thing IMO that makes mint or ubuntu 'easier' than other distros. Using the hardware drivers tool will get you the drivers from the mint repos.

Where the mint hardware drivers tool is hiding depends on the version of mint you are using.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc CPU View Post
But then again, my Windows installations usually "lived" more than five years.
Ouch. I've never had a windows install last longer than 1-2 years without getting some serious 'cruft'. You can clean a lot of that out, but you never get everything. I used to reinstall windwos about once a year myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc CPU View Post
Oh, it does, in the same way as Ubuntu. But it's a bit tricky to do (it involves using the command line, manually changing the software package sources and so on), and even the Mint guys recommend not to do that, but instead go for a clean install of the new version. That's annoying, yes - and that's why I'm recently peeking at Linux Mint Debian, which uses a rolling release and eliminates the need of full system upgrades, because every package is updated continuously.
Why not just use debian testing instead of LMDE?

BTW debian has a decent upgrade system for moving from one 'stable' release to the next.

Last edited by cascade9; 08-11-2013 at 08:40 AM. Reason: typo
 
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Old 08-11-2013, 02:39 PM   #10
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Ouch. I've never had a windows install last longer than 1-2 years without getting some serious 'cruft'. You can clean a lot of that out, but you never get everything. I used to reinstall windwos about once a year myself.
actually, five years is even the low end of the scale. Recently I had to retire a HDD that failed after more than 7 years, and after replacing it I seriously considered restoring the system from a backup. After all, Windows 2000 had been running like clockworks and without as much as a twitch in all these 7 years.
In the end, I reinstalled the system from scratch, upgrading to XP (the latest Windows I'd use of my own will).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Why not just use debian testing instead of LMDE?
Because Mint is known for having lots of multimedia stuff in its repos, a lot of that even in its default installation, including some non-free software you'd usually want (a few codecs, flash plugin and so on). Starting with "real" Debian, I'd have to collect all that from different spots. Why do that if others have already prepared a system that is exactly to my taste?

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 08-13-2013, 03:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc CPU View Post
Because Mint is known for having lots of multimedia stuff in its repos, a lot of that even in its default installation, including some non-free software you'd usually want (a few codecs, flash plugin and so on). Starting with "real" Debian, I'd have to collect all that from different spots. Why do that if others have already prepared a system that is exactly to my taste?
You migth be suprised at how much runs with debian 'out of the box'. A lot of codecs that needed adding some software to play on pervious versions of debian now run 'out of the box' with debian 7 and newer.

Its not that hard to add the few things that arent shipped with debian, and there is really only 2 'spots'- adding 'non-free contrib' in the main debian repos, and deb-multimedia.org-

https://wiki.debian.org/MultimediaCodecs

Its fairly easy and quick.

I'd be fonder of LMDE if it was just an 'installer' for debian testing with a few tweaks 'out of the box'. As it stands, with its own repos and (IIRC) a least some breakage with normal debian testing, I'm not impressed with LMDE.
 
Old 08-17-2013, 03:13 AM   #12
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Thanks so much everyone for all the help and assistance on this topic: Doc_CPU, Cascade9.

I've successfully moved "all my data" to the new PC and all seems OK.
Linux Mint migration was easy and I'm really happy to be on 15 now - am more confident to do regular upgardes to new versions when necessary.
Win7 Easy Windows Transfer however did not do a 100% job - it didn't take my browser settings across (for both Firefox and Chrome) so I lost out on bookmarks, open tabs, passwords, etc... (Luckily I don't use Win as the main OS). I may have missed out something somewhere.
Mint took everything nicely and I'm resuming from where I left; only now I have a new better version. GREAT JOB MINT!!!

Once again a big personal thank you to each one of you.
 
Old 08-17-2013, 05:36 AM   #13
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Nice to hear its all moved over and working.

Enjoy!
 
Old 08-17-2013, 09:10 PM   #14
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I'd have just moved the disk and fixed the hal issues. Good to know you posted how you did it also.
 
Old 08-18-2013, 02:51 AM   #15
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
I'd have just moved the disk and fixed the hal issues.
that's what I initially had in mind when I mentioned "transplanting the HDD" and "booting Windows in safe mode and then installing the drivers". And that's also what the thread title implies. Anyway, many roads lead to Rome ...

[X] Doc CPU
 
  


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