Windows XP moving to Windows 7 - Updated 12/17/12 (The Blue Mouse Pad Caper)
My everyday computer which uses Windows XP (I have several others which I use to develop article for the web site and product evaluation and testing) started to fail in late October and I decided to move from my 2 year old XP PC to a new Windows 7 system I built. I already knew that at least some of my XP based applications were not supported in Windows 7 so purchasing a more recent version of any critical software was a necessity.
The early XP failure symptoms were not particularly obvious as to the cause of the problems such as a nonresponsive mouse and keyboard, Internet Explorer crashing/closing and later low level hard drive errors.
I started by replacing the wireless mouse batteries, then the keyboard batteries with no success as the loss of mouse and keyboard continued to occur. So I switched to a USB mouse and keyboard, still no success.
Internet Explorer crashes continued to occur and the error report details showed nothing of value. Hard drive errors were low level but the S.M.A.R.T. values looked good as did a test of the primary Windows drive (my computer has 4 hard drives and 2 DVD drives). So I moved one of the SATA cables from the back of a DVD drive and connected it to the Windows drive. Success problem fixed with the exception of the low level drive errors which did not stop.
I then suspected that the Intel ICH10R controller on the motherboard was failing, which was later confirmed after moving each of the drives from the old to the new system (i7 2600K, ASUS P8P67 Deluxe) which had been collecting dust for over a year. The only remainingg drives on the old PC where the drive that had Windows installed any my internal backup drive.
Stress Testing: Even though the new PC had undergone a full stress test when I first built it I decided to run each of the tests again. This included the memory, hard drive, processor, graphics card and more. Altogether, several days of testing without any errors.
Windows 7: After installing Windows 7 Ultimate (64Bit) and all 80+ available important Windows updates (no optional updates installed), the next step was to install MS Office 2010 with Outlook. This also meant migrating my Outlook Express mail, address book and email accounts to Outlook 2010. Also my documents needed to be migrated.
MS Outlook: After installing MS Office the next step was to install Office Service Pack 1 via Windows Update. SP1 failed to install (error code: 80070652). So I restore Windows using the Image Backup I created immediately after installing Office. This time I downloaded the Office SP1 .exe file and attempted to install SP1 manually, this failed also.
I then downloaded the Office 2010 installation file from Microsoft’s web site but after trying 3 times each download had a different Hash value. Were any of the 3 valid or were they all corrupt? I decided not to use the download version.
Thinking it was a service pack installation issue I restored Windows 7 using an Image Backup created just prior to installing Office 2010. This time around instead of using my retail version of Office 2010 I used my TechNet version which already included Service Pack 1. That solved the SP1 issues but more Windows Updates where now available including a number Office updates. Windows Update again failed to install any updates, with the same 80070652 error code.
Was the Windows 7 installation corrupted? At this point nearly 2 Weeks had passed and still no progress. I ran a series of tests to see if Windows was corrupted but they all gave a clean bill of health. Never the less I decided to burn a new Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit installation DVD and did a Clean/Keyless install of Windows. Next I once again installed all the 80+ updates (in groups of about 10 updates at a time, which included numerous reboots).
Created an Image Backup and then using my retail media installed Office 2010 and then created another Image Backup. Now I went for the gold and installed Office 2010 SP1. Hurray, it installed as did all additional Office and Windows updates and no 80070652 error code this time around.
Migrating from Outlook Express to Outlook: I thought this was going to be a piece of cake. Since Office 2010 and Outlook was already installed on my old Windows XP based computer but I had continued using Outlook Express and never migrated to Outlook. So I decided bite the bullet and migrate from OE to Outlook 2010 on the old computer and then migrate from Outlook on the old to Outlook 2010 on the new PC.
I never did find a great set of instructions but was able to migrate my Email and contacts; however my personal email accounts had to be manually entered. Since I have 8 Email address (3 from my ISP, 3 from Gmail and 2 from my web hosting service, this was a slow and painful process as there was very little in common with incoming/outgoing server names, port addresses and unique passwords. As a side note, Gmail supports IMAP although I was using POP3, but my other Email providers do not support IMAP.
Only after finishing all this did I find out that you cannot move Outlook 2010 Email accounts from one PC to another, so after moving the Outlook.pst file I had to once again set up my Email addresses on the new PC.
Windows Easy Transfer: I used WET to move my documents from the old to new PC. Everything appeared to go smoothly only to find out later I was short about 11 files. A witch hunt revealed that files with a .tmp and .dat extension are not picked up by WET. The .tmp files were of no value, however the .dat files were created by a software utility (SyncToy) that supports both XP and Windows 7.
