Upgrading to a new pc

I am looking to buy a new pc such that I can move up to a better CPU and 32Gb of RAM with SSD’s. However, I am a little concerned that I may be booking myself weeks of trouble in re-installing all of my current programs and vst’s. I wonder how many have upgraded and if they can give me any tips as to how to make it as easy as possible.

I still have my original Cubase 4 discs and subsequent upgrades to 8.5, so I assume I re-install the discs and get the necessary online updates. Similar with other programs such as Kontakt, Omnisphere, East West, Toontrack and the others (listed on signature).

I also of course will have to move from Windows 7 to 10, though I am pretty sure that all of my software is now compatible with 10. I also wonder what is the easiest to transfer all of my projects across to the new SSD’s.

I have done a forum search and have some info but I would like to get as up-to-date views as possible. Any thoughts or tips would be much appreciated.

I think that is something that all of us have done at least once. There is no easy way to do this I’m afraid. You need to sit down and make a list of all the software you need to transfer and get/download the latest versions. You should download the full install of Cubase 8.5. Don’t bother with Cubase 4.

I would say that for me a computer should have a system © drive, a music drive and a sample drive. If you are feeling flush a storage drive.

Start off loading/installing Cubase making sure that it is working and you know where the vst folder is. Load your projects onto the music (edit) drive. Before you do so make sure that all the projects are Archived and that all the files are in the right folders. Cubase tool bar >Media > Archive

Then load the big sample based programmes like Kontakt making sure that the sample data goes in your sample drive. Make sure that works, the start installing other software. Make sure at each stage they load in Cubase correctly.

Install - check - install - check

That is how I do it. I am sure others do it differently. One thing for sure is that it takes a long time. Good luck and have fun.

What he said!!!

Just be as organised as possible, back up any licences, if you have ones that can be stored on the cloud such as waves move them back to the cloud etc… use checklists and go through them methodically, you can’t be too anal when it comes to migrating your system… it’s a complete ball ache but well worth taking the trouble to do it properly, you’re likely to get back up and running faster and with less issues. if you have any large libraries like Kontakt then contact their support to see if there’s a way you can do a minimum install using the existing files if you have them on a separate drive, i have a huge amount of expansion for bfd and was dreading feeding dvd’s in for a day or two but their support sorted me out so it only took about 15 mins… it can pay to do a little research before hand…

hope it goes well for you!

Thanks, good advice and much appreciated. I am very meticulous, so that part should be fine!

A few more questions :

For Cubase Pro, do I simply download the 8.5.20 update and that will be a complete Cubase? Presumably the dongle covers the licence issue?

Is that the same for Wavelab 9 Elements - download the latest update 90.0.25?

What is the best way to transfer my old projects from the old hard drive to a new SSD?

The same as I have now I am planning to have 2 drives, a 1Tb and a 500 Gb SSD’s. One will only be for samples and the other is for programs and projects with admin stuff like manuals. However silouhette you suggest 3 drives, so is it better to have 3 drives with samples on one, programs on a second and the projects and other admin stuff like manuals on a third drive. Maybe then that could be a 1Tb and 2 x 250Gb’s?

Is the graphics card important - I am planning on a Nvidia GT730 (I have 2 screens).

You’ll need the full installers, that is if you require all the content too, i can’t remember if the installer in our user area is the full install or not sorry so you may need your original discs too for the content. Elements will be fine the way you suggest, licences are stored on your usb dongle so no issues there.

I’d use the 500Gb ssd as your system/progs drive and the other two for audio and sample library respectively.

GPU wise, unless you’re doing something graphically intensive then something fanless is a good idea… ZERO noise :wink:

I use 6 drives. I have a 250 gig system drive - a 500 gig SSD drive for my BFD samples - A 1000 gig sata drive for all other samples (Kontakt etc.) - A 1000 gig back-up Music store drive copies of all projects - A 1000 gig drive for program store/updates/music related stuff - + a couple of external music back-up drives.

Three drives are good enough. Keep the projects separate from the system drive and the sample drive and it will be fine.

