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Moving to a New PC

Getting a new PC is exciting and a pain. It's exciting because you get a faster processor, more storage and all the latest stuff even though it's outdated as soon as it hits your desk. The pain comes with re-installing all of your programs, re-customizing your preferences for programs, applications, and Windows, and transferring data to the new PC.

It can be simplified by using a bootable external drive or something similar and letting it load everything on the new PC. However, if you are like me, you probably had a few problems here and there that couldn't be found and fixed. So it's better to start with a clean slate.

I am getting a new PC at the office and my hard drive crashed on my laptop. There's nothing I can do about the laptop, but I kept it simple since it's a supporting computer rather than the main PC. I often used a remote application to connect to my desktop from the laptop. Therefore, the laptop had few loaded programs and data. I did try to make a backup of my user profile before the crash, but it was having too many problems and the backup didn't happen.

As for the work PC, here are the steps I took to prepare for moving to a new computer with the limited resources I had.

  • Ensured all my work was on the network server. I kept backups of important files on the hard drive as a safety measure after my past experience.
  • Deleted everything that I put on the hard drive.
  • Made backups of data files such as the password manager's file.
  • Took a screen shot of my Windows desktop, so I can rearrange things on the new PC to closely match the way I had things on the old PC.
  • Used Belarc Advisor to create a print out of what's loaded on the machine.
  • Changed my password to a temporary one that's nothing like my original so support could get in when I wasn't at my desk.
  • Copied the properties of specially-made shortcuts like the one I use to lock the computer with one click.
  • If you use Outlook, make notes of your preferences and options. Mine didn't get transferred.
  • If you use the Office toolbar (typically on the side or top of the screen), add the programs and folders back in based on the screen shot you took earlier. I could not remember how to change the icons in the toolbar, so here's how: right-click on the icon you wish to change, select Properties, and Change Icon.
  • Print the list of fonts loaded on your computer if you've added additional fonts.

Meryl K. Evans is the Content Maven behind meryl's notes, eNewsletter Journal, and The Remediator Security Digest. She is also a PC Today columnist and a tour guide at InformIT. She is geared to tackle your editing, writing, content, and process needs. The native Texan resides in Plano, Texas, a heartbeat north of Dallas, and doesn't wear a 10-gallon hat or cowboy boots.


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