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Tech: Transferring Data?

wilbyhillbilly 13 Oct 09 - 07:12 AM
GUEST 13 Oct 09 - 08:12 AM
SteveMansfield 13 Oct 09 - 08:34 AM
Bernard 13 Oct 09 - 10:26 AM
Joe Offer 13 Oct 09 - 10:41 AM
Jack Campin 13 Oct 09 - 11:04 AM
Bernard 13 Oct 09 - 11:14 AM
Leadfingers 13 Oct 09 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,Suegorgeous Away in France 13 Oct 09 - 11:55 AM
Bruce MacNeill 13 Oct 09 - 12:26 PM
Mr Red 13 Oct 09 - 12:29 PM
Bill D 13 Oct 09 - 12:30 PM
Newport Boy 13 Oct 09 - 01:29 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Oct 09 - 01:34 PM
GUEST 13 Oct 09 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 13 Oct 09 - 02:00 PM
Bernard 13 Oct 09 - 03:46 PM
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Subject: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:12 AM

I am waiting for delivery of a laptop with the same OS as my PC (WinXP) my question is:-

Can I just plug the laptop into my PC usb port with a suitable lead, and then transfer files from the PC to Laptop?

I suspect it is not going to be as easy as this, is it?

I live in hope.

whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 08:12 AM

It's not that easy, but it's pretty easy. Buy a USB Flash drive (very cheap these days), and transfer using that. Copy your files to the drive and then back to your new laptop.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 08:34 AM

Buy a USB Flash drive (very cheap these days), and transfer using that. Copy your files to the drive and then back to your new laptop.

That'll work fine for images, sound files, documents, etc.

Assuming you have local emails (as opposed to online services like Hotmail / Yahoo / GMail), you'll need to do a bit of Googling on your email programme of choice & read up on how you can get all of your existing emails and account settings off of your old machine and onto your new one. It's not hard, but it ain't obvious.

And at the risk of stating the obvious you will need to reinstall all your programs & applications, and your printer driver etc., from the original disks / downloads: just copying the \Program Files\ folder across most certainly won't work.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: Bernard
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 10:26 AM

If both machines have a network socket (also called RJ45 or Ethernet), a cheap 'crossover' cable can be used to connect the two together as if on a Local Area Network.

All you do is open 'My Network Places' and run the network setup wizard, and make sure file and printer sharing is enabled. You'll also need to set up 'shares' on the folders you wish to be able to see on both machines - it's easiest to 'map' them as drives as far as convenience is concerned, but a little messy if you've never tried doing it before.

XP sets up a default shared folder you can use, but it's a pain to keep moving stuff in and out of them...

Alternatively, buy a cheap network hub, with wireless if your laptop supports it.

It really is that easy! With the caveat, of course, that you are only wanting to transfer files and not programmes, as mentioned above.

If you need talking through it, we'll see what we can sort out.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 10:41 AM

I used a portable hard drive for the transfer, and it worked very well and also served as a backup drive for my computer. There's also a special USB cable that can be used for transfers - they usually cost about $30, which I think is a bit high.

A few computers ago, I bought a parallel cable and transferred data through my printer port. It did the job, but it took all night. The same amount of data would transfer in minutes on a USB 2.0 connection.
Your easiest solution may be what was suggested above - a flash drive.

I'm surprised you can still purchase a new computer with Windows XP. I'm holding off on a computer purchase so I can get Windows 7, although I haven't had any significant problems with Windows Vista.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:04 AM

If you try connecting two computers together using USB, the likely result will be a flash and a bang leaving both machines terminally wrecked.

Crossover Ethernet should work but you'd need to configure both machines properly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: Bernard
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:14 AM

The trouble with flash drives is they tend to be rather slow when you're writing to them, although they're quick enough when reading from them. Another problem is there are two operations needed each time. A network is simpler and quicker.

If you download SyncToy from Microsoft (it's a freebie, and excellent! Honest!), you can set it up to automatically synchronise your files at the click of a mouse.

SyncToy will work with almost any kind of drive... network, flash, internal or external hard drive. It's not intended for use with optical drives. It really is that good!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:28 AM

Flash drive is definately the simplest way


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: GUEST,Suegorgeous Away in France
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:55 AM

Bernard - when you say "sychronise", does that mean it updates whichever computer's files are out of date with the other one? I'd like something like that - at the moment, every time I amend or create a file on my laptop, I'm saving it in a separate "stuff to move over" folder to move over to the computer, but that's so fiddly, and I've got to remember to do it regularly. Just sticking a cable in and pressing a button weekly or so sounds simpler...

Sue


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: Bruce MacNeill
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 12:26 PM

There's a "Files and Settings Transfer Wizard" program in "System Tools" on XP. That's what we used to port one computer's files on to another computer when we did an upgrade back when I had a job. It was pretty simple as I recall and moved most everything. You may want to look at that.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 12:29 PM

If you use an e-mail client (Outlook/Thunderbird etc to you) as opposed to webmail like googlemail/hotmail then there are several thing you can transfer - look for the Export function and try saving in several formats. or look for files with the .pst extension and just copy them to the right location. Look for them on both machines to find them before you copy them. And record every step you take!

If the SyncToy offers to do it from Micro$oft try with that first. What you are trying to do is pretty common and M$ have a vested interest in migrating you as often as possible. So they will make that part easy.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 12:30 PM

*IF* you are comfortable with DOS/command line procedures, there is a program which can not only copy files, but also the entire operation system...effectively cloning a drive.

