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Windows 10 PC Switchover Complete

Last weekend, I got my new production PC off the ground with a basic build and OS install. This weekend, I finished the job. This meant installing a raft of SSDs and hard disks, then moving the contents of the old production PC onto the new one. Lots of various applications, services, and so forth needed to move over as well. I put LapLink PCMover to work, and was able to save significant time by doing so. However, I hit a few potholes along the way, and learned a thing or two as I made my PC switchover.

I found myself having to reinstall much of the licensed software that PCMover claimed to have moved. Such items included Office 365, PaintShop Pro, System Information for Windows (SIW), and Nitro Pro 10, but not Paragon Partition Manager. Also, I had to reconfigure e-mail access info in Outlook to get everything working, which took some trial and error to puzzle my way through. Right now, the system appears to be working correctly, and I’m functioning normally on my production PC. It’s something of a relief, I’ll confess, because I hit several snags that had me wondering if I’d be able to get back to work this morning.

PC Switchover Lessons Learned

I don’t know what it is about some hardware manuals, but I’m usually capable of following instructions. I did hit some snags in getting my SSDs and hard disks attached to the Asrock Z170 Extreme 7+ motherboard, and observed that instructions about drives blocked because of SATA ports consumed by the M.2 NVMe SSD didn’t quite match the ports I was able to get working. My reading of the instructions was that the bottom row of SATA connectors at the right on the motherboard block would be unusable, but it turned out that the top ones were unusable instead. I also experienced issues with the ASMedia SATA connectors, not realizing that installing a former boot drive into any of those ports would attempt to pre-empt the NVMe SSD in the boot order.

On another similar front, I attempted to recycle some spare mSATA SSDS into dual RAID 0 configurations using some StarTech circuit boards, but discovered one of them non-functional (it would accept the mSATA  devices, but wouldn’t allow me to configure them for storage in Disk Management, producing an “I/O Error” every time I attempted to set up either a GPT or MBR based storage volume). It took some time to sort out all the storage stuff, but eventually I got more than enough working to get the system outfitted with a fair amount of space (about 9 TB worth: 7.5 TB on HDD spinning disks, the remainder on SSDs from 250 GB to 500 GB in size).

config snippet following PC Switchover

A snippet from SIW Pro following the PC Switchover.

PCMover Makes a Quicker PC Switchover Possible

PCMover cost me $60 but proved eminently worth it by automagically moving most of my applications, and all of my files and settings (Documents, Downloads, and so forth) from the old production PC to the new one. I did the migration over my GbE network, and the whole thing took about 35 minutes from start to finish. Though I did have to re-install a handful of applications after the move was completed, it was still quite a bit faster than doing everything over again would have been. The last time I rebuilt my production PC, it took me just over a long day to deal with the aftermath of getting the OS reinstalled, and to put my applications and settings back to where they had been beforehand.

I will say this much for the new rig: it’s the coolest-running PC I’ve ever built. Idle temps are in the low 20s; it runs in a range of 24-29 for ordinary use; and I have yet to see it spike over 37 at the heaviest load I’ve thrown at it (all temps are in Celsius). Throw in a faster CPU, faster memory, and a blazing fast NVMe boot/system drive, and it’s proving to be an entirely satisfactory upgrade.

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