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Transferring Data To Your New PC or Laptop


Your new PC or laptop has arrived and amidst all the excitement you realize you need to transfer all your data and programs to your new machine.

Before you decide which method to use, you need to consider the following:

  • You cannot effectively transfer existing individually installed programs from one computer to another
  • Do you really want all the current data on your new computer - this is a great time to sort and archive files you don't use on a regular basis
  • Upgrade older versions of software. If you have anything less than Office 2003 - upgrade.


Data Transfer Options


With the increased popularity of CD burners and recordable drives, if the computer that you wish to copy the files from has a CD / DVD recordable drive, you can copy the files you wish to move from the computer to a CD-R or DVD disc. A DVD holds significantly more data than a standard 740MB CD.

Do not use DirectCD on your ME computer. You need to use the Easy CD program instead and create a Data CD, Finalized.

After copying the files you can erase and reuse the CD-RW's until you have completed the transfer.


If you have an ethernet cable network or wireless netowrk or plan on implementing one, this is an ideal environment for transferring and sharing files. Consider networking your old laptop or pc as a back up server or a home security station to run webcams.

Using a network is the fastest means of transferring files between your computers, and once setup will enable to you to continue to share files.


You can also transfer files from one computer to another computer using either of the below USB options.

External USB Drive:

If you have an external USB drive that you currently use for backups you can copy data to the USB hard disk drive and then connect that drive to another computer to transfer data. If you use a mirror software you can do a complete snapshot of your current computer and transfer both programs and data files. I personally don't recommend this if you have been using your current computer for over one year. In spite of all the RegClean applications that supposedly keep your system from becoming corrupt, I find a clean install gives much better long term performance.


All modern computers have USB. Having USB on both computers means you can network the computers using USB to USB. This solution is sometimes easier to setup than a standard Ethernet network and still enables the user to transfer large amounts of data between computers.

USB to USB connectors can be purchased at most major computer retail stores.


Windows Vista Easy Transfer

You can use Windows Easy Transfer to transfer files and program settings from a computer running Windows 2000 (files only), Windows XP, or Windows Vista to another computer running Windows Vista.

You can copy Windows Easy Transfer to your old computer using a CD or DVD, a network (if both computers are connected to the same network), or a USB flash drive.

Windows Easy Transfer is a data transfer wizard to guide transferring files and settings from one Windows computer to another. You can choose what to transfer to your new computer and how to transfer it. It supports the transfer of:

  • Files and folders - everything within the Documents, Pictures, and Shared Documents folders. Using advanced options, you can select additional files and folders to transfer.
  • E-mail settings, contacts, and messages.
  • Program settings - your program configurations you had on your old computer. You must first install the programs on your new computer, Windows Easy Transfer does not transfer the programs themselves.
  • User accounts and settings - schemes, desktop backgrounds, network connections, screen savers, fonts, Start menu options, taskbar options, folders, specific files, network printers and drives, and accessibility options.
  • Internet settings and favorites, and cookies.
  • Music - c files, playlists, and album art.
  • Pictures and video - any visual file type

For more information on Windows Vista Easy Transfer

Using An Easy Transfer Cable

Easy Transfer Cable is a specially designed USB cable that can connect two computers and be used with Windows Easy Transfer between Windows XP and Windows Vista.

  1. Start Windows Easy Transfer on your new computer
  2. Plug in the cable only when you're instructed to do so.
  3. Before you plug in the cable on your old computer, you may need to insert the CD that came with it to install the Windows Easy Transfer software, and then continue the transfer process. If this is so, you will be informed to do so.

Using Network With Easy Transfer

To transfer files directly over a network without copying them to and from a network location such as a back up drive.

  1. Connect both computers to your network
  2. Start Windows Easy Transfer on the new computer
  3. Get a Windows Easy Transfer key from the new computer
  4. Type the key on your old computer. The Windows Easy Transfer key acts like a password to help protect files and settings when you transfer them over the network.
  5. Collect files and settings to transfer

Easy Transfer Using CD's and DVD

Note - you cannot use DVD's with Windows Easy Transfer to transfer information from Windows 2000 or Windows XP to Windows Vista. You will need to use CD's.

Both computers must be able to read and write DVDs or CDs.

A dual-layer DVD holds about 8.5 gigabytes [GB], a single-layer DVD holds about 4.7 GB, and a CD holds about 700 megabytes [MB].

  1. As above, Select files and settings to transfer
  2. Windows Easy Transfer estimates how much disk space and how many discs are needed to transfer your selections.
  3. Start Windows Easy Transfer on your new computer, and then follow the instructions for using CDs or DVDs.


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