Alohabob PC Relocator 4.0 review: Alohabob PC Relocator 4.0

  • 1
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Quick installation; excellent help system and tech support; transfers just the files you want; walks you through the transfer process; works with Windows 95 through XP.

The Bad Slow transfers with enclosed parallel-port cable; no USB cable provided.

The Bottom Line PC Relocator is a well-designed app that removes much of the risk and relieves the irritation involved with moving files and apps between computers. It's perfect for those who occasionally need to move programs and data from one PC to another.

8.0 Overall

Moving your data to a new computer shouldn't be as traumatic as emigrating to Antarctica. But all too often, it is. A dropped Registry setting here, a lost DLL there, and suddenly, an old app you really need won't run on your new PC. Alohabob PC Relocator 4.0 eases the migration process by analyzing your original configuration and relocating selected files, specific programs, or the entire contents of your drive over a serial cable to a new PC. Don't expect speed with this enhanced efficiency, however, because PC Relocator 4.0 doesn't include a USB cable. Moving your data to a new computer shouldn't be as traumatic as emigrating to Antarctica. But all too often, it is. A dropped Registry setting here, a lost DLL there, and suddenly, an old app you really need won't run on your new PC. Alohabob PC Relocator 4.0 eases the migration process by analyzing your original configuration and relocating selected files, specific programs, or the entire contents of your drive over a serial cable to a new PC. Don't expect speed with this enhanced efficiency, however, because PC Relocator 4.0 doesn't include a USB cable.

Installation itself is easy. Simply insert the PC Relocator CD-ROM into the appropriate drive, and PC Relocator places an icon on your desktop that will launch a helpful read-me file.

Ready, set, go...
PC Relocator walks you through each stage of data migration. For example, its opening screen lists five steps you should perform before you migrate your data to make sure everything goes smoothly, including running Microsoft's ScanDisk utility and turning off PC-based hibernation features. Only after you've checked off these tasks can you proceed to the next screen.

PC Relocator first analyzes your data directories, looking for files, Registry listings, and libraries. In our tests on three machines--a 1.36GB Pentium 4 running Windows XP and Me; a Pentium II-466 running Windows 98 and Me; and a Pentium II-166 running Windows 95--PC Relocator took from four to eight minutes to scan 20GB of data. After its scan, PC Relocator rates all of your files and applications, with all their associated Registry settings and default subsidiary files, according to how easy they are to move. For example, patched programs get a low rating and aren't initially movable.

Should you need to stop the file-migration process, using the Exit button will safely interrupt and shut down PC Relocator. But in our tests, this left the kernel of the program still running in memory, which dramatically slowed our computer operations. If you need to shut down PC Relocator, we recommend rebooting the machine.

Slow migration
PC Relocator doesn't transfer data as quickly as it could. We don't suggest using the enclosed parallel cable for transfers, since parallel-port migration is incredibly slow and can take the better part of a day. Instead, Alohabob recommends purchasing a crossover cable that uses a network card. There are plans in the works to release a PC Relocator upgrade in September that will include a USB cable. In the meantime, you'll have to splurge for the USB cable ($30), which will reduce transfer times on average to approximately 1GB every 65 to 80 minutes. Despite the slowness, we were impressed with PC Relocator's faultless transfers in our various tests.

Good technical support
PC Relocator's excellent built-in help system, online tech documents at Eisenworld's Web site, and efficient phone support are all pluses.

Alohabob PC Relocator 4.0 is still the best of the migration tools we've seen, as long as you have a USB cable to speed transfers. Or, wait until the fall release of PC Relocator 5.0, which will include its own USB cable.

PC Relocator walks you through the migration process, with useful advice every step of the way.

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