how to Backing up a program from industrial PC ?


Thread Starter


Dear all participants,

I had to replace my OLD industrial PC (MITAC brand, but i forgot the type) into the new Industrial PC (other brand).

the problem is i don't have the HMI program backup. the only backup is the one that running on the existing PC.

i have read about norton ghost and some other HDD backup software. But most of them will backup the whole program and data on HDD, not only a specific program.

If i backup the old HDD with norton ghost for example, then how do i separate my HMI program from the Windows NT backup??

What is the effect if i restore the backup into the new PC with WIndows NT has already installed within it's HDD?

or might be someone out there has a better way to solve this PC replacement problem?

Well, this is really a Windows question rather than a Control question. The answer is "it depends", and there is no simple answer to your question.

As I'm sure you already know, you really are screwed without a backup of your important software and data files.

Installing a Ghost backup from your old machine onto your new machine will completely overwrite the new machine's disk. The result is usually a Blue Screen unless your hardware is identical or at least similar enough for the new machine to boot and allow you to install new drivers.

Most Windows programs require registry entries, system driver files, etc. etc., which are spread throughout the computer, so unless you are upgrading old DOS style software or very simple programs you normally can't just copy the program files from one machine to another.

There is no way to accurately & automatically separate your HMI software from the Windows OS using Ghost, although Ghost Explorer does let you manually extract and restore files from a HDD image.

Really, you either need to:
(a) Repair/replace your existing PC with an identical model (if you can find one).

(b) Find the original software installation files or go back to the manufacturer for a replacement.

If your existing PC is still running then I assume the HMI software can be used to create a backup of its configuration. Otherwise if the original PC is dead, then maybe you can extract the HMI configuration files on their own if you already have a Ghost backup.

Good luck. Sounds like you're going to need it.



Tallak Tveide


Most times using Ghost from one PC to the next will fail if the hardware is somewhat different.

Microsoft Sysprep tool can help you with the process by removing any hardware dependent drivers before you perform the disk cloning operation. I think this would be worth checking out in your case. It is freely available from Microsoft. After using the clone you will have to register windows anew, so have a new license ready for the EXACT same version of windows (you may have to call M$ to get this working).

If you don't bother paying for Ghost, you could try one of the open source alternatives: PING (simpler to use), System Rescue CD or Knoppix Linux (the latter two using the partimage command). They essentially perform the same tasks as Ghost but not as simple user interface. But, they are free and also have tools for resettingadmin passwords and resizing/creating partitions that are quite good, so I think it's worth checking out.

Finally: You need to know where the data files for your HMI application are. In most cases moving the HMI application is as simple as moving these data files, the HMI license and reinstalling windows and your HMi on the new machine. If you go this route, you don't need to worry about cloning hard drives unless you want to backup your disks (hint hint).

Good luck.

Ranjan Acharya

I am assuming somehow that you have the same operating system and same version... or you're probably swimming against the current right away if you have say a Windows 95 based solution to run on Windows Vista or even Windows XP.

So some extent a donkey in a dress is still an ass. So you are perhaps wasting time an money trying to resuscitate a rotten corpse.


All that said, you could also convert your existing machine's session (provided you can still read the hard disk) into a virtual machine and then run it on a powerful PC.

As long as the hardware access works - for communications mainly - then you could have a viable solution.

I have to say that I've never tried this, I just remember a colleague speaking about it. But it would allow you to have things like a brand new high end Windows workstation and as long as you can get the Vmware session made, then you are off.


This is a major problem I have had to deal with and we have not always been able to coax the application to life.

Sometimes, we just have to reverse engineer what is there and re-do the whole thing on something more up-to-date.


I would set yourself a drop-dead date and budget in terms of recovery and when you reach either of those targets just admit defeat and re-do the application.


The original equipment manufacturer - do they have a migration solution?