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July 15, 2013

Setting Up My New PC

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

It’s new PC time here at Wambooli! I’ve just purchased an update to one of my aging, decrepit computers.

Once upon a time, I turned over new PCs every two years. Now I’m up to five, and even then if I can manage to extend a computer system beyond that time, I’ll try.

My old computer, codename XOG, was near the end of his lifespan. The hard drive was starting to go. Not only that, but XOG had some issues in the past. I upgraded him from Windows Vista to Windows 7 because of printing and network problems. So once he passed the 5-year mark (back in April), I was cautious of his behavior and eager for a replacement. All it took was one hard drive glitch for me to buy a replacement.

When I get a new computer, I create a small text file in my home folder. The name of the file is purchase date. The file has one line of text, such as in XOG’s case:

This computer was purchased on August 29, 2008.

Such a file exists on all my computers. I use it to help determine when it’s time to replace the system.

Pip, my new, teeny Lenovo PC.

Pip, my new, teeny Lenovo PC.

For a replacement, I purchased a Lenovo ThinkCenter PC — I don’t know the specific model name. Lenovo has Way Too Many models for me to care, but the thing is tiny: It’s about the size of a hardback book. No optical drive, but plenty of USB ports. That’s good. I think it cost me about $600. It’s using XOG’s old keyboard, mouse, monitor, and other peripherals.

Getting a new PC involves software setup in addition to the physical setup. The software side happens when you first turn on the system. You configure Windows, but then — in Windows 7 at least (and trust me, my new PC has Windows 7, not Windows 8) — you can run the Migration Wizard to move files from your old PC to the new one.

The Migration Wizard runs on two computers. If you have XP or Vista, you can download the Migration Wizard from here. You start it on the new PC, you run it on the old PC. Both my systems are on the local network, so the transfer worked rather quickly.

The only thing not transferred are all the programs. Those must be reinstalled, which is why I keep all my computer’s installation CDs handy. And for downloaded programs, I keep the registration numbers and product keys in a safe location.

After transferring all my personal files, then re-installing my software, I was done. The new computer PIP is essentially a clone of the older PC, XOG. All my files survived, and all the programs were installed.

As a final act, I created a new purchase date file. That way, come five or more years from now, I’ll repeat the process with whatever new system I get at the time — assuming, of course, that robots haven’t destroyed us by then.


  1. An awesome site to use when setting up a new computer is

    There’s a huge list of popular software, and you check which ones you want and it gives you a single installer you can use to install all of it at once. It’s saved me so much time.

    Comment by gamerguy473 — July 16, 2013 @ 11:16 pm

  2. That’s really cool! It’s a like a CVS for Windows, or the Mac’s System Update or App Store.

    Comment by admin — July 17, 2013 @ 7:51 am

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