• Moving file history setup to new computer

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    Not sure whether I can explain this well:

    I am migrating to a new laptop. I have the Windows File History from the old one on a portable drive. I’d like to continue using that history on the new computer using the same folder on that hard drive, i.e. have the File History pick up where it left off on the old computer.

    I don’t need to restore any files – I’ve already transferred the data.

    Is this possible? I know I’d have to reselect the folders/files that I want to be included in the History.

    Also, the new laptop has a different name than the old one. (It’s a name/number assigned by Dell, which I want to change in any case.) So, I could change it to the same name as the old since I see that the File History folder is the laptop name.


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    • #2323101

      Since the Windows image is going to be brand new straight from Dell, you might only be able to migrate the folders and their data over to the new computer and then include them in the new computer’s File History after turning it on. Basically, what I’m suggesting is 1. With File History still turned off, copy the folders and files to the new computer. 2. Turn on File history, telling it where to put its history in your new setup (external drive, DVD, etc.). 3. Be sure to include the folders you moved over as part of what you want File history to cover.

      For all of the MVPs out there, if it is possible to migrate the history itself from the old computer and not need the steps I mentioned just above, please feel free to chime in because I’m seriously all eyes and ears!

    • #2323197

      I don’t have an answer, but this is one of the reasons I use a 3rd party backup app. No migration issues.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2323217

      As far as I’m aware when you point FH to a disk with an already existing FH folder then it will ask you if you want to use it. However, if you say yes, your new folder system has to match the old. If it doesn’t FH will delete all but the latest backup files. I wouldn’t recommend copying the FH folder system to your current system – don’t forget it keeps older copies of the files, so it’s always larger than your current files. And each file on the disk has a name like “filename (yyyy_mm_dd hh_ss_tt UTC).xxx”

      However, despite being an enthusiastic user of FH, I think MS has lost interest in it and I suspect it will die a slow and lingering death (unless someone can put me right on this), so I’ve stopped using it. I use OneDrive and also Robocopy to copy the files to other media (a second PC and a desk drive). OneDrive gives me older versions if needed.

      As Paul says, there are other 3rd party backup apps.

      Eliminate spare time: start programming PowerShell

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by access-mdb.
    • #2324021

      (I didn’t realize I wasn’t still logged in when I posted just now, so this is a duplicate.)

      Thanks everyone (and sorry for the delayed acknowledgement). When I tried to point the new computer’s FH to the existing folder on the external drive, it instead started a new FH. I’d wanted to use and continue the old one because it would retain the older file versions, and also because the external drive doesn’t have room for two FHs. (BTW, I don’t need to transfer the files via FH to the new computer; that’s done already via a direct copy of the D partition, which houses almost all my data – Outlook being the annoying exception.)

      Also, one of the questions in my initial post was whether I need to change the name of the new computer to the same as the old one in order to use that existing FH.

      Two of you mentioned using a 3<sup>rd</sup> party backup. I’m curious what you use. I have Crashplan, with both cloud and local backup, but (A) I like to have redundancy via a second app and (B) Crashplan requires going through their app to restore files vs direct access. And I may be wrong, but I think OneDrive has a limited size unless you pay for more and (?) also requires that the files be in the OneDrive folder in C:\users.

      Thanks again.

    • #2324240

      The consensus here is a 3rd party backup app and an external HDD. $40 for a safe reliable backup that you can use on any machine.

      Free apps include Aomei Backupper, EaseUs To Do, Macrium Reflect etc. You can even pay for the app if you like it.

      cheers, Paul

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