Transfer from an old machine

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It has took me days to transfer everything from my old machine to a new one.  So here are a few tips which might help people about to do the same thing. See also the experience of a friend at

I should have bought a migration kit from (20)

Microsoft has released a Windows compatibility checker to enable you to see whether your machine will be able to cope with the upgrade.  Also look for the Windows 8 Upgrade assistant

For upgrading to Windows 7 or 8.1 see

How much is a Window 7 Home Premium disk ?  It is around 50 if you buy an OEM or OEI disk from Amazon. This is the one used by Original Equipment Manufacturers but there is no difference except in the packaging and the label.  The 'Full', boxed version is around 170, which is nearly of the cost of basic new PC ! Make sure that you get the correct version (32bit or 64 bit). If you are on line Click here check which your current machine uses.
Windows 8.1 costs a bit more but do see the continuing criticism on Amazon HERE

It recommends that you get an external hard disk (plugs in to a USB socket) to move your files off of your PC before you install Windows 7. To make this easier, they recommend a free download called Windows Easy Transfer,  which will require an external hard disk.

For Microsoft Q & A about upgrading Windows 8.1 see

As far as possible, providing you can connect the new machine to the net Windows 7 , 8 and 10 will attempt to set up peripherals such as printers and scanners for you, either because it contains the drivers locally or by looking for them on the manufacturer's sites. So, if you can make the first job to connect to the net this will help. Some equipment will not be recognised, especially old or unusual items. You may have to go to the manufacturer's site and try to find compatible software.  Some software will not run or run well.  It is a question of trying to install it and testing it thoroughly.  One graphics program I have used for years installed well, but when I came to use it some facilities were quite useless. At this point one can ask the maker if they have a newer compatible version or just try to find something that WILL do the job you want.

My change over story. I didn't get a cable to connect the two machines and used one big DVD and a number or copies to my memory key. Vista has an Easy Transfer Wizard which collects specified information into a file on the old machine. You can then put that on the new machine and click it to install all the data onto it. In my case, when I copied all the available options the whole thing failed. So I copied all my My Documents, Pictures and Videos onto a DVD, then deleted all of those into the Recycler. I then did another Easy (?) Transfer of what remained. This fit onto my memory key in one go and seems to have copied most of the settings and things over. However, I finished up with the two and three copies of every email address ! It was easier to clear that lot and start from scratch, exporting the addresses to a CSV file, copying them onto the new machine using the'key' and importing them. I also exported my favourites but so far haven't imported them. Easy File Transfer didn't do it either. The one buggy program I have found is Windows Mail, which replaces Outlook Express. When I went to empty the Deleted mail folder I got an error message and a suggestion to link to a discussion group about it.  There I found dozens of people suffering the same fate with no reasonable cure.  I decided to use the Mozilla email client, Thunderbird.  It worked fine but only allowed importation from Outlook address books.  I therefore had to resort to the old export import game from Outlook Express as I had done with Windows Mail itself.

Someone asked me about transferring email addresses and favourites from a Win 98 machine to a later one :  This was my reply  (all the following applies to whatever Windows you are using)

Unfortunately the Easy Transfer Wizard program for Vista and W7 does not (according to Help) work with older versions of Windows.  

You will need to export things from the old machine and copy the exported files to the new one then open the new program and import them. This can be done using a memory key or even sending the file to yourself via the internet. The files are not large.

Going to my older machine I went into OE and clicked on Addresses then File and Export. It gave me several options. Address book (WAB), Business Card and Other) Other has Microsoft Exchange and Text file (CSV- I call that comma separated variable) So, you can save addresses to a WAB file and copy that to the other machine or you can create a CSV file, which will offer you the opportunity to choose the fields you want to save, like name, address, postcode, phone. Many of the fields are irrelevant to most of us so don't tick those.

1) So Export it as a Wab file (Windows Address Book). Call it something like New and note where it is saved to. I just emailed it to myself as an attachment, opened the email program on the Vista machine and there it was. I saved the New.wab attachment (and remembered where I put it then clicked on it.)  It automatically imported the addresses.

2) The other way is via a CSV file

Export your CSV file and remember where you saved it and what you called it !

A CSV file is a wondrous thing which is pretty well acceptable to any computer program. You can slap it into a spreadsheet, database, wordpad, word etc. I bet you could even import it into an Apple Mac. If you look at the Import options on the email program on the new machine you are bound to find CSV as an option, whichever Email program you go for. Incidentally Outlook Express was dropped along with XP.  But you can install a new email program that will work in a similar way.  I recommend Windows Live Mail or Mozilla's Thunderbird. Googlemail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail are Web based alternatives.  All have import versions for email addresses and messages.  

3) Favourites This is similar but you must go to Internet Explorer . Click File, Import and Export, Export Favourites. It exports to a file called Bookmark.htm. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome also have import facilities for Favourites. Remember where it is saved your Favourites file and send it or copy it to the other machine. Open Internet Explorer; File, Import and Export, Import.  Find the Bookmark.htm file and select it.  Done !

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