3.3: Coming from Windows®
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,
- Typically, most of these are located in “My Documents”
folder (C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents in Windows 2000, XP, and Vista, or C:\My Documents
in Windows 95, 98, and ME).
- Search from the Windows start menu for various types of files to make sure you have found and saved them all.
- Once you have located all such files, burn them to a CD or DVD, or copy them
to an external device such as a USB hard drive or second computer.
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.
Email data: The safest format for email is plain
text, and most mail programs support this feature. If you are using
Outlook Express, your mail is stored in either a .dbx or .mbx file,
either of which can be imported into Thunderbird on MEPIS Linux7.0. Use
the Windows search feature to locate this file and copy it to your
backup. Outlook mail should be imported first into Outlook Express before being exported for use in MEPIS Linux 7.0.
Calendar data: MEPIS Linux's calendar software supports the
iCalendar and vCalendar standards, so you should export your calendar
data to this format if you wish to use it in MEPIS Linux 7.0.
Contact data: MEPIS Linux's addressbook software is capable
of importing many addressbook formats, but the most universal are CSV
(comma separated values) or vCard.
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:
ISP login information You will need at least your username
and password for your internet service provider, and the phone number
to connect if you are on dial-up or ISDN. Other details might include
a dial out number, dialing type (pulse or tone), and authentication
type (for dialup); IP address and subnet mask, DNS server, gateway IP
address, DHCP server, VPI/VCI, MTU, Encapsulation type, or DHCP
settings (for various forms of broadband). If you are not sure what you
need, consult your ISP.
Wireless networking You will need your passkey or passphrase, and network name.
Web passwords You will need your passwords to various web forums, online stores, or other secured sites.
Email account details You will need your username and
password, and the addresses or URLs of the mail servers. You may also
need the authentication type. This information should be retrievable
from the Account settings dialog of your email client.
Instant messaging Your username and password for your IM
account(s), your “buddy list,” and depending on the service, the server
connection information may be necessary.
Other If you have a VPN connection (such as to your office),
a proxy server, or other configured network service, make sure you find
out what information is necessary to reconfigure it in the event that
you need to.
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:
Internet Explorer Click File --> import and export, select "export favorites", select the "favorites" folder (to
export all favorites), select "export to file or address" and enter a filename for the favorites.
Firefox Click Bookmarks --> organize bookmarks, highlight the bookmark folder to backup, click "file - export",
enter a filename for the bookmarks.
Opera Click File --> import and export, choose "export Opera bookmarks" (if you plan to import them into Opera)
or "export bookmarks as HTML" (if you plan to import them into another browser), select the location for the favorites file.
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).
Links and Guides