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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:40 am 
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My new Win 7 Pro computer arrives next week and I have a gazillion files/folders to transfer from my old Win 7 Ultimate computer. I have purchased a 2TB USB 3.0 external drive to be used in the transfer.

I know I can do a drag & drop of my data files/folders to and from the external drive. But I am also intrigued about using Easy Transfer, as that would transfer not only my files/folders but also some current settings (email, program, user account, internet, etc).

I would appreciate any advice/recommendation/experience on which is the better way to go. Thanks in advance.....

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:54 pm 
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My preference would be to copy the data to the external drive *and* use Easy Transfer. I would also typically copy the data from the old PC to new over the network after running Easy Transfer on the new PC and before retiring the old PC.

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:04 pm 
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sboots wrote:
My preference would be to copy the data to the external drive *and* use Easy Transfer. I would also typically copy the data from the old PC to new over the network after running Easy Transfer on the new PC and before retiring the old PC.

Steve, I appreciate your response, but you lost me on your last statement. I guess I don't understand why I should also copy the data from the old PC to the new one over my wifi network? Is this just to ensure that Easy Transfer did it's job and didn't miss anything? I've never used ET before, so I'm sorta at a loss as to how it really works.

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:41 pm 
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Sorry to add the confusion. I'll revise my last statement. Let Easy Transfer do its thing and then move data over that it didn't move. :-)

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:54 pm 
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Got it.........thanks.

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:53 pm 
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Please still do the drag and drop along with Easy Transfer. Then you can later use Sync Toy, or another sync utility, to maintain a 'live' backup of your data. I use Sync Toy to sync my data between my desktop and laptop. This makes them sort of a backup of each other. I also sync my data to a different drive mounted in my desktop. LOL! I'm not done yet. I also do system images as I'm sure that you know. I do an image of just the OS drive weekly (and/or before doing something drastic with my systems) and an image of both the OS and data drives monthly. This may seem like a LOT of data backups but an OS can be clean installed and everything else then installed. If data is lost it is just plain gone.

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:57 pm 
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I would have all the data and all my software on an external drive.

Then install the new programs clean, and copy the data in. I don't like "transfer" programs.


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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:48 pm 
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jaylach wrote:
Please still do the drag and drop along with Easy Transfer. Then you can later use Sync Toy, or another sync utility, to maintain a 'live' backup of your data. I use Sync Toy to sync my data between my desktop and laptop. This makes them sort of a backup of each other. I also sync my data to a different drive mounted in my desktop. LOL! I'm not done yet. I also do system images as I'm sure that you know. I do an image of just the OS drive weekly (and/or
before doing something drastic with my systems) and an image of both the OS and data drives monthly. This may seem like a LOT of data backups but an OS can be clean installed and everything else then installed. If data is lost it is just plain gone.

Jay, thanks for the response. I understand how to do drag & drop of data folders/files, but not for settings (program, email, internet, etc.). That's why I wanted to try Easy Transfer in hopes that at least the majority of my settings would be transferred; if not, I'll try the export-import functions where I can.

If I run into problems during the transfer, my data folders/files and my settings will always be safe on my current computer. There I probably do as many if not more backups than you, LOL. Specifically, I create a system image of my c: drive (contains OS and data) on two separate 2 TB external drives weekly; I also do a Windows backup of my data files weekly; and thanks to Patty I started using SyncToy to do weekly backups of my data to yet another external drive. And on my REALLY important data files (spreadsheets, documents, financial, etc.), I also do a drag & drop to a flash drive whenever I create or modify a file. And finally, I periodically create a system image of my c: drive on a 2nd internal drive.

Throughout this process of populating my new Win 7 computer, my current Win 7 computer will remain my primary one. So I will always have access to my programs and data should I screw something up. Then when I feel like I'm ready to cut over to my new computer, I will drag & drop any of my data files that might have changed (or like you suggested, use Sync Toy to maintain live data).

Have you ever had a bad experience with Easy Transfer?

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:02 pm 
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I can't say that I've had a bad experience with Easy Transfer but I don't tend to use it.

Like Pete I'm a bit old fashioned. If I set up a new system I tend to go from scratch.

