Smart Computing Magazine Review
Migrate To A New PC
- Vol.20 Issue 3
Migrate To A New PC
Notable Feature: It transfers both data and programs from one PC to another, so you won’t have to deal with the dialog boxes, disc swapping, and other menial tasks that installing all of your software would otherwise entail.
You just can’t get around buying a new PC every once in a while. And while that new machine might be shiny and fast, it lacks much of the personal work environment found on your old computer. You likely have a host of programs and particular settings you need, not to mention all the data you have created and saved on your old PC.
There are two solutions to the problem of migrating data, settings, and programs from one computer to another. First, you can do it essentially on your own. You can gather up all of your important data (work files, photos, etc.) and either burn it to a DVD or transfer it over a network to the new computer. Then you can track down all of your software installation CDs and load all of your favorite programs onto the new PC. That’s fine, but it can be time-consuming if you have a lot of data or programs. You’re also bound to lose a lot of your customized settings.
The second method is to use software that can do the job of transferring your valuable files and programs to another computer automatically. SoftRescue Pro from Anovasoft is one of a couple such applications that make the migration pretty simple. We found that it has a basic interface and a set of steps that is easy to follow.
Out With The Old
You will need to install SoftRescue Pro on both the old and new machine. First, you should open up the program on the old PC. Across the top of the application window you will see a string of buttons that you will need to work your way through from left to right. Click the first button in the string to scan your computer for programs and the second to select the drive and folder where the archive created by SoftRescue will be temporarily stored. If you have a big external drive, that makes it easy to share the file later with the new PC.
Next, select from a list of which data files (such as the My Documents or My Pictures folder) and which programs you would like to migrate to the new computer. If there are some programs you don’t need, you can simply skip them. Choose carefully, as eliminating unnecessary programs will make the process faster. After you do that, another click starts the process of saving all of those files into one compressed archive file. This part can take a while-maybe hours, depending on how much data you have on your hard drive.
In With The New
When the archive is complete on the old computer, you run the program on the new PC, pick the Restore option, and browse to your big archive file. Wait a while-again, this could take a considerable amount of time-and SoftRescue attempts to rebuild all of your programs so that they work just as they did on the old computer.
One of the best parts about this process is that all of the necessary interaction takes place at the front end. You just set up the program and let it do its work.
The results aren’t perfect. Some programs may still require you to insert installation discs before they will work correctly. But most should run as expected.
SoftRescue isn’t particularly cheap at about $70. Also, keep in mind that SoftRescue requires either a network connecting the two PCs or a large external drive to make the transfer (rather than including a USB cable for directly transferring files from one machine to another).
by Anne Steyer Phelps
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