Recently, I had to replace an old PC running Windows XP with a newer PC that had a newer version of Windows on it. Swapping out PCs is simple, but when you want to move programs, files, and settings from one PC to another it’s another story. The task is made especially complex when the install disks for the programs on the old PC are not available.
Some Options for Moving Stuff from an Old PC to a New PC
- Try to do it manually (definitely not recommended).
- Make an image of the old PC and restore it to the new PC (possible, but can be confusing when you don’t want to overwrite the new PC configuration).
- Try using a free PC transfer program.
– Do a web search and you will find there are many such programs available. Unfortunately, you often get what you pay for, and many of the free programs have severe limitations. If you choose a free program, read its small print closely, as most of them won’t do a complete job.
- Use a commercial program.
– It will cost a bit, but you’ll have a much better chance of getting the job done correctly. There are several such programs available. You can do a web search to see feature comparisons for the various programs.
Why PCmover was Chosen
PCmover provides a complete, easy to use solution. According to Laplink, the makers of PCmover, it is the only software that will allow you to move programs, files, and settings. Whether Laplink’s claim to exclusivity is true or not is beside the point, PCmover does provide you a comprehensive method for getting stuff from one PC to another.
Anyone who can follow the step by step directions that come with PCmover can successfully use it. With PCmover you create a mini network consisting of the Old PC and New PC using the High-Speed Transfer Cable (it’s an ethernet cable) that comes in the box. PCmover is a user-friendly, Windows-based program, which provides menus and comprehensive directions on the screen of each PC during the entire transfer process.
To get the most benefits that PCmover can give you, be sure to purchase the Professional version, labeled PCmover Ultimate on the box (provides the most features and includes the High Speed Transfer cable). PCmover is readily available from the PCmover website for $59, though Office Depot/OfficeMax has it in their stores for $49. You could buy a feature-limited Express version for as little as $29, but it would be so crippled that for most cases it would be a waste of money.
Steps for Using PCmover
- Check for, and apply available Windows updates to the New PC.
- Run a comprehensive PC maintenance program on the Old PC and the New PC.
– Wise Disk Cleaner is a good choice. It is comprehensive, reliable, and a free download. Using Wise Disk Cleaner you can clean up disk clutter, fix the registry, and defrag the drive to optimize it for the transfer process.
- Close all programs and DISABLE Firewalls and Anti-virus programs on Old PC and New PC.
– If you don’t disable the firewall on the Old PC, PCmover won’t see the Old PC as an available device to connect to, and you won’t be able to kick off the transfer process.
- Install PCmover on Old PC and New PC.
– The same version of PCmover must be installed on both PCs.
- Run PCmover on Old PC and select PC to PC Transfer.
- Run PCmover on New PC and select PC to PC Transfer.
– Select what Programs, Files, and Settings you want to transfer from the Old PC to the New PC.
– Follow the installation wizard screens. You will be prompted when to connect the ethernet cable to the Old PC and the New PC.
- Let PCmover proceed with its transfer process.
– Depending on the speed of your PCs, the transfer process may take a couple hours to complete.
- Verify and test what has been moved to the New PC.
PCmover — What’s in the Box
- PCmover program disk.
- SafeErase program included.
– Use SafeErase to completely delete data to protect your privacy and avoid identity theft.
- High-Speed (ethernet) Transfer Cable.
– File transfer via ethernet cable is more than twice as fast as using USB.
Some Limitations of PCmover
- Don’t expect every program to transfer from your Old PC to the New PC.
– For each program selected, PCmover will tell you how likely it will successfully transfer.
– Depending on how corrupt a program might be, or if a program was improperly installed on the Old PC, it affects whether PCmover will be able to move it successfully.
- It takes time — you will need to plan on devoting a few hours to the complete process.
– However, while the transfer does its thing, you can do something else — you aren’t tied to watching the screens for hours.
- If you are a computer novice, you might need some assistance from someone with some Windows and PC hardware experience.