Help me migrate my mom's Win98 data!
February 13, 2014 9:52 AM   Subscribe

My mom has an old Micron computer in storage with Windows 98 on it. She also has an old version of CorelDRAW with some graphics that are very important to her. I have been tasked with figuring out how to get them onto her brand new machine. My initial instinct was to say "well, if we can just image the whole drive, maybe we can run it inside a virtual box on your new one and not worry about things like trying to figur eout how to get the machine onto the internet, etc" but I'm not finding any useful information on how to do this. The machine does seem to have an ethernet port and a USB (probably USB1) plug, so i may be able to copy the files over with some finagling, but of course graphics from a software version that old wont open in anything current, and the old version of the software wont run on the new machine either. Hope me, hivemind! If you have any suggestions/recommendations for how to get this working, whether its based off of my idea or not, I'd greatly appreciate it.
posted by softlord to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If it uses an IDE hard drive then just remove it and use an IDE>USB adaptor. Corel should be able to read the old files, the free trial may do the trick.
posted by Sophont at 10:00 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]

Try the path of least resistance first. I would fire up the machine, grab a thumb drive, copy the CDR files over, and use a newer machine to see if the conversion solutions in this post (including Filespazz, which has worked for me in the past) on Adobe's forums are viable options for converting the files. Far easier than imaging the drive/virtual box/etc. if it works.
posted by liquado at 10:00 AM on February 13

The 32bit version of CorelDRAW X6 should be able, according to random googling, to open any .cdr back to ver. 3? So if you find someone who has a copy of the software that might work?

Other than that maybe try some of the freeware image programs? Inkscape might do it, or XnConvert?
posted by Wretch729 at 10:02 AM on February 13

I don't see why newer versions of Corel wouldn't read older files/formats. As a last resort you could always open the pictures with CorelDRAW on the old PC and take screenshots and then email/move onto thumb drive? Obviously, this wouldn't be ideal but if all else fails...
posted by heavenstobetsy at 10:02 AM on February 13

You may need to install some service packs to get USB working under a Windows 98 installation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:02 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]

Also as a side note if just getting the files off the old PC isn't working via either USB or the ethernet cable, you could always try using old 3.5 inch floppies. If you work in or know someone who works in a sufficiently bureaucratic office environment you can probably find a newer computer with a floppy drive which you can then use to put the files on a USB stick. (In my experience old labs or university back offices often have a wheezy old xp box with a floppy drive around somewhere.)
posted by Wretch729 at 10:06 AM on February 13

My first inclination would be to boot a lightweight Linux LiveCD like SliTaz on that computer and copy the files off over USB, possibly using dd to make a clone of the drive ahead of time, just in case. PATA hard drives of that vintage are generally quite reliable, but you can never be too careful; best practices dictate that you do your recovery work on a backup. Then, you can use Inkscape to convert the files to something modern, like PDF or EPS.
posted by fifthrider at 11:00 AM on February 13

I'd second removing the hard drive and using an IDE->USB external bay to get the data off to read with a more-current copy of CorelDRAW.

If you want to recreate the old system as a virtual machine, instead of imaging the hard drive as-is, it's probably easier to just build an image from scratch using the original installation media for Win98, CorelDRAW and whatever other software she had on it.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 11:08 AM on February 13

The last 5 or 6 versions of corelDRAW won't open images created in Corel 1.0 or 2.0. Yes, that's how old they are.
posted by softlord at 11:10 AM on February 13

The machine does seem to have an ethernet port and a USB (probably USB1) plug, so i may be able to copy the files over with some finagling, but of course graphics from a software version that old wont open in anything current, and the old version of the software wont run on the new machine either

1. Get a USB drive.
2. Format it to old school windows thing. like fat32.
3. Find out where the corel data is stored. Probably the default location that someone on here can tell you(help him out, guys), or in a specific folder that your moms put all her "data" in.
4. Stick in the USB. Transfer the data onto there.

You're set.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:34 AM on February 13

In addition to backing up any native Corel Draw files you find, I'd open the graphics in Corel Draw on the old machine and try to export/save them to some other format(s). If you are lucky, you'll get some sort of vector file she can still work with, or possibly just get a raster file so she can at least see the finished graphic. I also see some .cdr converters online, but no idea if they'd work for versions that far back.

My husband feels your mom's pain. He would happily work in CD3 to this day if he could, and probably has dozens of .cdrs that he can't work with now.
posted by sageleaf at 12:00 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]

« Older I've been asked to help the of...   |  What surprises me is that I di... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments