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Thread: Transferring Files ???

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    South Carolina

    Transferring Files ???

    I'm looking for the best/easiest way to transfer the files on my old desktop computer to my new Dell Dem. E510. The old PC runs on ME , and the dell is XP. I would say that 99% of the files I need to move/save are slides and negatives I scanned myself. The thought of having to re-scan all of them gives me a sour stomach as it would take serveral days of non-stop work. Truth be told, I've never backed up these files, I was always waiting to see if the industry would come out with a better media for saving these files for the long haul. I am not a computer tech skills person, everything I've learned has come the hard way. Please give all advice in plain language. I've been looking at the flash drives, has anyone used them, would you use them for this?
    Linda H.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JustinB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Somewhere - Out there
    I am not a computer newb, so I appologize if anything comes across as unclear in this post, and will be happy to delve deeper into any questions you might have.

    In order of how I would accomplish the task:
    1. Hook the hard drive from the old computer into the new computer, and transfer the files by dragging and dropping them on the new computer
      1. This is a fairly daunting task if you have never opened a computer case before, but there are several people on the forums that could talk you through this step by step. This also has the added benefit of later being able to transfer any files you have forgotten about later on
    2. Transfer using network
      1. Your new computer DOES have a network card. If your old one does too, then this is a pretty easy solution to work with. Less daunting because you don't have to open the case, but still probably requires a walkthrough as there are a few extra steps to take to connect XP to ME
    3. Use External Hard Drive
      1. Instead of Flash, get an external hard drive. You'll be able to store all of the files on the hard drive, and if you also copy them to the new computer, it is a simple way to have a backup copy
    4. Buy an external DVD recorder, back up to DVD and copy them to the new machine
      1. Now you can burn CDs, DVDs, and you have backed up your slides to another media format in case something happens to your hard drive
      2. Downside is that the shelf life of burnded CDs and DVDs aren't that great, and it isn't a suggested way of backing up important information for long periods of time ( >5 years)
    5. Use flash
      1. This is last because of the small capacity vs cost of flash drives. If you bother with slides, then your scans of those slides are going to be large files to maintain the quality of choosing to shoot slides in the first place. It is a pain to figure out how many files are going to fit on a flash drive, keep track of which have been copied, and then keep swapping between computers as you do it. Trust me, you won't like it
    6. Some kind of USB direct computer to computer transfer
      1. Easier to just set up networking
      2. Networking will give you more options in the future.
    So, now pick one that sounds interesting, and we can either point you to a web page with step by step instructions, or talk you through it.

    -- JB

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Using the old HD is the easiest way.
    Shows/tells how to do it. There's even a tv show showing how to do it. Watch the show
    and see if you want to try it. It is pretty easy, nothing on your new comp is actually disconnected, only added on to.

  4. #4
    Hi Linda,

    The easiest way is to remove the hard drive from your old computer and connect it to your new computer. It appears that the Dell E510 has a PATA or IDE hard drive in it so you just need to connect the old hard drive to the extra connector (the middle connector) on the IDE (or ribbon cable) cable that's already connected to your new hard drive and plug in a power plug (aka Molex connector... white 4 wire power plug). Watch the video that Patonb linked to. There will be an extra power connector somewhere in the new computer, you just need to find it. You may need to cut a plastic "tie" inside the computer that keeps all the wires coming from the power supply unit (PSU) neatly arranged but that's no big deal. Or remove the molex connector from the CD-ROM or DVD drive but only do that as a last resort. XP will notice that's it's disconnected and do a search etc for it. If that's the case then just hit "Cancel" and go about your business of transferring your files. You can always buy a "Y" molex adapter at Radio Shack or computer store for a few bucks and power up the old hard drive up with that. But odds are there's an extra molex connector in the computer case somewhere.

    Turn the computer OFF before working on it. And touch the metal chassis inside the computer before touching any components to discharge any "static electricity" that you may have in you. Especially if you live in a dry, cold climate.

