Is it possible to ghost an image from a 32 bit windows 7 professional machine to a 64 bit windows 7 professional machine?

meelnah
meelnah used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

At the salon where I work, the 'server' machine (holds some sort of proprietary database software) is actually the office manager's windows 7 professional 32 bit machine.  We have two other windows xp professional machines (all machines are attached to a server 2008 domain) that run the client software that connects to the server pc.

The office manager is upgrading her machine to a 64 bit windows 7 professional model.  I am familiar with the standard ways to transition a user from one machine to another.

However, to move the salon scheduling software requires a call to the support team for the software, and a $600 fee, which we are trying to avoid.

Is there some way to copy the entire image, programs and all, and transfer it to the new workstation?  We would need to retain pc name, IP address, etc.

My instinct says 'No', as even if we were to use some sort of ghost software, it would then be moving a 32bit version of Win 7 to the 64 bit platform... but I am never as 'geeky' as I would like to be, so I was hoping maybe someone knew some tricks that I don't!


Thanks,

Meelnah
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Commented:
There are some software that can transfer the programs and registry keys. But they dont work everytime. My answer is also no.
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

Commented:
I would not do that.  That could be a real hard way to find out what is not supported on 64-bit.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Would it work? Possibly, but it would still be a 32 bit os install... Assuming you make a clone and are able to lay it on different hardware... I don't clone much, I am sure that acronis, or recent versions of ghost can clone hardware agnostic to different platforms....  

Would basically be like installing 32 bit win7 on a 64 bit aware system in my thoughts....

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Top Expert 2011
Commented:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_27195818.html

This software is highly recommended by a top expert here, for moving apps.... Now it probably cannot move a 32 bit app to a 64 bit os, actually I am sure it wouldn't....but if you drop the system back down to 32 bit on a fresh image, might be worth trying.....

Commented:
I think we all share the same view. :)
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

Commented:
I used PC Mover on the two computers on my desk and I will not use it again.  Clearly it works for some people.  But I had to do a Lot of cleanup work after using it.

Commented:
@meelnah
I also made bad experience with such software...
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
>>  Is it possible to ghost an image from a 32 bit windows 7 professional machine to a 64 bit windows 7 professional machine?  <<   YES (but then you keep the original 32-bit setup on the  new pc)

but this question should be asked differently, what you mean is can i retain the 64-bit OS and transfer all my apps to it ?  and that IS possible, but certainly not easy to do, and may or may not work even, as several experts said.

you can run the old image in a virtual machine though  : http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/default.aspx

my suggestion is : install a new disk (with the 64-bit OS), and try to transfer the software to it and test it
if it works - ok; if not you have lost nothing
Retired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Clearly folks have had both good and bad experiences with PC Mover.    Mine have mostly been positive, BUT ONLY with the Pro version -- all other versions should be avoided.     IF it can move the specific application in question, there's no problem moving it from a 32-bit OS to a 64-bit OS.    HOWEVER ... a proprietary bit of software as you've noted is pretty likely to be one of the apps that PC Mover can't handle.     Might be worth $40 to try it -- but don't be surprised if it doesn't work.

One possibility using virtualization:   try to virtualize the current system using VMWare's Converter [http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_downloads/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/4_0 ]

Once virtualized, see if the virtual machine runs okay in VMWare Player (free)  [http://www.vmware.com/products/player/ ]

If it runs okay, you can run it on ANY system you choose by simply installing VMWare Player and MOVING the VM to that machine.

As for your original question ==> As has been noted already, it MAY be possible to simply image the old system and restore the image to the new.  Windows 7 is FAR more forgiving of hardware differences and may very well be able to run fine on the new hardware.    You WILL, almost certainly, have to re-activate it -- which may require purchase of a new license key (depending on the type of license you have) ... and whether or not your proprietary software will survive the transfer is yet-another question.
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Commented:
I was using the Pro version of PC Mover when they had the special for two licenses.  It did move a lot of things.  My problem was that it also 'moved' some user identities that didn't belong on the new computers and I have spent a lot of time fixing them.  I can't recommend it to people who may not be up to coping with things like that.
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
The Pro version does, however, allow you to specify exactly what to move -- you need to customize the move rather than using one of its wizards.
Perhaps you could install the software on new machine from the original CD.
Then backup the database from the old machine and restore it into the new database on the new machine

Mark
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
... Reinstalling the software clearly won't work, since it is tied to the IP, machine name, etc. (as noted in the question)
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
is this software really worth the $600 service call! if her hard drive fails then its an easy $600 for the support company.. I'd seriously look for a replacement solution.  You could use outlook for scheduling or a wealth of other software solutions. First time I've seen platinum bits.. Did she get an engraved serial number to go with it.

Author

Commented:
First off, sorry for the delay in responding.  I had some family stuff come up that kept me out of the office for a few days.

Second, wow!  Thanks so much for the outpouring of advice.

Weighing the varied opinions of could it/should it be done, I would say that I am leaning toward NOT trying to take the 'easy' way out, and to just contract the support company for the move, especially considering my lack of experience using the ghosting software.

I am considering the virtual solution that you recommended, garycase.  I have some experiencing using Windows Virtual PC, but none with VMWare.  I may try it, as I don't know of a comparable Windows product to VMWare Converter.

To reply to ve3ofa, unfortunately, we are pretty much married to the software we have.  I didn't explain it quite properly, but it not only manages scheduling, but also tracks client histories, therapist/clinician statistics, and does the point-of-sale transactions.

Thanks to all who responded!


Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
If you DO pay the support company to move the software, you may want to have them move it to a VMWare Virtual machine.    Then you could move it as needed to any other physical hardware with no changes.

Just install VMWare Player (free);  and install the OS of your choice in a virtual machine [You will need a license for the OS];  and then you'll be ready for the new install of the salon software.

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