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Transfer XP files to new Windows 7 computer

by themenz / January 18, 2010 3:06 PM PST

I hope this group can help. I have read all of the threads I can and cannot see my situation.

I have a 3 year old Vaio Laptop VGN-SZ381P running XP Professional 32 bit. I bought a new Vaio laptop (VGN-Z890 3.06GHz T9900 DDR3 250GB Vertex SSD)running System 7 Ultimate.

I want to move the files and as many settings as possible from the XP machine to the Win7.

I have them both connected to a D-Link router. I installed Windows Easy Transfer on the XP machine. I am pretty sure it is the right version.

I then initiate WET on the XP and it gives me a Easy Transfer Key. I open WET on the Win7 and input the key. Then hit next on both machines. After about 5 minutes or so (XP takes much longer) they both return messages saying they can't find the other machines and to check my network settings.

What settings do I check? Through the Win7 computer I can see shared files on my XP machine. But I can't make the WET program work to move my files.

Should I just try the crossover cable route?

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Maybe try this
by michaelhoftman / January 18, 2010 8:03 PM PST

You probably need to tweak the network settings, firewall settings, etc. It really depends on the specific setup. Can both machines connect to the internet?

Also, WET will mostly transfer your My Documents and favorites. I'm don't know what exactly you need, but if you want to haul your apps over as well, you might give Zinstall XP7 ( ) a try - it is supposed to take care of the network configuration by itself, actually, but is only worth the price if you are transferring more than just files.

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XP Partition?
by themenz / January 18, 2010 10:27 PM PST
In reply to: Maybe try this


Thanks fo rthe reply! Yes, both machines can connect to the internet. I guess I am stumped at the network settings.

I did some research on zinstall and it looks fairly straightforward. Downside seems to be that you end up with an XP desktop on the new computer. It is not clear that the new environment will run much faster than the old and with the hard drive partitioned, I may run out of room. I have 85 gigs to move with a 256 gb max on the new machine. Aslo, when I install new apps that are Windows 7 optimized, I am wondering how they will access the XP partition.

Have you had any experience with Laplink PCMover? They do have a version that supplies a USB cable.

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Not a problem
by michaelhoftman / January 19, 2010 6:46 PM PST
In reply to: XP Partition?

I think having the XP stuff separate is an upside, actually. This way, Win7 is clean - so no trouble from old stuff, malware and "Windows rot". It's like reformatting, but keeping all the apps!
There's full access between XP and 7, you can even copy files while switching the "channels", no problem.

About PCMover - I have used it four years back, when I was getting a new XP PC to replace my old one, and it worked fine. However, this time - XP to Windows 7 - it just won't work, I gave up and searched for something new - that's how I found Zinstall XP7, happy since then!

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transfering files from winxp to a new pc windows 7
by beejay72 / February 19, 2013 2:24 PM PST
In reply to: Maybe try this

I have a old PC with winxp.I have a very large Family Tree Maker file on it (geneology files).I now have a windows 7.I tried to trasfer with a backup cd but it want work.Please tell me how to transfer my files.Family Tree Maker 2005 is software.Can I just use a transfer cable? I have heard of those? Thanks beejay72

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Windows Easy Transfer
by soulsilver2010 / January 18, 2010 11:52 PM PST

What you can do is install Windows Easy Transfer from Microsoft at:

You will also need a backup medium, preferably an external hard drive or pack of DVDs. You can also use an easy transfer cable.

To begin, run the installer for Easy Transfer on the XP Machine. When that finishes, plug in the backup medium of your choice and run the software. Check what you want to transfer, and select OK.

Wait for the system to back up, and plug the medium into the 7 machine. If easy transfer doesn't load automatically, type click start and type in easy transfer. Specifiy the medium and let it restore your data.

Easy Transfer can restore the following:

User Accounts

Hope it helps.

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Already completed
by themenz / January 19, 2010 12:01 AM PST
In reply to: Windows Easy Transfer

Thank you SoulSilver,

I have already installed WET on the XP machine. I am having problems connecting the machines through my router. Seems like they have separate networks and I can't figure out how to connect them.

As you suggested, maybe I need to move my files using a transfer cable rather than futz around with the network settings.

