Migrating data quickly … writing about it slowly

So, I need to migrate around 300 GB of data from my old Athlon XP 2800+ machine to the shiny, new Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 machine.

Let’s explore the options:


How about on 4.7 GB discs? I don’t think so! This would involve:

  1. Burn around 4.7 GB of data to DVD-R
  2. Repeat approximately 63 times

That’s both painfuly slow and would cost me around £17 for a pack of 100 discs.

USB 2.0

I have a 500 GB external USB 2.0 hard drive; USB 2.0 has a maximum transfer speed of 12 Mbps. But it would involve:

  1. Copy data from PC #1 to external drive (max. 12 Mbps)
  2. Copy data from external drive to PC #2 (max. 12 Mbps)

That’s really a maximum average of 6 Mbps.

IDE Hard Drive

I could remove the hard drive from PC #1 and install it temporarily into PC #2.  My drives are both UDMA 100 devices, meaning that they have a maximum transfer speed of 100 Mbps.  But this would involve:

  1. Power down PC #1
  2. Open up PC #1 and extract hard drives
  3. Power down PC #2
  4. Open up PC #2 and install hard drives
  5. Make sure that the BIOS recognises both new IDE drives
  6. Transfer data
  7. Power down PC #2
  8. Uninstall hard drives
  9. Reinstall hard drives to PC #1
And quite honestly that’s a bit of a faff!

100Base-T Fast Ethernet

I have a network that runs at a spritely 100 Mbps. This would involve:

  1. Copy data from PC #1 to PC #2 directly (max. 100 Mbps)

I already have the network and the appropriate drive shares set up, all I need to do now is drag-and-drop files and folders. Simple!  I love networks.

Guess which method I’m going to use today …

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

5 thoughts on “Migrating data quickly … writing about it slowly”

  1. stuff the DVD-R, CD-R is the way forward!

    but seriously, when I started reading until I scrolled down to the part, I was saying “hard drive move” in my head. but very smart move with the network.

  2. Er.. Netbios *is* over TCP/IP these days, isn’t it? Just ports 137-139 tcp/udp depending. Unless one of us is getting confused with something else…

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