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Transfer programs between hard drives

Posted on 2006-11-20
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I just ordered a new PC to upgrade over my older system.  The system I've been using for the last few years has a 30GB hard drive, with quite a few apps installed on it that I'd like to use on the new system.  On the other hand, I'd kind of like to make a clean break and boot off the new HD and start from a clean slate (except, of course, for the apps I want to keep).  My old HD is, well, an old disk and along with all the stuff I've built up over the years that's worth keeping is a bunch of junk that isn't.

Here are my questions:
1) Are there tools out there that list all of the files/registry settings associated with a particular app?  I wouldn't mind manually copying files between the old and new HD's and changing the registry settings manually.  But I don't know how to find out exactly *which* files/registry settings are required for a particular program.
2) Will most programs run on a slaved HD if they were installed when that HD was the boot volume?  My current HD is a single C: volume, so I assume the environment variables each app looks at would be different if the home disk were suddenly a slave F: drive or whatever and the OS root wasn't that drive.
3) Is it far more trouble than it's worth to try copying apps from an old HD to a new one?  Should I just suck it up and boot off my old disk and run the new PC's HD as a slave?  I don't have a problem putting the old HD into the system, but I'm afraid that my high-powered new system will be held back by the age and messiness of my old disk if it's the boot drive.
4) Are there tools out there for recovering license keys from installed programs?  I've moved a couple of times since getting my old computer, so what I do and don't have for each app is hit-or-miss.  If I could at least recover the license keys from my installed programs, I would be able to simply reinstall the software in some cases, then apply my old license to the new computer.  Sort of like an organized person who saves their disks and keeps track of their licenses would do.

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Question by:Zeek0
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jsvor earned 250 total points
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I think it would be way to difficult to run down all the dll files and registry settings, etc...

I would reinstall if you have the software.

As for question 4,  use belarc advisor to get the serial #'s

http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

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