Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Merging drives without re-install

I am embarking on yet another crazy adventure. I am attempting to move from 2 desktops into one. Usually, every 12-20 months I reinstall my desktop because it just gets too cluttered, or is being replaced. However, thanks for a torturously complicated set of circumstances I have ended up with personally-relevant data across 2 desktops and 2 laptops. The data created on these machines spans 2 1/2 years, most of it backed up in bits and pieces.

Problem: I do not want to reformat drives and reinstall the OS. I do not have space to copy the data, and I do not have the time to reinstall the OS and all the applications. I have many. Some of them quite picky about their environment. At the moment, I am not willing to deal with the pain.

Proposed Solution: Move the drive from the older machine (74GB) into the newer one (55GB) and consolidate the files that are copies of each other. Remove all the Windows files and applications from the older drive and use the freed up space to store up another few months worth of data.

Currently evident issues:

not much room for cleaning up. About 5.4 GB of the 5.8 GB used by the Documents and Settings are actually CD images for backup...

I still think I can free up some room on the other drive by deleting redundant files, and on this drive by removing previous backups, compressing old and unused directories, etc. Still, I think I am about to invest into an external high-capacity disk drive and a DVD Writer. Backing files to a CD is just too painful at this point.


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