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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    Two apps for easier migration to a new PC


    Best Software

    Two apps for easier migration to a new PC


    By Tracey Capen

    Moving to a new PC is a bit like moving to a new home; packing and unpacking all your stuff takes time and effort.

    But specialized applications can assist with the tedious process of transferring applications, settings, and data if you're willing to pay for the help and you know the limitations.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/best-software/two-apps-for-easier-migration-to-a-new-pc/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    2 Star Lounger
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    How does using a PC migration tool such as PC Mover compare with imaging the hard drive of one computer using a tool such as Macrium Reflect then restoring the image of the drive to a new computer?
    Nathan Parker
    President/CEO
    Mallard Computer, Inc.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    In this case, 'migrate' is being used in the sense of moving apps and data from one version of an OS to another (usually newer) version of the OS, e.g. Windows 7 to Windows 10. Obviously this is different from restoring an image to a new device, i.e. the same OS.

    Hope this helps...

  4. #4
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    Wow - thats really appalling that an expensive app with a probable single use is pushing utilities and promo links like that. This is more than most free apps push.

    Theres also a lesson in there - always archive your installers with any purchased keys. Finding the right version and keys later on is much easier then.
    I also make a little spreadsheet with a list of apps to install with links and notes so I have an easy record and why I did or didn't install this or that.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to DavidFB For This Useful Post:

    eikelein (2016-10-11)

  6. #5
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    Grrr, NO and NO

    .
    Well, Sir Tracey,

    Thank you for this glaring, loud and clear vote for DIY!

    Why would any thinking person even consider to try such apparent junk?

    One of the oldest lessons I think I must have "learned" somewhere around the switch from Windows 98 to Windows 98SE was to better re-install from scratch than even only to risk getting junk from an "old" installation transferred into the new one. I remember no details and only vaguely the frustration of trying Laplink when migrating from 98 to 98SE but I remember clearly throwing the serial "Laplink Transfer Cable" in the trash before I switched from 98SE to XP.

    And tools or utilities that don't ALWAYS work dependably - grrr, that's stuff my nightmares are made of.

    And to have to lay out money for this kind of "goodie"...

    Again, THANK YOU for the refresher!
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
    SE Wisconsin

  7. #6
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    I have used PC Mover, in multiple incarnations, for years. Usually there are one or two things that need tweaking, but normally are due to some odd or unusual factor in my system. I have found that it sometimes moves things which while harmless, are not needed. For instance, I recently ran a utility to gather all my program registration codes. I was amused to find the one for Win XP, which was not one but two generation of machines ago.

  8. #7
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    FWIW, there's another situation that fits in with this that may be worth mentioning. I retired an old desktop PC and wanted to "transfer" the copy of Office 2010 Home/Student to a new Win10 computer.

    I had the disks and was able to install it fine, but that also meant going through and changing all the settings to ones I had on my old computer. I decided to try CloneApp (free) to see how well it did at copying the settings. Much to my delight, it did 99% of the work for me. I only had to copy over some templates and I was good to go.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  9. #8
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    I recently purchased a new PC and decided to try using software to migrate apps and program data from the old Windows 10 PC, to the new Windows 10 PC. I tried the paid versions of both Laplink's PCmover ($60) and EaseUS Todo PC Pro ($50). Both failed miserably. Both indicated that 80-90% of my apps could be transferred, and both successfully transferred only about 25% of my apps (nothing exotic - just routine apps). I spent hours trying to get everything to work (including multiple chats and calls to product support), then spent hours transferring most of my apps the old fashioned way (reinstalling) and cleaning off a bunch of garbage on the new machine with pieces of apps that failed to run.

    I then spent hours trying to get a refund from the companies - I finally succeeded in getting refunds from both, but they did NOT make the process easy (in one case I had to complain to my State Attorney General before I received the refund that was promised on the website if the program did not work). Bottom line: don't bother with these transfer apps - they don't work for most programs, they garbage up your machine, and they don't (easily) honor their "money back guarantees".

  10. #9
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    Migrating Non-Destructively? MBR to GPT

    Good article, but I've run into a different, but perhaps somewhat related issue.

    I've had a desktop machine dual-boot running Win 7x64 or Win 8.1x64. I wanted to upgrade the Win 8.1 to Win 10, but when I tried, it indicated that the system needed to be changed from MBR (Master Boot Record) to the newer GPT boot record format. This demand evidently was connected to the fact that this machine was EFI-compatible, and that a second (data only drive) was already formatted in that GPT format; however, the boot drive was MBR.

    Looking for ways to non-destructively convert the boot drive from MBR to GPT was (and is) the issue. Sure there are many programs out there that will convert the drive partitions to GPT, but then neither Windows partition is bootable. I came across AOMEI that said that the partitions could be made bootable (with all of installed programs intact), but perhaps I am not doing something correctly.

    Fortunately, I was able to reactivate the MBR partitions without losing any information, but I am still stymied as to how to get Win 10 installed without making the drive GPT partitioned. If it would be problematic to have Win 10 update the Win 8.1 partition, I would be amenable to creating a new partition for Win 10, but I am simply not having any success in converting the MBR bootable partitions to GPT with the functionality intact.

    One more wrinkle (or opportunity) in this scenario is that I acquired a SSD that I intended to convert/clone from the existing regular HDD. There is no problem cloning the existing drive, but the central issue that seems to apply to either drive, is the one about the MBR to GPT non-destructive conversion (or resurrection?). If this is doable, would it be better to do it with the currrent HDD, and then clone the drive, or clone the existing drive, and then try the conversion? I've tried it both ways, and get stopped at the same point: making the converted existing partitions bootable under GPT.

    Finally, installing Win 10 over Win 8.1 or into its own partition is a moot point until this conversion problem is solved.

    Any foolproof ideas? I'd really appreciate it. (And I don't know, but wonder if there is anyone else out there who has had this particular scenario?)

  11. #10
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    A few years back, when I was planning a move to a new hardware system, I purchased a copy of the Laplink software because it had lots of good recommendations. On my system it completely failed to move anything; it simply wouldn't function. After various unsuccessful attempts to get the software to do anything I contacted Laplink to organise a refund and they said they couldn't help me; I had to go through the vendor I had purchased it from. So I contacted them who told me, basically, "tough luck, not our problem". With no easy options available to me to force somebody to honour the "money-back guarantee" I had to just accept that I had lost the money and wasted my time. I ended up doing the PC move manually which was merely time-consuming, not fatal, and probably gave me a better system any way.

    I personally cannot and will not recommend the Laplink transfer software to anyone for any purpose.
    Bruce Probst
    Melbourne, Australia

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrisch View Post
    I wanted to upgrade the Win 8.1 to Win 10, but when I tried, it indicated that the system needed to be changed from MBR (Master Boot Record) to the newer GPT boot record format.
    There is no particular issue converting, the data doesn't change, only the boot mechanism.
    Your UEFI/GPT disk needs to have two partitions, one for the boot files, formatted as FAT32 and one for Windows etc, usually formatted as NTFS.

    Assuming you have 2 partitions, normal in W8, I suggest you connect the SSD and format it as GPT, then clone the partitions to the SSD using Aomei - I think it will do it. Make sure you select "align partitions" for the SSD.
    Now disconnect the old disk and re-boot. You will probably get a boot failure so you will need to boot from a Windows install CD and repair the boot information.

    Using this method you will still have your old disk to just plug back in if it all goes pear shaped.
    You should also make an image backup to be extra sure.

    cheers, Paul

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