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Migrating Old Data to New Hard Drives

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Anchoret, Apr 15, 2006.

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  1. Anchoret

    Anchoret Thread Starter

    Jan 19, 2006
    I'm sure that in some ways this qualifies as a stupid question, and if so, please feel free to have a nice horselaugh at my expense...but help me out if you can.

    Every time I upgrade HDs, I find myself with a nice new OS installation on a big new drive and gradually add new updates of my old programs. Moving discrete files like .MP3s, documents, downloads and so forth from the old drive is not very hard, but I have a lot of old program data, settings, mail, bookmarks, partially-downloaded P2P files, etc., etc. on the old drive, however, and I never seem to be able to get it migrated properly, if at all, as it doesn't lend itself to transparent transfer to and incorporation into the new installation.

    In my typical disorganized way, I wind up adding the old drive as a slave to the new one and gradually salvage a little bit piecemeal, but essentially wind up losing most of it -- in practical terms. This primarily just produces more noise & heat in the machine from running a drive that should be extraneous. This is an inefficient and dumb non-solution, but I've been doing it forever.

    I've tried to copy the old drive to a big folder on the new drive, but XP doesn't seem to want to allow this. Most of one's valuable info that he should like to save or migrate is buried very, very deeply in non-obvious places.

    So, my questions are two:

    1: Taking the short-term, partial solution, is there a program or an easy way to just make some sort of an image of the old drive so I can save it somewhere in a folder on the new drive for later salvaging? I really need to free up an old drive or two for other uses.

    2: Taking the long-term, serious tack, is there a good method or program for doing serious and complete migration of old data from commonly used programs into a new installation? I am amazed at how poorly this works with most mail programs and browsers.

    As always, thanks for any help!
  2. photolady


    May 5, 2004
    Ghost or True image, both will image your old drive to be reimaged to your new one.
  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
  4. replay


    Aug 12, 2003
  5. jparr111


    Dec 17, 2004
    Like John said. Worked for me.
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