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Windows 7 : Migrating the Existing User Data - Working with Windows Easy Transfer (part 2)

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7/3/2013 4:28:13 AM

1. Capturing Data with Windows Easy Transfer

The following steps show you how to capture data on a system using the Windows Easy Transfer tool. If you are running it on Windows XP, you'll first need to download and install it. These steps show how it can be run on one computer to capture the data and then restored onto a Windows 7 computer:

  1. Start the Windows Easy Transfer Wizard by clicking Start => All Programs => Accessories => System Tools => Windows Easy Transfer.

  2. Review the information on the Welcome screen and click Next.

  3. You'll see a prompt asking you how you want to transfer the items. You can choose an Easy Transfer Cable (if you have the special cable and the computers are connected with it), a network share, or an external hard disk or USB flash drive. For this example, choose an external hard disk (if you choose one of the other options, the steps will be slightly different).

  4. You'll be prompted to choose either This Is My New Computer or This Is My Old Computer. Click This Is My Old Computer.

    The Windows Easy Transfer wizard will then scan all the existing user accounts on the system to identify what files and settings can be captured. When it's complete, you'll see a listing of all the users who have profiles on your local computer.

  5. Click Customize on one of the user profiles. You'll see a display similar to Figure 5. You can click on any of the items to deselect or reselect them based on how much space you have and what you want to transfer.

    Figure 5. Viewing the user profiles detected by the Windows Easy Transfer tool
  6. Click Advanced. You'll see a screen similar to Figure 6. Notice how you can pick specifically what will be transferred. Instead of using the wizard, you can use traditional methods to back up user data and just focus on using the wizard to transfer the settings. However, you can also use it to copy all the user data. Select the items you want to transfer and click Save.

    Figure 6. Customizing the data to be transferred
  7. You'll be prompted to provide a password. Enter a password that you'll remember in the Password and Confirm Password text boxes. For a lab environment, you can use something like [email protected]. Click Save.

  8. Select your external hard drive and click Open. If desired, you can create or browse to a folder on the drive. Click Save. The wizard will begin the process of saving the files and settings to this location.

    At this point, take a break. For a transfer of about 2 GB, it may take your system about 5 minutes.

  9. When the transfer finishes, the wizard will indicate the save is complete for each of the users with a green check mark by the user icon. Click Next. You'll see a screen similar to Figure 7. Notice that this identifies the name of the file that holds all the data and settings: Windows Easy Transfer - Items from old computer.MIG. It also identifies the location (drive M: in the figure).

    Figure 7. Completing the Windows Easy Transfer save process
  10. Click Next and click Close. At this point, the files and settings are ready to be imported into the new computer.

2. Restoring Data with Windows Easy Transfer

Once you have saved the files and settings into a file, you can then use the following steps to restore them onto the Windows 7 computer:

  1. Start the Windows Easy Transfer wizard by clicking Start => All Programs => Accessories => System Tools => Windows Easy Transfer.

  2. Review the information on the Welcome page and click Next.

  3. Select the method you used to transfer the files. In these steps, I'm using an external hard disk. If you use another method, the steps will be slightly different.

  4. Select This Is My New Computer.

  5. The wizard will ask if you have already saved your files to an external hard disk or USB flash drive. Ensure the external drive is connected to the new computer and click Yes.

  6. Browse to the location of the Windows Easy Transfer file. It is named Windows Easy Transfer - Items from old computer.mig by default. Select the file and click Open.

  7. Enter the password you used when creating the files and click Next.

  8. You'll see a screen showing the same usernames that were detected and saved when you captured the data. By default, each of the profiles and the shared items are automatically selected. Deselect any users you don't want to migrate, or click Customize to pick items to transfer.

  9. Click Advanced Options. You'll see a screen similar to Figure 8. You can use the options on the Map User Accounts tab to map the profile of the account on the original system to the profile of the account on the new system. This step can be useful if the account name is different. You can also create a new account using this tab. However, if an account doesn't exist on the new computer but the profile is selected to be transferred, the wizard will automatically create the account with the same username. Therefore, it's not necessary to create a new account unless you want the data to be migrated to an account with a different name.

    Figure 8. Mapping old user profiles to new user profiles
  10. Click Cancel, then click Transfer and the wizard begins the transfer process.

  11. When the wizard finishes, it will indicate that the transfer is complete. You can click on either of the links to view the Windows Easy Transfer Report. You can also view the report later by clicking Start => All Programs => Accessories => System Tools => Windows Easy Transfer Reports. This allows you to view the data that was transferred at any time in the future.

  12. Click Close. You'll be prompted to restart the computer. Click Restart Now.

When the system reboots, the settings from the original computer will be in place. The user will immediately see the settings from their original computer, such as the wallpaper, data in their libraries, and settings in applications such as Internet Explorer. If the user has any of the same applications known to the Windows Easy Transfer tool installed in both operating systems, these settings will also be the same.

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