how to move file/folders from old boot drive (Xp) to new Win7 boot drive

Posted on 2012-03-25
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Have new desktop (Win7). Want to add second SATA drive which was removed from old PC
(Xp). That old drive has the Xp boot/registry/data, but want to move my docs, my pics, contacts, & Programs. Yes, I suppose I cannot move Programs or that it is better to re-install on the new primary boot disk.
The old drive will then be formatted & serve as an Acronis backup drive.

Please advise how to accomplish the migration of the data wanted from old to new drive.
For instance, on installing the old drive & booting up, would I go first to setup & see the old drive & make it not bootable as in after the new primary drive. Then re-boot & go to "manage disks" & make old drive "primary & active" & assign a drive letter?  If correct, then what?
Or instead, first install Acronis True Image on the new drive & use it to migrate data from old to new drive?

(I am an "intermediate home  User", so step by step is helpful)
Question by:jamesg1940
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 37763705
One approach (certainly not the only one) is to use Windows 7's Windows Easy Transfer program.  The general steps are:

1)  Run the Easy Transfer program on your Windows 7 computer to create the program to be run on the XP computer
2)  On the XP computer (yes, you have to have it back up and running to do this) run the program you just created on the Windows 7 computer.  Tell it to put the information on an external drive or in a folder on the XP drive.
3)  If you used an external drive (much easier), just connect it to the Win 7 computer, run Easy Transfer, and have it import what it can
4)  If you used the XP drive to hold the data, connect it internally on the Win 7 computer, go into the BIOS to make sure it is either NOT allowed to boot or is after the Win 7 drive.  Run Easy Transfer and have it import what it can.

As far as the questions you asked, you are on the right track with making sure that you don't boot the XP drive in the Win 7 computer.  Setting the boot sequence so the XP drive is after the Win 7 drive (or not allowed to boot at all) is a good start.  Once you get into Windows 7, you don't need to change the settings on the XP drive.  It should be readable as is.

Depending on how you were set with XP, there could be a rights issue with reading the files on the XP drive.  If the only think you want to do with the XP drive is to read the data (that is, never boot it as XP again), you can take over ownership and give yourself full rights to Documents and Settings (or whatever other folder you need to) on the XP drive and make sure it propagates to  all folders inside that one.

You should be able to read the drive and copy whatever you wish.

Author Comment

ID: 37763854
Thank u for the advice.
The Xp drive is just that: drive only, removed from the desktop that would not boot,
would not allow an upgrade to Win 7. The drive was left as is because to install Win 7 on that older desktop, that drive would be wiped/formatted. The custom/friend wanted to save
the data (pics of art that had taken years to edit, etc.).

I know about the "Easy Transfer", which is easy or I would not be asking my question on this site. That option is not available now.

I've found various sites with advice on moving data from one drive to another, but usually the file/folder is just a copy & thus on both drives. I want to move contacts/bookmarks as the customer did not use gmail, so win mail does not have a backup that I know of,
obviously the pics folder, is the most important feature.
Maybe move that pic folder to an external USB drive from the Xp drive & then move to the Win 7 drive. What does anyone think about that?

Remember we want a formatted drive to use as a backup drive, once the desired data is
transferred to the primary/boot/C drive.

I came to this site because I do not wish to spend hours going over conflicting advice on other free sites pertaining to my issue.
I want to print the instruction process & just do it, successfully, as I'm doing the tech support as a friendly offer & I have plenty of my own work to accomplish.
LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37764026
That's all there is to it a straight copy from documents and settings\username to users\username just copy the contents of the folders (music/pictures/videos/favorites)
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Author Comment

ID: 37764085
Your advice seems straight forward! Do I have to assign "rights" as admin. to do this?
Sometimes I can perform the "rights" assignment but other times it gets too difficult with the exact path.

I'll do as you suggest.. Also, could I install Picasa3 on the Primary Boot Drive (C) & import pics from that second drive My Pics to Picasa3? I think so; no "rights" assignment involved.

Related but different hardware eg. my PC:
I've been curious about copies of pics in My Pictures & Picasa. I import from My Pics to Picasa. Can I then delete pics in My Pics folder? I think not "allowed". I believe the same pic files have to be located in both My Pics and Picasa. This is with my desktop, not the issue with the friend's desktop.
I have a SSD in mine & I like to save space so copies in My Pics & Picasa is not ideal for me. My PC has a second drive for storage/ data & third drive for backup.
I'll close this question tomorrow & award u the points after performing the tasks.
LVL 81

Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 166 total points
ID: 37764141
don't delete anything! Picasa only builds a database of the files it does not copy the files at all.
On my personal computer I use the libraries a lot.  but c:\users\username\pictures is empty while f:\pictures is about 300Gbytes.  I only did this because I'm an experimenter at heart and had problems with various upgrade scenarios that wanted to make a copy of the "documents", "pictures", music and videos that I'd changed the default location from c:\users to other drives. Therefore I put the folders back as per default settings and then added the "real" locations to the various libraries and made it the default save area.

For you personally, add another drive as a data drive and then use the libraries as I have.

for your friend, you may have to takeown (ership) of the documents and settings folder
takeown "d:\documents and settings" /A /R /D Y
LVL 21

Assisted Solution

CompProbSolv earned 334 total points
ID: 37764152
As ve3ofa mentions, Picasa builds a database.  If you have edited or tagged pictures, that info will be in the database and will not move with the pictures unless you move the database too (and I suspect files have to be in the same location, but not sure on that).

Author Comment

ID: 37768712
I was unable to access the second drive: shows up in disk management with 3 partitions.

Tried to access with rights denied.Customer did not want to format into NTFS, even though all pics of art were stored on an external drive. She wanted to save some family pics. on that second drive, to move to Primary drive. So I told her to hire someone who can move those pics to her primary C drive.
Then, I would return to format 2nd drive & install AcronisTI & create a backup, etc.

I'll award points for your "effort", after someone replies how to access an "unknown" drive.
Has a drive letter & shows storage, but can't open the partition containing the pics, along with
a lot of other data.
LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37769582
It is probably a permissions issue. or chkdsk needs to be run on the drive.
try this:
plug in the drive
click on start
type 'cmd'
when you see it in your list, right click, runasadministrator
chkntfs x:
(if it comes up dirty) then
chkdsk x: /f

from this command prompt type 'explorer'
navigate to the drive in question
right-click select security and make the current user the owner
as shown here

or simply from the command prompt you made earlier.

takeown "X:\" /A /R /D Y
LVL 21

Accepted Solution

CompProbSolv earned 334 total points
ID: 37769640
Are you able to see anything on the partition with the pics?  Folder names?

I have used Bart PE or Ultimate Boot CD for Windows (bootable Windows CDs) to get around some rights issues with success.  I have also used a Linux boot CD, but that was slightly trickier as I'm not a Linux guy.

The trick is to boot the Bart PE CD, then use the Windows Explorer-like program to copy files.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37778970
Since the issue is 99% a Permission issue, I was unable to assign such to that second drive.
Can't chkdsk  it, if I can't access it. I linked the friend to several websites: which may assist
in a solution. Friend is too cheap to hire tech support, but is avid in wanting to learn more
about PC desktops. Except actually reading "help" folders, following directions, creating restore points, using utilities, etc. She is a retired attorney, with time & brains but
does not know her limits. Bart PE does not support Win 7; I think Ultimate Boot costs $.
I advised her to study the link, then go with a 10 day trial software to access that drive.

this is a good link.

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