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The problem: Getting everything from your old PC to the new one

How to transfer data - Part I

Data transfer methods - Part II

Moving the programs over


Migration Software:
There are millions of software applications out there that do a myriad of different and wonderful things. Why isnít there one that will just examine the source PC and transfer all that is need to the target PC? Well, there isnít one, there are several. Yes, thatís true! They are called Migration packages.  Unlike a ghosting or imaging programs they wonít just make the target PCís hard disk a copy of the source PC disk. They typically work by being installed on the source and target PCs, then analysing the source PCís operating system, settings and applications; then setting up the target PC appropriately. The full range of programs available to handle the transfer of data, settings and programs are covered below.  

Data Migration Software Programs, Data Migration Applications

Transfer MyPC

Easy to use but requires a USB or parallel DCC connection (cables provided) and itís a use once and throw away product.


This transfers data and settings and offers you the choice of selecting what gets transferred over and what doesnít.  It comes with support for DCC connections and LANs.


Migrates both data and applications, itís Shareware, so very affordable but doesnít seem to support Windows 2003. Supports a variety of connectivity Ė from DCC to LAN.

PC Relocator

Transfers applications, Windows and internet settings and data, but itís a bit pricey and desgined more for engineers who are responsible for a lot of migration rather than the one-off user.

VCOM donít seem to do their PC Commander anymore which leaves no other known software for this task except for options like Microsoftís USMT Ė which isnít designed for the average user and the Windows XP File and Settings Transfer Wizard (viola! It sounds like the ideal solution. But avoid it Ė itís very selective in what it does, doesnít like non-Microsoft programs, can be very tricky to setup, and has problems with moving applications across different versions of Windows).

Considering programs exist that are just the ticket why did we take the trouble to explain the different ways of connecting the PCs together and transferring data? The answer is that none of the above programs are infallible. It is often the case that some applications are not copied over, that some settings need to be redone, that if a particular program already exists on the target PC it wonít get overwritten Ė like Outlook Express, and that the Windows installation on the target PC may actually get damaged in the process. Older Windows 95 programs may not be compatible with XP and they have their own library of possible problems when copied over to an XP installation.

(Remember the caution earlier about backing up? Now stop just thinking about backing up.)

Even when the process seems to have been implemented smoothly older, bloated files or folders that were slowing the source PC down may be doing the same to the target PC. A large number of cookies, temp files, and even long forgotten Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) programs could be transferred over to the target PC resulting in slowing it to a crawl.

Should these programs fail, give only limited success, or leave you disillusioned with migration software youíll need to go back to the start of this article and find a data transfer method more suited to your situation.  


Poweroid are specialists in the manufacture of Quiet PCs, Video Editing Workstations and Dual Processor machines


This article was first posted on July 20, 2004. Note the copyright notice at the bottom of the page. We do actively prosecute content thieves.





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