- Pentium class computer, old slow processor (well under 1 Ghz).
- Windows 95.
- No USB ports.
- No network card.
- Almost 100 3.5" floppy drives.
- A good number of ZIP disk drives. He has a parallel port model.
- About 100 CDs and DVDs.
The last item was real easy, I popped that into my new laptop DVD drive, oh crap, it doesn't have a DVD. Not a problem there as I am lucky to have an external CD/DVD drive that works in Windows 8.1. I found a good number of CDs that I didn't create and quickly backed them up to a new folder on the machine.
The rest of it will take a bit of slogging. He has not used the machine in over a year so I am really hoping it will boot up. My father-in-law tended to store his documents, spreadsheets and pictures on external drives as he didn't want to fill up the hard drive. Here is the order of what I will be doing:
- Copy all documents that are on the hard drive to a CD.
- Copy all docunments that are on the ZIP disks to a CD. If the machine doesn't boot I am going to have to attach the ZIP drive to one of my older Linux laptops and pray.
- Buy an External USB 3.5" drive (Canada Computers has them, YAY!)
- Check out a newer USB DVD drive as the current one is the size of several bricks and just as heavy (and slow).
- Read every floppy on my new Laptop using the external USB drive and backup to the new directory.
- Copy all documents from the CDs and then start making copies of the files for my sister-in-law.
Finished the job. Canada Computers did have that floppy drive and it worked very well. I didn't have to install any software as Windows detected the drive. It took almost two days, but, 81 folders, 3,722 files and a total size of 1.2 Gigs all the data was transferred. This also includes my converting various graphic files to JPG format. All of the files were backed up to a USB flash drive.
The ZIP disks were transferred, but, the machine he had failed to boot. It looks like the hard drive failed there. That wasn't a major problem as I had an old Windows 98 machine with a parallel port and the ZIP drive ran from there. The only 'fun' was installing the driver as the install floppy had errors. I will have to pull apart the machine and see if I can use the USB adapter for IDE drives and see if there is anything there I can salvage.
Sister-in-law is happy as a lot of images and documents created over the decades have been saved and available to all of the family.
Now to start scanning the various photo albums that we picked up. I know a number of them I did scan many years ago and I will have to see what pictures I didn't scan and digitize them. I reorganized my office layout so that the scanner is just a short reach away and I moved the printer to where the scanner was. This isn't a major change, but, having the scanner a few inches away rather than several feet will make this an easier project. The old layout worked as I didn't scan very often.