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Best Way to Move Installed W2K System?

Sys Admin 101 questions here.

Here's what I would like to understand: the easiest and most time efficient way to relocate an installation of Windows 2000 Pro, plus all installed applications, from one PC to another. With or without having the source PC available.

The source PC I have in hand (which works) has a large enough hard drive to contain a backup of it's entire system (made with Windows backup) to be made in-place to the same hard drive. So one strategy is to first back up OS+programs+all data to the system's same hard drive; then install Windows 2000 to the target system and nothing else (IE, not apply service packs, etc); then restore to the new system from the source PC's backup image.

That will work OK, right? I should see all apps sitting and installed on the new system, correct?

The other alternative would be to use Norton Ghost. Does Ghost allow its backup to be installed over an existing installation of Windows 2000 without trying to write things like device driver installations from the old system? IE, is Ghost as intelligent as or more so than Windows backup? Or is backup the best bet here?

Lastly - this has bugged me for quite some time. I had a motherboard go 'poof' last year, and I found that I could not boot that system's hard drive on a new motherboard - the hard drive support in W2K is apparently IDE controller specific - the OS kept crashing during startup in the new box with an exception traced back to incompatible IDE drivers. I had to reinstall Windows from scratch and install all apps, then move my data over. What recourse does a normal human being have to move a Windows 2000 system image off a hard drive to a new PC when the old MB is not available? In theory, I mean...

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Ghost is not so much a backup/restore system as it is a partition cloning tool.  It completely wipes out any data that may already be on a PC and replaces it with the other one.  It's the software equivalent of swapping drives.  There are no capabilities for partial backup or restore... which is why so many people like it.  (=  Doesn't sound like it'd work for your purposes, though.

Sam Gray
Thursday, January 23, 2003

Sorry, bad phrasing there.  Make that "[ghost] completely wipes out any data that may already be on a PC and replaces it with a copy of another partition."

Sam Gray
Thursday, January 23, 2003

An Expesive Answer is a repackaging tool (The one I am thinking of is from Install Shield, but I am sure Wise and others have them stand alone) It would allow you start with a clean system (win2k only) and load the software you want to be movable with their install process capture tools running and then package the system for redeployment.  All you would have to move is your data files... (NOT a good answer for a single instance move like this, This is ment to create a batch installation for an IS/IT department.) but it is an (exterme) way to go.


A Software Build Guy
Thursday, January 23, 2003

In W98 it would be easy. You would treat it as if you were installing a new motherboard. You would simply delete the enum key in the registry,  before you installed the motherboard.

So to move to a new machine you would delete the enum key and shut down the machine. Then take out the hard drive, put it in the new machine, let Windows find all the hardware again, then clone or Xcopy  it to the second HD, delete the enum key, take out the old HD, put it back in the old macihine and then let it detect its old hardware again.

I've never done it with W2000 though, so I'll leave it up to you to do it, and then report back :-)

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 23, 2003

Install any new IDE drivers if need be, move disks (or take ghost disk image and load onto new system) and reboot into windows on new system. Watch plug and play for a while. Be prepared to feed it driver disks.

Robert Moir
Friday, January 24, 2003

i just recently attempted to do what you are asking, ie - using windows backup to copy the entire hard drive in one file.  it works great, except that it doesn't grab the registry.

you can go in to the registry and export all the keys to a .REG file or something, and then restore them on your new system after restoring the hard drive, of course.

i think.  :)

Friday, January 24, 2003

I think that if you get a boot error in W2K after installing a new motherboard, you can boot from the W2K CD and then make the selection to repair your W2K installation.  I haven't tried this firsthand yet, but that is my understanding.

Brian B
Friday, January 24, 2003

There is a knowledge base article about adding the extra IDE drivers to a Win2K system.
See article Q271965 for more details about this.
It has a title of:
"STOP 0x0000007B" Error After Moving Windows 2000 System Disk to Another System

But the MS site has this as not available at the moment.

Peter Ibbotson
Friday, January 24, 2003

I've moved Win95 and WinNT systems in the past by copying all of the files, exporting the registry on one machine and re-importing it on the other. It's tricky though - you have to make sure that some keys don't get run over.

You will also need to do some search-and-replace if paths change, and perhaps some manual merging of registry entries. This is not foolproof, and far from simple. I would only advise you to do it as a last resort.

Ori Berger
Sunday, January 26, 2003

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