User Migration between PCs
February 19, 2008 2:21 PM   Subscribe

What programs\packages are available that allow one to plug a cable into one pc, the other end to another pc, and then migrate the data?

I know there are other better ways to do this but I'm specifically looking for a USB cable in-between the two PCs or a regular network cable. Something like this

If you are aware of any regular programs that are very good at user migration (does not have to have the cable requirement) I would love to hear those as well.

XP to XP, Vista to Vista, XP to Vista.

Thanks a lot MeFi!
posted by zephyr_words to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What do you mean by "migrate the data?" What (kinds of) data?
posted by rhizome at 2:27 PM on February 19, 2008

Microsofts File and Settings Transfer Wizard ??

The few times I've used it... it appeared to work for what I needed. However you cant rely on it to find EVERY file/setting that YOU feel is important. (meaning = if you have any custom data locations or programs that keep data in non-standard places, you'll need to track them down and move them manually)

Personally, I always just remove the hard drive from the old system and install it into the new system as a secondary drive. (D:\) Then just move over my files and settings manually. Sure, it takes more work.. but it forces you to remember where all your important data is. (course, I also dont use speed dial, or "password remembering" tools, because I want to force myself to remember things. )
posted by jmnugent at 2:30 PM on February 19, 2008

It's not really clear how much hand-holding you're looking for here.

I mean, you could do the whole thing with a crossover cable and Windows Explorer, or the command line for that matter. Those programs are already installed, and you could make the cable. Or, on the other end of the scale, there are plenty of pieces of pay software, from Symantec's Ghost to fly-by-night shareware. Or you could just pay someone to do it for you.

How much do you know about this stuff already? How much time, and how much money, are you hoping to put into this project?
posted by box at 2:42 PM on February 19, 2008

If the computer are already hooked up to the same network (even if it's in your house behind a simple router), then running the Network Setup Wizard on each will make them accessible to each other. Then just create a shared folder on the target machine and copy & paste whatever files you need.
posted by Nelsormensch at 2:53 PM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've always seen these things called USB transfer cables. I bought one from CompUSA a while back, but that of course is no longer an option. has one, Amazon has a bunch to choose from as well.

Another option is an Ethernet crossover cable- similar idea, but instead of plugging into USB ports, you plug the cable into the network adapters, without needing a network hub or a router or anything. Again, there are available on and Amazon, or any other shop selling that kind of stuff. You can use the File and Settings Transfer Wizard to transfer the files, with the crossover cable acting as a "Direct Cable." If you don't want to use the wizard, just manually set the IP addresses of the 2 computers to different IPs.
posted by that possible maker of pork sausages at 2:54 PM on February 19, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for you answers so far. I'm not looking for manual ways to do this, that's why I said I know there are better ways and cited the example.

I'm very familiar with migrating all data of importance from one computer another via command line, network shares, etc. I'm specifically looking for programs that claim to be migration tools.

Thanks again!
posted by zephyr_words at 2:57 PM on February 19, 2008

I've used the Belkin USB transfer cable.

It piggybacks on top of Windows Easy Transfer (the Vista version of XP's File and Settings Transfer Wizard). It includes a disk which will install WET on XP machines and then you can transfer via the USB cable.

Pros: It worked very well, transferred all documents, music and movies, as well as desktop settings, Office settings, etc. It can also be used for PCs with multiple user accounts

Cons: It took awhile. A long while. I started it, waited an hour and decided to go to bed. When I woke up the next morning, it was finished. I couldn't tell you how long it took, though. If you have a ton of data, transferring it via USB could be daunting.
posted by Psionic_Tim at 3:37 PM on February 19, 2008

« Older Love Quotes   |   Shariamerica Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.