Moving to Uni: How to take files along?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dingdongbubble, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. dingdongbubble macrumors 6502a

    Jun 1, 2007
    Hello everyone

    I am hopefully going to university this fall. Now I will be moving out and leaving my desktop behind. I might buy a new laptop for uni.

    Now my desktop HDD has all my data and stuff in it. I was thinking of buying an external HDD and making a drive image of my desktop HDD and storing it on the external HDD. So then if I use VMWare on my new laptop, will it be possible to just point VMWare to the desktop drive's image and make the virtual machine work exactly as I left my desktop?

    I want all the files (including OS) to be in one file. I do not want the external HDD to be a copy of the desktop HDD because I want to be able to store extra stuff on that HDD as well. Is this possible and how?

    Which drive would be suitable for me? I want a small one in terms of physical size and I do not really require a lot of space as well (120 GB should be enough). The drive definitely should be powered through the USB, I do not want an extra power cable for it. I was thinking of the WD My Passport Essential or Seagate Free Agent Go.

    I came across a Sandisk USB flash drive which had this program in it which allowed you to carry your web browser and everything with you. Is this a reliable replacement (of carrying a computer along) for basic usage? Sometimes I might not want to carry my whole laptop along so will this be a good temporary solution for basic usage?

    Lastly if something goes wrong with this desktop computer, I want to be able to access it via VNC and fix the computer. I also want to be able to access my router (to play around with ports for VNC and troubleshooting). How can I do this? If my desktop's port changes making VNC useless I should be able to access the router to change the port back. I have a Linksys WAG325N.
  2. ohaooa macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2008
    I think you might have posted this in the wrong section. In any case, I can't help you in that department, sorry!
  3. chill. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    Can you be more specific on what OS's you will be using? Is your desktop windows or osx?

    If it is osx it is pretty simple to make an image clone. Not sure if vmware will work but I've had success using bootcamp to load the clone.

    If it is windows i think it may be tricky to clone the drive (with unix based systems like OSX you can simply copy the files over and it will keep the same hierarchy, with windows there's registry stuff that doesn't allow direct copies). You may want to take a look at WinClone
  4. dingdongbubble thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 1, 2007
    Desktop is Windows XP. Not sure about laptop, maybe Windows, maybe Linux or maybe Mac (most preferable).
  5. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    You can make an image of your drive using something like Acronis. According to this you can then convert your acronis image to run under vmware fusion (assuming you go mac).

    I would say that a WD Passport is good. I've never had any issues with a WD drive. It's usb, so nearly any computer can use it. If you already have a flash drive, don't bother with the Sandisk. Not that it's not good, but check out

    These sites have tons of apps that can run from any usb thumb drive, or even a portable hard drive. They're great for when you're away from your computer.

    For Simple VNC, check out Hamachi (free-slower, paid-faster). It's really easy to set up and its cross-platform compatible. Hamachi creates a VPN (private network) so you can file share as well as VNC. No fiddling with ports or your router or things like that. You will need TightVNC or UltraVNC (both free) for your windows machine, and I think the preferred VNC program 'round here is Chicken of the VNC.

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