There is no need for you to reinstall every single program when you purchase a new computer or when you format your hard disk. Windows Vista provides Easy Transfer, a utility that can easily transfer and restore your old settings.
What can you transfer
Windows Easy Transfer can transfer files and settings for the following: e-mail, pictures and videos, user accounts, Internet and favorites, programs, music, contacts and messages. You can use Easy Transfer to restore the application settings.
Note: To transfer files and settings from or to an Windows XP computer, you need to install Easy Transfer (Windows Easy Transfer is already installed on Windows Vista). To do this, insert your Windwos Vista DVD into your Windows XP computer, select the “Transfer files and settings from another” computer option and follow the instructions on the screen
Step 1: export your old file and settings
• To start Windows Easy Transfer, click the Start button and then choose All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and finally Windows Easy Transfer.
• If you have any opened application, the wizard will ask you to close them; click “Close all”
• Select “Start a new transfer”
• Select “My Old Computer”
• Now you need to figure out which transfer method to use.
These methods are:
1. Network - You can create a local area connection between two computers and transfer settings from one computer to another.
2. CDs or DVDs - You can store your files and settings on a CD/DVD.
3. Easy Transfer Cable - A special cable which allows you to directly connect the two computers. Be advised that this is not a standard USB cable and you have to buy it separately.
4. Removable media - Plug in a USB flash drive stick and use it to transfer settings.
You can also use this tutorial if you select any of the methods mentioned above
• Select “Use a CD, DVD”, or other removable media
• Choose “CD or DVD”
• Select your DVD drive and click Next (note that you can also use a password so that you are the only one that can import the files and settings)
Clicking on “Advanced Options” will allow you to customize your transfer: Add Files from a specific location without transferring other files from that folder; Add Folders from a specific location along with the files in that folder; Select Drives to add a whole drive with its content; Exclude Folders that you do not wish to transfer.
Step 2: Import files and settings
After you have completed these steps, it is time to restore your old files and settings.
• Start Windows Easy Transfer: click the “Start” button and then choose “All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and Windows Easy Transfer”.
• If you have any opened applications, the wizard will ask you to close them; select “Close all”
• Select “Continue a transfer in progress”
• Choose “No I’ve copied files and settings to a CD/DVD or other removable media”
• Select “on a CD or DVD”
• Select your DVD drive (make sure the DVD you created in the previous steps is in the DVD drive)
• Select or create a new user name
• Click on “Transfer”
All your old files and settings are now transferred to your new computer.