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:04 pm 
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Peter2150 wrote:
I would have all the data and all my software on an external drive.

Then install the new programs clean, and copy the data in. I don't like "transfer" programs.

Thanks Pete. But I don't understand what software you are talking about having on my external drive?

I know how to install programs clean, and I know how to copy the data in. However, except for a few export-import functions, I don't know how to copy in the various settings (programs, email, internet, etc). So I was hoping to save myself some configuration time by using Easy Transfer. And if I screw something up, my data and settings will still be safe on my current computer.

Having never used Easy Transfer before, maybe I just don't understand how it works. Maybe that's why everyone is telling me to use drag & drop. Have you ever had a bad experience with Easy Transfer?

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:18 pm 
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Well OK, Jay & Pete. You 'old fashion' guys now have me all worried about using Easy Transfer. So I am going to go have me a snack, walk my dogs, go to bed, and then dream about it all. I may indeed wake up having 2nd thoughts about ET. I DO know how to go from scratch.....just getting lazy in my old age.

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:23 pm 
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You should not normally have an issue with Easy Transfer. From everything I've seen it works quite well. I just choose to not use it. For one thing, if I set up a new system, my drive configuration is probably going to be different. While not normal this could potentially cause some issues with Easy Transfer.

As an example I use Live Mail which I believe that do also. My Live Mail Store (where all the mail stuff is kept) is on my data drive. Say that I go from three internal drives to four on the new system. It is quite likely that drive letters will change making the settings brought in by Easy Transfer pretty useless. Now I have to go in to Drive Management to change drive letters. Of course that is easy to do and not a real problem but adds time and frustration.

Also consider that Easy Transfer tends to take a LOT longer then drag and drop. Of course some of that time is made up by not having to change settings but then again not all settings are carried over anyway.

I've tried it both ways and, in my specific case, have found that it is actually quicker to just drag and drop and change program settings as I go than it is with Easy Transfer.

<edit>
You posted while I was typing... Don't be afraid of Easy Transfer as it seems to work quite well. I just think that it is quicker to just start from scratch and drag and drop.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:54 am 
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Bbarry

what I have besides data is all the installation programs, so I can install from scratch. Installing from scratch just means you are starting with a clean system. If Easy Transfer works well, you win, but one glitch and the time lost my have made the whole thing a time waster.


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:34 pm 
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I don't want to, but I should, weigh in on Easy Transfer. It's a great idea. I've never had it work. And it is the slowest thing in the universe. ;) I do a clean install. Since I never disturb my data partition by doing so, my data is all there. I only have to refresh the pointers to those folders from their default locations on C. If it's a different machine, I simply use my data backup to restore the data.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:02 pm 
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MacDuffie wrote:
I don't want to, but I should, weigh in on Easy Transfer. It's a great idea. I've never had it work. And it is the slowest thing in the universe. ;) I do a clean install. Since I never disturb my data partition by doing so, my data is all there. I only have to refresh the pointers to those folders from their default locations on C. If it's a different machine, I simply use my data backup to restore the data.

Well Patty, I am now more disheartened than when I first posted my question. One of my reasons for wanting to use Easy Transfer was to have various settings (program, email, internet, etc) transferred to my new computer, in addition to actual data files like spreadsheets, photos, documents, etc.

Maybe I don't understand what a Windows data backup really consists of. Does it include various settings - I don't know the answer to that?

When I go to the Windows Backup screen and click on Manage Space, it shows me how my external disk space was used by Windows Backup. For example, my last backup shows:
495 GB Data File Backup (I saved last three periods)
296 GB System Image
223 GB Other Files
850 GB Free Space
1.82 TB Total Size

I understand that the System Image captures everything on my C: drive (BTW, I have everything on my C: drive - OS, programs and data, i.e., I don't have a separate data drive). But I really don't know what files are included in the 'Data File Backup', and I especially don't know what's included in the 'Other Files'. I assume all my data is there someplace, but what about the various settings that I was hoping to transfer? And what about the many, many old email messages that I want to transfer to my new computer (Easy Transfer says it will do that).

I guess when you do a clean install, you don't worry about transferring any settings?

