Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

New PC? Migrate Your User Account The Easy Way

[note: Microsoft has since removed the utility, Windows Easy Transfer Companion. Apparently, it doesn’t work on Vista SP1, and/or XP SP3. No word on when it might be made available again. I regret this, and hope Microsoft will correct this soon.]

For those of you who have ever used a User State Migration Tool, or Easy Files and Settings Transfer tool, to migrate your data from an old computer to your new computer — or purchased a special program, or cable — you know that getting your new machine exactly as you had your old machine required some time and effort.

The other day, the proud owner of a new laptop wanted me to replicate his XP set up onto the new Vista machine, and the usual method has been to to use one of the techniques mentioned in the paragraph above. But I didn’t. I used an adjunct to Window’s (built-in) Easy Files and Settings Transfer tool (which will be today’s free link).

* Those of you who want to use your LAN may want to read Add a Vista machine to your XP network

I downloaded this program to both his XP machine and the new Vista machine. Then I connected his XP machine via wireless. Surprise! The XP machine was instantly seen and recognized. Then I launched the Windows Easy Transfer Companion on the Vista PC and followed the wizard. The two machines established a “transfer” connection and the XP machine transferred its installed programs, and all the files, and all of the owners tweaks and settings (like bookmarks, and custom toolbars).

All I did was watch. This was, by far, the fastest and easiest user state migration I’ve ever experienced, and truly was painless. This is bad for a PC Tech’s bottom line, but great for Vista owners.

Today’s free link: When you buy a new PC, you will almost certainly want to transfer all kinds of things from the machine you’ve been using to the new one. Microsoft has “a companion” for the Easy Files and Settings Transfer tool called the Windows Easy Transfer Companion. It is actually a ‘stand-alone’. This tool not only transfers your documents and personalized Settings tweaks, but the programs you have installed. This is a huge time saver. I did my transfer over the local network, but you can use the other methods of data storage to make the transfer as well– including USB thumb drives. [Note: while Microsoft still considers this program to be in beta, I have experienced absolutely no hiccups or difficulties at all.]

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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December 25, 2008 - Posted by | advice, computers, file system, how to, PC, Plug and Play, tech, Vista | , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. […] ckgni wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt For those of you who have ever used a User State Migration Tool, or Easy Files and Settings Transfer tool, to migrate your data from an old computer to your new computer — or purchased a special program, or cable — you know that getting your new machine exactly as you had your old machine required some time and effort. The other day, the proud owner of a new laptop wanted me to replicate his XP set up onto the new Vista machine, and the usual method has been to to use one of the techniques mentioned in the paragraph above. But I didn’t. I used an adjunct to Window’s (built-in) Easy Files and Settings Transfer tool (which will be today’s free link). * Those of you who want to use your LAN may want to read Add a Vista machine to your XP network I downloaded this program to both his XP […] […]

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    Pingback by New PC? Migrate Your User Account The Easy Way | December 25, 2008 | Reply

  2. As useful as that program built-in to XP is, I don’t believe it is as good as it could be. I used it one time, and I really didn’t find it too helpful.

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    Comment by David Lemcoe | December 26, 2008 | Reply

    • David,
      I agree the tool that was built into XP was incomplete.. and if you take a second look at the article, you’ll see that what I’m talking about is a download from Microsoft.. an adjunct to the Vista version of the tool which first appeared in XP.
      This suppliment allows you to transfer installed programs- what could be better than that?

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      Comment by techpaul | December 26, 2008 | Reply


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