I recently bought a new PC and while I know it was the right thing to do…change is painful to folks like me who have a hard time dealing with any type of change. I won’t miss any of the negative things about the old PC such as its slow processor, the marginal amount of memory, and years of accumulated junk software and files. I do miss the old shoe feel of Windows XP, from a sentimental standpoint more than anything else. However, I’m happy to say that I am surviving the move to the new machine and would like to share my experience with you.
First, I spent some time deciding what I wanted in the new machine. I wanted a multi-threaded processing capability (think doing more than one thing at once…speed) to increase my start up time (my anti-virus signatures are updated every time I turn on the PC and that takes a lot of processing power). I also wanted lots of memory to accommodate Vista. So I got a quad core processor (can run 4 programs at once) and 4 gigabytes of memory (lots). This is probably more “power” than I need right now, but I have a custom of keeping a PC for many years and therefore I buy as much power as I can afford when I buy because I know that, over time, I’ll need every bit of it.
Next I started planning the transfer of software and files from the old to new machine. I was amazed at how much “junk” software and files I’ve accumulated…free software packages that I never use, old versions of software, old resumes, letters and other files I’ll never need again. So…I made a concerted effort to delete anything I was sure I wouldn’t need. Of course, being the natural pack rat that I am, if anything, anything whose future value was questionable…I kept it. Nobody’s perfect.
The new computer having arrived, it was time to transfer my software and files. I have an external 500 gigabyte hard drive that I use for backup and other external storage so I used it to transfer my precious files rather than purchase PC move software. Okay, call me cheap if you want to, but it works just fine. I copied my C: and F: drives from the old PC to the external drive and then plugged it into the new machine and copied it to the new hard drive. This straight forward, simple process worked very well with only one drawback, it took some time. My old machine has slow USB ports and cost me some precious speed in the transfer process. But all in all, it went well and I accomplished my objective.
Now I’m on my new machine and very happy…except as with any “housecleaning” I am constantly looking for files that may be in slightly different locations than before and it’s a bit frustrating for me…mainly because it does me no good to ask my wife, as is my usual practice around the house when I can’t find something.
Okay, one last step to do…I’ve got to do a thorough wiping of data from the old machine before I dispose of it. If that seems odd and unnecessary to you, consider that I have tax returns, correspondence, credit card information and other personal data that could be used by someone to steal my identity (another topic all together). To do this I’m going to use a good disk wiping software package to overwrite everything on the hard drive. Note that I’m not relying on having deleted these files to protect me because deleted files can be recovered very easily. I’m actually writing over the entire disk space with ones and zeros.
Well, that’s my story on my change to a new computer. I hope it’s helped a bit in case you’re planning such a move or allowed you to relate to the whole process if you’ve already done it yourself.
Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.