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TONS Of Important Data on A 12 Year Old XP (Can You Clone a Computer)?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by BreaknBrix, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. BreaknBrix

    BreaknBrix Power Member

    Mar 25, 2014
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    NE US
    *rant warning*

    The more and more time that goes by the more and more paranoid I'm getting about this issue. Because it's a BIG ISSUE.

    I have a desktop that seems immortal. It's a 12 year old XP running on a simple Intel Core2Duo. I bought the thing loooong before I ever got into marketing but there are so SOOO MANY FILES and SOOO MANY PROGRAMS (lots of torrented programs) on the computer that I can't risk losing.

    I bought a new, fairly expensive HP workstation about 6 months ago.

    The goal was to move EVERYTHING over to my new workstation encase my old XP dies. So I moved over like 1/4 of my most critical files. But there are still so many files left. So many PSDs, FLPs, PDs (power director files), themes, html templates, thousands of voice overs, images and audio all organized perfectly. So when I open up power director to edit old videos everything is exactly where it needs to be. If I open up FL Studio to edit a voiceover or background track I made 2 years ago, FL Studio knows where all those files are. If I open up photoshop or aftereffects, fireworks, reason, there's just so many programs with file projects, folders and associated content.

    Let me give you 1 example. Powerdirector (for making videos). I have over 500 file projects just for that. Around 400 are for slightly different rendered versions of geotargeted local videos I made like 3 years ago. Then like 100 clickbank file projects for CB videos & tons of different niches. Each file project is associated to a dedicated folder with a few sub folders full of graphics, sound bytes, intros, outros, voiceovers, images, etc. So just to move over power director (1 program) over to my workstation, I had to reinstall power director. No big deal right? Well here's the issue. Once you move from 1 PC to another those "file associations" >>break. EVEN IF you NAME everything the SAME, and organize everything exactly as it was on the old computer. I still have to MANUALLY find the graphics folder (within the project file folder), the soundbytes, folder, the intro folder, the voiceover folder. I have to MANUALLY point PD at everything then resave the files.

    Imagine doing this for 500+ file projects.

    Same thing with FL Studio. I can't even get into how complicated this is cause most people won't understand. But you don't just reinstall FL Studio, you have to reinstall the hundreds of 3rd party plugins, make sure they're ALL the same exact version as the plugins that the FLP was made on... it's a lot of shit to get into.

    This is WHY I don't update software anymore. Even software that I have paid licenses for. Like if I update FL Studio right now I won't be able to open all my older FLPs. The only solution would be to keep dozens of different versions of FL Studio which would be insane.

    Let me just put it this way, my old desktop is a "perfect mess" of EXTREMELY valuable and important files. We're talking MANY MANY YEARS of work and organization.

    Many files associated to software that once moved, those file associations are GONE. I don't think this happens with programs like photoshop cause I've downloaded very old PSDs that I had no issues opening. The problems are programs like power director. And sound software + the hundreds of 3rd party programs/vsts. You don't just reinstall FL Studio you have to reinstall hundreds of vsts. And if ALL those plugins aren't the same exact version that the original file was created on.... you're fucked. To do it properly, it would take like 2-3 weeks just to locate all the right versions of the older plugins and reinstall everything the right way. Then copy over all the files and samples. And these are just 3 out of hundreds of programs I have installed. The amount of >>>TIME it takes is just ridiculous.

    So this is what I'm thinking.

    1) Move over all the data and organize it the same way.
    2) Find, locate and reinstall the same versions of all my most commonly used software
    3) Waste endless hours reassociating hundreds of project files.... knowing I'll never finish.
    4) STOP using my old desktop and buy a 3rd.

    I'm thinking #4 may be the most important thing I can do. Cause a very old computer... it's almost like a grandmother. You can take pictures and videos before she dies but once she's dead there are so many valuable things you WISH you can do or ask her.... that you just can't do anymore.

    Like last time I went through this process I did it very slowly over the course of a year. Then the hardrive on my old desktop fried and I was fucked. The ONLY fortunate thing I can say is that happened when I was NOT marketing. So my new "grandma" computer is worth more than ever right now.

