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2,862 Tutorials

How to transfer data and settings between PCs

Keep your Windows XP settings when you upgrade

Windows XP users have put up an almost heroic level of resistance to Vista, but a large percentage of PC owners will end up moving to Microsoft’s latest operating system (OS) in the end.

The software giant has bowed to popular demand (nay, outcry) and extended support for the now seemingly stable XP until next year. Even so, the writing has been on the wall for this well-worn OS for some time. Are you prepared to tackle every issue that XP throws up once official support for it ceases? If not, you might as well face it: sooner or later, you are going to have to upgrade your OS.

If you’re making the move from an old PC or laptop to a new one, you’ll have to tackle the vast amounts of data and the numerous programs that have accrued on your current PC and decide which, if any, you’re going to take with you to see another day.

Vista has a useful transfer tool for just this purpose, but you’ll still need a way of physically connecting the old and new machines to copy files between the two. Several companies sell inexpensive cables that will do this, while the following tutorial explains what you need to keep and what you should really junk along the way.

1. Before you start transferring files and settings from one PC to another, you need to connect the machines. You can use a Windows Easy Transfer cable, but a 3m Belkin crossover network cable is cheaper and more versatile.

Step 1

Step 1

2. We’ll assume that you’re transferring files and settings from an older XP SP2 PC to a newer Vista one. Vista bundles a utility called Windows Easy Transfer (WET), but you’ll need to download an XP version from microsoft.com to run on the XP PC. Once installed, click Next and select ‘Transfer directly, using a network connection’.

Step 2

Step 2

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