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How To Migrate Data From Old To New Computer


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#1 tos226

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:44 PM

I may need to help someone and don't know how.
She has a desktop computer where the CD or DVD drive failed. Whatever backups there are, are several months old.
She's getting a new laptop as a replacement. With 3 USB ports and no serial, nothing.
Both are XP-Home, SP2 as far as I know.

How can we move selected files from the old desktop to the new laptop without resorting to copying small segments to and from small flash drive.
Can two computers communicate over a USB port? If so how?
I don't know the details of the files that need to be transferred. Pictures, Outlook or Outlook Express address book, and I suspect recent mails are candidates. The rest would be, I suppose some Word or Wordpad documents.

There is a 4 port Linksys router. If both computers got hooked to the router, could some file and directory transfers take place that way? If so, please, exactly how?
Doing an image is out of the question (not that I know how), because only some things need to be moved. I've never setup a network on my own XP, don't know if possible under XP home. That might work for this one shot deal, if I knew how.

Could someone please suggest some decent and EASY and foolproof procedure?

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#2 TMacK

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 02:20 PM

Have you seen this Micro$oft article called Moving Files and Settings to a New PC?
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

aaaaaaaa a~Suzie Wagner

#3 tos226

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:09 PM

Now I did :thumbsup:
I hope the details won't kill me but it looks good.
PC to PC connection looks interesting. Anyway, looks like lotsa work to prepare now. Thanks.

#4 Enthusiast

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:09 PM

Connect both computers to the router

Use the network setup wizard in each computer (or wireless - whichever applies) which you access in your control panel to network the computers and then use the files and settings transfer wizard (start/programs/accessories/system tools/files and settings transfer wizard) to move whatever you want to the new computer.

#5 tos226

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:32 PM

What an eye opener :thumbsup: Thanks to both of you. I'm sure I'll be back with questions later.

Enthusiast, a question unrelated to the subject thread: does this mean, that whenever I please, when I bring a second computer home any time, I can move files from one to the other and back using this system? Or is this not a practical approach?

#6 Enthusiast

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:46 PM

Yes you can.
But once they are networked you can use regular file sharing to copy files from one to another.
Or you can synchronize the computers so you have the same files on each if you want.

The files and settings transfer is to set up a new computer and move massive amounts of data and settings.

#7 TMacK

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 04:01 PM

Your welcome and good luck with this project tos226!
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

aaaaaaaa a~Suzie Wagner

#8 tos226

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 04:13 PM

I'm gonna need all the luck I can get, I'm sure.

Enthusiast, OT once more: was I living under a rock or someplace past few years? I was under the impression that at home, using XP-HOME not XP-Professional I can't really have windows shares. And that LAN referred to just me and the router :thumbsup: And no, I never want to synch the computers, just a bit of back and forth copying or moving. But to take it totally far out - does this mean I could make a drive image on a second computer? Just toss me couple words regarding all this, I'll really appreciate it.

#9 Enthusiast

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 05:50 PM

I think you can set a second network for your computers using a workgroup, seperate from whatever you might be using for business (if you are) and by allowing filesharing you should be able to move or copy files.

Edited by Enthusiast, 26 September 2006 - 05:52 PM.


#10 tos226

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 06:50 PM

Thanks guys.
Sometimes the other computer has VPN, sometimes it does not. I'll have to deal with it of course. Somehow. Anyway, thanks for just pointing me in the right direction on both subjects. I'll do a deep dive into all this for me after I do the main subject - the computer to computer move for that new laptop.

#11 Enthusiast

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 09:38 AM

VPN for remote access or a WAN?

You should still be able to create a lan and be able to choose which you will use when you want to use the router at home and network to your other computer with it as well as internet access.

#12 usasma

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 10:31 AM

FWIW - if the networking isn't working easily for you (it sometimes does that), you might want to consider putting her hard drive in a USB enclosure (you can find them for $20 on the web) - and then she'll have a USB drive to hook to the laptop.
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#13 tos226

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 10:33 PM

you might want to consider putting her hard drive in a USB enclosure (you can find them for $20 on the web) - and then she'll have a USB drive to hook to the laptop.

That's got to be the cutest idea I've ever heard. this forum is so great! I'm not sure we'll do it, but just to know of another way is so neat when the time comes (soon).

You should still be able to create a lan and be able to choose which you will use when you want to use the router at home and network to your other computer with it as well as internet access.

I tried a dry run of network at home.
My computer is XP. THe other one is Windows2000.
On the XP computer I'm allowing the W2K IP address in the trusted zone in ZoneAlarm.
On W2k I told it to use the Shared stuff on the XP. That worked great. W2K can read and write files on XP shared section.
BUT, I totally failed to be able to do something similar on my XP. Can't see any directories in the W2K computer. I was doing the Network Wizard and Network connections and tried drive mappings of the //computer/shares variety. It won't work. At one point in those endless dialogs, I thought I was close. I typed in the IP address of the W2K computer and my XP said you can't make a new connection here 'cause that IP address is already connected. It's not vital, but is there a step-by-step someplace?

Oh, the W2K computer is Windows NT. It has a concept of workgroups, I fiddled there as well, but really I have no idea what I'm doing.


As far as transfer of data - we will try the network route, if I figure out at home how to do it. In the transfer instance, both computers will be XP-home.

#14 Enthusiast

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 06:56 AM

You can network a W2K computer to an XP computer - you just can't install the XP wizard in it so you have to do it manually on the W2K machine.

See if any of the info here helps:
http://compnetworking.about.com/cs/homenet...omenetguide.htm

Or here:
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/home-network.htm

#15 tos226

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 07:43 AM

Enthusiast, I just read/scanned it all, but did not find the answer to my original issue

On W2k I told it to use the Shared stuff on the XP. That worked great. W2K can read and write files on XP shared section.
BUT, I totally failed to be able to do something similar on my XP. Can't see any directories in the W2K computer.

Bottom line - W2K can use files from XP
XP cannot use files from W2K.
XP is not seeing W2K, yet at one point insisted that W2K is already on the network.
Each computer can easily ping the other.

I found the second reference less clear, perhaps because it's so fragmented.
The first reference, HowStuffWorks is excellent, isn't it? If I could only find an exact scenario for dummies...




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