You have just un-boxed your new Vista computer and can’t wait to take advantage of all Vista has to offer and the latest and greats hardware.  Before you can recycle your old PC or beat it with a base ball bat you need to transfer the files from your old beast to the new Vista computer.

Most people are not aware of how to do this.  Here are a few simple methods to consider.  Each method has it’s merits but only you can choose which one is best based on your skill level and comfort working with computers.  We will over a few methods.  From the easiest to the hardest.

XP to Vista Data transfere Methods

Hire out a Pro

1.  Your first choice will cost the most but is by far the easiest.  Paying someone else to do this for you.  I would consider staying away from a big box store like Best Buy or Circuit City.  I am not saying you won’t get a good person who knows what they are doing but if something goes wrong or not all the data is transfered over it can be hard to track down the person who did the transfer.  Going  with a small local company often times saves money and you can actually speak with the person doing the data transfer.  Not to mention you are supporitng your local economy. The cheapest way of hiring a pro to do this for you is having and online computer repair company do this for you.  We like to send people over to www.onlinecomputerrepair.org.  This is a California based computer repair company that can solve just about any issue online.  Not only can these guys transfer your data for you but they can even help out setting up your wireless netowork, do a tune-up on your old computer if you want to keep using it and so much more.  We give these guys a 5 out of 5 when it comes to customer service and price.


Purchase Data Transfer Software

2.  The next method is to purchase software to make the transition easier.  While Vista and XP does have a built in Transfer Wizard it is not the easiest to use and often times is a bit of a let down.  Purchasing Data transfer software like PCMover is a great alternative.  This software package is very straight forward and it takes just a few clicks to transfer the data over.  We do recommend also purchasing a data transfer cable to make the job that much easier.  Data transfer cables conect two computers together via a newtork cable.  From there you can choose to copy over anything and they take your hand and walk you though the whole thing.  It’s a cheaper method then having someone else do it.  PCMover is also the only program that can transfer programs from one computer to another.  If you have lost a disk fora program and have no way to re-install it then this is a great program to use.  To learn more check them out at www.laplink.com/Pcmover/ .  This software will work with all version of Vista includes 64bit versions.  Keep in mind that not all programs are Vista capable.  You may want to contact the manufacturer of what every softwarae you want to transfer first to ensure that version you own will work with Vista.  If you have the disk already then I recommend not tranfering over the program and just do a clean install.

Manually Copy Over Documents

3.  If your like me and all you want is your documents, favorites, pictures and music the you should consider just coping them over manually.  I like having a clean slate when I get a new computer.  This method is not as hard as one would think.  In fact if you have every copied and pasted before then you are you to the task.  Log into your old computer and hit the windows start button and select MY COMPUTER.  Now browese to your personal files located at C:\Documents and Settings\YOURUSERNAMEHERE\.  There you will see a folder called my documents.  Go ahead and open it.  You will see a list of all your personal files includes MY Music and My Pictures.  Just select them all and burn them to a CD \ DVD or copy them to a USB hard drive.  You may also wnat to copy certain things from your desktop folder and favorties folder located at the same place mentioned above.  One other place you should look is under C:\Documents and Settings\All Users  . This location can sometimes hold music and pictures.  Now that you have copied the data you want browse to the smae location on your new Vista computer.  One at the C:\ you will see it say USERS instead of Documents and Setting.  It’s the folder were your user documents are stored.  Now copy and past the documents you want over and you are good to go.

Easy Transfer Wizard Built into Windows

4.  The last method we will mention can take a little bit of work but if your computer savvy then you should have know problems at all.  You can use the 100% free built in Easy Transfer Software that comes with XP and Vista.  This software does not let you transfer over programs but you can import all your user setting and user acocunts as well as all your documents.  The time it will take to do the transfer will vary depending on what method of data transfer you choose and how much data is being ported over.  with the Easy Transfer Wizard you can choose to do the XP to Vista data transfer over a network, burning it to disks and even an external hard drive.  For some people with several user accounts this can be a good way to go and all you pay for is the sweat equity involved.  While we could list steps on how to do this and use this tool, why should be bother when you can og straight to the horses mouth and read how to use this software.  Check out Microsofts guide over at www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/expert/crawford_november12.mspx.  This guide covers the basics.

If you made it this far in the article then chances are you have a good idea of the method to use.  When I personally do a data transfer for someone out in the field I do normally use PCMover.  This is because it takes me only a few minutes to setup and then I just sit back and sip my coffee untill it’s done.  The method that is right for you will totally depend on your skill level and comfort zone.  There is no exact right or wrong way and the 4 choises above should give you a good understanding on what method to use

DON’T forget to comment bellow.  I love getting feedback from this sites visitors as it helps us understand what your needs are and whether or not we are helping you out.

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