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  1. #1
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    Windows Easy Transfer questions

    Since Microsoft is stopping their XP security updates, I guess I have no choice but to upgrade. My current desktop is XP Pro SP3 (32 bit), and I plan to get a new desktop with Windows 7 Pro (64 bit). [I also currently have a Windows 7 Pro (64 bit) laptop.] My computers are on an Ethernet network, and the new one will be also.

    I am attracted by Windows Easy Transfer, because it says it will transfer program settings, desktop icon configuration, etc. But my XP file structure is not the standard one (for example, all my photos and videos are in subfolders to an HMW Documents folder, rather than in My Picture and My Music as Windows intended). Also, I almost never install a program in the location that the program setup wants to put it. I have read every Microsoft article I can find on Easy Transfer, plus the excellent Windows Secrets articles and searched this forum, but none address my questions.

    1. Will Easy Transfer find all my XP files even though I do not have a standard folder structure?
    2. If the answer is yes, will it create my SAME folder structure on my Windows 7, or will it place them in the ‘standard’ Windows file structure?
    3. If the above cause problems, can I just transfer the program and desktop settings, and not the files? (I can easily transfer all my files manually via my network.) And will Easy Transfer find these programs on my XP even though I did not place them in the default folder(s)?
    4. Will Easy Transfer find ALL my programs, or just the popular ones (I have lots of utilities)?
    5. From reading the Easy Transfer instructions, it was not clear to me whether my programs had to be installed on the new computer BEFORE I run Easy Transfer, or after?

    Thanks for any help you can provide,


    Harry

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  3. #2
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    See if Transferring files and settings: frequently asked questions answers some of your questions.

    However, it might be best to run Easy Transfer on the XP system to find out what it does.

    Joe

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    See if Transferring files and settings: frequently asked questions answers some of your questions.

    However, it might be best to run Easy Transfer on the XP system to find out what it does.

    Joe
    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    I had already checked that Microsoft link. Sadly it did not help.

    Not sure what you mean 'run Easy Transfer on my XP system......'? Doesn't it require two computers to work? How else would I know what got placed where on the new computer?


    Harry

  5. #4
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    You have to run it on the XP system first to back up your files and settings. It creates reports of what it did. According to the link in my prior post, you can specify files that are in other than the default locations. So, you should be able to get your files in the data set to move. You can experiment with it on the XP side to see what you need to do to get the files what you want.

    I'd want to make sure that the XP side worked first before even worrying about the Win7 side.

    To more succinctly answer the questions in your first post:

    1.) Only if you tell it to through advanced options
    2.) I don't know. You may just have to try it and see.
    3.) Yes - you can skip the files.
    4.) I suspect Easy Transfer will only find programs that are installed. If you have non-installed or portable apps they won't be found. See my comment above about running Easy Transfer on the XP system.
    5.) You must not have read the article closely. From the article: "To use the programs from your old computer, install them on your new computer, and then transfer files and settings for those programs."

    Joe

  6. #5
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    Joe:

    Again, thanks for your prompt reply, and addressing all 5 of my questions.

    The Microsoft video on the page you referenced says to start the setup with the NEW computer, which is why I asked the question in my previous post.

    And in regards to #5, another of Windows many documents of this subject says you can transfer the files and settings before installing the programs.

    So that confusion is why I come to the experts at WindowsSecrets for the real answers!


    Harry

  7. #6
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    You can run Easy Transfer on the XP system any time you want. That is why I suggested you may wish to "play" with it on the XP side to see how it operates. Then you can run it one more time on the XP system when you are sure that the files on the XP system will not be modified before running it on the new PC.

    Joe

  8. #7
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    Also, all of us accumulate programs that fall into disuse or we forget about. I recommend you use this as an opportunity for some house cleaning.

    Joe

  9. #8
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    Joe:

    Thanks for the Easy Transfer update and the house cleaning suggestion. I have a program that searches for duplicate files plus another one that searches for duplicate photos, and I have already started getting rid of duplicates.

    Harry

  10. #9
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    Checking for duplicates is a good start but check all your programs too. You'll likely find programs you don't use any more too.