One last question before you transfer me off the CH forum, lol. When you say you never had ET work, what kind of problems did you encounter?

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:33 pm 
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Why not go look? :) Navigate to your external drive, open the various folders. They'll tell you you don't have permission to do so, just say continue and they open. I forget what it is called in Windows 7. Jay? The folder is called FileHistory on Windows 8 and 10. I forget what it is called on 7. Should have something to do with backup.

Jay, am I wrong on this? Was the data backup in Win 7 in native file format and normal folder structure? Because previous to that it was this horrible zip file stuff with catalog. Horrible.

BB, it will have all of your user data folders. Settings are not data, they are settings. ;) Excel spreadsheets, Email, Word docs, Music, Pictures, Videos... those are data. But you should take a look and see what is there.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:30 am 
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:rofl2: Let's not put me on the spot or anything... :mrgreen:

Yes, if there is an access denied dialog click to continue.

I can't comment much on File History as I do not use it. I use drag and drop along with Sync Toy syncing between my laptop and desktop as a data backup. I WILL say that, in one of these threads, it was said that File History/File Backup related to the Previous Version capability In Win 7. Actually Previous Version is part of System Restore if I am not mistaken. I do not think that I am wrong as I have File History turned off yet still have Previous Version... Sigh, it may actually be that it is File Backup and not File History.

It would be a rather long post but, if requested, I will be more than happy to outline exactly how I go about setting up a new system without using Easy Transfer yet end up with all my favorites, cookies and all data intact.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:18 am 
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MacDuffie wrote:
Why not go look? :) Navigate to your external drive, open the various folders. They'll tell you you don't have permission to do so, just say continue and they open. I forget what it is called in Windows 7. Jay? The folder is called FileHistory on Windows 8 and 10. I forget what it is called on 7. Should have something to do with backup.

Jay, am I wrong on this? Was the data backup in Win 7 in native file format and normal folder structure? Because previous to that it was this horrible zip file stuff with catalog. Horrible.

BB, it will have all of your user data folders. Settings are not data, they are settings. ;) Excel spreadsheets, Email, Word docs, Music, Pictures, Videos... those are data. But you should take a look and see what is there.

Patty, I had looked on my external drive..........245 Zip files with catalog, so I wasn't sure where to look next.

And I do know that settings are not data. I know other ways of transferring my data (drag/drop, export/import, etc). What I don't know how to do is transfer all my settings, which Easy Transfer says it will do.

But you said you never had ET work for you. Would you mind sharing with me the problems you encountered? Thanks..........

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:34 am 
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jaylach wrote:
It would be a rather long post but, if requested, I will be more than happy to outline exactly how I go about setting up a new system without using Easy Transfer yet end up with all my favorites, cookies and all data intact.

Jay, I would appreciate that, as it may be the way I end up going to set up my new Win 7 Pro computer. I'm not exactly receiving many favorable comments about using Microsoft's Easy Transfer.

Hopefully your post will also show me how to transfer my program and email settings (including the transfer of old emails/folders).

As a suggestion, you might then want to include your post in the "Detailed How To's" forum, as I imagine it would prove useful to other members.

Thank you..........

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:24 pm 
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This isn't rocket science nor does it have to be complicated. I use a trick I learned from an old IT master.

All my data, I repeat all, resides in folders under a master folder called......Backup. It resides under My Documents. All my office programs point to somewhere in that backup folder.

To transfer data to another computer, I simply copy the whole folder Backup to an external disk. Then on the new machine, I copy it to My Documents. All I have to do is point the new programs to the same folders, and I am done. Really simple

Oh and I use sync program to keep that folder current. TaDa


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:33 pm 
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Peter2150 wrote:
This isn't rocket science nor does it have to be complicated. I use a trick I learned from an old IT master.

All my data, I repeat all, resides in folders under a master folder called......Backup. It resides under My Documents. All my office programs point to somewhere in that backup folder.

To transfer data to another computer, I simply copy the whole folder Backup to an external disk. Then on the new machine, I copy it to My Documents. All I have to do is point the new programs to the same folders, and I am done. Really simple

Oh and I use sync program to keep that folder current. TaDa
This is how do it as well but with terminology/folders that fit my inclinations. It's simple and very easy to move while maintaining the same structure.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:47 pm 
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File Backup is an excellent, well-designed, backup program - the best I have seen.

