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  1. #1
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    Moving OneNote Notebooks to a new machine (win 8.1 Pro) from old machine (Win 7 SP1)

    Here we go again! I have a considerable number of "notes" in OneNote on my old machine running Win 7 and OneNote 2010. I want to move them to my new machine which is Windows 8.1 Professional and still runs OneNote 2010. I tried simply moving the data file from my old machine to my new machine and it worked, BUT - when I opened the OneNote notes on my Win 8.1 machine, it converted all the Notebooks to "Section Groups" and placed them in a single Notebook. I am guessing that I am overlooking something, but I don't know what. I still have the Win 7 files on the old machine and can "start over" again if necessary. I am sure that I am not the only one to be in the situation where I have to move OneNote Notebooks from one machine to another, so I am hoping that someone has done this successfully and is willing to share their adventures with me. Any insight that anyone would care to share will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Ron M

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    I suspect the notebooks were all copied correctly and the problem results from the document you opened. Can you describe what you did to open the notebooks, up to the filename chosen?
    Rui
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    I didn't write anything down, so it is a bit difficult for me to remember exactly what I did, but I am going to remove all related data files from my new machine tomorrow and go through the process again. I am also going to see if I can reinstall OneNote and thus start from scratch. Thanks for the insight. I will let you know what happens after I have gone through the process again. I will write each step down this time.

    Ron M

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    I think you don't need to remove any files, just open the correct ones. When you try and open a notebook, choose a .one file, from within a folder - the default folder is OneNote Notebooks and there should be a folder per notebook inside. Open the .one file from within the latter folder.
    Rui
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    Ruirib, here is what I did:

    - I deleted the existing OneNote Notebook file from its location on the Win 8.1P machine - c:/users/myid/documents/OneNote Notebooks

    - I copied the old OneNote Notebook on the Win 7.1 machine to a flash drive

    - put the flash drive in the Win 8.1P machine and copied the OneNote Notebooks file to its "expected location" as noted above.

    - I then started up OneNote on the Win 8.1P machine and ended up with the same result - the Folders are replaced by Section Groups

    As you have indicated, each Notebook is represented by a folder in the "Notebook" folder. In each folder, each section is represented by a .one file. Each folder seems to have a file in it that is called Open Notebook.onetoc2.

    I do understand what has changed from one machine to the other.

    If I follow your instructions, then I would have to go into each folder and open every single file that has a ".one" ending. I am sorry, but that makes no sense to me. What I do not understand is why OneNote on the Win 8.1P machine will not open the files as they were on the Win 7 machine. I think that I must be missing something. Could you enlarge on your suggestion? Thanks.

    Ron M

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    Actually you need to go into each folder and open the .onetoc2 in each. That's how you can open each individual notebook. My previous post was wrong on that.
    Rui
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Actually you need to go into each folder and open the .onetoc2 in each. That's how you can open each individual notebook. My previous post was wrong on that.
    I am sorry, but that makes absolutely no sense to me that I would have to do that. It is a lot of work to individually open each Notebook. I do not understand why OneNote cannot open the Notebooks as there should not be any difference between the notebooks that I transferred from the Win 7 machine - it is exactly the same file. This suggests to me that the Win8.1P application is dumb and doesn't know how to recognize an existing Notebook file that wasn't created on the new machine. I mean are they that different between the OneNote app running on Win 7 and the exact same app running on Win 8.1P.

    Nothing personal, but if I follow that process, then none of my Word or Excel files that were created on the old Win 7 machine should not open on the Win 8.1P machine without some kind of manual intervention and yet they open quite well. I am beginning to wonder if this is another one of Microsoft's "undocumented features". Surely, there must be some way to make it work as I believe it should. Why does the OneNote app running on Win 8.1P require such a "manual" intervention when trying to deal with files made on a Win 7 machine. As I have said, this makes absolutely no "common" sense to me, but then "common sense" isn't necessarily that common - very frustrating!

    Ron M

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    Regardless of your opinion, there is no other way to open a notebook. Opening a notebook requires choosing the .onetoc2 file for the notebook you want to open. If the file for this notebook is inside the folder with the notebook name, please explain to me what other way of opening the file can you use?

    I also find it strange that you look for help and suggest that the help given makes no sense, but without even trying. Obviously you know better.
    Rui
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    If I knew better, I would not be posting here. I did try your suggestion opening using the .onetoc2 file and this did not seem to resolve the problem. I come here looking for help understanding why things do not work as I had hoped, so I need help to understand some things. When I have OneNote on my Win 7 machine, and I open it by clicking on the OneNote Icon, it opens all the Notebooks that are in the "notebook" file, which is the way it should be. I don't even see a file that ends in .onetoc2, nor do I have to go and find a onetoc2 open a Notebooks - OneNote opens all the Notebooks by itself without any intervention by me. What I cannot understand is why OneNote on the Win 8.1P machine does not behave the same way. It is the same app, just a different OS. When I go into one of the folders from my OneNote files and open the file ending in onetoc2, I get the exact same result as I do from simply starting the OneNote app from the Win 8.1P desktop by clicking on the OneNote icon - the Notebooks are replaced by Section Groups. This "replacement" is what makes no logical sense to me.

    For the sake of example, I have imported a large number of Word Documents and Excel spreadsheets from my Win 7 machine to my Win 8.1P machine. When I open one of these documents, it opens, as it should, in the Word or Excel application and I can work on it in the application. Why doesn't OneNote behave the same way - opening OneNote on my Win 8.1P machine should open all the Notebooks and Sections exactly the way they were opened on my Win 7 machine, except it does not do this - it opens as one very large Notebook with what were Notebooks on the Win 7.1 machine converted, for whatever reason, to Section Groups, so that instead of 50+ Notebooks that I had on the Win 7 machine, I now have 1 Notebook with 50+ Section Groups on the Win 8.1P machine - this "transformation" from Notebooks on the Win 7 machine to Section Groups on the Win 8 machine is what I do not understand.

    My Win 7 display looks something like this after clicking on the OneNote Icon:
    Folder A Name
    Section A1 Display area List of Pages in Section A1
    Section A2
    .
    .
    .
    Section A10
    Folder B Name
    Section B1
    Section B2

    etc.
    -----------------------------------------------------


    My Win 8.1P display look something like this after clicking on the OneNote Icon:

    OneNote Notebooks

    Section Group A Name
    Section A1 Display area List of pagers in Section A1
    Section A2
    .
    .
    .
    Section A10
    Section Group B
    Section B1
    Section B2

    etc.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One giant Notebook with Section Groups instead of Notebooks.

    My questions is - WHY? I would provide a screen view, but I had trouble getting the "snips" function to work - go figure??? Got Print Screen to work, just not as elegant as the snipping tool.

    I have attached two 2010 PowerPoint slides that I hope will illustrate what is happening. I did these by doing a <Print Screen> on both machines and then pasting the results in to PowerPoint, annotating them as best I could and attaching them to this posting. I do hope this helps folks understand what is happening.

    Ron M
    Attached Files Attached Files

  10. #10
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    OneNote keeps a list of open Notebooks and keeps a notebook open until you explicitly close it. Of course, OneNote can only keep open the notebooks that you have already opened. On a new OneNote installation, there are no notebooks open.

    To open a Notebook, you need to open a .onetoc2 file.

    That's all I can say.
    Rui
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    Okay, so what you are saying is the OneNote will not open the Notebooks in the "notebooks" file on the Win 8.1P machine by itself. This means that when I bring a Notebook file from a different machine to the Win8.1P machine, it is not "open" as far as OneNote is concerned and has to be explicitly opened by the "user" (=me) by using the .onetoc2 file before it can be opened by OneNote. This suggests that the "openness" of a Notebook, is something that OneNote keeps for itself, or in another file that no one seems to know about.

    This seems like another one of those undocumented features that Microsoft seems to make available to the unsuspecting user. I wish I could find another "free" note system that didn't make the user do all kinds of extra work just because I implemented a new machine and one that would let me convert my OneNote notebooks to its format. This MS crap is enough to make a grown man cry .

    The implication is that I will have to go through every single Notebook in the "notebooks file", find the .onetoc2 file and "open" it. It occurred to me to ask how does OneNote on my older Win 7 machine know that a notebook is "open". I am going to assume that when I create a new Notebook, it is "marked" as open by OneNote. Another question that I have is whether or not there is a Registry Entry that can be set to show that all Notebooks are "open". How does OneNote know whether or not a Notebook is open or closed? I could go one, but I think I get the idea...I have a bit of work ahead of me .

    Ron M
    Last edited by Ron M; 2014-12-19 at 17:57.

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    Do you know of any app that knows which documents are open without you opening them first? I can't understand your comments, sorry.

    I don't know how OneNote keeps that info. I doubt that the registry is used for such "temporary" information, though. I would probably have a look on the AppData folder instead, but I really don't know if OneNote does it or not.
    Rui
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    Well, I think I just answered some of my questions. I searched the web and found that OneNote maintains a registry entry called "OpenNotebooks". So, I am thinking that if I moved that entry from my old machine to the new machine, then OneNote should know what to do with the "OneNote Files". I have managed to figure out that I can "export" this entry from the Win 7 machine and import it into the Win 8.1P machine, then this should make OneNote on Win 8.1 aware of all the Notebooks that are open? I will definitely backup the registry before I try any of this.


    Ron M
    Last edited by Ron M; 2014-12-19 at 17:55.

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    IT WORKED!!!!!



    I will post a detailed solution later today.

    ruirib, thanks for all your help. You forced me to ask myself a number of perhaps, not so obvious, questions and that eventually led to the solution.


    Ron M

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    Ok, I am glad you found the solution you were looking for .
    Rui
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