View Full Version : Beware of WET

Bob Davis
06-11-2010, 12:45 PM
Recently I made a decision to update the laser computers from XP to Windows 7 (and update to X5 and wireless network while I was at it).
I'm not a complete stranger to upgrading and updating computers so I expected the process (for 2 computers) to take a day at max, and arranged the workflow to suit.
The Microsoft info. on upgrading assured me that the Windows Easy Transfer (WET) procedure would make the whole process quick and simple, and all I needed was a largish thumb drive.
After buying software I was ready to go. The WET file on comp 1 was 7 gig (!) and I started the transfer. Unfortunately the time required for the transfer to the thumb drive was calculated to be 7 and a half hours... This has rather blown my schedule. Comp 2 indicated 8.2 gig and 8 hours. A trip to a computer shop was undertaken and another drive obtained so that at least they could both be transferring at the same time. When I left work both drives were still transferring merrily (both are USB2 by the way) and had finished when I arrived the next morning.
It's now time to load software and the whole process went quite well. Updates downloaded (huge), Corel and Photoshop etc, printer drivers, email programs, registrations - time consuming, but all good.
The only problem was that WET failed miserably on both comps. A Google search indicated that this is not uncommon, and pointed to a couple of unofficial (and unsupported) MS workarounds that are amazingly complicated and have only a limited chance of success. Fortunately I had separate backups of around 10,000 Corel and Photoshop files, but more recent files were missing and emails and settings just disappeared. I really didn't think that I needed to bother doing a further backup because WET would take care of it.
If anybody here is thinking of upgrading to Windows 7 I would strongly recommend a full backup of everything, as well as totally ignoring the WET option.

Dan Hintz
06-11-2010, 1:08 PM

While it wouldn't solve the problem of WET cocking up your systems, you would have saved a lot of time if you went with one of those USB hard drive docks (they usually go for about $30, I even got one free with the purchase of a hard drive). The Flash drive is great if the files to be transferred were large (like CAB files), but every time Windows transfers a small file (think of all of the txt, bat, lnk, tmb thumbnail files, etc.), it has to read a partially filled data sector from Flash, add the new small file, erase that Flash sector, then write in the updated sector... windows isn't smart enough to bundle up a bunch of small files and write a full sector in one shot.

Want proof? Zip up about 500 megs worth of files and drag the one file onto the drive. Time it. Now find a bunch of small files (say 1,000 or more) that make up about 500 megs combined and drag those over... you'll be waiting a while. I learned long ago to zip everything into one file if I'm trying to transfer between machines.

George Brown
06-11-2010, 9:10 PM
You actually believed Microsoft?????? :eek:

Gary Hair
06-11-2010, 10:16 PM
I really didn't think that I needed to bother doing a further backup :eek: Seriously? And what from the past Microsoft products gave you the confidence that your plan was a good one? ;)

Dav1d Beck
06-12-2010, 1:21 AM
I find that the best thing to do is never migrate unless there is software you have to maintain that you can never reinstall the best thing is always start fresh becuase you know you don't need adobe flash 9.1.2 and 2.1.3 and 10.1 just becuase your upgrading does not mean all the extra's that were on your computer got deleted. and if it was XP -> 7 on different computers then why not just copy the files over if find WET always a pain

Bob Davis
06-12-2010, 2:39 AM
Thanks for that ,Dan.
I just wish I had known it before I started...