We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
 

Migrate to a New PC Without Benefit of Monitor

Barrbender plans to migrate files to a new PC. One problem: He has only one monitor

Barrbender has a new PC and a transfer cable for migrating files from the old computer. But he has one problem: He didn't buy a new monitor, and therefore can't run the two PCs simultaneously.

If you only have one monitor, a transfer cable isn't a good option. Neither is a network. I see four options for you. Any one of them should work.

1) Copy your files from the old computer to an external hard drive and sneakernet them to the new PC. This takes longer than using a cable or network, since you basically have to transfer everything twice. But you don't have to sit there and watch it happen; you can get up and do something else while the first transfer is happening, then again for the second one. Windows Easy Transfer (the transfer program that comes with Windows 7) supports this technique.

2) You can remove the hard drive from the older computer and install it into the new one as secondary "slave" drive, and do the transfer entirely in the new computer.

3) If you're not comfortable opening up your PC, you can buy a SATA-USB adapter (they cost about $20) to turn the hard drive from the older PC temporarily into an external hard drive you can plug into the new one.

4) You can borrow another monitor.

Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema. Email your tech questions to him at answer@pcworld.com, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum. Follow Lincoln on Twitter.

IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date, price and specs 2014

IDG UK Sites

iPhone 5s review: why the iPhone 5s is still the best phone you can buy in 2014

IDG UK Sites

Passwords don't work: here's four ways to fix them

IDG UK Sites

Developers get access to more Sony camera features