Transferring Data to a New Computer

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January 20, 2010

Transferring Data to a New ComputerIn the process of researching local companies that would come and set-up my new computer, I found that there would an additional charge if I wished them to transfer any of my files from my old computer to the new one.


Since I didn't have a whole lot I wanted to save, I decided to simply email those to myself, so I would still have them.

This proved to be an excellent idea, as the new ones are now downloaded and saved into my new computer, and I saved myself $70!

By Marie from West Dundee, IL

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2 Questions

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February 26, 2013

How does one go about transferring data from an old desk top computer to a new laptop computer?

By lb


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February 26, 20130 found this helpful

Data is usually documents, pictures and music. There are a few different options depending on what you have available.

Understand that music is usually the data that creates the largest files. Even archived they don't shrink much. You may have to ditch some music or just transfer your favorites.


Option 1 - if you have NO hardware (see below) available to you the easiest option may be to store your "data" out on the internet and retrieve it with your laptop. You can use websites like for pictures/videos. for just about any data. 4shared has replaced 4sync which was a website for "syncing up" one PC with another. The trick for these websites to work is your internet connectivity. If your internet is slow this could take a while.

Hardware Options
Option 2 - most computers have a CD and/or DVD burner. You can buy some blank media and transfer your files. To make the most of this process I recommend you archive your files with WINZIP or WINRAR. These programs compress the data into one file with a ZIP or RAR extension. Once you have the files archived you can burn them to your media and transfer them to your laptop.


Option 3 - USB thumb drives are useful for transferring data. The process may take some time and archiving the files may still be an option.
Option 4 - much like the USB thumb drive you can use an external hard drive if you have access to one.

Option 5 - If you are willing to try it you can network the desktop to the laptop and transfer your files over the network. There are SO many ways to do this I can't explain them all here. But the idea is to run a LAN cable between the two PCs. This is easier to do if you have a router. Microsoft use to have a write up on directly connecting two machines via a LAN cable on their website. Not sure of this any more. Depending on how old your desktop is (or your laptop) you may not have a network card to plug a LAN cable into.


Option 6 - I think there is a special USB cable you can by to directly hook up two machines. Try, or to purchase this hardware.

Note: Archiving your data is probably a good idea for all of these options. And once you are done with the archived file you can store it in case something happens to your machine. And if you are worried about someone getting their hands on your data you can password protect your archive file when you initially create it.


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February 28, 20130 found this helpful

There is a transfer cable you can hook up to run 2 computers on 1 monitor to move things back and forth. I used one about 6 months till I was sure of what I needed. About $10. Has a toggle button. Lets you move your email as well as all files on old computer. What I did was hook up an external hard drive and moved it to there, so I could sort easier, what needed to be kept. There is always that WHOOPS factor of what you wish you had transferred.


If you don't have a lot, just use a portable USB drive. I have a couple 80 G for moving things from laptop to desk top. I download off the video camera on laptop, move to desktop to finish it. It is not as hard to do this as it was even a few years ago. You can find that cable at Walmart, Best Buy, etc.

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