Transferring Windows data

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There are a number of ways to transfer your stored Windows data to your new MEPIS installation.


Direct transfer

If you are installing MEPIS onto a different computer than the one on which your data is stored, you can leave the data you collected on that computer and can safely transfer the data across once MEPIS has been installed onto the other computer. When ready, you can simply transfer the data between the computers using a network or physical connection.

CD or DVD disc

A common and reliable way of backing-up data is to make a recordable CD or DVD disc. CDs and DVDs can be used by almost all computers and are relatively cheap. However, your computer must have a CD or DVD recorder drive installed and you may have to use several CDs or DVDs if the data you have collected is larger than the capacity of a single disc. If possible, use DVD discs as these have a larger capacity and so you will need fewer of them. CDs typically have a capacity of 650-700MB while DVDs can normally hold up to 4.5GB of data (roughly equivalent to 7 CDs). In order to store data on a blank CD or DVD, you must use a CD writing application. MS Windows XP includes such an application, although many others also exist.

  • Click Start --> My Computer. Locate your CD or DVD writing drive - it will likely have a name such as CD-RW drive.
  • Double-click on the icon of the drive to open a blank folder. In the left-hand pane you will see an entry CD Writing Tasks.
  • Leave this folder open and then open the folder containing the files which you assembled earlier.
  • Select as many files as you are able to fit onto the disc which you will be using. You can check the size of the current selection by right-clicking any selected file and choosing Properties from the menu which appears. The Size field on the General tab gives the size of the current selection.
  • Copy the selected files into the CD- or DVD-drive folder which you opened earlier.
  • When you have put everything in, click Write these files to CD to start the CD Writing Wizard.
  • Follow the instructions to write the selected files to a blank CD or DVD.
  • Once the disc has been written, eject it and then re-insert it into the drive. In My Computer, open the drive and check that the files you just copied to the CD are visible there. Try opening a few of them just to make sure.
  • Repeat this procedure until all of the files you collected together are safely stored onto CDs or DVDs.

Once you have stored your data onto discs, ensure that the discs are well protected and labelled correctly. If you scratch or otherwise damage a disc, you may lose some of the data stored on it. Labelling discs also helps to avoid confusion and will allow you to quickly find data when the time comes to transfer it back onto a computer.

External hard drive or other removable device

If you have a second hard-drive, or have access to an external hard drive or some other removable storage device of a great enough capacity, then you can simply copy the files you have collected onto this device. When ready to transfer the files onto your MEPIS installation, you can simply connect the drive and copy the files from it again. Removable storage devices such as external hard drives will have a certain type of file system. For use on removable devices, the best supported filesystem for MEPIS is FAT (also called FAT32 or vfat). While other file systems (such as NTFS and HFS+) are usable, they may require additional steps to allow you to use them. You can discover the format of an external drive by right-clicking it in My Computer and selecting Properties. The format is shown in the General tab under File system.

Network share

If your computer is connected to a network, you may be able to temporarily store the files which you collected together on another computer on the network.

  • Locate a computer on the network that has sufficient space and will allow you to copy your files onto it.
  • Ensure that you are able to copy files onto the other computer from your computer. To be able to do this, the computer must have at least one network share/shared folder and you must have write privileges for that network share.
  • Open the network share on your computer by clicking Start --> My Computer --> My Network Places and then finding the network share or the computer which provides the network share.
  • Copy the files you collected into the network share. This may take some time depending on the size of your files and the speed of your network connection.

Secondary hard drive partition

If you have a second partition available on your hard drive, then it is possible to copy the files you have collected into it. You must be very careful not to over-write the partition on which you have stored your data. Simply copy the files you have collected onto the second partition as it appears in My Computer. Make sure that this partition is not the one into which you intend to install MEPIS.

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