Thursday, September 30, 2004

How to switch XP machines without doing a full reinstall and reconfiguration of OS environment and applications: Mirror and Repair Install

Usenet thread on this topic
I was able to migrate from one laptop to a very different laptop using the drive mirror and then repair install method. I created an XP SP2 slipstream CD. Here are the overall steps and them some important references. I used some of the techniques from Thurrott's site and some from TACKtech.

Here's the overview on switching machines without reinstalling software.
0. Create slipstream XP boot disk w/ updates and service packs. Have product key.
1. Prepare or acquire CD with all drivers for new system
2. Recipient drive must be formatted.
3. Mount source drive on machine -- create image on bkup disk.
4. Put source drive back in old machine.
5. Mount target drive, apply image.
6. Return to new machine.
7. Boot from new install CD. Do Repair Install.
8. Uninstall unwanted software (often drivers).
9. Turn off indexing.
10. Remove "dead" hardware items.
11. Reboot, begin driver updates and installs.
12. Apply post-SP security updates.
It does work. I have web documents on how to create the slipstream boot CD -- that step is a bit odd. The repair install is pretty straightforward.

IF one already has the drivers and the slipstream CD and the recipient drive has been formatted -- then one can go from the old machine to fully operational on the new machine in about 4 hours of machine time and about 1 hour of personal time. Versus about 20-40 hours of the time it takes me to fully recreate my work environment using a conventional approach.

Key references:

2. (I didn't see any different behavior with different volume labels)


meta: jfaughnan, jgfaughnan, machine transfer, migrate, change, platform, microsoft windows xp, slipstream CD, boot CD, install, update, mirror

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