Tech – for Everyone

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

A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7

Part 2 — Transferring Your User Account To Windows 7

In Part1 of this series, A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7, I described the install process for Microsoft’s new operating system, and today I will proceed to the next step of setting up a new computer.. transferring all your stuff from the old machine, and ‘tweaking’ things to just your liking.

Last year I wrote wrote about the fastest, easiest, user state migration I had ever had — New PC? Migrate Your User Account The Easy Way — and described a Microsoft download that allowed me to not only transfer settings and preferences (aka ‘tweaks’) and my files (.doc, .jpg, mp3, etc.), but my installed programs as well. (Which to me was about the neatest thing since sliced bread.)
[note: Microsoft has since removed the utility, Windows Easy Transfer Companion, referenced in the link/article above. Apparently, it doesn’t work on Vista SP1, and/or XP SP3.]

For the purposes of this article (and, simulating what the typical user will do with a new computer and/or OS), I took an older machine running XP that had been one of my “daily usage” machines before being relegated to testbed duty and re-attached it to my home network (LAN).

Easy Files and Settings Transfer: On my Windows 7 machine, I typed “File an” into the search area of my Start menu, and Windows Easy Transfer showed up in the results immediately. A click launched the Easy Transfer Wizard, and I was asked if *I was on the new machine or the old?
New.
* How did I want to make the transfer?
Over the network. (the other choices were an Easy Transfer Cable, or an external HD/USB flash drive.)
* Does the old machine have Windows Easy Transfer?
Um.. probably not, so, No.
It offered to provide the program if I would plug in a thumb drive, so.. I did.

It said “Finished” and told me to go plug the thumb drive into the old machine and let it “autoplay”, so.. I did.
The old machine (slow!) did its thing and presented me with a code, 123-456, and told me to go to the Windows 7 machine and enter the code, so.. I did.

Bingo, I was connected, and the Windows Easy Transfer tool started to scan the XP machine for “transferable items”.
transfr1.jpg

When the scan finished, I was provided with a result, and there were some default items already checked off — pictures, music, documents. No surprise there, but I was very pleased to see the “Programs” folder.. could it be?
transfr2.jpg
So.. I drilled down into the “Customize” section and selected the applications I wanted to try to transfer to the new machine (though, I could’ve just done the whole folder). That will save time.. and hunting down install CDs!

I clicked the “Save” button”..

transfr1plus.jpg

And presto. Seven minutes later my “user state” was now on my new machine. And so I have a new “easy champion”, and I confess.. I’m impressed.

Plus number five…

Well, I ran long. Tweaking the Desktop, and “Superbar”, and other personalization’s will have to wait for the next article.

Part 3 – Improvements over Vista?

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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January 13, 2009 - Posted by | advice, computers, dual boot, file system, how to, PC, performance, Plug and Play, software, tech, tweaks, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. I loved the Easy Transfer Tool when we upgraded from an XP to Vista machine waaaay back when. I found that it balked at the user account with the most data – mine, of course. I ended up having to do that one to an external hard drive instead of using the network. The rest of the accounts went fine over the network.

    At that time there was a separate (Beta) utility for transferring programs. It worked reasonably well but only worked for the “usual” mainstream applications not any of the smaller ones that I had installed.

    It’s good that MS finally realized that many people are now upgrading hardware and just want to have all their data moved to the new machine. Reinstalling programs and transferring data are two of the reasons holding most people back from purchasing new equipment.

    Like

    Comment by gadzooks64 | January 13, 2009 | Reply

    • Gadzooks64–
      How nice to hear from someone who actually understands that 2006 really is “waaaay back when”… when discussing computers, that is. (One, possibly two, “generations”!)

      The Windows Easy Transfer tool in Windows 7 transferred every app I asked it to — including ‘off-beat’ 3rd party tools.

      I did not ask it to transfer Registry-intensive programs like the Office suite (Word, Excel, etc.), so I don’t know (today, anyway) about those.. but I do know the download “extension” does transfer Office.

      As always, thanks for stopping by.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | January 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] Part 2 — Transferring Your User Account To Windows 7 […]

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    Pingback by A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 « Bill Mullins’ Weblog - Tech Thoughts | January 16, 2009 | Reply


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