PC upgrade - a diary

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PC upgrade - a diary

Post by blinddrew »

Having had my current PC for about 10 years or so (I forget really) it's been creaking a bit and I've bitten the bullet and ordered a replacement.
As it should arrive in about a week. I thought I'd do a little diary to capture the inevitable trials and tribulations of migrating from one machine to the other.
Hopefully there may be some useful nuggets in here for anyone else contemplating the same adventure.

The story so far
Hardware
I'm not a computer expert, but I am a heavy user with a technical background. But when I started looking around I realised that what little technical knowledge I had was completely out of date and all the current specs meant nothing to me.
Based on the recommendations on previous threads here, and their presence on this forum, I dropped a note to Scan with my thoughts and a few queries. As well as my PC getting long in the tooth my interface is getting on a bit too and I was a bit worried about any potential issues there.
After an email chat with Pete I had a recommendation which I was able to run by Focusrite to check that things should be compatible.
There was then a bit of back and forth because computers have got bigger since I last bought one and the cabinet I built to house mine won't fit the standard 3XS case that Scan use.
But that's been resolved and my order placed.
So that's the hardware.

Software
I started noting down all programs and plugins I use to make a list of what I need to do to transfer them, where licence files are stored, etc. etc.
It turns out I have a shed-load of freebie plugins that I really don't need and this is quite an opportunity to cut back!
So I've noted down all the stuff I do use and started trawling website help pages to see what the transfer processes are. Where I couldn't find the info I emailed the developer to ask.
Particular Kudos to Diginoiz, Spitfire and Valhalla for their very quick responses. :clap:
I'm still waiting to hear from a few places though - if it goes beyond a fortnight I shall publish a list of shame.

Ancilliaries
Other than a couple of new USB cables I haven't ordered anything extra but I do have two screens, keyboards and mice so I will be running both machines together whilst I do the transfer.

Think that's about it for now, I guess the next update will be when the new PC arrives, but shout up with any obvious questions and I'll try and make a point of answering it when I hit the answers.
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Re: PC upgrade - a diary

Post by Eddy Deegan »

A great starting point Drew and one that resonates with me as I went through a similar process last year. I spoke to Pete and moved to a Scan 3XS system (mine being a rackmount chassis) with which I have been extremely happy with ever since.

I look forward to further updates; I think this could turn out to be an extremely valuable thread for other people considering upgrading their environment.

Apart from the loss of Alchemy (subsequent to the Apple buyout of Camel Audio) my experience was fairly good, though I do echo wholeheartedly the value of making a list.

I used Excel and included the vendor name, product URL, username, password, licence key and an 'any other supplementary information' field which I found adequate for all the commercial software products I have.
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Re: PC upgrade - a diary

Post by Watchmaker »

Good thread Drew

+1 for making a list. I too used Excel, still have that file btw.

What spec is the new machine?
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Re: PC upgrade - a diary

Post by Martin Walker »

Great start Drew - I hope your checklists don't let you down ;)

I moved my previous hard drives across as extra data drives when I last changed my system, since this meant that if I'd forgotten anything during the new install I could always find and transfer the odd stray file from them months later.

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Re: PC upgrade - a diary

Post by blinddrew »

Good shout on the passwords and Logins as well Eddy, I'll add that too.

Martin, I did think about moving the current drive across but it's so full of, well, stuff, (all backed up of course) that I think I'm just going to wipe it for a clean slate when everything's transferred.

Watchmaker, Nothing amazing by today's standards, an Intel chip, i7 10700, with 16GB of RAM. But according to the benchmark tests Pete reckons it will be about 11 times faster than my current machine! :)
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Re: PC upgrade - a diary

Post by Moroccomoose »

I have a second drive in my PC. It has all my projects on it but it also has a folder in it I call 'Program Packs'

In it, I keep all drivers and software installation files there.

I have them further arranged in folders 1 to 4, which gives me a kind order of process.

Folder 1: All hardware drivers are set up first.
Folder 2: MS Office and other utilitarian stuff like Adobe, Brave Web browser and other bits n pieces.
Folder 3: All the software tools I like including Cubase, reaper, hardware librarian tools etc. I also have some engineering tools like CAD and so on.
Folder 4: Has plug in install files and preference files and all those sorts of things. So when I change computer, I simply hook up this drive and work through the installs.

Some times there are software updates and so on, but I just update those folders with the latest files as necessary as I go. Its more about the sequence really. Before I make the drive switch, I'll review the folders and ditch what I don't need any more and maybe add new stuff in.

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Re: PC upgrade - a diary

Post by The Bunk »

Looking forward to this Drew; I am literally starting the same process myself. In fact when I finish writing this I am off into Kingston to get the new PC which has - I trust - been set up for me.
Glad to see you're doing what I am planning which is run the two - old and new - concurrently; that is exactly my plan for now.
I also kept all my licence confirmation emails / numbers , gong back some 10 years, in a seperate email folder and have "re-sent" them to myself; so I hope that gives easy access to enable me to do the necessary.
And then tonight I plan on opening a bottle of something red and ploughing through the Reaper stuff. Or maybe just opening the bottle of red....
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Re: PC upgrade - a diary

Post by blinddrew »

Moroccomouse - that's a cracking idea, I may steal it... :)

The Bunk - Good luck with the new purchase! Reaper should be fairly straightforward according to the thread on the forum; I look forward to your update... :D
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Re: PC upgrade - a diary

Post by N i g e l »

Moroccomoose wrote:I have a second drive in my PC.

+1 :thumbup:

I have a section on my spare drive for all the progs needed to rebuild the C: drive.
It also contains my sample collection & licence files & text copied from licence emails.

This is not a substitute for backing up !

Some programs, eg Bandlab Cakewalk, can only be installed on line, which is a pain. At least thats not paid for so if the company moves on or Apple do a buy out & dump PC side developement its not a financial loss.

----

Do keep the diary running once you have finished the installation because W10 is forever doing updates to fix bugs and enhance the user experience but sometimes "it" breaks things.

This time last year the THR10 editor stopped working on my laptop due to requiring video drivers. Intel were very quick [or in the loop] to produce new drivers but I was only allowed to install drivers from HP, once they had verified the intel drivers and stuck an "HP" stamp on them, which took time.
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Re: PC upgrade - a diary

Post by Watchmaker »

Yes, do be careful if you are new to Win10. MS really overstepped with this OS and their constant updating, and willingness to overwrite end user configurations drove me to migrating to Mac for music production! Now That was a pain, but in the end well worth it.

I also reverted to an old machine to run Win7 for back office work as, in my view, end of life for Win7 results in better security and reliability for me than the totally invasive nature of Win10. I'm using my Dell Win10 machine only for online browsing and writing on forums lol. Win10 updater has overwritten my firewall, Group Policy and registry settings multiple times, as well as re-installed their bloatware apps and reset my .ini files, despite setting registry values to prevent that behavior. You wouldn't believe the amount of work it takes to keep this thing in check. But as I'm one of the few remaining people who don't believe that corporations have an unfettered right to send my usage data to the gubmint overlords and their advertising cronies, I expect no change for to better anytime soon.

At least you're not getting a Dell :-D
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Re: PC upgrade - a diary

Post by blinddrew »

I'm upgrading from a Dell running W10, and I have to say it's really served me well and I've had very, very little in the way of gremlins either hardware or windows-related.
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Re: PC upgrade - a diary

Post by The Elf »

For all the basics (7Zip, Revo Uninstaller, Firefox, VLC, Teamviewer, DropBox, etc.) go to https://ninite.com/ and create yourself an installation file. It saves a lot of time and trouble.
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