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Migrate Easy Deluxe review:

Migrate Easy Deluxe

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The Good Clones an exact copy of your existing drive; supports all popular PC operating and file systems.

The Bad Cannot adjust existing drive's partition size, copy partitions, or remap existing drive letters.

The Bottom Line Migrate Easy is good for one-to-one data transfers between two hard drives in one computer for, say, a small business. However, there are other, more flexible apps available for transferring your data to a brand-new computer.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

6.0 Overall

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Migrate Easy Deluxe is designed to migrate content from one hard drive to another within the same computer. Simple enough, you might think, but the product left us scratching our heads. While it performs as advertised--in other words, it successfully transfers data--there are many things it can't do, such as allow you to select individual files to move; with this app, it's all or nothing. (For more adaptable migration programs that move data between computers, see the products we reviewed in our last migration roundup.) Migrate Easy can, however, move non-Windows files, including Linux and OS/2, which is something that no other migration tool we've reviewed does. It's a simple, inexpensive way to make a literal, one-to-one copy of your hard drive. Migrate Easy Deluxe is designed to migrate content from one hard drive to another within the same computer. Simple enough, you might think, but the product left us scratching our heads. While it performs as advertised--in other words, it successfully transfers data--there are many things it can't do, such as allow you to select individual files to move; with this app, it's all or nothing. (For more adaptable migration programs that move data between computers, see the products we reviewed in our last migration roundup.) Migrate Easy can, however, move non-Windows files, including Linux and OS/2, which is something that no other migration tool we've reviewed does. It's a simple, inexpensive way to make a literal, one-to-one copy of your hard drive.

Typically, when you buy a new hard drive for your old computer, the heavy lifting involves hooking up the drive and informing your computer's BIOS about its newest addition. Once the drive is recognized, the rest of the process is easy, with or without third-party software. For example, with a new 80GB drive, it took us only a few minutes to partition and format the drive using the traditional Windows fdisk and the Format command utilities, both of which come free with Windows. The process is even simpler with Windows XP, which offers both a command line and a Windows utility for partitioning new drives. However, if you need to make exact copies of several new hard drives, you're better off with a third-party application, such as Migrate Easy Deluxe.

Two drives are better than one
With Migrate Easy, you must have at least two physical hard drives installed, presumably, one old and one new. But if you want to change the partition on the new drive or even repartition the old drive, you're out of luck. You'll need to use PartitionMagic 7.0 for that.

Once you've set up the new drive and are prepared to migrate your data, Migrate Easy gives you a choice of rebooting from the program's CD or creating your own boot floppy to execute the transfer. Unfortunately, the app doesn't create it the smart way; we had to use a blank diskette because Migrate Easy won't delete any files on its own. But after rebooting the system with the Migrate Easy CD or floppy in place, it is easy to move data from one drive to the other.

Migrate Easy offers two data-transfer routes: automatic or manual. If you select the AutoUpdate scenario, Migrate Easy creates a proportionally partitioned hard disk containing all of the files from the old drive (or drives). So if your old 10MB drive was partitioned into two 5MB drives, your new 80MB drive will be partitioned into two 40MB drives. Trouble is, the new primary drive is now the one that boots when you restart your computer, so the original, or old, drive must either be removed from the system or have its drive designation changed, which may not have been your original intent. The real downside to the automatic approach is that you can't make a nonbootable backup copy of a hard drive.

On the other hand, the manual process allows you to specify the new hard drive as a bootable drive or as additional storage. Either choice lets you create your own partitioning scheme. Note that Migrate Easy destroys any existing partitions on the new hard drive; you cannot append partitions or copy files into existing partitions. If you choose the additional storage option, you determine the file-system type for the new partition by choosing among FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, Linux Swap, or ReiserFS (but not OS/2's HPSF). This is useful if you work within these different environments.

E-mail support only
We got an error code the first time we asked Migrate Easy to create a boot disk using an old floppy disk. As noted above, Migrate Easy doesn't erase files on the floppy, so if there's not enough room for its files, it will just tell you that the process failed. Alas, Migrate Easy offers neither telephone support nor an online FAQ. We sent e-mail to Migrate Easy's tech support, though, and received an accurate diagnosis within several hours.

If you spend a lot of time making exact duplicates of existing hard drives, say, for a small business, Migrate Easy can make your life easier. For those who need multibooting drives, this program is worth the $39.95 investment. But if you're looking for a more flexible partitioning utility or data-migration app, look elsewhere.

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