Previous Versions is not related to System Restore - System Restore does not store or restore data files. That's why it works so well.

BB, it's been so long I'm not sure I can recall the problems. I do know that length of time was a real issue. Restoring to the correct place might have been as well. Here's what I would do, just so we don't throw out the baby with the bath water. <g> Use Easy Transfer for settings only - don't let it do your data. Use copy and paste to backup drive for your data. It seems as though Windows 7 still used the zip/catalog method of backup. It's awful. Use SyncToy to external drive instead.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:30 pm 
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Peter2150 wrote:
This isn't rocket science nor does it have to be complicated. I use a trick I learned from an old IT master.

All my data, I repeat all, resides in folders under a master folder called......Backup. It resides under My Documents. All my office programs point to somewhere in that backup folder.

To transfer data to another computer, I simply copy the whole folder Backup to an external disk. Then on the new machine, I copy it to My Documents. All I have to do is point the new programs to the same folders, and I am done. Really simple

Oh and I use sync program to keep that folder current. TaDa

Well maybe that's my problem, Pete. I made my living as a rocket scientist, working for NASA and Jet Propulsion Labs.

So let me ask you a question. You keep talking about your all-inclusive folder called Backup under My Documents. Does it include entities like:
- Program settings that will keep all my programs configured on my new computer like I have them on my old computer? I must have 20 programs that I will be reinstalling on my new computer, and I was hoping to avoid the need of reconfiguring all of these. For example, I have the Microsoft Office programs set up just the way I like each one of them. Same for Lotus, GPS BootCamp, TeamViewer, Weather Station Pro, Quicken (several programs), iTunes, etc.
- Old email messages? I have emails going back 20+ years, some from friends and relatives who are now deceased. I want these transferred to my new computer.
- Email account settings. I have five email accounts, each set up the way I want and I would like to transfer these settings to my new computer.
- User settings. I would like for my new computer to retain my desktop background, screen saver, task bar options, start menu options, etc.

So, if your master Backup folder contains any/all of the above settings, how did you store them there? If it doesn't, then we are talking apples and oranges here.

For example, I have hundreds of Microsoft Word personal and business documents dating back to 1993. I know how to transfer these documents to another computer. I know how to reinstall Word. And I know how to reconfigure Word. I was just hoping to get some help from Easy Transfer. :)

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:49 pm 
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MacDuffie wrote:
File Backup is an excellent, well-designed, backup program - the best I have seen.

Previous Versions is not related to System Restore - System Restore does not store or restore data files. That's why it works so well.

BB, it's been so long I'm not sure I can recall the problems. I do know that length of time was a real issue. Restoring to the correct place might have been as well. Here's what I would do, just so we don't throw out the baby with the bath water. <g> Use Easy Transfer for settings only - don't let it do your data. Use copy and paste to backup drive for your data. It seems as though Windows 7 still used the zip/catalog method of backup. It's awful. Use SyncToy to external drive instead.

Patty, that's not a bad idea......use Easy Transfer to transfer only my settings, which is what I am most worried about. I know how to transfer my data files other ways and how to reinstall my programs.

For kicks, I may have ET transfer data for a couple of my simple programs, just to see how it works. I'll keep you posted. But first my new computer must arrive.......snow storm Jonas delayed it's production in Virginia. :cry:

You mentioned File Backup as being a very well-designed program. I'm not sure what you are referring to here......the file backup/restore capability of Windows, or is this a separate program to be downloaded or purchased?

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:02 pm 
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No BB A file folder only contains files. I don't keep emails the way you did expressly to avoid the problem you have. All the emails I want to keep are exported from Outlook into pdf files.

What I sense is you are looking for an easy way to set up the new computer. The best way is install the programs clean. It will be the best in the long run.

I know you have some old programs you want to keep, but like the old computer sometimes in the long run, it's best to change. When I setup a new computer, I have a list of what gets installed, and I give it a week to do. No easy road, but in the long run the best.


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