Automatic method of updating operating system on a computer while maintaining personal data
Original Publication Date: 2001-May-21
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-12
Historically to migrate to a new operating system (OS) you must format the hard drive thereby losing all data and than reinstall the new OS and applications. Critical data must be backup before and than reinstalled under the new OS. This approach has been very time consuming and costly. Some estimates even put the labor alone cost as high as $450 per PC or end-user. In addition the current approaches for operating system upgrades is fraught with user satisfaction and user productivity issues. Each migration requires a backup and restoration contingency plan, usurping important personnel from other projects and straining or breaking equipment or network resources. Finally errors or oversights in the migration process cause users to lose many of their most important personal setting and/or files. This publication describes a single software tool that automates the migration of a end-user’s existing OS settings and data to the new OS. Instead of stripping users of their unique and productive configurations, this solution preserves the vital localized data and personalization of the old OS configuration while seamlessly installing a new OS configuration The solution begins by creating an entirely new area on the personal system hard drive to hold the existing personal files and settings from the old operating system. The software takes unused space on the hard drive and creates dynamically a new partition. The user's settings and files are copied into this new secure interim storage partition. Then, the original partition can be reformatted and the new operating system can be installed onto the user’s disk according to the standards established by the Network Administrator. Once the new disk image has been written, the solution carefully transfers the user’s former settings and files into their appropriate locations within the OS structure. Finally, the interim hard disk partition is dynamically removed and the system is returned to the user ready to run with the new OS with all of the user's data and personalization.