    Both hard drives should already be set to "cable select" so when you attach the old hard drive to the middle IDE connector and the power plug it will automatically detect that it's the "slave" hard drive. If this is the case then you won't need to screw around with the "jumpers" on the old hard drive. If you do need to set the jumper(s) to "slave" or "cable select" there's probably a small chart or schematic on the hard drive itself that will show you where the jumper needs to be set to. A jumper is just a very small connector that you can move around to different "pins" that sets the hard drive to "Master" "Slave" or "Cable Select" etc. Or go to the website of the hard drive manufacturer and find out there.

    Hopefully when you connect the old hard drive onto the middle IDE connector and plug in the white molex power plug and turn the computer on it will automatically assign the old hard drive to the D:/ assignment. In other words, any drive (your CD-ROM or DVD drive) that now has the D:/ assignment will automatically be moved down to E:/ and on down the alphabet. So when you click on "My Computer" in XP you'll see two hard drives listed there.... C: and D:. If you 2 click on D: you should be able to access all the files on the old (D) hard drive and drag and drop or copy and paste them onto your new C: hard drive. Except what's on the Desktop.

    In some computers you may need to go into the BIOS and set it from there but none of my computers were ever that way. If you've never been in the BIOS before then you may want to call Dell on the phone and ask them what to do. You don't want to screw up any settings in there.

    If you don't see the old hard drive in "My Computer" as D: then you'll need to manually set the jumpers on the old hard drive to "slave" or "cable select". But first restart the computer a couple of times to make sure that it's being detected. And also, when it's turned off pull the power plug on the computer and wait a minute or so. Then plug it back in and turn it on and see if it detects the old hard drive as D:.

    You may not be able to access the files on the old hard that are on the "Desktop". So before you remove the old hard drive create a folder in C: or Program Files or anywhere other than the Desktop and move all the files that you want to transfer in there.

    If you're going to put the old drive back into the old computer there's no need to put it in a drive bay and screw it into place. You can just leave it "hanging" from the IDE cable or whatever. It doesn't have to lie flat... in some computers they are installed vertically. Just don't drop any hard drive or bang it around too much. They are fairly delicate and you don't want to scratch the platters in them with the stylus. Be gentle!

    If you happen to have a SATA hard drive in the E510 (no fat ribbon cable... just a rather small orange plug) then you'll need to remove the IDE cable from the old computer's motherboard and plug it into an IDE channel of the E510. It will be right next to where your optical drives (CD-ROM and/or DVD) are plugged into. But remove the hard drive from the END connector of the IDE cable and put it on the MIDDLE connector just in case it's set to "cable select".

    The fat ribbon or IDE cable can only be plugged in ONE way. You'll have to look at the cable and the hard drive and see which way. There's a blank spot or missing "pin" and that's how you tell. And the white power/molex connector can only go in one way too. One side is rounded off and the other one isn't.

    It may sound complicated to do but it isn't. Just be careful not to accidentally disconnect or move anything in the computer case while you're connecting the old hard drive.

    If you have a problem opening up the case (you shouldn't) you can go to the Dell support website or call them on the phone.

    If you have any problems just ask. If you're really afraid to try it yourself I'm sure you have a friend who's a little computer savvy who can do it for you.

    Good luck.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    South Carolina
    I think I'll try to set up the home network, I've been meaning to do that anyhow. In all honesty it had completely slipped my mind. I had tried to do it a couple of times before I up-graded from my old HP (ME) desktop to the Dell (XP). I need to get it set up so I can file share between my E510 and my Inspiron 1150. Once I get finished transferring the files from the HP I want to look into setting up a wireless connection with my Epson Stylus Photo R320. That's a project for sometime down the road, as long as I can get my wireless home network up and running. I think I'm going to take a run at that in a few minutes, I'll start out easy just the 2 Dells. If I can get that up and running then I'll try to add the old HP. Thank goodness I have my copy of "Easy, Windows XP", without it I'd be sunk. Wish me luck, odds are I'll be on here begging for help before I'm finished.
    Linda H.

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