Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #252 6/4/2014

Question: Can I copy my stuff from my old PC to my new PC?


Depending on what types of items you want to move from the old PC to the new PC there are several methods. Usually you are looking at a new version of windows on the new PC and all these options will work with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. You will first install the new operating system on the new PC (if not pre-installed).

If you are only moving files you can copy the files to an external drive and copy to new PC or copy them across your network from one machine to the other. You can also use the Windows Easy Transfer program that is included with Windows 7 and 8.

If you are going to transfer settings from one PC to the other Windows Easy Transfer will work (and transfer data at same time) or PC Mover from Laplink which is about $60 and available at computer stores and office supply stores and sometimes place like Target and Walmart.

If you want to transfer programs from one PC to the other there is only one program that I have used and that is PC Mover which does it easily. It may take a while to the transfer. It will also move your settings and data. I know a person who says they used Windows Easy Transfer to do this, but the documentation from Microsoft and others say it cannot be done and they usually site PC Mover as the only program that can do this. I have not seen any other programs that can transfer programs, but there are programs I have not used that will transfer data. If you get PC Mover get the copy that includes the USB cable as it is a special USB cable that will allow two PCs to talk to each other.

The other choice is to reinstall all your programs on your new machine, however many of us either do not have the original CDs or know where they are or if we downloaded the program we do not have the install file (probably a large .iso file or .exe file). Also we would need to look for our license key but you can usually get that by downloading and running Belarc (free for personal use) on your machine. It will probably tell you in the report more than you ever wanted to know.