Now that the new computer was up and running with at least the minimum amount of software applications, including a new version of Adobe’s Photoshop Elements I was time to move to my new SSD.
Moving Windows from a hard drive to a SSD: I purchased a Samsung 840 256GB Pro series SSD (Note: At this time there is no kit which includes an adapter plate available in the Pro line). You get the drive and a software disc and that’s it.
I also purchased EaseUS Todo Backup “Home edition” Image Backup software as it supports SSD drives. Up to now I used Todo to create Image Backups of the hard drive and didn’t really expect to have any need for Todo’s drive clone function as the Samsung 840 Pro 256GB drive included a “Data Migration” tool used to facilitate the move from a hard drive to their SSD.
Prior to purchasing the SSD I called Samsung’s SSD Tech Support team and again after I received the drive. They never once mentioned the fact that the migration utility is defective until after I used it and received according to Samsung support an “unknown error code”. They said the migration utility had a number of issues and suggested using a freeware utility named Macrium Reflect.
I used Samsung’s Magician software (which I had pre-installed on the hard drive) to “Secure Erase” the SSD. This in effect resets the SSD back to a “Fresh out of the box” state. Now I was once again ready to try cloning.
Since I already had EaseUS Todo Home installed, I would use it to clone the 2 partitions (Yes my new PC is a “Dual Boot” system). The partitions on the 1TB hard drive (140GB and 70GB) were sized in advance to fit on the 256GB SSD with the remaining space on the hard drive unallocated, more than enough to meet Samsung’s 10% unallocated space “Provisioning” requirements for the SSD.
Todo did clone the drive but with one significant issue. After cloning I decided to make another Image Backup, my first backup after removing the hard drive and booting from the SSD. I launched Todo only to find it was no longer activated and would not activate using their “Off Line” activation method. Opened a Chat session with EaseUS only to find that the software is licensed to the drive (the hard drive in my case) and had to re-activated (which they did quickly and without any issues) on the SSD.
The last straw: Now it’s time to mount the SSD inside the case (Antec 900 series). As I previously mentioned, the Pro series does not have a “Kit” version which includes an adapter bracket used to mount a 2.5 inch SSD in a 3.5 inch slot. Since I already had a Samsung 830 series SSD with a bracket I decided to use it. Much to my surprise the screw threads used to mount the bracket to the case are non-standard; they appear to be the same thread size as the 4 SSD mounting holes.
Solution, I used heavy duty tape (can be removed with damage) to secure the adaptor plate to the case. Just one more obstacle in the road.
The Blue Mouse Pad Caper: (Added December 17th, 2012) The last step was to remove my old computer from the table and replace it with the new one. Since the USB mouse was identical and the keyboards very similar to one another I just left them in place and only moved/swapped the locations of each computer. Keep in mind that the whole time while installing applications, moving my data files and creating image backups from time to time (while eating lunch for example) the new computer would enter Sleep mode (Hibernation was disabled), Hibernation and Sleep were disabled on the old computer from the first day it went into service.
Waking the computer from sleep was a simply tap of the power button and then entering my logon password and I was up and running. However after moving the new computer to its new location (previously occupied by the old PC), waking the computer from Sleep mode resulted in a nearly totally useless mouse (erratic). It was a real task to place the cursor in the password field and after logging on the mouse was still a problem as the best I could do was get the mouse cursor to move an inch or two after multiple attempts.
I demonstrated to problem to a friend, he took one look at the old computer moved the White mouse pad and use it to replace the Blue one. Remember I didn’t move the mouse or keyboards, just swapped computer locations, so the Blue mouse pad was now being used by my new computer.
Problem fixed as for whatever reason this mouse doesn’t like the color Blue. With the White mouse pad waking from Sleep Mode is no longer a problem as the mouse is now fully functional.
Conclusion: It’s now a month later and I am finally almost finished. Just need to put the side covers on the case and move it to the spot now occupied by my older PC. I started around November 6th and its now December 8th.
While all this was taking place: 1) A large tree limb hit and crashed through the roof of my 18’ x 12’ shed. Repair cost: $1000.00 2) Braking system (ABS / Traction Control) failure on my Auto. $390.00 3) Clothes washer failed and it took 9 days to get service repair man to stop by. No charge, service contract. 4) About 10 days after the auto repair the car’s battery failed and cost $100.00 to replace. 5) My printer ran out of ink, the empty cartridges are used only when printing photos and I never print any photos, but they still were empty. In fact the printer is set to use the black ink only yet my Yellow cartridge and two others are also half empty.