Jul 14, 2014

Work Life: Windows Easy Transfer XP to 8 - Not So Easy, but there is a cure!

Microsoft, in one fell swoop of brilliance, dumped XP support in the latest version of Windows Easy Transfer (WET), so folks that are trying to get off the now unsupported XP can move "up" to Windows 8.x are finding themselves frustrated and scratching their heads.

In fact, when you launch WET in Windows 8.x, you are presented with this:

Notice there is *NO* option for XP (or Vista, for that matter)! Well, there is *sort of* an option: the misleading "YES: if you saved..." But, that does not work if those files were saved from XP or Vista. Lovely. Also notice the option to do it over the network is gone! UGH!

So, Microsoft teamed up with Laplink (yes, the folks that pioneered parallel-cable data transfers) to offer a FREE version of Laplink PCmover for Windows XP.
Link: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/xp/transfer-your-data.aspx

You start by downloading the software on each computer. I suggest you start with the OLD machine first (XP or Vista):

  • The software scans your old computer for installed programs, registry, profiles, logs, etc.
  • Just click Next > Next > Next until you are presented with a screen that says "Go to your new computer"
Now, go to the NEW computer running Windows 8.x:
  • Browse for your old machine in the network name section, click OK.
  • The next step scans the old computer and compares it to the new computer.
    • Checks programs, settings, etc.
    • Most importantly, it scans for user profiles!
    • You are presented with a list of items. Pay attention to Users!
      • The system can show yo a list of users on the old system and will ask if those same users should be created on the new machine. Awesome feature!
  • Uncheck the stupid bloatware offers. 
  • Review the settings and click NEXT to start transfer.
  • Your transfer will vary in time based on what you have on the old machine.
    • I hit one error in which a user (domain user) no longer existed. The program simply skipped that profile!
  • At the end, you are given the option to View Reports, but I clicked it and nothing ever happened.
  • RESTART the new computer by clicking "FINISH."
After the restart, the new computer was a little slow in getting to login screen and then slow to the desktop. I can only assume that is because of various config changes taking place after the transfer. 

I was told my contacts (from my old WAB file) would be transferred. Cool, if I had needed that.

Finally, you are presented with a "Give Us Feedback" screen you can fill out or ignore.

So, the BAD NEWS is that Microsoft changed the game. The GOOD NEWS is that there is a solution, and so far as I can tell, it works as well as WET did for XP>Win7 migrations (maybe better, for all I know).

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