Having my new system built, I am ready to start my migration from Windows XP to Windows 7. The first thing I will need to do is run a check disk and defrag. Next is create an image of my hard drive. Think of it as taking a 'snapshot' of your computer.
I found a drive imaging utility called DriveImage XML. Home users are allowed to use the Private Edition of DriveImage XML without charge, though, no support is provided for the Private Edition. I found it easy to use and worked quite well. Here is an excerpt from their web site:
"The program allows you to:
- Backup logical drives and partitions to image files
- Browse these images, view and extract files
- Restore these images to the same or a different drive
- Copy directly from drive to drive
- Schedule automatic backups with your Task Scheduler
Image creation uses Microsoft's Volume Shadow Services (VSS), allowing you to create safe "hot images" even from drives currently in use.
Images are stored in XML files, allowing you to process them with 3rd party tools. Never again be stuck with a useless backup!
Restore images to drives without having to reboot.
DriveImage XML runs under Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista only. The program will backup, image and restore drives formatted with FAT 12, 16, 32 and NTFS."
I installed DriveImage XML and ran it, creating an image of my hard drive. I saved the image to a network drive. The image is spanned across several files that are 672 mb each, making them small enough to fit on cd's). I then restored a few files from the image to ensure that that the image was good.
Now that I have backed up my computer, it's time to take inventory of the hardware and software.