When doing a PC to PC file transfer from your old computer to the new one you first need to decide on what files you need to copy over to your new computer. Most likely you will want most of your documents, pictures, music and videos.
Here is a quick list of questions to help you decide what you may want to migrate over from your old computer to the new computer.
- Is there more than one user in the account? If so do you want to include those accounts in the transfer
- Do you want to transfer over user settings like, desktop back grounds, bookmarks, personal settings?
- Do you need any of the software programs? If you have the disc you are better off just re-installing them from the disc.
Deciding on a transfer method
The hardest part is selecting what method to use to transfer over all your data. Here is a quick break down of the best methods.
Semi – Automatic
- Use Software to Transfer over your personal settings and files for you. This is the best option for most. We explain in further detail your options further bellow.
- Manually copy files to an External source like USB hard drive, DVD, CD and then copy that information over to your new computer. I only recommend the method for people who have very few things they want to transfer over.
- Network Transfer: You can network the old and new computer together and copy over the data you want.
- Remove the Hard Drive from the old computer and hook it up to the new computer
The manual methods aren’t bad ways to go but most people do not fully understand were all their files are at and how to transfer them into their new account. If you do understand the normal files paths to your documents this can be a quick way to transfer over items to the new computer.
As stated, using a software program to transfer over all the files and settings you want is the easiest way to go. There are several ways to actually do the transfer using software. First we will cover the software programs then explain what transfer methods you can use with these programs.
Laplink PCMover: Laplink is the only data transfer software that transfer over software programs to your new computer. It is also one of the easiest programs out there to use for data transfers. The startup wizard walks you through selecting what information you want to port over to the new computer. It’s the recommended method for most people to use because of how easy the program is to use. The retail boxed version found Here Comes with a data transfer cable. However if you have a wireless network already setup you can save a few bucks and just transfer the data over your network. Download the trial here and see if you like it.
Windows Easy Transfer: XP on up already has the Windows Easy Transfer software installed on it. If not you can always download it from Microsoft. The Easy Transfer Wizard is another way for you to transfer over all your user accounts, documents and personal settings. However it will not transfer over software. Some people find it’s not really all that easy to use but it is a free method. While we recommend PC Mover over the Windows Easy Transfer Software, you may want to give it a try first as it is a free method of doing things.
What Data Transfer Options are there when Using Software
You have 2 main types of transfers when using software to transfer files from your old computer to the new one.
Delayed Transfer: A delayed transfer simply means you are using the data transfer software to copy all the data onto a storage drive and after that transfer is done you will be transferring the data to the new computer. Delayed transfers are used when a person cannot network the two computer together. In most cases the data is stored on an external drive.
Live transfer: A live transfer is when you migrate over the data you want in real time. This is done normally through a wired or wireless network or a direct PC to PC adhock network using a Data transfer Cable. The cable can be a USB Data Transfer Cable as well.
Most people find the live transfer to be the easiest way to go. When doing a live transfer with data transfer software you can expect the transfer to take at least an hour. If you have plenty of data it may even take 3-7 hours.
Just to make life as easy as possible we recommend you use the retail pro version of Laplink. You can order it Here. This retail boxed version comes with a FREE data transfer cable. So all you have to do is connect both computers with it. Install the software on both computers and press enter a few times while you follow the on screen prompts to select the data you want to transfer. This is the easiest way to go.
If you already have the computers on a network and want to save a few bucks you could just use the regular PC Mover program here. This version does not come with the data transfer cable so you save a few bucks. Then just install the software on both computers and follow the prompts.
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