Restoring Files and Settings on Your New Computer

If you use a network or cable connection to transfer files between two computers with Windows Easy Transfer, you control both ends of the process . After you enter the correct security keys on each end, establish a connection, and specify which files and settings you want to copy to your new PC, click Transfer. When the operation is complete, you'll see a detailed status report on the new computer indicating which files and settings were transferred.

If you've saved the files and settings to a USB flash drive, an external hard disk, or a shared network drive, run Windows Easy Transfer on the new computer, specify that you're using an external hard disk or USB flash drive, and click This Is My New Computer. Choose the location, type a password (if you set one when saving the data), and click Next.

If the user names on the old and new computers are different, you have a choice to make. If you simply click Transfer, Windows will create a new account for each account that you saved that doesn't have a match on the new computer. If you want the settings from the old computer to go to a specific account on the new computer, click Advanced Options (at the bottom of the Choose What To Transfer From This Computer page). That opens a dialog box like the one shown below. You can choose to match existing accounts or click Create User and type in a new name to create an account on the fly.

If you copied files from a secondary drive on the old computer and want those files to go on a drive with a different letter on the new PC, click the Map Drives tab and match the old and new drive letters. After completing both match-ups, click Save, and then click Transfer to complete the operation .

After the Windows Easy Transfer utility completes its restoration, it automatically displays a report of what it did. (You can call up this report later by clicking the Windows Easy Transfer Reports shortcut, which is also in All Programs, Accessories, System Tools.) Check for any errors, and correct them, if necessary.

Unfortunately, as we noted earlier, Windows Easy Transfer doesn't migrate installed programs. Instead, when the process completes, the Easy Transfer Report displays a list of programs that were installed on your old computer that you might need to reinstall on the new one . The example shown here displays a selection of third-party programs and some utilities that connect to hardware devices .

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If you chose to install some programs before running this step, you'll notice that some programs in the list are marked with a green check mark as Already Installed. The links under each entry in the list take you to the program developer's website, which typically includes the download link. You can leave this report window open, and it will update each entry in the list automatically as you complete it.

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