    The way I see it, there is NO WAY I can properly transfer and restore everything. Just due to how much time it would take and all the compatibility problems.

    I'd have to stop working for the next 2-3 months straight just to transfer and reconfigure EVERYTHING properly. So if I move all my most used files over to my new "mother pc", I will have at least 60-70% of my data and files. I'll basically do all the easiest stuff first.

    But THEN, instead of exhausting my "grandma pc" and using it everyday like I'm still doing. I shut it down and buy a "grand daughter pc"... if that makes sense. It drives me crazy cause I have a brand new, POWERHOUSE HP Envy, 2TB, 12 GB RAM, i5, etc. I bought this freakn computer so I could STOP using my ancient xp. Problem is, the xp has years of work, files, organization, everything is COMPATIBLE... I have files buried so deep I don't even know they exist till I stumble upon them and am like, "wow, I can't believe I made that, that'll save me a lot of money if I ever need to do xxx".

    The main point is. This old, ancient, abused, dusty xp has made me close to $400k over the last 3 years & 2 months since I got into marketing.

    So if this computer were to die tomorrow, I would snap. And I wouldn't punch the wall or break a window I'd grab a knife and go on a mass killing spree. :AR15firin

    I'm not a very tech savvy person, but there's GOTTA BE easier / smarter / more efficient ways of handling issues like this. Is there no way to clone an entire computer to a newer version of windows without reinstalling everything and manually going through all the bullshit it's gonna take to get this done?

    How do you guys usually deal with this? I understand you can offload data to the cloud, back shit up on harddrives, but the data itself is a very small piece of the puzzle.

    For me the problem is all the software, the licenses, the versions and most importantly, the compatibility.

    Like I hate the fact that I know once I transfer all this shit to a newer version of windows, as soon as I get everything organized just the way I need and like.... windows is gonna release a new fucking version. Then 5+ years from now I'm gonna have to worry about microsoft no longer supporting windows 7 or 8. This the REAL PROBLEM. I understand that things need to evolve but every time Microsoft evolves it RUINS my entire work flow. That's why I do 90% of my work on a windows 2002 XP.

    If I could, I'd much rather clone my current pc to a brand new windows 2002 XP and do all my work on that rather than going through what I'm going through right now. I'd buy a faster CPU and more memory and that's it. I wouldn't even need to connect to the internet. It would be my same old workstation with a brand new lifespan and that's all I need.

    I don't care about security issues in xp. I don't care about all the new features in windows 10. I need some type of system or methodology that never changes and is super easy to clone. So when a system is nearing the end of it's life span I don't have to waste thousands of hours reinstalling, transfering and reconfiguring shit.

    Cause I know this. If I ever do finish reinstalling and transferring everything over, I'll be using this new HP till windows 30 comes out.

    How do you guys deal with this? Cause I can't imagine what some of your computers look like. And everytime I upgrade computers I feel like an ape. Like something is fundamentally wrong .... it takes wayyyy too much time... but I can't think of any more efficient ways of doing it. :(

  2. Capo Dei Capi

    Capo Dei Capi BANNED BANNED

    Oct 23, 2014
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    This may be what you need

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  3. Xp3r7

    Xp3r7 Regular Member

    Sep 9, 2011
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    In the middle of nowhere
    Yeah, just clone the old HDD to another one.
    I have a friend who did this for his HDD 2 times(2 HDDs), just to be safe.
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  4. xcskierfreak

    xcskierfreak Newbie

    Feb 1, 2015
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    Another vote for cloning hard drive. Also, periodic backup of any new data/program files to a separate drive would be a good idea.
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  5. JustUs

    JustUs Power Member

    May 6, 2012
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    The problem with cloning an XP system is the drivers. Unless the system uses the same drivers and has the same hardware. However, Paragon has a backup system for bare metal that will clone your harddrive and allow you to install new drivers. Some versions of Acronis also allow this.
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  6. mazak85

    mazak85 Regular Member

    Oct 10, 2014
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    Just make a mirror copy of your old HDD on the new HDD, start the new computer and install missing drivers.
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