"is it better to go through the process of reinstalling my all my software from scratch?"
Sorry if I cut your post down to this one question, but the general answer is that we copy "files" and install "programs." Somewhere in 1995 with the arrival of a new version of Windows more than just copying the program would do to move said program. Today, copying rarely works. Try it but be ready to find the install CD.
I just received a new system today which includes: a new motherboard (old = P4, 3.2 GHz/ new = AMD Dual core 2.4 GHz), a new SATA hard drive rather than the EIDE ones I?ve been using, etc. My question is whether I can use any of the previously backed up data (Powerquest datakeeper and SpareBackup)from my old C:/ drive on my new system. Both systems operate on Windows XP. The Powerquest data is backed up on a separate drive (the primary backup location is an external USB hard drive). I assume that my new system will have no problem accessing the USB drive. Since the Powerquest program is installed on my old (EIDE) C:/ drive, when Powerquest is installed on the new (SATA) drive, will the program be able to access the previously stored data (since it doesn?t have the name of the back up stored within its program [e.g. file name = backup #1] anywhere) and utilize it? Even if it works and I can use it, is it better to go through the process of reinstalling my all my software from scratch? With the SpareBackup, it's an online backup service, I would like to know if there are implications there also. If I haven't provided you with enough information, please let me know and I will try to do so. Here?s hoping that you can help me. I tried to make my descriptions and questions as clear as I could ? I hope they came across comprehensibly.