I purchased a DELL Vostro 3560 notebook (with Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB + 32GB SSD hard disk and 4(!) 3.0 USB interfaces) and made it my actual work computer by plugging it into a Logitech Alto Connect notebook stand (with 4 USB hub) and attaching a second monitor.
Well. The hardware set-up was the easy part. What had me somewhat apprehensive was the fact that I had to install all programs and transfer all data, preferably quickly and without too much hassle. Anyone who’s ever done this knows what a daunting task that is! I decided to not rush anything and do the switch in several steps rather than all at once (and potentially frustrating myself to no end).
First, I installed the programs. And already I hit the first snag: My desktop still runs on Windows XP, the notebook works with Windows 7, which means different drivers etc. which I had to find and install, too. Then there was the matter of licenses for certain software, which I eventually solved quite satisfactorily, in part with unexpected help.
The next step was transferring the data. Enter problem No. 2: The 1:1 backups wouldn’t copy to the notebook, even after authorizing access for everyone and their dog?! I had an IT expert take a look at this, and he figured that the backup program I’m using does something to the files that makes them unusable on another computer. Which meant that I had to manually copy and past every single file, first onto an external hard drive, then from there to the notebook. As there was no vacation in sight and business had to go on without interruptions, I scheduled that time-consuming task on a weekend, and it did indeed take the better part of it. In the process, I also split the hard drive into a “Data” partition and an “Everything Else” partition and furthermore sorted through (read: discarded) some old(er) data. A kind of Spring cleaning, if you will (even if it is STILL snowing today, but that’s an entirely different matter we won’t talk about here…).
And then… I opened my office on Monday morning with my brand-spanking new computer set-up, and guess what: It worked without any glitches and has been doing so ever since! I am still a little in awe of myself that I pulled this off so smoothly (mostly) on my own. Sure, it still took a few days until I found my way around Windows 7 without too much trial and error, and yes, it wasn’t until another week or two had passed until all settings were the way I wanted them, but still! Move to new computer successfully completed – and boy is it fast?! This was definitely worth it! Especially since now I can simply unhook the notebook and take it with me when on the go or when I want to work somewhere other than in my actual office. No more transferring files or relying on cloud services for me! Yeah!
BTW, the old desktop is still alive: I set it up with the other monitor on the other desk, just in case…