Transferring entire program from one PC to another without CD

Discussion in 'Software for Windows' started by hoyaguru, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. hoyaguru

    hoyaguru Senior member

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    Years ago, back in the Windows 95 days, there was a program I used to use called "Cleansweep", that would take any installed program and uninstall it, including all .dll's, registry entries, etc, and compress is down into a single file. You could then install Cleansweep onto another computer, and reverse the process, in effect using the compressed file and installing the program completely onto a new computer. This was incredibly handy when I was working in computer repair, customers always wanted their programs put onto their new PC's, and as long as they had the CD's to prove that they owned the program, we just used Cleansweep to move everything over.

    The computer I am now using has a ton of programs that I do not have the installation discs for. A lot of them came from sites like www.giveawayoftheday.com, where you could legally download full working programs for one day only. Plus this hard drive is a repository for programs I've been collecting for the past 20 years, and a lot of the install disks have been misplaced or lent out to others and never returned. As I would upgrade my computer, I would ghost over the old hard drive to the new one, and upgrade my OS as new ones came out. I started with Windows 3.1, and have upgraded to Windows XP.

    Because of all of these changes over the years, the programs on my hard drive have become more than a little unstable. I would like to get a new hard drive, do a fresh install of Windows XP, and move selected programs over, but without the install disks this is starting to look like an impossibility, as I can not find an updated version of Cleansweep, and also can not find any program that does the same thing. Is this pretty much an impossibility, or does anyone know of a program out there that I can use? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. GaryJohnson

    GaryJohnson Senior member

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    From wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_CleanSweep :
    From the description of cleansweep, it sounds like it has to be running on your system and monitoring the installation of apps at the time they are installed in order to be able to know where the registry entries, dlls, etc are so that it can move them. So it sounds like it won't do you any good to have it now anyhow.
     
  3. hoyaguru

    hoyaguru Senior member

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    No, you could install Cleansweep whenever you wanted to move a program. It was out when Windows 95 was the big OS, so I'm guessing the registry and everything else wasn't as complex as it is now. I got the program free at a seminar showing how Windows 95 was the new big thing, it was a great program, wish there was something like it now, but it doesn't look like it. I'm sure people were abusing it and pirating software left and right, so maybe they stopped making programs like it.
     
  4. hoyaguru

    hoyaguru Senior member

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    Wait a sec: I actually found it. http://www.brothersoft.com/norton-cleansweep-4664.html

    Don't know if it will do what it used to, I'll have to give it a try.

    Edit: Wow, looks like it might work. "Norton CleanSweep backs up files before removal so you can restore anything that you didn't want deleted."

    Edit 2: Never mind, it's a B.S. download page, no joy here.
     
    #4 hoyaguru, Apr 19, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  5. Nothinman

    Nothinman Elite Member

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    Most likely it just didn't work as well as advertised. There's no way an app can magically figure out what files belong to another in Win95. That's why all of those uninstaller apps included a mode to watch installs in order to do full removal. Now these days, if it's an MSI it should be possible from a theoretical standpoint but I don't know how. But if it's not an MSI then you're back to either tracking down an install log or the copy/guess game. Windows just doesn't have a real package manager, sad as that is in this day and age.
     
  6. timswim78

    timswim78 Diamond Member

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    If this software does not work out for you, you could do a repair install of Windows XP and then convert the drive to a virtual machine.
     
  7. hoyaguru

    hoyaguru Senior member

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    Timswim,

    Not sure how to do this. Tried a repair install of XP, it only made things worse. So you're saying I should get e new drive, install XP on it, and make my old drive a "virtual machine". Will I be able to move my programs from the old drive to the new one if I do this?
     
  8. hoyaguru

    hoyaguru Senior member

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    Actually I used it quite a bit, on customer's pc's and on my own, and it worked great. It would take every bit of the program and compress it into one file, I believe it was a .swp file, then you could expand the file onto another computer. As the file was expanded, it would create all the directories it needed, and add all the same lines into the registry as before. Quite a nice little program.
     
  9. timswim78

    timswim78 Diamond Member

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    Here is what I was thinking.

    Step 1. Do a repair install of Windows XP on your current drive (I would back things up first, in case your installation gets messed up). I have found that a repair install of XP often helps with problems. http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

    Step 2. Assuming that your XP install is working better, convert it to a virtual machine. There are many ways to do this. Virtual Box is one way. http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Migrate_Windows

    Step 3. Install Virtual Box on any computer running Windows, Linux or OS X. Assuming steps 1 and 2 worked OK, you can run your old Windows XP install as a virtual machine. This will allow you to run all of your old programs.
     
  10. hoyaguru

    hoyaguru Senior member

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    Thanks Timswim, but I think I finally found what I was looking for: Laplink PC Mover. I remember Laplink from years ago, it was a utility that came with a serial cable to connect two computers together, then you could transfer the old hard drive to the new one. This PC Mover (http://www.laplink.com/pcmover/pcmoverpro.html) looks like it can move just the programs you want, not the whole drive:

    "Complete Selectivity
    Automatically copy the applications, files and folders you choose to your new PC. Programs are set up by PCmover and ready to use."

    I'll have to look into whether it can work between two hard drives in the same PC (I don't see why it wouldn't), if so, it sounds like it does exactly what Cleansweep used to do.

    Spent about 3 hours last night looking for Cleansweep, found hundreds of websites that claimed they had the program available for download, but every one was just another rip off site trying to sell various B.S. programs, and not one of them had any version of Cleansweep on it. What a waste of time.
     
  11. BofRA

    BofRA Platinum Member

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