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New PC - Transfering Data

  johndrew 11:56 21 Jan 2012

Well I have made the leap from my XP Pro 32bit PC and ordered a shiny new W7 Pro 64bit unit - at a price. Now comes the fun of transferring as much as I can as simply as possible. Given that I have few days before it arrives I thought I would get prepared as far as possible.

I found this Windows Easy Transfer software which looks as though it should do the job but I wanted to confirm that it will work from 32bit to 64bit as it isn't exactly clear on that part of the subject. I recognise that I am unlikely to find something that will transfer programs from one to the other.

There must be many who have already been through this trauma who came give a bit of advice and much is needed and welcome.

Many thanks in anticipation.

  northumbria61 12:15 21 Jan 2012

Yes it will work - XP to all versions of Windows 7. Easy to follow instructions here with pictures to guide you all the way. enter link description here

  Ian in Northampton 12:17 21 Jan 2012

What I would do is invest in an external hard drive, and copy all your documents, spreadsheets, photos, music etc. across to that - simple copy/paste. It couldn't be easier to copy them back to your new PC - and you'll have got yourself an external drive to perform regular backups to for your new machine (something I heartily recommend).

Some things to think about:

  1. If you're using Outlook, you need to locate your .pst file and copy that to the external drive. Outlook may have a facility to 'export' the .pst file - I don't recall.

  2. Locate your browser cookies and favourites files, and copy those off. IE has a facility to export and import those files. With e.g. Chrome, it's do-able, but more tricky.

  3. If you're planning to reinstall programmes, make sure you've got the necessary codes to hand ready to reinstall them.

  4. Again if you're using OIutlook: make sure you write down the coordinates for accessing your email - ingoing/outgoing server, account, password etc.

  5. In XP, there's a thing called a 'files and settings transfer wizard'. I've never used it, so can't comment - e.g. I don't know if you can use it to reimport files and settings to W7 64-bit - but you may want to take a look.

  6. If you've got any non-standard peripherals, make sure you have to hand the necessary W7 64-bit drivers so you can reattach them. (e.g. printer, scanner and so on).

I'm sure others will have other thoughts, but those are some things to think about.

  IClaudio 12:28 21 Jan 2012

PC Mover... It's not free (less than £15 at Amazon, includes a transfer cable), but it does transfer installed programs along with files, settings etc.

ZInstall is pricier, but seems specifically written for your scenario.

  northumbria61 12:31 21 Jan 2012

Those are good points raised by Ian in Northampton. That is the route I would take but I was merely answering your query.

You will have to reinstall all of your programs anyway on your new PC and a backup drive would be a good investment for the future - external or otherwise.

I personally prefer an Internal Drive as a 2nd backup drive that I can clone to but this is a matter of choice, I don't like things that clutter my desk and gather dust.

  john bunyan 12:43 21 Jan 2012

I endorse the reccomendations of Ian of Northampton.What I did was to ensure all my self generated data was grouped in folders within the master "My Documents" one (EG My pictures, My spreadsheets, My Music with their sub folders) . I copied this to the external HD. I partitioned the new PC into 100gig for programme files, balance for data. My programmes I loaded into the C: partition, and then , as I prefer my old filing system, copied the My Documents folder from the external HD to the new data partition. You have to fiddle a bit with the W7 libraries to tell them where the stuff is stored - libraries are like a card index, they do not themselves have to hold folders. Also you nned to tell some programmes where the data is - eg iTunes.This may seem a bit laborious but I preferred to keep control rather than using the auto transfer programmes. Do note Outlook Express not used in W7, I keep Outlook e mails etc in my data partition (F) in F:/MyDocuments/My Outlook. I make regular images of C; using ATI and use Freefilesynch to make regular (daily) copies of data, both to another drive.

  john bunyan 12:46 21 Jan 2012

PS On my desktop like northumbria61 I actually also use a second internal (but removable caddy mounted) drive for main back up and an external one as a further back up.

  lotvic 13:48 21 Jan 2012

Woolwell, You need two spacer lines

one spacer line doesn't work even though it looks as if it has in the preview box.

start next para on third line

  lotvic 13:50 21 Jan 2012

or maybe not.... I'll get me coat

left one line above

left two lines above this is on third line

  johndrew 14:55 21 Jan 2012

Many thanks to all for replying.

In answer to the many points made:

I have two external drives and have just found a reasonably priced USB 3.0 unit which I believe is not only good value but should be faster with the new PC as this has 2 x USB 3.0 ports at the rear.

To the best of my knowledge the XP Files and Settings transfer Wizard doesn't work to W& which was why I searched and found the Windows Easy Transfer (see the link in my original post).

Both PC Mover and Zinstall look interesting; I shall read up on them as an addition/alternative to the MS offering or manual methods.

There appears to be an interesting conundrum with OE e-mails in that the MS offering says it will transfer it all but W7 uses Outlook. Perhaps this needs a bit more clarification.

I currently have two HDDs in the XP PC (it used to be three- the third used to backup the C: partition) but my budget wouldn't run to an extra £100 for another drive in the new PC (on top of the external) so I shall need to use the external for backups until the bank manager says otherwise!! I may try for a removable caddy which would be more secure.

I have a Word document with all my sites and passwords. I used SIW to find them and then generated the document. If I lose the odd one it wont be a huge problem but was hoping to transfer them with the Firefox Add-on 'Secure Login' which I use along with other Firefox settings. Can it be done?

I also recognise the problems with some older XP coded software (a classic being ATI) as it may not want to run in the W7 XP environment. All I can do before finding more coin is try it. I have all codes; again in a Word document - this time manually generated.

W7 claims that my printer and scanner are recognised (according to the W7 site list) so I'm hoping that will be simple.

Any more suggestions.


  Ian in Northampton 15:01 21 Jan 2012

Not strictly on topic, but... I also have two internal hard drives. I used to use the second for backup, but found myself feeling more comfortable with something 'outside the box' that could easily be carried to another PC if necessary. I also use the second internal drive for 'scratchpad' work when I'm editing videos and so on: makes for better performance.

The best thing I ever did, though, was to 'point' all my program files at my 'My stuff' folder on the external drive. So, that's where my .pst file is, it's where my MS Money files are, and Word, Excel and so on are set to automatically save there. That way, if anything calamitous happens and I need to move to one of my (too many) backup PCs, it's very quick and straightforward.

And backup? Call me paranoid, but my external drive (on which all my 'stuff' is) is backed up to another external drive, which is backed up to another external drive - which, once a month, I backup to yet another external drive that's kept somewhere else in the house. FWIW, I use Ocster, which I managed to obtain one time when they were offering it free, and it seems to work well. (But: periodically, I attempt a 'restore' from it just to make sure the backups it's created are valid.)

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