Re: How to move to new PC?

Charles Scott <cscott@...>


Sorry for the long, slightly off-topic. I'll just throw this out here, but it's not a solution for everybody.

A couple weeks ago I moved to a new computer in my shack. The old one was simply not up to the task anymore. Being a user of VirtualBox (free) on other systems I decided to try moving the entire old system into a "virtual machine" that I could simply run on the new computer. I've done this before with earlier laptops and have thought of moving to only running things under a virtual machine. Once you have the virtual machine setup, moving to the next new computer is as simple as installing VirtualBox, copying the virtual machine over and then running it up on the new system. After that, it's just a matter of telling VirtualBox to pass the desired interfaces to the virtual machine.

So I found out that I could use the Acronis backup software I use to directly create a virtual drive file from a full system backup on the old computer and did that (there's other ways to do that though). The type of virtual drive file it produced wasn't a type that would load directly into VirtualBox but VirtualBox comes with a utility that would convert it to one that would. Having done that, installed VirtualBox on the new system and copied the virtual drive, ran up VirtualBox, and created the new virtual machine (hardly had to touch any of the defaults).  The darn thing booted just fine and was up in running (sans the hardware interfaces). That all took less that 2 hours, mostly waiting.

After that I configured the virtual machine in VirtualBox to pass the USB interfaces for all my radios and serial devices to the virtual machine. Presto! Everything was working fine. Now all that's running on the "Host" operating system (Currently Windows 10, but could be other systems) is VirtualBox. A move of this to my next system will literally take minutes with it setup this way. Since I placed the Virtual Machines on a second drive (SSD), moving them is as simple as moving the drive to the new computer as long as I keep the drive letter the same.

The great thing about doing it this way is that all software already installed in the old computer comes across to the new one without having to re-install, copy data, or even setup icons on my desktop. Looking at it, you wouldn't know it's not the old computer, other than it's much faster.

This does take a computer with at least a decent quad-core processor (my new one is a hex-core), at least  8 GB of memory, and should have SSD drives with one large enough for virtual machines. With the price of a 1TB SSD down quite a bit, it's not that expensive.

So, as I say, this isn't for everyone, but if you're regularly updating your hardware, it could be an option.

Chuck - N8DNX

On 10/31/2019 9:52 PM, Noel W2MSA wrote:

How do I move all my settings and log to a new PC?

Noel W2MSA

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