Transfer Programs to New PC?

I recently bought a new PC and faced the problem of moving all the stuff from the old one. If you come across this same problem at some time you'll probably realise there are at least two aspects to this:-

  • Software programs.
  • Data Files.

PCMover Software
Transfer Programs to new PC - PC Mover Software

The questions I had in my mind therefore were:-

  • How to transfer programs to new PC?
  • How to transfer files to new PC?
  • How to transfer Internet Bookmarks to new PC?
  • Is there file transfer software available capable of moving software programs?
  • Is there some sort of easy transfer cable available?

If you don't have too many software programs installed on your old PC and still have the original CD's, you may want to simply reload them on to your new one. The actual data files are not too difficult to move. By data files I mean things like Microsoft Office Documents, Photos, Music, Videos etc.. They can just be copied on to CD's or DVD's or even onto an external Hard Disc if you have one and then moved that way.

If you're anything like me though, you might have accumulated quite a lot of software programs and have a fair amount of data to move and may want to avoid the hassle of reloading/moving stuff. You may not even have the original CD's or license codes and it would be a shame to lose the benefit of software that you've bought either on CD or downloaded from the Internet.

I searched around looking for an answer and found one in the shape of a software program called "PC Mover". The following is my review of how I got on using this software to transfer programs to new PC along with all data files from a PC running Vista to a new one running Windows 7 Home Premium.

To help you to recognise the program I bought and am reviewing here, I've scanned the front/rear and inner flaps of the box and included these images:-

PC Mover Software - Image of Front of Box

 Transfer Programs to new PC - PCMover_Box

 

PC Mover Software - Image of Back of Box

PCMover_Ultimate_Box 


PC Mover Software - Image of First Inner Flap of Box
 

 PCMover_inside_flap_1


PC Mover Software - Image of Second Inner Flap of Box
 

PCMover_Inner_flap_2

The first thing I will say is that my experience of using this software was excellent. I bought it to move all my software programs and data files from an Acer Desktop PC running Vista to a new Lenovo one running Windows 7 Home Premium.

I successfully migrated all of the following:-

  • Software Programs (well over 50 including those originally installed from CD and those downloaded from the Internet).
  • All my data files - e.g. Office files, photos, images, music, web site (like my Blog files) video files etc.
  • Three different web browsers (with all favourites and plugins still intact).

Everything on the old PC remained as it was with nothing at all changed (other than installing PC Mover). The only "problems" I had were that I had to download drivers for my two printers and scanner and one or two of my purchased software programs had to have their license keys removed from the old PC and then re-entered on the new one. I did not have to do this for my Microsoft Office software. It moved over with no problem at all. It's quite an old version (2003) but it does all that I need it to do and therefore I don't know if a newer version would need a license key re-entered.

For your information, the "heavyweight" programs that moved successfully were:-

  • Adobe Photoshop CS2.
  • Adobe Acrobat 7 (not the free Reader program - the one to create PDF's).
  • Camtasia Studio 6.
  • Market Samurai.
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004.
  • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003.
  • Snagit 8.
  • XSite Pro 2 (used to create this website).

Interestingly, the programs don't actually "move" and get lost or deleted on the old PC - they're still there and so is your data! Only one of my programs would not work on the new PC (Acronis True Image Version 10). And that was not due to the migration software as it would not work even after trying to reinstall it on the new PC from the original CD. I think it was something to do with Windows 7 being a 64 bit operating system and Acronis 10 will only work on 32 bit.

So there we are... a big success for me and it saved a whole heap of time and hassle in moving my software programs and data files to the new PC.

This software comes in different versions. The one I bought was the "Ultimate" version and included an easy transfer cable and 3 Licenses. Only one license needs to be used to move everything so I could use it again for my next two PC's!

The cost here in the UK was £30 and it will probably be about the same dollar amount in the US.

Transfer Programs to new PC using PC Mover Ultimate version


There's a "Health Warning" here and I would advise you to:-

1. Have a look at the Amazon customer reviews available here:-

Transfer programs to new PC - Amazon.co.uk customer reviews for PC Mover

Transfer programs to new PC - Amazon.com customer reviews for PC Mover

2. Here's a professional's review from a respected UK PC Magazine:-

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/software/354922/laplink-pcmover-professional

3. Consider my review here and then make a balanced judgement before deciding if it's for you or not.

Some of the Amazon customer reviewers may not have had the same good experience as me. They tended to blow hot or cold - either they thought it was great or they thought it was lousy. I wonder if it could be something to do with the sort of things mentioned below and not setting things up correctly from the start?




I think the secret (like one of the Amazon reviewers said) is to follow the instructions TO THE LETTER.

If you do decide to buy and use the PCMover software, here are some supplementary notes that you may find useful:-

It's not a fast process, i.e. it's not a 5 minute job, but once the two PC's are hooked up and you kick things off you can go off and leave it to do its thing. I left the 2 PC's running overnight and everything was moved by the following morning.

If you're interested in how it works here's a very quick overview of what I remember doing when following the instructions:-

  • Install the PCMover software on both the old and new PC.
  • Disconnect both PC's from Internet.
  • Connect both to each other with a cable (version I bought included an ethernet type cable but believe USB type can be used too).
  • Follow the instructions on screen and select which programs etc you want to move.
  • Leave it to do its thing (probably best left overnight).
Sounds quite simple and it is really but remember to read the instructions first and follow them to the Letter. Here are some things for example (in no particular order) that you need to watch out for:-
  • A few programs have a license for only 1 or sometimes 2 PC's (typically for use on a desktop and laptop) and won't work at first when installed on another machine. The solution here is to remove the license from the old PC so that you can license the new one. This can usually be found somewhere in the Menu of the Program.
  • De-authorise iTunes on your old PC (Menu:- Advanced/Deauthorise). I believe Apple only allow a maximum of 5 computers with one Account so if you change PC's a few times you could hit the limit.
  • All sleep & hibernation modes, screen savers and any sort of scheduled activities (e.g. virus scans or scheduled backups) need to be de-activated for both PC's otherwise the flow from one to the other could be interrupted.
  • Probably best to uninstall Anti-Virus software on both and re-install afterwards.
  • Uninstall all trial versions of software, e.g. Word etc. on new PC if moving the full versions from old PC.
  • Even though you get to choose which programs etc. you want to move it's a good idea to do some housekeeping on the old PC first.
  • Each move uses up one license (the version I bought has three) so it can be used again in the future for the next two new PC's. For me it was well worth it just for the one!

The above is not an exhaustive list of everything. But it is some of the things that I remember doing after reading through the little instruction booklet. It might take half an hour or so to read this and set things up but it's time well spent to avoid problems. After this it's just a case of following the steps in the "wizard" instruction panel and then leaving both PC's to communicate with each other. It can take several hours for the process to complete, but the beauty of it is that you don't need to be there!

It certainly worked for me and when you think about it, it really is quite a feat to be able to move software programs to a new PC. Data files can be copied and moved easily enough without it but program files are a whole different ball game.

Even if things don't go to plan, there's an option in the PCMover software to revert your new PC back to its original state. I didn't have to use this option so can't say that it would work for sure. Even if it didn't work though, the PC I bought (a Lenovo Desktop) has an easy option to revert it to its original state anyway... and this may well be a fairly standard facility that most others have too.

Sincerely,
 
 
Henry Thomson
 
PS
Apart from moving all of your software programs, data files, Internet Bookmarks etc. from your old PC to a new one as described above, this software also enables you to securely delete all of your personal data from your old computer to protect your privacy and avoid identity theft.