You are here

Migrating To A New Music PC

How To Take Your OS & DAW With You
Published April 2017
By Pete Gardner

Migrating To A New Music PC

Is it possible to transfer everything from your existing Windows music computer to a new machine, or should you start afresh?

The time inevitably arrives for each of us when we need to upgrade our music-making PC. As well as figuring out the spec of the new machine, you’ll probably ask yourself whether it’s better to start with a blank page — a new machine, with a clean OS installation, and freshly installed audio software — or to attempt migration of your existing OS, software and hardware to the new machine.

Should I Start From Scratch?

Most retailers advise opting for a completely fresh installation, partly due to the very real obstacles to system migration that existed back in the days of Windows XP (and earlier). With these older operating systems, the transfer from one machine to another of a system drive could be riddled with pitfalls, even for experienced users. As these versions of Windows relied on the registry information being correct during startup, extreme shifts in hardware could even halt the Windows startup process completely — you’d never even reach the desktop!

Thankfully, system-drive migration is now usually a much simpler and safer process for everyone. Windows 7 and onwards are less reliant on the registry information during startup, and can access their large pool of default drivers if an unexpected hardware change is discovered during the boot process. In many instances, if a problem is identified Windows will still load and you can search for a solution. In short, it’s no longer essential that you start from scratch on a new machine.

But there are still strong arguments for a fresh installation. For starters, your new machine will employ different hardware from your old one. There’ll be changes to the BIOS and how the OS needs to operate with it, and any settings and tweaks you or the manufacturer/vendor applied to your previous system might not be appropriate for your new one. Also, your old machine may have older drivers with auto-load services, or self-starting software that’s no longer needed. Any of this could prevent your new system performing to its...

You've only read 10% of this article, so to continue reading...

Option 1: Login to read this article if you have a Digital Subscription or Industry Controlled Circulation account

  • To read the full article online (in HTML browser format), please LOG IN at the top of this page.
  • Note: Your Digital subscription does not include downloadable PDF articles free of charge.

Option 2: Buy a Digital sub from our shop

  • A Digital sub can be bought from our Shop and used immediately, or contact our Subs staff to discuss an upgrade price to add Digital access to your existing Print subscription.

Option 3: Buy and download this SOS article in Adobe PDF format

  • Buy this article now and immediately download the PDF file to your computer.
  • PDF articles look identical to the printed magazine layouts (but exclude advertisements).
  • Note: Some shorter articles don't always have a PDF version.
Published April 2017