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How to copy programs, files, and settings to your new PC
There are a couple easy ways to transfer your software programs from one hard drive to another, or from one computer to another - and without breaking the bank.
Let's say you recently purchased a new computer or laptop, and you'd like to move or copy the installed applications from the old computer to the new one.
Or maybe you purchased a second hard drive that's bigger and faster than your current hard drive, and you'd like to move programs from the old hard drive to the new one.
1. Laplink PCmover is a migration utility that moves programs, files, and settings from your old PC to your new PC.
Windows writes certain keys to your computer's registry when you install a program, and makes associations with other modules and/or installed programs. It's almost impossible to manually transfer these settings to another computer, which is what PCmover does automatically.
You'll need to install PCmover on both your old and new computers (handled by a single license) and it will determine which programs, files, and settings need to be moved. When the transfer is complete, your new computer will have the personality and functionality of your old PC plus all of its own pre-installed software.
PCmover works with almost any Windows operating system, from Windows 95 to Vista. You can even use it to migrate your PC to an Intel-based Mac.
One thing I like about PCmover is it's selectivity features. You can choose which applications, folders and files to take with you when you migrate to your new PC or hard drive.
Here's a video review of PCmover on Youtube that walks you through the transfer process:
PCmover can migrate your PC across a network, Laplink USB cable, Laplink parallel cable, Windows Easy Transfer Cable, or any type of removable media that can be read by both PCs. If your computer has multiple users, PCmover gives you the option to migrate some or all of the users at once. The security information about file ownership and access control is preserved for each user.
Here's a download link for PCmover.
2. Disk Imaging Software: Another way to transfer programs to another hard drive or system is by using disk imaging software that creates an exact image (copy) of your hard drive. You can then copy that image to another hard drive, another partition, or another computer system.
Disk imaging software like Genie Soft Backup Manager Home 8.0 (my personal favorite) or Acronis True Image 11 Home will create an exact image of your hard drive, including all software programs, email messages - even the operating system itself. You can then take this disk image and copy it to another hard drive or system.
I wrote a separate article about backing up your system using disk imaging software, that will give you more detail information about these programs from Genie and Acronis.
With either the migration utility or the disk imaging programs, you'll save a lot of time and money by not having to buy new licenses for software that you already own!