I may look deeper into Laplink PCMover. Seems to move more stuff than WET.

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Windows Easy Transfer methods
by TaraS_WinTeam / January 25, 2010 3:26 AM PST
In reply to: Already completed
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Just harvest with a usb stick
by Razzl / January 24, 2010 9:51 PM PST

We all like to think that these "transfer" programs will save us loads of time, but honestly the best way I've found is to just plug a generous-capacity usb stick (2gb or more) into the XP computer and manually harvest the files. It took me all of 15 minutes to harvest files for 2 users from my old computer to my new computer this way. I can't say if this will help for all programs you might have, but for standard Windows programs like Office or Internet Explorer, here are some specifics:

--Internet Explorer: use the "export" function from the toolbar to send your favorites and settings to a folder (including directly onto the usb stick). Plug the stick into the new machine, open up IE on the new machine, and use the "import" function to harvest them.

--Outlook email: this is trickier, use the "find" function to find your large system folder with the ".pst" extension. past this file into the same place as it lives on your new computer's Outlook files and delete or rename the unused ".pst" folder on the new computer. If you've done it right you will click open "Outlook" on the new computer and all your mail and settings will be as they were on the XP computer.

--Documents, pictures, etc.--just copy the folders to the stick and after putting the stick in the new computer, paste them into your new equivalent folders.

Sometimes simple, stupid, brute-force methods are the best way to get the job done...

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by themenz / January 24, 2010 11:41 PM PST

Thank you for these suggestion especially the internet. I have lots of favorites and was wondering if I would have to rebuild.

I did buy Laplink PCMover..but I had to send my computer back for a refund.

I am going to wait for the new models in mid March. Then I will report back on my move.

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Using external storage to migrate...
by lafftur / August 5, 2010 2:09 AM PDT

I have an iomega minimax external HD...can I use that?

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Delighted Laplink PC Mover user!
by CahirBoy / January 25, 2010 5:19 PM PST

Just thought I'd let you know I used PC Mover Pro to transfer all files and relevant applications from a Windows XP Professional PC to a new Windows 7 Ultimate PC. It worked like an absolute dream, even some ancient applications for which I'd mislaid the original discs ran "good as Gold" on the new machine. I can totally recommend it, it is brilliant

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Great recommendation
by themenz / January 25, 2010 9:10 PM PST

Cahir, thank you for that. I run my business on this computer. It is backed up off site every day. And when I move, I really can't be debugging Quickbooks for hours.

Are the moved applications still registered so that manufacturer updates continue? Or did you have to re-register your apps?

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Some Things I Don't Understand
by CuriousAndCuriouser / December 26, 2011 5:08 AM PST

Dear Cahir Boy,

I understand that I can copy data and programs from XP3 Laptop to new Windows 7 Pro Laptop using Laplink PC Mover and Ethernet cables that come in box. But how I am going to run those programs on Win7 computer?. From what I can figure out, I would need Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode on my computer and would run Windows XP Mode under Windows Virtual PC to run those XP programs? Am I correct? Is that what you do?

I am curious about your ancient applications. I have QwikCheck (I think that's the name), a check register accounting program, that is a DOS program written in C that I can still run in XP. Would I be able to use that on Windows 7 computer?

For Windows 2003 programs on XP3, if I got Windows 7 versions of those programs, I can't figure out from what I have been reading whether I can just move data over to Win7 and read the data. It sounds like I can't. I am concerned, particularly about my Excel files. I have read that I should upgrade from Windows XP SP3 to Vista and then to Windows 7 on old computer and then transfer data to new computer, which I absolutely don't want to do.

What about my printer, HP LaserJet 3100? There is no Windows7 driver?

This is my first post to a this forum. Thanks. I will look for your reply. I intend to order my new Windows 7 Pro computer in a day or two and I would love to have your answer before I do that ordering.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 26, 2011 5:55 AM PST

The post you are replying to is nearly 2 years old, so I am unsure that the poster will see your question, hence my intervention.

What you are asking is difficult for many reasons.

1] I've never used PC Mover and I cannot attest to its usefulness. But in general Windows broke this, "copy program files to another computer and they will work", many many years ago. I believe the last Windows version it was possible with any guarantee of success was from Windows 95 to Windows 95. So although I see where PC Mover is said to be great, I am not convinced.

