How do I transfer everything (hard drive image) to a completely new *laptop* computer?

Hi all,

I'm new to posting threads and usually resort to just reading them, but I have yet to see an answer to my question and have been working on this for several days....

HOW I GOT HERE: 

My computer was recently trashed (in a fire) and all the contents there-in lost.  On the plus side, prior to my laptop being destroyed, I made a complete backup of the whole system, programs, everything... using "CMS Bounceback Data Transfer 9.2".  I thought I got lucky by leaving this HD in a fire-proof safe.  The HD still works and the heat apparently did nothing to the contents inside the safe.  What's even luckier is that my old computer was a Dell Inspiron laptop (destroyed).... and I have a new one (same brand/model) which I can use but it has no HD in it.

THE PROBLEM

I thought "no problem" I can just put the HD in it that I created using the "CMS Bounceback Data Transfer 9.2", right?  Well, so far I am finding I was wrong.  I am finding a lot of stuff online which says that product and the "image" / clone it creates is only good/compatible with the original laptop.  

***  Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can make the HD (which does run just fine... has BIOS, etc.) compatible so that Windows loads on my new computer?***  I have Windows Vista SP1 operating system...  after inserting the HD into the new (well it is about 4 years old but new to me) Dell Inspiron laptop and starting it up, I get the WIndows logo but it completely stalls out while it attempts to "load the desktop". 

Additional info:  I have a Themaltake BlacX Duet .... so I can go in through a back door on another computer if you guys have any ideas on how to manually change or remove entries to the new laptop HD (the recovery HD).  Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks.

Comments

STC-Hazard

Re: How do I transfer everything (hard drive image) to a complet

BloomFamilyMan,

Unfortunately there's only so much help you can get here, since this is not our product you're using. The issue you're encountering is happening because it doesn't appear that CMS does what's called Hardware Independent Restore. When you install Windows onto a machine, it builds parts of the OS (registry, drivers, etc) specifically for that hardware. When you make a standard backup and restore this to a HDD in a new machine with new hardware, you will not generally be able to boot back into Windows on the new machine because of those hardware changes - Windows will still try to load the old configuration. In few cases this type of transfer will work, but only if the hardware is nearly identical.

This is incidentally, one of the major features of StorageCraft backup solution. We support Hardware Independent Restore, so you can backup and restore to differential hardware, which is what you needed in this instance.

In your situation, your easiest and safest bet would be to load a new copy of Windows onto the new laptop, and then reinstall your programs and copy any data you want from the other hard disk.

If you really really really want to get that copy of Windows working on new hardware, your best bet there would be to check Google and see if there's a way around that with Vista that you can do manually. That's likely to be tricky from a technical side, and you should backup any valuable data off that drive to some DVDs or something else removable first as well.

Going forward, please consider giving our products a try! :)

__________________

StorageCraft Technical Support - North America

BloomFamilyMan

Re: How do I transfer everything (hard drive image) to a complet

@ Hazard: Thank you for your post.... I have an idea though.  My father has almost all of the same programs (I got most of them from him but they were 2 or 3 key downloads so no install discs exist) that I used to have on my old computer (that was destroyed in the apartment fire). 

If I understand correctly, StorageCraft is something that could be used to backup my dad's Dell Inspiron onto my new HDD and then I could insert my new HDD into my new computer and it would work fine?  How common is it that there are complications with this process?  And how user-friendly is that program?

The whole bit about Hardward Independent Restore makes a whole lot of sense now that it has been explained to me..... but it is not something that would have ever occured to me without some help (due to my limited knowledge about this subject). 

Any tips or suggestions with using StorageCraft?  And which specific StorageCraft program are you referring to?  Do you have a direct link?  Thank you once more for all your help!

Hambone

Re: How do I transfer everything (hard drive image) to a complet

Might be a silly question but have you tried a Safe Mode boot ?  There was another post here from someone with a similiar boot problem, I'll see if I can find it...

From my limiteed understanding, how HIR works is to restore the Backup to a new HD/system.  When the restore is complete HIR injects the new drivers into the restored OS ( much like you would inject Service Packs into OS distributions ).  You do not back up one system to a HD and then insert the HD into another system.  The backups that are created are files in a directory not a sector based copy of a HD.

