4 Tips For Making Computer Upgrades Less Of A Hassle

moving.jpgAs part of an extended review, my main computer is a very eye catching, blue, magnesium allow Dell Latitude E6400.
It’s taken me about 3 days to transfer all the files from my old computer (Lenovo 3000 N100) to the Dell – it should have taken only a few hours. But I’ve learned so much.
Dell, as do many PC vendors, sells optional software, Laplink’s PC Mover to help transfer software between the old computer to the new computer. The software is easy to use, however, when I used the software, for some reason the software would stop in the middle of the transfer. I used USB cables, network and computer to computer file transfers – nothing has worked.
PC Mover did transfer some programs (data and programs) but when I ran the the programs on the new computer, many of the programs would not run properly. To run properly, programs have to be fully reinstalled in the new computer, not just copied over to the programs folder, so I’m not sure these file transfer programs work that well in any case.
One of the easiest ways to ensure a smooth upgrade is to purchase the same type of computer and swap hard disks. You need the same computer as the software configuration on one computer will be different than the software configuration on a different computer.
For larger small businesses, with maybe 5 or 25 computers, you should standardize on 1 or 2 computer models and create an image of your company’s basic computer system. This image has all the applications, including the operating system you want on everyone’s computer. When you purchase a new computer, all you have to do is load the image and the computer is the same as the other employee’s computers.
One thing I am considering, is downloading all the programs I need onto an external hard disk, so the next time I switch computers – about every 2 – 3 years, I can access them more easily.
I use Carbonite to backup all my files and I know that if I have to I can always restore my files, via the Internet, using Carbonite.
Saving files to a central server alleviates the annoyance of transferring user files from computer to computer. When you buy a new computer, you Settings such as bookmarks and other individual settings, which are stored on a local computer can be easily transferred.
Moving email to the new computer was quite simple. I use Microsoft Outlook but I didn’t have to move a large PST file as I use hosted Exchange from Intermedia. Once I had Outlook installed I used a simple tool (provided by Intermedia) to setup Outlook and all my contacts were seamlessly synchronized to the new computer.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

3 thoughts on “4 Tips For Making Computer Upgrades Less Of A Hassle

  1. David Friend

    Backing up programs is tricky because many software programs are tied to the pc on which they were originally installed. And for sure you don’t need to back up programs very often — only when you add new software. I keep a disk image using Acronis True Image and I update every couple of months or whenever I make significant changes to my programs. Carbonite backs up all the rest of my data — photos, business files, emails, etc. If I need to replace a hard drive or PC, I can do a bare metal restore to get my OS and programs back, and then I restore from Carbonite to get all my files up to date.
    Dave

  2. Jeff S

    I don’t think swapping the hard drive is a good idea, if any of the hardware is different between the two systems, you run the risk of driver issues that could take weeks to fix. Its better to use your apps backup functionality, re-install on the new system, and restore the backup using the Laplink-like program to move data. You should keep copies of all of your programs anyway with your backups in case of a disk crash where you have to reinstall anyway.

  3. Geof

    I strongly dislike Carbonite – I have had an ongoing technical issue with them for months now, and they simply can’t get it resolved. I needed a backup from Dec 25 – and all they had was those after Dec 26. They promised this was easily accomplished – and months later, they still have not provided the correct files – and they seemed to have no urgency or concern about this – no ticket tracking, no way to communicate with 1 technician over time, no way to escalate, etc.
    On the whole I rate Carbonite as “don’t go there” – and if you don’t believe me, ask anyone who’s had to do a restore from Carbonite. Sure it backs up your files well, just so long as you don’t need to restore them, you’ll be fine.

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