Windows 7 has been out a few months now and is the fastest selling operating system in history. But still, many people are still using Windows XP. Windows XP is a good operating system and has been in use since the year 2001. XP feels like an old friend with whom we are very comfortable. The familiar interface, behavior and features of Window XP have blunted the need to move on and try new things.
But if you go to your local computer store or look online you will see an amazing array of new computers, especially laptops with more power and storage at lower that ever prices. And these laptops are 64 bit with multiple cores and lots of RAM. For example, how would you like a dual-core laptop with 4 GB RAM and a 7200 RPM SATA drive for $499.00?
So the temptation is to buy that fast computer with the great graphics and features, but when you do, what are you going to do with your old XP machine? It has all your documents, your pictures, your favorites, email and Office settings. How to move all of that?
Windows Easy Transfer is found in Accessories, System Tools. WET can move your old stuff to the new computer with a minimum of fuss. Even installing WET on the old XP box to collect your data is very convenient. One of the simplest ways is to start the Easy Transfer wizard on the new Windows 7 machine and let it copy the Easy Transfer application onto a flash drive. Attach the flash drive to the old PC and let it collect your files into a single migration file. The migration file can be placed on a network share or a removable drive. Microsoft also sells a USB cable that will transfer the files directly between computers. The .mig file can be applied to the Windows 7 computer at any time but it is important to install applications such as Office so that user preferences and settings will be successfully imported. I have used the migration file to save my files and setting when I do a clean reinstall of Windows on the original hardware. This can be useful in an upgrade scenario when you wish to avoid upgrading a problem-plagued computer. Better to start fresh than to spend long hours troubleshooting.
Microsoft has a nice overview of upgrade issues and Easy Transfer at: