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How to Transfer Files from One Computer to Another

Transfer files

When purchasing a new computer, you'll want to transfer files from the old computer to the new one. With today's technology, it is easier than ever to do this. Transferring files to a new computer may be done with a flash drive, an external hard drive, or over a network.

Windows Easy Transfer

If the new computer is running Windows 7*, you may use the program called 'Windows Easy Transfer*." If the old computer was not running Windows 7, you'll need to download the software from Microsoft's page. If both computers are connected on a network, the "Windows Easy Transfer" software can use the network connection. If no network is available, an "Easy Transfer" cable is required. This transfer cable is a USB cable with male connections on both sides and may be purchased at any computer store for a minimal amount of money.

With the new computer, open the "Windows Easy Transfer" application. To do this, click on the "Start" button, type "Easy Transfer" in the search field, and press the "Enter" key. Click on the "Windows Easy Transfer" link to run the software. Follow the wizard to transfer the specific information you want to transfer to the new computer. The wizard will tell you the exact timing for running the software on the old computer. Continue following the wizard until all files and folders have been transferred successfully. Transferring files to the new computer using the "Windows Easy Transfer" software may take a few hours. This is dependent on the amount of data you will be transferring.

External Hard Drive

One other way of transferring files to a new computer is to use an external hard drive. These come in a variety of sizes, holding up to 2 TB of data. These also may be purchased at most any computer store. The price is dependent on the brand name and the amount of storage needed. The more space on the hard drive, the more expensive the device will be.

Connect the external hard drive via USB port to the old computer. The hard drive appears as another drive letter, just as a CD drive comes up as the E: or F: drive. Copy all files and folders you want on the new computer onto the hard drive using Windows Explorer.

Once all files and folders are on the hard drive, disconnect it from the old computer and connect to the new computer. The external hard drive will most likely be automatically recognized by the new computer. If not, use Windows Explorer again to copy the files and folders from the external hard drive and paste them into the desired location on the new computer.

The external hard drive may now be used as a back-up device by copying data onto the drive from the new computer at regular intervals.

Flash Drive

Yet another way of transferring files to a new computer is to use a flash drive. Flash drives do not hold as much data as external hard drives, but can hold up to 128GB of data. As with the external hard drives, the more data storage you purchase, the more expensive the device.

Plug the flash drive into the old computer using a USB port. Following the same steps as with the external hard drive, copy all data onto the flash drive; then plug the flash drive into the new computer and copy the data from the flash drive onto the new computer.

Any time you transfer files to a new computer you should use caution to ensure you have copied everything needed before disposing of the old computer. If you have space, the know-how, and a static bag, it is a good idea to keep the hard drive until you are sure you no longer need it. The data can be recovered from the old hard drive.

Once you are ready to dispose of the old computer, use caution and ensure all data has been erased from the hard drive. Software is available to do this; or you may take it to a computer repair store to have it done for you.

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