Here is a log of me transferring from my NEC computer to the Novatech one.

 

Original Novatech spec - here

Costs for the 'New' computer :-

Novatech computer 435.70
RAM
.27.95
Sound Card
19.61
DVD s/w decoder
4.50
PCTV Card
50.00
Total
.537.76

Summary of 'New' computer - here

 

Saturday, 25 January 2003. Got my computer from Novatech yesterday. Wonders will never cease - Amtrak delivered the day after collection! It's not too bad - monitor not too posh tho' - will be OK as a back up.
The keyboard has a minor flaw. A tight 'F' key - should sort itself - or I will get it replaced. Did not realise that the 'F' key was not working until I started typing a letter to
Chloe!

Putting all the files from the old one to the new one. Going better than I thought it would, but it is tedious. Most likely will take a week to complete. I have had to do a bit of fiddling to get those progs over that have a 'key'. Don't think that I should buy them again, when I am just using another computer.

Learnt that the text on my web pages will not show on other computers as I have specified. Using the new computer, the text comes up as Courier instead of Lucinda Handwriting. never mind - it all looks OK.

Tuesday, 28 January 2003. Had a bit of an interesting (frustrating) time yesterday. Loaded up some SW. Most went over OK. Took the folders from NEC computer and put them on the Novatech. Most needed .DLLs from the NEC - used the floppy and Zip drive to swap them. Had the two side by side, so was easy to swap the USB cable between them.
Couldn't get the DVD prog over - so waiting to see if it's OK when I swap the drive to it.

The comical one was CuteFTP. Tried all ways to get it over - transfer the complete folder - use the zipped file - all to no avail. Looked like I was going to have to buy it. Cost?! 25 plus 25 carriage! Went to get it and changed my mind. Then 'My Dad' helped! I bought V2.8 a good while ago, and had it updated to V3.0 (and V3.?) a couple of times free. But, it would not go on XP - error = 'accesses DOS facilities'. By a coincidence I found a copy of the old V2.8 - unzipped it and it worked OK! CuteFTP must have added a routine to make the Win98 version incompatible with XP. The old V2.8 worked OK - yippee!

The email file swapped over OK - so haven't lost any emails. Probs with the address book and IE 'favourites' - couldn't find the relevant files - so I used NotePad.

The main prob that I have had is with the graphics. The Novatech has on-board, so I put an old Matrox G200 in, to save on the RAM. Went in OK, But big probs with compatibility. After a LOT of buggering about, I got the comp and monitor to work - BUT - when I switched off then on - the monitor locked. When I reset and used the 'Last OK settings' it fired up, but with the old settings and loaded the driver all over again! The diagnostics said AOK! I could not sort it. (Does show how good the recovery system is on XP)
This morning I have swapped the monitors - and Hey Presto - both are working on the swapped computers! Surprised at the good quality of the Novatech (Relisys) monitor on the NEC computer.
Novatech economise in a bad way by not giving a decent manual. May be a cheapo computer, but no reason not to give a decent HW manual!

Thursday, 30 January 2003. After the u/l of my diary on Tuesday, I was reading an email from Mark, and replying to it, when I noticed that the NEC monitor on the Novatech had froze. Reset and shut down twice, but no joy. Also, I could not get the NEC to 'see' the CD-R that I had taken from the Novatech. **^%$@@@! Went to bed frustrated! Got up on Wednesday and took the graphics card out, put it in again, and it was all OK!
Then went to the CD-R, and had a look at the master/slave settings. It was set as master. I reset it to 'cable select' and it worked. It did not even need a driver loaded - XP had it.
Wasn't too good during the day. My right eye went 'funny'. I think it was having my head at awkward positions and it caused probs with the arteries in my neck. Had a lay down for half hour and it was OK. Hope that it stays that way!
Probs with the CR-WR I took from the NEC to the Novatech. XP set it up - no bother. It burns OK using the XP s/w, but it does not close the CD so that it can be used on any drive. The Adaptec software that I have will not go over to XP on the Novatech. I'll have a poke around and see if there is the facility in XP. If not I'll have to buy!
The DVD works in the Novatech OK as a CD drive, but the DVD decoder will not go over from the NEC - (not suitable for XP!). I went to a supplier, Sonic Solutions, on the web, and d/l a decoder. I d/l with the NEC, and transferred it to the Novatech with my ZIP drive, as I still do not have virus check installed on the Novatech. I hit a snag I should have foreseen! The s/w has an activation code, and it seems to disallow the s/w from operating on any other computer than that on which it is downloaded. As I paid about 20, I have emailed the people to see if anything can be done.
Good news is that now I have transferred all the hardware from the NEC to the Novatech and vice versa. The last things I swapped were the graphics cards. The swap went well - once again I did not need the driver CD - XP had it. Little prob is that the Matrox G400, that is now in the Novatech, needs a 'Power Desk'. This is on their CD but on loading it I got the warning, ' ... does not have the MS XP approved logo ...'. I have emailed Matrox for advice. (I seem to remember that I had probs with the Matrox G200 when I got it with the NEC, and I upgraded the driver.) It is now back in the NEC and seems OK.
If you are getting a mite confused with the NEC/Novatech, here/there saga, don't worry, at the end I will tabulate what has happened.
When I get the McAfee virus s/w, I'll use the Novatech as the main computer, and transfer the rest of the software, and other settings.
I said above, "It will take about a week." Seems that way. But, it has been a bit of a trial. Got a lot of knowledge, and exercised my brain, but getting a bit too old for it now!
Whoops - just closed the window, and saw a scrambled screen! Hope the graphics card is OK!

