Acronis - the answer for a new PC?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by BobbyJ, Nov 27, 2008.

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  1. BobbyJ

    BobbyJ Registered Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    I have used Acronis (v 8.0) for a number of years as a disk imaging tool.

    I am contemplating the purchase of a new PC but can't face the task involved in having to set up the thing from scratch. Not just the data - I can do this via my home network - more the hassle of reinstalling all the software and utilities that I have amassed over the last few years - much bought online so I don't have the disks to do the reinstall.

    Daft question maybe but . . . . . given that I don't particularly want to upgrade to Vista would it be an OK idea to forget about the 'amazing software package' that would no doubt come with the new PC and just restore the current Acronis image. That way everything gets magically transferred.

    I suppose you could argue that getting a new PC is the ideal opportunity to rid your PC of all the unused, space hogging stuff that inevitably has accumulated over the years. But I can do all that before making the final Acronis image.

    Anyway - is this the way to go? Or perhaps another software package might be the answer? Comments/advice gratefully received!
    Cheers, Bob J
  2. MrMorse

    MrMorse Registered Member

    Jun 12, 2008

    1. creating a full-backup on PC1 and restore it to PC2 works properly, when both machines have the same/similar architecture (Chipset, CPU, Graphics, etc).

    2. restoring to a different architecture CAN work but mostly not.

    3. uninstall on PC1:
    - chipset driver
    - cpu driver (if present)
    - change to VGA drivers regarding your graphics
    ->then create a full backup on PC1 and restore it on PC2.
    Mostly it works, sometimes not because the registry entries are relating to PC1.

    4. Buy "TrueImage 2009 Echo" with the plugin "UniversalRestore" (UR).
    UR is able to restore on every different machine (I you believe in Acronis)

    5. Search all "downloaded bought software files", burn it on CD and install a fresh OS on your new PC. (This is what I prefer when architecture changes. I know, it costs a lot of time...)

    But wait for other opinions from other users :)
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    My preference is to do a clean install without all the crappola. You also have the benefit of knowing any obscure problems are not because you ported an old system onto the new.

    However, it can apparently be done. Change your video to plain vanilla VGA so you don't have video driver issues. When you load your image you will then very likely have to do an XP repair to get the correct drivers loaded. Have a look at the MS Sysprep tool which might be a help for PCI devices.

    Your situation of not knowing where the install media is for various apps and likely serial numbers where appicable is the most common reason that people really want to do this trick. There is a valuable lesson here, everybody should get a degree of organization and discipline to safely store the programs and serial numbers. Since you can restore your data from your network, why not treat these downloaded apps and patches/updates as data and store them on your network along with a serial number file. I can assure you it makes reinstalling very quick and easy.

    You may find that the TI8 restore CD will not work with your new hardware. You could probably put the new disk in the old machine and restore the image to the "slave" new HD with TI8 but don't let the machine attempt a reboot to be safe.

    It is interesting reading some of the on-line comments about Vista. It appears that a lot of users actually do like it and consider it stable. These tend to be somewhat technical users who have modern hardware and who may have turned off the annoying UAC. The lack of adoption in the corporate venue is more likely due to not enough bang for the upgrade buck rather than total disaster - considering an upgrade in a corporation is night and day compared to the home-user's situation.

    My personal opinion is that Vista problems are over-inflated by continual media exposure repetition. I also do not think it is one of the best things to hit the IT world either.
  4. rodnh

    rodnh Registered Member

    Nov 23, 2006
    Hi Bobby,

    I can fully appreciate what you wish to do. I just did the exact same thing this past week by moving an XP Pro installation with all my application software to a completely new computer. I'll offer some comments for your consideration.

    1. I assume you are talking XP as the OS you want to move and not an earlier windows version.

    2. You probably will have a problem with the TI8 recovery CD booting on new hardware unless you have it installed under a customized BartPE environment.

    3. If your existing XP was an OEM install and not the full retail version, it is my understanding that it CANNOT be re-activated on new hardware - period. It is only for the hardware it was originally installed on by the computer OEM. I had the full retail version and had not had to re-activate it in the 90 days prior so I had no problem with on-line re-activation on the new computer. Any other software that requires activation may have it's own requirements. MS Office does and that works the same way as XP.

    4. To my knowledge there are two ways to move an XP installation to new hardware. One is to restore an image and do a "repair install" of XP using the original XP DVD, which you would need to have. The repair install will put the OS installation back to whatever was on the original install DVD. You will then need to get all the updates (many) from MS via their on-line update service. But your basic OS and applications will be intact. You can find details on the web about doing a "repair install". The other way is to use imaging software that has provisions for moving over to different hardware without the necessity of doing a "repair install". I did mine with such software but it was not from Acronis. I understand that Acronis markets software that has such a capability but TI8 does not. Doing it this way, if successful, will result in booting up just the way everything was on the old hardware, although you will still have to update various drivers that are specific to, and came with, your new hardware - a fairly easy task to get all functions working fully, e.g. video, NIC, sound, etc..

    If you have a retail version of XP, what you want to do can be done, although you'll likely need additional software to make it happen. Personally, I think it is worth it. I have invested a lot of time over several years getting my XP installation working just the way I want it. Many hours were spent getting my applications configured the way I like them. There have been so many tweaks here and there that I have long forgotten most of them. I would not relish the thought of having to start over. Furthermore, I have a couple of old software packages that I like that are no longer available and which the original install media (floppy discs in one instance being corrupted and the original install CD being actually broken in the other) will not work. I did not have additional backups of the original install media in those two cases, so a reinstallation was not possible, even if I wanted to do it. I did no specific prep of my old installation before imaging it. If you like your existing installation and have no desire to move to Vista or some other OS, you're probably in a similar position.

  5. BobbyJ

    BobbyJ Registered Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Thank you all for taking the time to reply in such detail. Much appreciated.

    As I suspected things are not as simple as I had hoped.
    From OS re-activation (my XP came pre-installed) thro' PC architecture to drivers it does seem quite complicated - for me at least. The phrase, 'A bridge too far' comes into mind . . . . . !

    It's a shame though - for those contemplating a new PC it would certainly be a good solution. As Rod says, all those customised configurations, tweaks and old software make upgrading to a new PC quite a daunting task.

    A magic wand would be handy - or if not, a software package to completely automate such a transfer (which would also have to be fairly 'magical' judging by your comments!). That way they'd no doubt sell more new PCs as there must be an increasing number of folk - all around the world - who are in the same position as me.

    Anyway, thanks again for your comments. Looks like it'll be the long way around for me - that is, when I eventually get round to buying my new computer!

    Bob Jones (Cardiff, UK)
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Just to clarify or confuse, there are two types of OEM Windows. One is the specially configured, locked to vendor, OEM version which often only comes with a recover CD. The other OEM is the generic Microsoft Windows installation CD which is supposed to be purchased with a new PC or "qualifying" hardware. It will do a bare-metal install and IIRC, will not do an in-place upgrade keeping all the old apps etc.

    I am not certain of the legal license limitations of the second one but I think if you have a motherboard failure you can reinstall and activate it on a new board from the same manufacturer.

    For XP, the reality is that activation data is only kept about 4 months and you can likely reactivate just about anything that will install on your system if it has been past that period.
  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Apr 28, 2004
    Hello all,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    All recommendations given are correct, however, there's one more useful workaround:

    You may use Microsoft System Preparation tool to prepare your system to migration onto different hardware.

    Please check this article in our Knowledge Base.

    Thank you.
    Alexander Nikolsky
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