Another option might be to see if the backup image you have is 'mountable' or able to be converted into a virtual system.  In the case of a mountable image you basically load it as a drive and then access the data from it.  In the case of a virtual image you use a software programme ( like VirtualBoot, VirtualBox, VMWare Player, VMWare Workstation, Hyper-V, etc ) on another system/OS and boot the backup like an application.  This gives you an OS in an OS...

BloomFamilyMan

Re: How do I transfer everything (hard drive image) to a complet

@ Hambone:  Your solution is very interesting.  The only problem is that I do not have an existing HDD or operating system on my new computer, so I wouldn't be able to boot the whole system image/restore off of an existing OS. 

However, I would definitely try this option if I were just trying to make my new computer (with a new OS) like my old system.   

Thank you for your reply. :-)

Hambone

Re: How do I transfer everything (hard drive image) to a complet

Does the Safe Mode boot option work at all ?

BloomFamilyMan

Re: How do I transfer everything (hard drive image) to a complet

no.... safe mode does the same thing.  once the desktop starts to load, the whole system just stalls out.

Hambone

Re: How do I transfer everything (hard drive image) to a complet

When booting in Safe Mode ( from pressing the <F8> key as Windows boots ) there is an option to boot in Safe Mode and create a boot log. 

After the failure to boot you can use a  WinPE based CD/DVD to load an OS from the CD/DVD and 'look over' to the HD installed OS ( the Symantic Emergency Repair Disk, ERDC, actually has a lot more tools to accomplish more intensive diagnostics ).  You could also use the Windows Recovery Environment, but the bottom line is that you will want to first start by examining the Windows Boot Log created by the previous reboot with Boot Logging selected.  Look for any drivers, applications, etc that indicate that they did not start or could not run and then remove them from the installed OS.

This process can be very tedious but sometimes you get lucky...

This is taking us outside the scope of the HIR restore and the purpose of this product however...

STC-Hazard

Re: How do I transfer everything (hard drive image) to a complet

Bloom,

Yeah, that's why I didn't suggest Safe Mode before actually. Sometimes yes you can get lucky by going that route, but more often that not, it doesn't work. Usually the drivers that get ignored by booting to Safe Mode are things like Video drivers, installed software drivers for app support like AV or things like that. The problem you're having is that the HAL in your old Windows image is built around a completely different set of low level hardware. Windows is sensitive to chipset types and drivers specifically, so *generally* this method doesn't work. Also, you don't usually end up with a very stable version of Windows.

Also, if you boot to your OS CD (given you have one) and start the setup, you'll generally see an option to reinstall or repair the existing OS. This method works, sometimes. Sometimes it makes things worse.

As far as Shadow Protect goes, yes you could technically make an image of his machine as a HIR image and restore it to your machine. Keep in mind tho, this is the simplest explanation of what happens - there are a lot of other technical details that are involved with the process.

What it comes down to in the end is yes, you could do it with Shadow Protect, and going forward what I'd recommend is really looking at our product as your backup method of choice to avoid problems like this. In the meantime, you're going to need to weigh the choices of A) doing a lot of technical work and playing around in an attempt to get that same HDD, etc up on a new machine or B) going forward with a clean system and making solid backups from there. Losing programs can be a pain in the backside for sure, but hopefully your fire insurance would replace the disks or their value?

In my experience as a tech, my recommendation would be to bite the bullet and load a new OS on the new system, get it nice and up the way you want, make a backup, and then start loading your data from the old HDD as necessary. If nothing else, you get a nice new clean host OS that doesn't have however many months or years of drivers, temp files, data, registry garbage, or anything else the old OS may be hanging on to.

__________________

StorageCraft Technical Support - North America

anga

Re: How do I transfer everything (hard drive image) to a complet

"What's even luckier is that my old computer was a Dell Inspiron laptop
(destroyed).... and I have a new one (same brand/model) which I can use
but it has no HD in it."

Is the new laptop identical in ALL aspects to the old laptop? Did you order them at the same time? Even then, there might be hardware differences.

Best bet is to install the OS from the recovery disks or recovery partition, install applications and then copy data.

If you want to go this route in the future, order two identical laptops, clone the HDD, test that the cloned HDD works and then save the cloned HDD + backup laptop in a safe location.