Making the Transition to a New Computer
When buying a new computer one of the biggest concerns customers have, is how to migrate all of the data from the old system to a new system. This article will help guide you through that and give you a clearer understanding of the process. It is easier than you think.
Data vs Programs
First, understand that you have data and you have your programs. All of your data (documents, spreadsheets, email, pictures etc) can be copied to a new system. However, the programs which are used to open the data (Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, trading programs etc.) cannot be copied! They must be reinstalled on the new system from the original media.
Reinstalling your programs takes no time at all really, but do it over a weekend so you are ready to go on Monday morning with your new system. Once your programs are installed on the new computer and your data is copied over you are ready to go.
The term ‘data’ encompasses EVERYTHING such as documents, pictures, Quicken, Quickbooks, email etc. Moving data from an old machine to a new one is as easy as moving from point A to point B. There are several methods to accomplish this depending on how much data you have:
If you only have a small amount of data stored on your old computer, you could use a USB pen drive to copy your data to then transfer to your new computer. This is as simple as it gets.
External Hard Drives
If you have a lot of data to transfer, you can buy an external hard drive enclosure online or Best Buy. You will remove your old drive with your data on it, and mount it inside the enclosure. Then, connect it to your NEW computer via USB.
Next, open two windows positioned side by side. One that shows your OLD drive in the hard drive enclosure with all of your data on it, call it the SOURCE. And another window showing the My Documents folder , call it the TARGET.
Drag and drop from the SOURCE (old drive) to the TARGET (new drive on new computer). Unplug the USB enclosure from the new computer (to My Documents for example) and you are done.
Leaving an Old Drive in a New Computer
Since you will never know what day that old drive will fail, it is not advised to leave that old drive installed permanently in your new computer. The reason is that once that old drive begins to fail (and it will), it will affect your entire computer. It could cause lagging issues, or prevent the new computer from booting at all.
If that has already happened to you, chances are removing that old drive will correct that. If you have not done this, copy your data off of the old drive as described here then disconnect it from the new machine. Keep that old drive as a backup for as long as you like.
Test your Data
Now that you have your programs reinstalled on the NEW computer, test it. Double click on a document or picture to make sure it opens in the associated program and you can see it.
Programs like Quicken or Quickbooks are a little different. You cannot just double click on these types of files you have to open from within the Quickbooks program for example. Click on the FILE menu, browse to your QB Data file that you copied over. Once you open it for the first time it will find it again from that point forward.
Stock trading programs work much the same way as Quickbooks described above but your data will be stored in a different location. Once you have downloaded and installed your trading platform it is best to contact your provider to help you with re linking this data. It is an easy process, but given the importance of this type of data it is best to let them assist you.
CAD programs or special use software will work much the same way. Install the program on the new computer, copy your data over, open the data file from within the program.
What To Do With Your Old Computer
Depending on the age and condition of your old computer, there are several options here.
If you have any questions about transferring different types of data please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to guide you.
For the highest quality computer systems available worldwide, see NTI’s QuadStation multiple screen computers. If you appreciate quality, there is nothing better. If you have any questions found in this article feel free to call today.