Moving Files From One PC To Another – Many Options to Make this Process Easier

About two weeks ago I migrated 5 computers – 3 were brand new computers and I had to migrate settings from three older computers to these new ones. The other two computers were simply moved to another room – like hand-me-downs. The problem with changing computers is that it can be a royal pain to transfer user settings from one computer to another. If more than one user uses a computer then each user has their own Outlook settings, favorites/bookmarks and other more personalized settings.
For the move I tried out Laplink’s PC Mover, which is a very easy and simple tool to use for basic computer needs. It costs $40 it you download it from Laplink’s web site and $50 if you want a copy mailed to you (which includes USB transfer cables).
I also used Microsoft XP’s built in file transfer tool which I ultimately ended up using for the transfers.
What I found lacking in PC Mover, which gave Microsoft XP’s built in tool an edge, is that with XP’s tool you can select any folder to transfer. With Laplink you are limited to selecting check boxes for only certain programs it pre-selects for you.
Since the computers I was transferring had multiple user profiles it was very important that I was able to select multiple user profile folders to transfer.
In order to transfer multiple user profiles with PC Mover you have to logon to each profile and do your move. If you have 3 profiles, you’ll have to logon 3 times and do a file transfer with PC Mover.
With XP’s file transfer tool, which you can find under the accessories and then system tools tab from the start button, you logon once (as the administrator) and do everything at one time by selecting all the user profile folders you want to transfer.
If you don’t have Microsoft XP and don’t want to transfer files manually, Laplink’s PC Mover is a good option for basic users. Computer Associate’s Desktop DNA Migrator is also very good, robust, feature rich and costs $22.
Check out my full review of both PC Mover and CA’s tool here.