Dell Workstation replacement advice


Overclocked Like A Mother
8 Jul 2002
Hey all,

Got a client of mine (accountant Office). Workgroup network setup.

Anyways, they want to replace two of their workstations in their offices. Presently, these workstations are Dell machines with XPPro/Office 2003. They are getting replaced with Dell machines with XPPro/Office2007.

My question is: what would be the best way to transfer all the files/settings between the machines, especially since the new machines will have the 2007Office in them? They basically want the machine to look exactly the same, except for the new Office Software.

The last time they swapped out workstations, it was a day long event as all software and other stuff was manually transferred/installed.


1) Image the existing hard disk to a blank one of same or larger size.
2) Remove the original (this is now your backup) and boot from the image.
3) Go into device mangler and disable all of the MB and PC hardware devices - PCI-e/AGP, usb, chipset, video card, sound, etc.
4) Install the imaged HD with the machine perculiar hardware drivers stripped off into the new PC.
5) Boot and install drivers for new machine.
The entire old machine is now on the new machine!
6) Change the XP\Pro key to a new one if desired and reactivate.
7) Install the office update onto the new machine.

Wella, interruption time is just the time to image the HD which can be significant depending on disk size.

The other approach assumes the user has not stashed data in "unusual places on the HD) and leaves the user with significant additional down time to get everything straightened out.

A days down time is normal for a PC refresh. At work we usually loose a day to the transfer process and then the re-tweak costs another day.

In a sane company this would be done over the weekend, but since user interaction is required to some extent that doesn't go over well. The above process allows for minimal user interruption and if it craters just stick the original HD in the original PC and you are running.
I would say run the Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard. Install Office 2003 on the new computer, restore the settings using the Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard, then install Office 2007.

For some reason Microsoft did away with this tool in 2007.
I would find some migration software. Make transfering your files simple. And directly connect the PCs together and viola!

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