Here's our Hardware Tip for.. June 8, 2007
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How to Migrate to a New PC
You probably know the feeling: You sit down at a new computer, excited by its potential, only to realize that so much of what you really need is still stuck on your older system. Trading up to a new PC and a new operating system can be a bit like moving into a newer, bigger house; you've got to pack up and relocate every little thing you've amassed over the years, and then customize your new surroundings before it really feels like you're at home. But how are you going to transfer your address book, e-mails, data files, Internet favorites, digital music and photos, specialized applications, desktop wallpaper and screen savers, and all your other personal paraphernalia, not to mention your application and system settings?

Copying all this data manually is an option in principle, but it's hopelessly tedious and error-prone in practice. You're likely to miss files hidden in some dark corner of your hard drive—and even if you do succeed in copying all your data files, you've still solved only part of the problem. Many Microsoft Windows applications store key settings in the Registry or in profile files. If your new PC has a newer operating system or newer versions of applications, the older settings may have moved or not be applicable at all. Copying your hard-drive contents wholesale isn't an option, either, since a new operating system and new underlying hardware will require all kinds of different files that you don't want to risk overwriting.