Windows Easy Transfer: New System, Meet Old Data - Page 2

By Joseph Moran | Posted August 15, 2008

Getting Started

Start the WET process on your new system. First, type "Easy" (no quotes) into the Start menu's search box, and launch Windows Easy Transfer when it appears. Click Next, and then Start a New Transfer. When asked which computer you're using, choose My New Computer. Choose No, Show Me More Options, since we're not using the Easy Transfer Cable. For the next step choose No, I Need to Install It Now to indicate you want to install WET on your old system. When asked how to do the installation, choose External Hard Disk or Shared Network Folder, and then use the Browse button to find the shared folder you want to use or create a new one. When you click Next, a subfolder called MagWiz will be created within your specified folder so you can access it from the older system.

Now, click Yes, I'll Transfer Files and Settings Over the Network, and then No, I Need a Key. The next screen will display your eight-digit key, which you'll need to initiate the transfer on the old computer. (This is basically to prevent another system on the same network from grabbing your data without your permission.)

By the way, if you haven't shared the folder containing MagWiz or you'd prefer not to bother, you can simply copy the contents of the MigWiz folder to removable storage and run it on your old computer. You'll still be able to do the actual data transfer over the network.

Transfer Time

Now head over to your old computer and run the MigWiz utility; don't choose the similar-looking MigSetup. When the Windows Easy Transfer wizard appears, click Transfer Directly, Using a Network Connection, then Use a Network Connection, then Yes, I Have a Key. Enter the key and click Next.

Now it's time to decide what you want to transfer. You can choose to migrate files and settings for all user accounts, just yours, or specific account info and data (by choosing Custom). Once you've made your choices the wizard will report how much data is about to be transferred, and you'll be able to review and customize the transfer list.

After you click the Transfer button, you can choose a name for the transferred account on the new system. You can type the original account name or a new one. If the account already exists on the new system, you can select it from a list. When you click Next, the transfer will begin, and you'll see progress indicators on both systems.

Your new system will indicate when the transfer is complete, and it will show a tally of how many and what kinds of items have been transferred. For a more detailed report click Show Me Everything That Was Transferred. When you click the Close button on the new system you'll be prompted to log off, and when you log in again you'll find your data and settings in their new home.

Note that Windows Easy Transfer leaves your old system intact after the transfer, so it's a good idea to give your old system a once-over to make sure everything was transferred as intended. The fact that your original data isn't erased is also worth keeping in mind before repurposing or even storing your old system. If you plan to sell or give it away, be sure to erase the entire hard drive with a special disk-wipe utility to ensure your data can't be recovered.

Adapted from PracticallyNetworked.com, part of the EarthWeb.com Network.

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