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, 49 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. Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and former 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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