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Computer Hell

July 25th, 2007 · 7 Comments

It finally happened. What I’d been dreading but half expecting for the last few months.

My computer died on Monday.

I’d had the old girl for over 4 years and had been thinking of upgrading her for a while but hadn’t quite got round to it. I figured that she’d be around for a while but on Monday I tried to turn her on (ahem) and all I got was a nasty whirring and the smell of burning electrics.

Despite the fact I felt that she was on her way out, I hadn’t made a backup for a number of months. Let this be a lesson to you all. Backup your computer on a regular basis!

Anyway, I’m putting a call out to Twenty Steps readers because I need your help.

I took my computer to my local store but they diagnosed that the system board would need replacing and various other bits and pieces. They were fairly confident that the hard drive would be OK and that it was probably most cost effective to buy a new machine and transfer the data across so that was the path I chose.

My old machine was running Windows XP and the new one is running Vista which, I have to say on first impressions, I don’t particularly like. I took out the old hard drive and attached it up and, sure enough, the new machine can see the old HDD. So far so good.

Vista has an option which allows you to import old systems to the your new one which they have called Windows Easy Transfer. They lie! I have tried twice now to import my old data and no luck so far. Each time I run the application it takes 5-6 hours to complete and at the end of it nothing has come across.

Can anyone advise me how I can import files from my old HDD to the new machine?

The most important things are my old emails. I can see the Outlook Express files (DBX files) on the old drive but can find no way to import these into the new Windows Mail program in Vista.

In addition I’m guessing that a simple drag and drop operation won’t work with the files because of user permissions conflicts – i.e. XP User owns them rather than the new Vista user.

Any help would be gratefully received.

UPDATE: OK I’ve managed to get the Outlook Express files across into the new Windows Mail application thanks to this article: Import messages into Windows Mail from Outlook Express. Address Book now in place thanks to this article about importing Outlook Express Address Book into Windows Mail.

UPDATE 2: All my Firefox favourites have now been transferred across. Let me tell you that it would have been a complete pain in the arse if I’d lost all of them! Anyway, in order to transfer them I had to change the permissions of the folder on my old hard drive so that I could access them via my new account and then used the Firefox import function. I was able to find the details of the Firefox settings thanks to this article: How do I transfer my Firefox settings to a new computer?

Tags: General

7 responses so far ↓

  • Mike // Jul 26, 2007 at 12:21 am

    Another side effect of my old computer going *phut* has meant that I haven’t been able to check my Google Reader feeds for a couple of days. Add to that the fact that I’d been working on client projects for most of the last 10 days, my unread feeds is somewhere over 800 :(

  • John // Jul 26, 2007 at 8:53 am

    The last time I had a pc fail I was able to just put the hard drive in a new machine and drag and drop the files across (though both were XP).

    Go on, be brave try the drag and drop.

  • Mike // Jul 27, 2007 at 1:06 am

    Drag and drop will work OK for the regular documents. It’s things like Firefox bookmarks, program settings and such like which seem to be an absolute pain in the arse to copy across… :(

  • Jacky Lee // Mar 4, 2008 at 8:51 am

    Backup your mails and bookmarks.


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