Solved How to migrate from an SP3 to an SP4 least painfully?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by mmo, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. mmo

    mmo Member

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    This may be more of a Windows question than a Surface question but I try it here anyway:

    I own a Surface Pro 3 since almost 2 years and I just bought myself a new Surface Pro 4.

    Now: what is the least painful way to migrate all my stuff (and with that I mean not only "My Documents" but also all my applications, all system tweaks and setting, my Outlook account settings, etc., simply everything!) from the SP3 to the SP4?

    Should I try a system backup on the SP3 and a restore on the SP4? Or do I really have to reinstall everything again? :-(
    Or is there some really good tool to do this. I tried one years ago between two Win7 boxes but the result was a complete failure! In the end I also re-installed from scratch.

    I.e , so far, on all my earlier Windows transitions I always had to take the "back to square 1" approach which typically took me *days* until I was more or less where I had been. But because these two devices are so similar (and maybe also Windows learned a few tricks in the meantime?) I wonder whether that pain could not be shortened for once.

    Any advice?

    Michael
     
  2. ScottyS

    ScottyS Active Member

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    I'm not an IT guy (and maybe they can chime in with a "how to") but I think copying over a system backup is just asking for trouble. I'd reinstall all programs.

    That said, if you didn't know, in Settings/Accounts/Sync Your Settings you can have a lot of settings and customizations automatically on your new SP4. If you move all you documents on the SP3 to OneDrive, and then log in with that Windows logon on the SP4 a lot of your settings, themes, and even MUI apps will eventually get downloaded to your new machine.
    But for Windows desktop apps, registry tweaks, etc. your new machine will run better if you set that up new on it.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  3. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    If you are using a Microsoft Account with syncing, move all of your files to OneDrive and sync your settings. Your SP4 will get all of your settings and all your files will be on your OneDrive.

    As far as Outlook, it depends on your Mail Server type - Office365 or Exchange or IMAP all of your mail lives on the Server and it is just a matter of setting up Outlook. POP3, Export your existing Folder structure into a PST and store on your OneDrive and after you setup your account, import the PST back into the new machine...
     
  4. mmo

    mmo Member

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    For the benefit of anyone that may stumble over this thread: The SP3 => SP4 migration was amazingly painless!
    Here is what I did:
    1. Temporarily disabled BitLocker on Surface 3 to prepare for step 2.
    2. Created a 1:1 disk image of SP3 as backup on an external USB disk.
    3. Temporarily disabled BitLocker on Surface 4 to prepare for step 4.
    4. Created a 1:1 disk image of SP4 as backup on another external USB disk - just in case I would ever want to revert.
    5. Created myself a recovery stick using Paragon hard disk manager (v15). BTW: I had also used that same SW to create the above 1:1 disk images which I had already used several times before to migrate systems where one could simply replace the hard disk (something that unfortunately is not possibly any more with the Surface Pro line of systems).
    6. Booted from that recovery stick, attached the USB disk with the SP3 image and copied just the C-partition from the SP3-backup over the C-Partition of the SP4 (i.e. I did NOT copy the EFI partition and the recovery partitions but left those alone as they were on the SP4).
    7. I rebooted the SP4 which to my amazement worked immediately (I had expected that I would first have to make that partition bootable or similar head aches but none of that was required). The SP4 now contained ALL my settings, programs, etc. in exactly the state I had backed them up on the SP3. Joy! :)
    8. I installed all SP4 drivers from SurfacePro4_Win10_161001_0.msi which I downloaded from here: Download Surface Pro 4 Drivers and Firmware from Official Microsoft Download Center. This file contains all the SP4 specific drivers. After installing that and another reboot all the special SP4 features (e.g. Hello using the infrared cam, etc.) appeared in settings and I just had to configure these.
    9. I had to reactivate MS Office and a few other applications that detected the new hardware but all were a snap so far.
    That was it! That was practically as trivial as a system migration on a Mac which I once had to do as a "father-in-law computer supporter"!
     

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