    Joe

  11. #10
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    Joe:

    Thanks so much for your recommendation to run some trials 1st. Since I also have a Win 7 PRO (64) laptop, I used it as the 'new' computer. I selected a few folders from different portions of my C: drive to test. Here is what I found, as well as a few questions for you relative to #5, #6 and #7:

    1. I tested by using a USB drive rather than the other transfer options. This helps assure that no mistake is made in transferring something I did not want.
    2. Contrary to some of Microsoft's statements, it does not seem to matter whether you start with the 'old' computer (i.e., XP) or the 'new' one (i.e., Win 7). The XP assumes it is the old computer. Win 7 gives you the choice to choose.
    3. I found the safest way to start on the 'Choose what to transfer from this computer' screen, was to UNCHECK both the User(s) and the Shared Items folders. Then click Custom under a User folder, and either check the primary subfolders you want on the dropdown, or click 'Advanced' at the bottom, and go through and select folder by folder. This way assures you do not get items transferred by forgetting to uncheck a folder.
    4. Data files stored in any place other than 'User' files (i.e., in C: or in Program Files) transfer to the exact same location and subfolder on Win 7 as on the XP. [data in 'Program Files' go to 'Program Files (x86)'.]
    5. Files in my 'Documents and Settings\HMW' (which is buried in several subfolders) transferred to the Win 7 default 'User\Valued Client', even though I have a 'HMW' user on Win 7, and 'HMW' is automatically selected as the 'User account on the new computer' on the Advanced Options->Map user accounts screen. Any idea why this happens?
    6. If I instead chose 'Custom Install' under the 'User account on the new computer' dropdown on the 'Map user accounts' screen and created a new User, then the files were installed correctly in this new User folder. However, lots of what appeared to be dummy folders (such as Pictures, Video, etc.) were also created, which I had to manually delete. Is there some way I can have only those folders created that I specified in the transfer?
    7. Do you know what is included in 'Windows Settings' option on the dropdown?
    8. I have not tested 'Program Settings', and don't plan to until after I install the programs on Win 7.
    9. This did an excellent job of creating a Program report of all the programs it found on my XP. I plan to go through and see what it missed, and also use this to eliminate some no longer used programs, as you suggested.
    10. This is going to be a VERY long process. I have lots of files and programs.
    11. I may leave not only programs that won't run on Win 7, but also ones like past editions of tax programs, etc. on my XP. These are programs that do not require access to the internet.
    12. I will have my new PC built with the same initial User name (HMW) as I have on my XP. That should make this transfer work so much better. For some reason my Win 7 always defaults to 'Valued Client' User name which the builder installed, and I cannot figure out why.
    13. I want to repeat a couple of these USB tests when I get my new Windows 7 desktop, before I go through the complete process. Depending on what I find, I will probably use my Network to accomplish the transfer.


    Again, thanks so much for your advice and patience.

    Harry
    Last edited by hmw; 2014-03-28 at 11:50.

  12. #11
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    4.) You don't want data to go in "Program Files" or "Program Files (x86)". Those folders and sub-folders are much more locked down. A program may not be able to access or modify data in those folders.

    5.) The user name you see in Windows is just a value associated with an internal code. The internal code will be different from machine to machine. The user name can be the same on any number of machines. It is the internal code which Windows and in this case Easy Transfer uses to match users when you let it work automatically.

    7.) I think it is:

    User accounts and settings. Desktop backgrounds, network connections, screen savers, Start menu options, taskbar options, folders, specific files, network printers and drives, and accessibility options.
    • Internet settings and favorites. Internet connection settings, favorites, and cookies.

    Not sure if there is more.

    BTW, nice work. Lot's of effort but better now than finding out later something was lost.

    Joe

  13. #12
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    Joe:

    WOW! What a rapid response. And thanks for the info on what is in 'Windows Settings'.

    You said:
    5.) The user name you see in Windows is just a value associated with an internal code. The internal code will be different from machine to machine. The user name can be the same on any number of machines. It is the internal code which Windows and in this case Easy Transfer uses to match users when you let it work automatically.

    Then what do I (or the builder) need to do to make sure on my new Win 7 desktop that Easy Transfer transfers files to the HMW User name, and not another User name like Valued Client? And can I test this on my current Win 7 laptop?

    Harry

  14. #13
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    I would have the computer created with a dummy account of any name which you can delete later at your leisure after you are sure everything is OK. I would logon with the dummy account and then follow your step #6 in post #10 with HMW being the new user.

    Joe

  15. #14
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    Joe:

    Thanks for the advice. That is what I will do.

    One related question: I assume I would install all my programs on the new computer when the dummy account is active (i.e., before I follow step #6 in post #10)?


    Harry
    Last edited by hmw; 2014-03-29 at 10:57.

  16. #15
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    You need the programs installed with an account which is a member of the adminstrators group.

    Joe

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