by Don Beaton
This is the history of my upgrade from Windows XP Pro 32-bit running on a 5-year-old IBM T42 laptop, to Windows 7 64-bit running on a 1-year-old HP laptop.
My IBM Thinkpad T43 is almost dead -- old battery; Q and U keys missing; Windows Updates stopped working more than one year ago. I had 396 programs loaded, and hundreds of old versions and updates loaded and unloaded over the years (with the expected mad-cow disease effect on the registry).
The T43's fan stopped working so, on December 16, it crashed from overheating 15 minutes after I turned it on. The file system was corrupted, but Windows XP apparently repaired it. I partially dismantled the T43 to keep it cool: I removed the DVD drive (to expose more of the interior to cool air), partially removed the laptop keyboard, and lifted the keyboard about 1/2 inch with a shim (actually an ant-trap). I put the T43 on the front porch, and pointed a household fan at it. This stopped the overheating crashes.
I decided to abandon my T43, and transfer all my data and software onto the HP laptop (which came with Vista Home Premium).
I bought Windows 7 Ultimate because it supports "Hardware Virtualization, which is needed to run Win7's Windows XP mode. I wanted XP mode for backward compatibility with old hardware: Epson, Nikon and Microtek scanners (which are unlikely to ever have 64-bit Win7 drivers). I removed my old 500GB HP drive, set it aside, and installed an identical blank new 500GB drive (so I could get back to my original state if the Win7 installation went awry). I did a clean 64-bit install on the new HP drive.
About this time, I found out that many Intel processors (including mine) do not support VM mode, which is required to run Windows XP within Win7. ARGGH -- no scanners!!
Nikon Scanners - Fail
Nikon says "Film Scanners: We are currently testing software compatibility". How long does it take to test software compatibility? One hour? Windows 7 has been available for about 1 year, and Nikon can't even devote 1 hour to test compatibility??????? support.nikontech.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/16600.
I subsequently found these articles that describe how to find out if your hardware supports Windows VM mode:
I decided to backup my T43 to an external USB 2.0 hard drive, using "Backup MyPC", and then restore the data on my HP.
While backing up, I was hit by the Windows XP "Delayed Write Failed" error. This innocuous little Microsoft article describes an error which causes catastrophic data destruction: support.microsoft.com/kb/330174. Some of the data on my USB drive was destroyed (fortunately nothing irreplaceable).
[In June 2007, I experienced this error, and it destroyed ALL data on my external drive. I think that the "Delayed Write Failed" error was caused by a loose connection with the USB cable which temporarily disconnected while Windows was writing a directory entry].
This time, I assumed that the "Delayed Write Failed" error was caused by inadequate free space on my T43's hard drive ("only" about 4 GB) and too many processes gobbling all my RAM, so I uninstalled as much software I could.
I wanted to speed up copying, so I turned off Norton Internet Security Antivirus "until next startup". A few minutes after I started copying my files, I was annoyed to see Norton happily announce that it was running an "Idle time scan". So I uninstalled Norton from my T43.
Backup MyPC - Fail
After I backed up my T43, I tried to load Backup MyPC on the HP, but found that it is Win7 incompatible, so all my old backups are unuseable. My excellent backup software was originally named "Backup Exec" by Veritas; it was sold to Stomp Inc, and renamed "Backup MyPC". Later, it was sold to one new company, and then another. The most recent owner sells a backup program that doesn't read my old backup files. (Aside: Veritas merged with Symantec in 2005).
I emailed tech support at the new company, and asked them, 'Can PC Backup Pro v11 restore backups created by Stomp Incorporated's "Backup MyPC"?
The non-helpful tech support guy said "depending on the file extension." This sentence fragment is the full extent of his reply.
Windows Copy - Fail
I abandoned the idea of backing up the old T43, and restoring to the HP. Instead, I decided to copy the files from my old T43 to a USB 2.0 external drive, and then onto my new HP. Microsoft's lame Copy command wasn't an option because it halts if the file is in use, it doesn't make repeated attempts to copy an in-use file, it doesn't log errors, and it doesn't do a CRC or md5 comparison of the original and copied versions of the files.
RichCopy - Fail
I decided to try RichCopy v220.127.116.11, an unsupported program, created by a Microsoft employee. RichCopy copies files, has a verify option, repeats attempts if copy is unsuccessful, and displays error status for each file, and writes the error log to the hard drive. download.microsoft.com/download/f/d/0/fd05def7-68a1-4f71-8546-25c359cc0842/HoffmanUtilitySpotlight2009_04.exe.
After trying RichCopy on several copy jobs, with thousands of huge files, I found the copying to be too slow, because Rich Copy expects me to choose the settings that will optimize file transfer speed. This isn't practical for occasional users, optimal settings probably vary, depending on the size of files and the bandwidth of the connection. The program is unpolished eg. dialog says "directoy", instead of "directory"; the summary count of errors always displays a count of "0" (or is it an exit status of "0", which is only relevant to the programmer?); and after you complete the copying, there is no built-in way to filter out reporting of successfully copied files, so you can re-copy the unsuccessful copies.
So I decided to use TeraCopy v1.x which has copies, repeats copy attempts for busy files, has a verify option (comparing CRC on original file and the copy). www.codesector.com/teracopy.php.
After copy and verify are complete, Teracopy can turn off display of successfully copied files (use the "cleanup" button). I don't think TeraCopy can write the report to a text file. I didn't use TeraCopy v2.x because some forums claim that is has uncorrected errors (it's hard to know if these are TeraCopy errors, or untalented-user errors).
I did an independent check on the accuracy of the copy using "Beyond Compare".
My workflow was too slow, and had too much manual intervention:
1. TeraCopy files from T43 to USB drive;
2. Verify with TeraCopy;
3. Verify with BeyondCompare;
4. TeraCopy from USB drive to HP;
5. TeraCopy verify;
6. Beyond Compare verify.
So I decided to copy files via Ethernet:
1. TeraCopy files from T43 to HP drive;
2. Verify with TeraCopy;
3. Verify with BeyondCompare.
To ensure that I wasn't denied access permission to files on the T43, I logged on as the T43 Administrator, and initiated the transfer from the T43.
Windows 7 - Fail
In addition to the above, some of my software refused to install, or is not Win7 certified:
- Family Tree Maker 2005 -- genealogy. It installs, but isn't supported. I hope it doesn't corrupt my data. Forums say v2010 is bad, bad, bad. So I'm not going to upgrade. I may have to laboriously transfer all my data into a competitor's program that stores data in a standard, open format.
- Email Effects -- Vector-style drawing using ascii characters in a txt file.
- Applian Relay A/V -- plays radio stations
- Backup My PC v6 -- a very formerly nice backup program.
Norton Utilities - Fail
In addition, Norton Utilities 2010 "Sonar" deleted ("quarantined") some the software downloads of valuable programs, such as Visual Thesaurus. I think its time qo quarantine Sonar!!
I'm about half-way thru transferring my files.