Sounds good guys, 3 drives it is then!

Thinking about the projects transfer, I have all my projects backed up on a separate external disc, so I guess I can simply transfer them to the new pc when up and running.

Regarding the re-install of Cubase, I see an issue. I would ideally like to go back as far as possible (I still have my C4 discs) and then update back up to 8.5.20. That way I will retain any content for old projects. Although I am currently on Windows 7, I will want to move to Windows 10. However, I see that Windows 10 is only supported from C8 onwards, so I assume that I can only go back that far. Any views on that point?

Just finished a new install this morning… only issues were with steinbergs soundests…

LOL, pretty similar experience to my own when i got my current machine, apart from microsoft issuing a really stupid update on the day i got my machine that prevented unsigned drivers from being installed which took me half a morning to figure out, the only other issue i had was with the Granular Guitars expansion for pad shop. Had to use 7zip to extract the soundbanks and copy them to the right directory manually.

Good to see you’re up and running! :sunglasses:

I’ve gotten my last few PCs custom built by folks who specialize in computers for audio work. I does cost a bit more (but not all that much) than using off the shelf. But the components are selected & tested to play nice with all the major DAWs, Waves, NI, etc. and they do burn-in testing of your machine after it is built, so they tend to have less stability issues. They also don’t come with all the bloatware you get on a consumer machine. Don’t know where you are, but in the US I used ADK Pro Audio. Part of their deal is they will install up to 3 (if I recall right) programs that you already have licensed - stuff you aren’t even buying from them. So I had them handle the most pain-in-the-butt to install packages which was nice.

I am in the UK, and yes, I am buying from an audio specialist - Inta Audio. I totally agree with you about the right components and especially about the lack of bloatware. My music computer is only used for music, so I don’t want anything unnecessary on it!

Interesting that your supplier loaded some of the programs that you have licensed, I’ll check if my supplier will do that.

Get the fastest CPU you can afford, not the one with the most cores available…

I am looking at an Intel I7 6700 Skylake Quad Core 4.0 Ghz. Hopefully OK, but any comments on that?

Also, I have heard that Nvidia grahics cards are not good for Cubase. Actually my current computer has Nvidia and I have no problems. However, I could specify an ATI (Radeon or Strix) instead if necessary.

Small 1 or 2 generation old SSDs are cheap, use one for your system drive, then a 1tb SSD for everything else. By all means put a traditional harddrive in to back stuff up to. Given the performance of SSD there is now no needs to seperate out functionality by drive.

A music pc supplier I am talking to says that Cubase now uses some of the CPU on the graphics card, hence a decent spec card is important. Anyone heard about this issue?

Steinberg mentions Video Cards only in respect to playing Video here:


If you’re not working with Video files then I’d be more concerned that if they’re building the system for you they’re putting in a card that doesn’t give any issues with Cubase. As you’ve already stated, some users on here report issues with nVidia Cards though I’ve had no problems with mine (system built by Scan 3XS and includes GeForce GTX760 Graphics Card but this was a couple of years ago).

Yes, my potential builder (Inta-Audio) is a music specialist and I thrust their knowledge with Cubase. However, on my current system I have a GT 720 that seems fine. I actually get occasional drop-outs on playback, though I have put that down to CPU or RAM limitations. In any event I think I will take their advice and include an ATI Strix R7 370.

I’ll be ordering the new computer in the next day or so and I had a further thought about the transition. I have an iLok for Kontakt and I have a Cubase dongle. I’m wondering what will happen with these being on a new computer. Is it straightforward (presumably on the licence centre apps) to change the computer once you plug them into a new computer? ie, to re-register them to a new main computer? Any things to look out for there?

Nope it should be straight forward with a usb dongle… that’s one of the benefits of having a physical device instead of a digital ‘token’ on your machine… pros and cons to both systems though.

Don’t be worry. It’s really straightforward. Both iLok as eLicenser dongles should work simply plugging them into two USB ports on the new PC. As a pre-caution you could previously update both on your old PC.