3.3:     Coming from Windows®

Introduction

If you are going to install MEPIS Linux 7.0 as a replacement for Microsoft Windows, it is a good idea to consolidate and back up your files and other data currently stored in Windows. Even if you are planning to dual-boot, you should make a backup of this data in case of unforseen problems during the install.

Backing up files

Locate all of your files, such as office documents, pictures, video, or music:


Backing up email, calendar, and contact data

Depending on the email or calendar program you use, your email and calendar data may not be saved in an obvious location or under an obvious file name. Most email or scheduling applications (such as Microsoft Outlook) are able to export this data in one or more file formats. Consult your application's help documentation to find out how to export the data.


Using Windows XP SP2 CD to create a backup

If you have a copy of the original WinXP CD (SP2 only!), insert it into your drive when you're in Windows and when the autorunner starts choose Perform additional tasks --> Transfer Files and Settings, then Old computer to backup most of your files and preferences for Windows-based programs to a file on your hard disk, which can then be burnt to a CD or DVD for restoration later if things go wrong.

NOTES: 1) The resulting file can grow to huge proportions. There is no option to split the file if it grows too big, so choose the option to transfer only the settings and copy the remaining files you want to keep separately. 2) Do not rely on this method to backup email and browser data for other programs than Microsoft's own.

Accounts and passwords

Although not usually stored in readable files that can be backed up, it's important to remember to make note of various account information you may have saved in your computer. Your automatic log-in data for websites or services like your ISP will have to be entered in all over again, so make sure to store off disk the information you need to access these services again. Examples include:


Browser favorites

Web browser favorites (a.k.a. bookmarks) are often overlooked during a backup, and they are not usually stored in a conspicuous place. Most browsers contain a utility to export your bookmarks to a file, which can then be imported into the web browser of your choice in MEPIS Linux. Here are some export methods for common web browsers:


Software licenses

Many proprietary programs for Windows are not installable without a license key or CD key. Unless you are set on doing away with Windows permanently, make sure you have a license key for any program that requires it. If you do decide to reinstall Windows (or if dual-boot setup goes awry), you will be unable to reinstall these programs without the key.

If you cannot find the paper license that came with your product, you may be able to locate it in the Windows registry, or using keyfinder software (example link below).