Like an explosion at PC World

I’ve just spent an evening of migrating the last few grains of data from old PC to new, unplugging everything under the desk and removing the old PC, attacking the dusty space with a Dyson, then rebuilding the new machine in its place.

The proudest moment was undoubtedly getting my (old school) serial port installed on the (new school) motherboard, and working. Top tip: plug it into the COM port on the motherboard and not the spare IEEE1394 port.

It’s all setup and working now. Still have a few printers, a scanner and webcam to install.

Unfortunately our study now looks like an explosion at PC World.

Conversation: backing up websites

Jokey conversation with my friend James about backing up websites:

James: You mean you don’t have a paper backup of the website?!

Gareth: No we don’t.  We decided that we didn’t want one as printing on paper is these days regarded as environmentally unfriendly. Instead … get this … we’ve decided to create an embroidered backup!

James: It’s bureaucracy gone mad!

Gareth: It’s all been put on hold just now until the W3C can decide on the correct doctype and CSS media attribute for needle-and-thread renderings of web pages.

James: Brings a whole new meaning to ‘Dreamweaver’!

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 …