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Well I have made the leap from my XP Pro 32bit PC and ordered a shiny new W7 Pro 64bit unit - at a price. Now comes the fun of transferring as much as I can as simply as possible. Given that I have few days before it arrives I thought I would get prepared as far as possible.
I found this Windows Easy Transfer software which looks as though it should do the job but I wanted to confirm that it will work from 32bit to 64bit as it isn't exactly clear on that part of the subject. I recognise that I am unlikely to find something that will transfer programs from one to the other.
There must be many who have already been through this trauma who came give a bit of advice and much is needed and welcome.
Many thanks in anticipation.
What I would do is invest in an external hard drive, and copy all your documents, spreadsheets, photos, music etc. across to that - simple copy/paste. It couldn't be easier to copy them back to your new PC - and you'll have got yourself an external drive to perform regular backups to for your new machine (something I heartily recommend).
Some things to think about:
If you're using Outlook, you need to locate your .pst file and copy that to the external drive. Outlook may have a facility to 'export' the .pst file - I don't recall.
Locate your browser cookies and favourites files, and copy those off. IE has a facility to export and import those files. With e.g. Chrome, it's do-able, but more tricky.
If you're planning to reinstall programmes, make sure you've got the necessary codes to hand ready to reinstall them.
Again if you're using OIutlook: make sure you write down the coordinates for accessing your email - ingoing/outgoing server, account, password etc.
In XP, there's a thing called a 'files and settings transfer wizard'. I've never used it, so can't comment - e.g. I don't know if you can use it to reimport files and settings to W7 64-bit - but you may want to take a look.
If you've got any non-standard peripherals, make sure you have to hand the necessary W7 64-bit drivers so you can reattach them. (e.g. printer, scanner and so on).
I'm sure others will have other thoughts, but those are some things to think about.
PC Mover... It's not free (less than £15 at Amazon, includes a transfer cable), but it does transfer installed programs along with files, settings etc.
ZInstall http://www.zinstall.com/products is pricier, but seems specifically written for your scenario.
Those are good points raised by Ian in Northampton. That is the route I would take but I was merely answering your query.
You will have to reinstall all of your programs anyway on your new PC and a backup drive would be a good investment for the future - external or otherwise.
I personally prefer an Internal Drive as a 2nd backup drive that I can clone to but this is a matter of choice, I don't like things that clutter my desk and gather dust.
I endorse the reccomendations of Ian of Northampton.What I did was to ensure all my self generated data was grouped in folders within the master "My Documents" one (EG My pictures, My spreadsheets, My Music with their sub folders) . I copied this to the external HD. I partitioned the new PC into 100gig for programme files, balance for data. My programmes I loaded into the C: partition, and then , as I prefer my old filing system, copied the My Documents folder from the external HD to the new data partition. You have to fiddle a bit with the W7 libraries to tell them where the stuff is stored - libraries are like a card index, they do not themselves have to hold folders. Also you nned to tell some programmes where the data is - eg iTunes.This may seem a bit laborious but I preferred to keep control rather than using the auto transfer programmes. Do note Outlook Express not used in W7, I keep Outlook e mails etc in my data partition (F) in F:/MyDocuments/My Outlook. I make regular images of C; using ATI and use Freefilesynch to make regular (daily) copies of data, both to another drive.
PS On my desktop like northumbria61 I actually also use a second internal (but removable caddy mounted) drive for main back up and an external one as a further back up.
Last week I moved to a new PC. Firstly I backed up all of my documents, pictures and videos and any other data onto an external harddrive. Make sure that you have all of your program discs (I was missing one) and decide in which order you want to install. Make sure that you know the codes for each program. Decide when and what hardware to install, many will work direct but know where to get the drivers in case. Export your favorites/bookmarks to the external harddrive along with pst files and any e-mail data files. Chrome exports as an html file. Outlook does permit an export. I did it for each e-mail address, calendar and contacts. All transferred fine. Make sure you know what your e-mail settings and passwords are. You are likely to lose all cookies (not a bad thing as it gets rid of clutter) and the new system will not know your log-in passwords so make a record of them. On receiving the machine, update windows and install anti-virus as soon as possible. Allow plenty of time. It took me a day to be up and running and another day to fine tune. Good luck. It is well worth it.
Para breaks vanished!
Woolwell, You need two spacer lines
one spacer line doesn't work even though it looks as if it has in the preview box.
start next para on third line
lotvic - I should know that!
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