XXcopy


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 01:29 PM

Suegorgeous - SyncToy can be set to do a number of things, inlcuding the synchronisation you describe. You can choose to have it delete files in one location that you've deleted from the other, or leave them in place.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 01:34 PM

The most efficient method is to connect the two computers. Most reasonably recent computers will have ethernet connectors, and you can use an ethernet bridge or (much better) a router to set up a "simple network" for the connection. Most fairly recent laptops have wireless ports, but you might have to add a card to many desktop machines. A wireless router would then let you set up a similar network without the ethernet cables.

Connections using zero modem cables, serial or parallel, can be used but are best limited to "one-shot" transfers. They don't work particularly well for repeated/continuous connection over a longer term. (A limitation is that you tend to forget how to hook up and make the transfers unless you use the connection on a regular basis.)

You can also install (temporarily?) the older drive in the new computer, if you've got open connectors; or you can put the old drive in a "USB Box" and just plug it into the new computer as an external drive.

Most Windows versions since WinXP have built in set-up utilities that permit you to "import" files to a new machine, but the instruction details vary with both the Windows version and the particular "subtype" you have. With some versions you need to make a "backup" on the old machine and then do a "restore" to the new one. With others versions you can just "import" the files wanted from the old machine to the new one (if you have the drives connected).

For regular and repeated transfers between a desktop and a laptop, you may want to use a "synchronize" utility, but Windows "Home Basic" or "Basic" versions in WinXP and Vista do not include the "synchronize" feature.

You need at least the "Premium" or "Business" versions of Windows to have the Microsoft "Synch" feature. (Of course Windows Ultimate" has it all.) You'd need to look up "Synchronize" on your own computers to get details on what's available on the machines and Win versions you have. In some combinations, if one of the machines has a version that includes "synch" it can "master" the transfer to/from a machine that doesn't have the utility; but details for the many combinations get pretty messy.

In typical Microsoft fashion, the help files are not particularly instructive. The built in synch function considers a delete as a "newer change" but Mickey isn't clear on whether deleting files (e.g. to make room for something on the laptop, which will usually have a smaller drive) will delete the same files from the desktop (assumed to be the more permanent place for them) the next time you synch. The Microsoft assumption that "you're an idiot so it doesn't matter what happens to your data" leaves me feeling that synchronize - as apparently implemented - could have too many hidden traps for my use; but others may find it helpful if they have a Win version that offers it. (Microsoft assumes that everyone has an IT department to back up anyting important and to save you from "accidents." ????)

Once a connection between drives has been made, I have generally found it "sufficient" to use the command line XCOPY to keep backup files up to date and to move files between desktop and laptop. You'll need the /s (subfolders/files) switch in most cases. You can add a /d switch (date) to copy only files for which the source date is later than the target date. If you have any files for which access is "limited" a /c (continue on error) switch lets the copying skip them and continue with remaining files. The full procedure is to open the command window, migrate to the destination and then type:

XCOPY Source /s /d /c

and hit Enter.

Source is, of course the full path (e.g. C:\DOCUMENTS\TravelStuff) for what you want to copy.

The clinker in XCOPY is that it's unclear what "date" determines which file is newer. Vista allows you to display any of 12 different dates associated with files in Windows Explorer, and there may be more "internal" once you're not supposed to know about. Since it's a carryover from DOS XCOPY doesn't tell you which one(s) it looks at. The result is that you can keep a backup "current" as a new XCOPY /d will copy any new file and will overwrite any older one, but if you XCOPY back to the original source it (sometimes) copies files that you haven't (so far as you can tell) made any changes to. Since these will be identical to the originals, it isn't a problem for me, although it wastes some time in the copy process.

A newer command line utility called ROBOCOPY is recommended by Microsoft, but instead of command line "switches" it's apparently necessary to "write a script" to control what ROBOCOPY does, and Mickey doesn't give useful lessons on scripting command line functions anywhere that I've found.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 01:43 PM

WOW! I think I am going to have to digest all this info, I knew it wouldn't be very easy, (not for me anyway). Thanks everyone for the excellent input, I shall now try to put it into practice.

whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 02:00 PM

Like Joe - I used to do printer-port copies with X-COPY (DOS) Probably did it 100 times.

The beauty was that you could read both machines on a split screen and select the needed programs and files and "clone from there."

At the moment I am playing with Knoppix (so small - so simple - so clean) and using the Firewire.

Take your waiting time to cleanup your current machine. Dump files and programs. Then reboot, scan/defrag in safemode. Do that twice. Too few - take the time to cleanup their trash.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Tech: Transferring Data?
From: Bernard
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 03:46 PM

One particularly good point about SyncToy is the way it moves files it's overwriting into the Recycle Bin, so you can get them back if there's a problem.

It works with 'Folder Pairs', so you can set up as many or as few folders to work with as you like. You can sync individual pairs, or all of them.

The three main functions are 'Synchronise', 'Echo' and 'Contribute'.

'Synchronise' does exactly that - any updates or deletions are mirrored in both folders according to which is most recent.

'Echo' is like 'Synchronise', but only the secondary folder is altered to match the primary folder.

'Contribute' simply copies files and subfolders from the primary folder to the secondary folder. It overwrites older versions of files, but doesn't mirror any deletions.

There are plenty of other options you can tweak, too.

Best of all, though, is the 'review' feature - which is a dummy run to see what it would do before you commit and destroy stuff you needed to keep!


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