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Old PC to New PC - Backup, Network; or Drive Swap

2290 Views 15 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Volt-Schwibe

Posting this here because I believe it relates to the OS more than anything else...but if not, please (Mr. Administrator), feel free to move it accordingly:

My new Dell 8250 is on it's way, which will be running XP. My old box, a Dell 700, is running Win98SE.

I'm about to start the long, tedious backup & transfer process, which consists of burning all important files, folders, downloaded programs, bookmarks, address book, etc., to CD-R, for upload to the new PC when it comes.

Typical documents aren't a problem. But the main use of my PC is that of a DAW, for the purpose of multitrack recording. As a result, my audio libraries (which are located on my secondary drive) are freakin' huge; & the process could conceivably take an inordinate amount of time (as in, forever.) it possible to:

A) Network the existing PC to the new PC via an Ethernet cable (I've got a 10/100 LAN card in the existing box; & will have integrated 10/100 LAN capability in the new box); & upload everything to the new PC? Does XP have a utility for that? This is what I would really like to do...


B) Backup everything I need onto my existing secondary drive; & pop that in the new PC?

[&; as an aside...when secondary drives are originally installed, they are formatted to the file system of the existing OS, right? (which, in my case, is Win98SE/FAT32.) If I pop the old 2nd drive in the new Dell, which is running XP (or just ribbon cable it in for ghosting), would there be a conflict? Doesn't XP have a dual boot option that supports different OS's. Could it be done in that way?

Please help.

Thanks in advance,


BTW - I don't intend to leave the old secondary drive in the new PC, as I want to get a new secondary drive of larger capacity (& also would like the benefits of having a new, larger one, formatted to XP/NTFS.) And...I would really like to utilize method "A" anyway, if possible.
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You can network the two boxes and transfer the files that way, the "utility" you use is called Windows Explorer, perhaps you've heard of it. :)

well, i have used windows explorer for a long time....and i wouldn't think of it as a networking tool.... although it seems to have one built in to it.

i have also used my pc networked with other pc's and file sharing between 98se and xp isnt usually a problem...
except for the small problem with xp's networking system....which isnt anything too bad, but most people i have ever met are too stupid to get xp on a took me a few tries as well....
but as long as you have ethernet ability in both machines you're in the clear... your files will move just fine over a file shared lan, this will only work if you get file sharing turned on on the 98se machine.....usually people cant get xp to share, but it wont need to share just to peek into the other one and copy stuff....

you will need to install a tcp/ip protocol on both machines, and there needs to be an occurrance of that protocol for each peice of hardware... (i am saying to make sure that there is a tcp/ip protocol set up for the ethernet card on both machines)
if you arent using a router you might have to set the ip address to a static address...
it is really pretty simple though...
i used on one machine and on the other.... it doesnt matter if you use any number between 1 and 256 for the last number, but they cannot be the same as each other....
with a router you set them to automatically assign one...
and you will want to use a flipped cable to do this unless you have a router or hub....
i call it a "jumper cable" but other people call them different stuff....
i think the proper name is a "crossover cat5 cable"

this should be a peice of cake for you to do, but if something odd about your machine comes up, then get back to us about it..

some of the things i say come out all sounding like babble, so if you dont see what i am saying, let me know, and i will get my translator to put it into a compatible (non-babble) language for you...

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Thanks all...

Thanks. Bob...I'll definately be getting back with you.

Thanks again,


BTW - As an afterthought, is there any way to transfer everything to a "new" secondary drive using method B? In other words...I get the new PC & install a new secondary drive...& then hookup the old secondary drive (via the extra connector on the ribbon cable system); & move files from old secondary drive to new secondary drive?

My intention is to have a new secondary drive in the new PC; & I was hoping to avoid a double transfer (most of my really important files are digital audio, both .wav & proprietary, which will be used in the near future for pre-mastering to CD for bulk replication & eventual sales.) Needless to say, they have to remain in perfect condition. If I use the basic master & slave method, those files will be first transferred to the new PC's primary drive; & then to over to a new secondary drive, when it's installed. Should I be concerned about double transfer; & can my double slave scenario be accommodated?


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In a perfect world, you're only going to get about 600KBps (Kbytes per second) transfer rate through 100Mb ethernet connection. I will leave the math to you - you can figure out how big your files are and divide them by 60/60.

I would recommend the following:

Take out your PRIMARY drive of your OLD machine and connect it into the SECONDARY IDE CONTROLLER in your NEW machine and transfer the files to the PRIMARY DRIVE in your NEW machine. Once the actual file transfer begins, this will be the fastest, most efficient way to transfer the files.

If you're going to back them up anyway, the CD-ROM method would be good.

that would work peachy-riffic as well. and much faster...

but if you are going to set up a lan anyway, it wont make much difference, but don't pay for a lan if you only want to do this once...

Thanks again...

Thanks again...

[& no, Bob...I'm not a neophyte...I'm just a little dense this weekend...I thought it might be more difficult because of the 2 OS's (referring to your reply on Favorites backup.)]

Although...what the h_ _l would FAT32 vs. NTFS have to do with's just IE 6.0 to IE 6.0. It's must be the dense thing...I'll be fine tomorrow.

Pseudocyber said:
In a perfect world, you're only going to get about 600KBps (Kbytes per second) transfer rate through 100Mb ethernet connection. I will leave the math to you - you can figure out how big your files are and divide them by 60/60.
I think you're confused about 100mb Ethernet! I can assure you that I get a lot more than 600k/bytes a second transfers, even to the slowest machine in my network! It's certainly true that you won't come anywhere close to realizing the full 100mb bandwidth, but with any reasonable hardware, transfer speeds of 4-5 megabytes/second are easily achieved. Let's see...

I just dragged 102mb of files from another networked system to my local system, the transfer completed in 19 seconds. That works out to a bit more than 5 megabites/second, and it's a pretty normal speed. FWIW, the machines in question are an 800mhz P-III and a 2.4g P4.

i think the conditions of the drive could control upload speed, as some other things too.
but, i concurr, 102 megs in about 21 seconds...
... so i get 4.8 :(

but hey try this...
take a 400 meg file....
and sling it back and fourth
i got times as low as 73 seconds....
Thanks John for keeping me straight. I don't know where I got that number from ... out of my A... I guess. ;) "I have no recollection of that event, Senator".

FWIW, I calculate 5Mb as follows:

Megabytes 5
Kilobytes 5,120
Bytes 5,242,880
Bits 41,943,040

Kilobits 41,943
Megabits 42

So, on a 5MB file transfer/sec, you're getting 42Mbps throughput.
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Sounds about right. It might be different using different machines, but that was literally a 20 second test, so it was easy. :D

i do not know what FWIW means.... and i know it is something simple...

See? I'm a dork. I'll prove it to you guys yet, you just wait...

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For What It's Worth
oh wow

i wouldnt have guessed that in ten trillion years...

i know what that one means....


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