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isolate OS for upgrades

Isolate OS from apps to facilitate transfer of old HD to new box
  [vote for,

Normally, when an application is installed, many bits of info (like registry keys, shared DLLs, etc.) and in some cases, the app itself are all installed on the same disk that contains the OS. This is all fine and good until I buy myself a new computer.

Besides us geeks who will boldly move our old hard drives into our new system (and even then there are problems as the old OS installation detectes new hardware), most users cannot or are afraid to perform this Frankensteinian operation. When I buy a new computer with the latest monopolistic version of an operating system, I should be able to transfer my "Application Drive" to the new system and - voila! - the OS (on the new computer's "OS Drive") instantly mounts my old drive, loads its registry, finds the old shared DLLs and can run all the applications that were installed on my old drive. I get my new box, my new OS and all my old applications without having to re-install anything.

cljudge, Dec 19 2003

Google search for COA32 http://www.google.c...-8&oe=UTF-8&q=COA32
(About 228 hits) Hey, what do ya know? I didn't follow any links so I don't know if they deliver. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004]


       You can SOMETIMES fudge-install Windows over windows and make it work. We run into this problem all the time where I work ... folks have a motherboard with a VIA chipset, and go to an nForce2 chipset and wonder why it won't work. The problem lies in the drivers for your motherboard. Either you can go into safe mode before you change over, delete all of your drivers, and give it a shot. However this, in the long run only serves to cause more headaches for the sake of convenience. Format, start again. Thats still the best way to get a fresh start with new hardware. Also, if youhave another hard drive, or if you have one that is partitioned, you can format the OS partition and start again. You'll still have your data, but might have to reinstall some programs.
Letsbuildafort, Dec 19 2003

       I'd certainly go for something like that.
DrCurry, Dec 19 2003

Letsbuildafort, Dec 19 2003

       There is/was a product called COA32 (Change Of Address) which would parse your drives and registry for information on an application you wanted to move without reinstalling. It is/was distributed as shareware. A cursory search doesn't turn up a download link. I'll gladly send you a copy if you e-mail me at the address on my profile page.   

       There's a bigger issue here, though. Those hooks into the OS are there for a reason. They're what let you right-click and unzip or right-click and burn on a CD-R. They functionally become part of the OS so the boundry blurs a little bit. This is entirely intentional.   

       Your way would have us reverting to .INI files which is an improvement ONLY when you want to port an application to a new location.
phoenix, Dec 19 2003

       Phoenix: you are describing shell extensions. Shell extensions will still happen: applications installed on an application drive can still write their info to a registry on the application drive. When an application drive is mounted, the application drive's registry is also "mounted" to the OS registry. Same goes for a shared resources directory on the application drive.   

       Bottom line here is that if I install an application on drive X:, that installation on drive X: should be complete. I should be able to physically connect my drive X: to another system and run my application without re-installing it. By extending the idea of mounting a drive to include a registry and shared resources directory, Windows or any other OS can vastly simplify hardware upgrades.
cljudge, Jan 12 2004

       Simplifying it a bit, but to echo [Letsbuildafort ], move /bin to your new hard drive. Make sure it's in your $PATH. All done.
Novysan, Jan 12 2004

       Baked. It's called a Macintosh.
mannby, Jan 13 2004

       Totally baked. Mac OS X!   

       I have a folder called 'Self Installed Applications' which I keep on a separate drive. When I upgrade my OSX I just put the shortcut whereever I want - does not even need to be in 'Applications' - and all works. (Installing for Mac is typically dragging the icon from the CD onto your chosen HD location with no glacial Installshield 'lox).   

       I have even run two versions of OS X (10.2 and 10.3) using the SAME "self installed applications" folder and all works fine.   

       Not only that, I copied this from one machine to another using "firewire mode". Firewire mode is when you boot up the source machine connected by firewire to another. The source machine does not really start the OS, but exposes its internal hard drives as if they were firewire drives of the other machine. Then it is a case of browsing and copying the folders you want.   

       You can also put your home directory onto another partition/ drive or you could clone the entire OSX partition to another and upgrade that using archive-install where the entire system is upgraded but all your passwords and settings are carried over.
timbeau, Jan 13 2004

       Baked. Linux can do this. I know this is mentioned, but explanation may be required. Programs are stored in a folder, which can be easily configured to be a partition. It is called /usr. User files are stored in the /home folder, in subfolders according to the user.
kitsuneofdoom, Aug 07 2005


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