Sunday, 02 February 2003. What a busy bee I've been!
I have given up on the Sonic DVD software decoder. Very involved in setting it up. I have asked for my money back.
The Matrox Millenium G400 Dual Head graphics card is not compatible with XP. The main head works, but the dual head facility gives an XP warning. I have made a few tries, with the help of the Matrox people. They have a message board system. Wasn't keen on it at first, but it is a good idea.
I think that I will have to get a suitable graphics card, preferably with a hardware DVD decoder.
The on-board sound is not satisfactory - it picks up all the disc activity! Have to get a cheapo.
The Epson scanner, Cannon printer and Epson Photo Printer all went over OK. As did the Kodak EZ camera, But, the HP Photosmart digi camera had probs. The software all went over OK except that it did not 'see' the files in the camera! I have to phone to get a CD.
The fans are very noisy and intrusive - I'll have to 'design' some noise suppresion.
'F'in key still sticks! I'll most likely put the old keyboard and mouse on the new one.
I think that the new 'clone' will end up costing about 500. I'll do a tabulated comparison when it's finished.
Now put a lot of the software over, and now using the Novatech 'clone' as the main computer. It is now defragging while I do this on the NEC 'clone'. The defrag only took less than 30 mins - for 4.2gig - the old one took 2 hours!
I'll be pleased to get it all finalised and the room back to normal.

Thursday, 06 February 2003. Phew! What a time it has been. Main prob is the Matrox Graphics card - Dual head. Can't get the 'clone' head to run the TV - therefore no DVD. See here for the message board.
The next prob is the HP Photosmart Camera - can't d/l the images. May finish up getting a Compact Flash card reader 25.
Just installed the extra 256meg Ram that makes 384meg.
Also made a rough and ready noise suppresser for the computer, with a towel and some cardboard! Makes a lot of difference, may improve it by using felt. The high frequencies were 'doing my head in' - very fatiguing.

Saturday, 08 February 2003. Given up on the DVD/TV facility. May spend 112.55 to restore it. Though may go all the way and get a Radion graphics card with composite video on/out. Given up on the HP camera s/w and ordered the Compact Flash card reader. Hope that sorts it out!
All in all it's been a trying two weeks. But, I may have had similar probs if I had got the 1400 computer.
Looking at the Windows recovery disc, I saw that there is a prog on it to transfer files between computers. Just get a suitable cable. Should have seen it first! Never mind all done now.

Friday, 14 February 2003. Got the Sound Blaster and Radeon cards yesterday. The sound card went in AOK. The graphics card was not the one I thought. No h/w DVD decoder, digital TV tuner or composite video in/out. The supplier, ThePCMan, was very good. They have taken the card back, and I am having a s/w DVD decoder (4.50), and use the 'old' Matrox Dual Head card. They are also looking at getting me a card with TV tuner and composite video in/out. A Pinnacle card seems to be the one with what I want. I have learnt a lot over the past three weeks. But am tired! I am confident, now, that I could build a computer from scratch.

Thursday, 13 March 2003. That's the 'new' computer sorted. Had a few probs, and it provided an interest. Got a Pinacle PCTV card from Novatech and DVD s/w from ThePCMan. AOK. Can now put the output of my analogue camcorder to Video CD and record TV to V-CD. It gets one hour of video onto a standard CD. The quality is quite acceptable.

First prob I had was a 'bubble' error message on boot, "CD recording software disabled to stop instability". But, it did not say what CD s/w! Went onto MS via Google search, and found the problem driver file, and disabled it.

Second prob was the Adobe Photo Delux s/w would not do multiples on a page. Reset the location of a storage location and it was OK. Also it gave an advisory message of a parser upgrade available. I got the upgrade and installed it, but still got the message. I just clicked, "Don't show me this again" - seems AOK!

Third prob was withWord97. It kept asking for Adobe PDF to be installed. I went onto MS, once again via Google, and got info on modifying the registry. I have always avoided going into the registry, and was surprised to find how easy it was to do. It is difficult to do any damage

Forth prob was that Outlook Express would not do the spell check as it could not find the location of the dictionary. MS said that it was a backslash missing from a file location in the registry. Mine was OK. Another bit of advice was to check that there was a file in the /Common Files/ folder. It was missing, but I found a copy in another folder and copied it to the /Common Files/ folder and it is all OK now.

All in all, it has been an interesting two months. I would now be quite happy building a computer from scratch, and may do so when 3.0 gig processors come down in price.

For 540, I have a computer that does almost as much as the 1400 Mesh computer. The only thing missing is a 2.5 gig CPU that would have enabled me to write to a DVD writer, but I do not miss that facility.

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