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A Highly Complex Endeavour

Today is the first day of the Cairns Show Long Weekend. I've been saving a particular venture for this particular block of time off. This venture is the nigh complete overhaul of the computers of myself, Vickie and Brook, as well as creating an additional PC for Brook's mum, Gemma.

This is a four phase operation:

  • Vickie's Laptop. I've already kicked this one off; the Windows Easy Transfer tool is running on her current PC and her laptop as I type this, shifting her documents, maill files and settings from the old computer to the new. Once that's done, I'll run a backup of the data on Vickie's laptop and finally install all her software, then double-check to make sure nothing's been left behind.
  • Brook's PC. This one is going to be slighty more complex. Brook is going to be getting Vickie's old PC, so I'll need to open it up and give the internals a thorough de-gunging before formatting the hard drive and doing a from-scratch reinstall of Windows XP. After that, I'll again use Windows Easy Transfer to migrate Brook's data from her old PC to her new one and reinstall her software, including The Sims 2.
  • Gemma's PC. In some ways this is probably the easiest phase; all I need to do is take Brook's old PC, again reformat and rebuild it in Gemma's name and install some basic software.
  • My PC. This is going to be the interesting part. I'll be stripping the guts out of my PC, cleaning the interior of the case and installing the parts that I bought through the Cazman. Again, there'll be a complete rebuild - mainly as I'll be using a brand-new serial ATA hard drive - and reinstallation of software. With any luck I'll be able install my old hard drive as a secondary until I can get everything off of it; if not, I'll set it up as a secondary on Brook's PC and pull stuff over across the network.

At the moment, I'm working on the checklist of everything I'll need to do; it's around three and a bit pages so far. I've also got my desktop shrine in full effect, with Prime, Prime, Prime, Hicks, Chief and Megatron representin'.

Wish me luck! :-)

Oh, yeah, and I'm washing the dogs at around midday.

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If you are installing the SATA as your boot drive, don't forget to make a floppy of the SATA drivers that should be on your motherboards install CD. When installing XP hit F6 when told and load those drivers. This is even more necessary with the x64 version of XP. Vista has an option during install to load drivers, I beleive but there are very few Vista drivers out. It should support most SATA drives natively.

When re-installing your old IDE drive, make sure you have your BIOS settings to boot from the SATA drive, and not the IDE drive. Maybe have to dig around in BIOS to find those settings.

I currently run a double SATA, double IDE, double DVD-RW system so I assure you it is possible.

Also, GHOST everything after you have it where you want it. The best 60-70 you will EVER spend. When you can, get yourself an external hard drive and save all your ghost images there, you will be able to restore images anytime you need them. Ghost them on a regular basis. I recommend 2 weeks but that figure is fluid.

Best of luck with your upgrades!

Hey, sounds great - good luck with it all.

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