Yes, it’s that time of year – Christmas. There will be a lot of people getting computers for the holidays. There are always are. While we are Raleigh computer tech experts at Buckeye Raleigh Computer Repair, we understand that a lot of people getting these computers are not. This leads to a number of common questions for most people. Let’s examine a few of these questions.

How do I get all my data from my old computer to the new one?

There are a number of ways to transfer data from your old computer to your new computer. The most common by far is the “Windows Easy Transfer” wizard. If you are running any kind of recent operating system, this option should be available to you courtesy of the folks at Microsoft. Go to the Start and go to the “Search” area – the little area at the bottom of the menu where you can type things in to either search or to launch. Just type in “Transfer”. You will see a few things come up and one of those will be the “Windows Easy Transfer”. This will give you the transfer wizard interface. You can just go through this wizard and transfer all settings from the old PC to your new PC with a minimum of fuss.

This particular method uses 3 different modes of data transfer. You will be able to select from a transfer cable, a network, or an external hard drive or USB Flash drive. Your best option will depend on the things available to you.

Windows Easy Transfer Cable

If you have the Windows transfer cable – a USB driven method – all you need to do is get the two computers close enough to use the cable. Cables are usually about 3 feet long. Position your computers accordingly. This method works pretty well if you can get your computers close enough. Cables are usually in the 20 dollar range. They can be found at computer stores usually. If you have some advance notice that you will be doing data transfer (you KNEW about your Christmas present), you can order them online and save a few bucks.

Network Transfer

This method of data transfer can work fairly well, though it can be slower than other methods depending on your setup. If you are running a wireless network for example, your data transfer speeds will be pretty slow in comparison to one of the other methods. If you have computers on either end of your house, and don’t feel like moving them close enough for the Cable transfer method, it can work nicely. Just slow.

External Hard drive / USB Flash drive

This method works very well. You will essentially bring the data off your old computer to a hard drive or USB thumb drive that you will then use the “sneakernet” (walk it over to your new computer) to get to your new machine. USB transfer can be pretty speedy, plus you will have a copy of the data on the thumb or external hard drive as a backup in case anything bad happens. The downside is that it is two steps – get data from old machine and then connect to new machine and transfer the data to the new machine. The other two methods do it all as one step really.

How about all my old PC applications?

The one shortcoming of the data transfer wizard is that you still have to install all your old applications onto the new computer. Ideally, you need to do this BEFORE you transfer the data from the old PC. In some cases, you will be upgrading those applications. In still other cases, you very well may decide that particular applications have outlived their usefulness and it’s time to just let them go. We always find a few of those when we do our internal machines here. Use this as an opportunity to do a little housekeeping and get rid of the dead weight. If you have PC problems find out more about repair at

Can’t EVERYTHING be moved at one time? Data AND applications?

We did do some checking and there are some data transfer utilities that promise exactly that. We have seen one called LapLink PC Mover that promises a simpler experience by moving the applications and data in one shot. We have read reviews indicating that it’s NOT as easy as all that, however, knowing what we have to go through using standard transfer methods, it STILL sounds a whole lot easier. One comment when we reviewed the software was that one individual still had to put in registration keys. Bearing in mind that hours upon hours can be spent installing all these applications, the time required to input a serial number is trivial. Still we can’t necessarily throw our support behind this until we’ve seen it in action. It is out there though.

The biggest issue we see with it is that there are so many variables in every computer setup. As we’ve always said – take two identical PCs, add the same software and you will STILL end up with two PCs with different operational characteristics. We can’t tell you exactly why, but we’ve seen it many MANY times. If you need help with this in our service area, find out more about our new computer setup services – Transfer data from old pc to new computer.