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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Need to reload OS; want to save user environments

    What native tools are available to backup and restore user environments into a new installation/migration?

    The PC is a Dell Inspiron desktop running Vista. It has years of operation with teenagers holding administrative privileges and it is awful.

    What I plan to do is remove the current HD and run the Dell distribution discs on a new hard drive. After that I'll put in the old HD and go from there.

    So this is a straight Vista to Vista conversion.

    I also plan to make it difficult for dumb stuff to happen from old files on the old HD. Everyone is grown up now and they understand.

    If no native tools are available I will take 3rd party suggestions. Of course free or open source software is preferred but I'll pay for something excellent.

    TIA!

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    I also plan to make it difficult for dumb stuff to happen from old files on the old HD. Everyone is grown up now and they understand.
    Unfortunately, in my experience that is not entirely possible. Have one client who had to resort to locking his Notebook in his gun safe, forced his 'kids' to use their own.

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    HAH!!

    Yeah, you got me there!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    You can use Windows Easy Tranfer to migrate your Windows settings and Dada files:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...?wa=wsignin1.0

    I would make a separate Data backup just to be sure.

    Jerry

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    Yup, EZ Transfer should save all %APPDATA% and %USERDAT% (whatever it is called now). Good time to inventory software (use Belarc Advisor and/or WinAudit) and remove anything you stopped using a long time ago. EZ Transfer does not migrate apps only files and settings (and folder structure). So you will need to reinstall apps then run EZ Transfer again. EZ Transfer may transfer any product keys needed for those apps but not necessarily.

    You need to use EZ Transfer before the change to save a copy onto a drive (if space exists I guess on the drive you will remove; EZ Transfer does not know the drive is not external and will install its folder even on the C: drive if you point it there). Then pull the drive, put the new one in and do the Dell Restore Disk and then apply updates. I personally would use WSUS Offfline Updater to save a lot of time. Good time to consider updating drivers as well (and check if any drives or BIOS firmware updates were ever made for your Dell components). Then plug into Internet, install updates (there likely will be a few) or an AV app first (your choice).

    Then EZ Transfer to reinstall things. Note, not everything will transfer...I think only Outlook emails are transferred. If you use a Mozilla app or other for email EZ Transfer may not transfer them (I use MozBackup).

    Might want to run PC decrapifier to remove some of the cruddy Dellcrapware undoubtedly installed on your clean PC.

    You should always set up user accounts and limit access (including an account for yourself). Use your Admin account as the Admin powers account.

    Also a good time to take case outside and blow it out especially around CPU heat sink. A real clean system.

    Good time to also consider if upgrades are warranted: RAM to 3-4GB or 8GB if 32-bit or64-bit OS respectively. Bigger HDD or SSD. Even a used CPU upgrade.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-04-16 at 20:39.

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