Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Upgrading to Windows 10


This posting applies to any major operating system replacement because that's what the Windows 10 'upgrade' is.  The old operating system is removed and a new one is installed and hopefully all the old programs and data remain intact.

Sadly this is not always the case and I have two clients where the computer ended up totally unusable.  The operating system was gone and so was all their data!

Before embarking on such an upgrade I'd always suggest that you take a full clone of the system.  This isn't simply a backup of your data (though that should be happeneing anyway) but is a total copy of your disk so that if things go wrong you can simply reload your disk from this copy and you'll be back to where you started.

In fact this couild even be a useful addition to your normal backup procedures because it means that if your disk drive dies then all you'd need to do was put in a new drive and then reinstall from your clone and you'd be up and running relatively quickly.

So the things you'll need are software to do the clone and an external drive to hold the disk copy,

The software I use is Macrium's Reflect (free edition).  When it starts up it'll detect all the drives on your computer and allow you to clone the disk, saving the image file to your external drive.

It's not a fast process.  My main disk drive takes around 90 minutes to run and it takes a lot of space.  My main drive is 1TB and contains around 300GB of data; the clone image file is around 250GB in size.

One other thing to remember is that if your computer can't boot normally and you want to recover from a clone then you'll need a CD/DVD to boot from.  Reflect provides an option to create recovery media so make sure you've done that and put it somewhere safe.

Because of the laws of the cussedness of the universe you'll probably end up with a CD and a clone copy that you'll never use but that's better than the alternative!

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