The problem is varied. If some program or other installs its files in just one location/folder then there is a chance that moving the folder to a new computer might work. But since Windows 98, program installations have installed files in many different locations on a computer system, as well as created registry entries and system files, and so on and such. Trying to track those down to copy them across is a huge task, and is rarely successful.

That's why the only real solution is to "reinstall" programs onto another OS.

2] XP mode is said to be very good for installing and running those programs that cannot be installed into Windows 7. But there is really only one answer here. Try it and see. No-one can tell you it will always work.

3] Windows 7 no longer has DOS, but you might be able to use something like DOSBox to emulate DOS on Win 7.

4] Your own created Office files, eg Word and Excel will not be able to be used on Windows 7 without Microsoft Office installed, (or you can use the free, open source office apps like OpenOffice or LibreOffice).

You can copy those word.doc files and Excel spreadsheet files across to Windows 7, but you will still need an application to read and edit them.

I have the same problem on my Win 7. It doesn't have Office. So although I have my Word files and Excel files copied to this system, I cannot open them to edit them I can, however, view them with Microsoft's Word Viewer and Excel viewer, both free.

5] Printers are a problem. If HP does not have a suitable Windows 7 driver for your Laserjet then there is little you can do. Attempting to set up a printer thru' Windows 7 into XP mode is, I understand, very difficult.

Sorry this reply is so full of uncertainties.


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Reply to MarkFlax
by CuriousAndCuriouser / December 26, 2011 1:51 PM PST
In reply to: Difficult.

Dear Mark,

Your reply was very helpful. I chatted today with Laplink PCMover customer service and the answer was that while I could copy data and XP programs to the new computer, that didn't mean that the new computer could run them. That is why I wanted more specifics from Cahir Boy. My intention is to buy MS Office and Corel WordPerfet for the Windows 7 computer but I wasn't yet clear that my old data could be read and edited. I do think those programs should be able to read and edit older data files, though I might have to save the edited data file to a Win 7 format, but I hadn't had confirmation of that yet. I know how to use a flash drive to copy a file from one computer to another using a flash drive so I am going to have to evaluate whether it makes sense to put $60.00 into buying PCMover and move any programs from the XP computer to the Win 7 computer or put that money into a new program for the Win7 computer. This time I will be buying a new computer before the old one has died so I have some time to work this out. At least now I don't think it makes sense to order any transfer cables at the time I purchase my new computer. Thanks for telling me about DoxBox. I have not investigated it yet. And I, too, had figured out that I would need a new printer for the Windows 7 computer. Thanks again. CuriousAndCuriouser (not a wonderful. name, I know, but all the others I tried were rejected by Cnet)

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I think its a great name
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 26, 2011 7:35 PM PST
In reply to: Reply to MarkFlax

and it shows the measure of curiosity. Happy

You may have options. Well, you do! If you purchase any newer version of Office, (the latest is Office 2010), that will be able to open and edit Word and Excel files from older versions. I can't say for sure about WordPerfect but it would surprise me if that didn't either.

But with Office 2007 and 2010 Microsoft changed formats for files. Office will still open older files but if you edit and re-save then the format might change, eg for Word the new format becomes mydoc.docx instead of mydoc.doc

However, using "Save As" and I believe you can still choose to "Save as - type" as .doc, and the same for spreadsheets, .xls.

The other option is this. Older versions of Office will install on Windows 7. Certainly Office XP (2002) will, and maybe even Office 97. And you don't need to bother with Virtual PC and XP Mode for that. If you have the Office CD for the older version, you can install that and use the license code you already have. You would have to uninstall it from the XP system first, but make a note of the license in the "Help > About" menu before doing so.

Good luck with your new Windows 7. It is quite different from XP in some ways, but you get used to it.

I hope that helps.


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This may be a stupid question, but ...
by Bill Osler / January 25, 2010 9:14 PM PST

When you tried Windows Easy Transfer the computers could not 'see' each other but each of the computers could access the Internet. Have you made sure that the workgroup names match? Can the computers ping each other on the LAN?

There are other network issues that can create problems and I'm no expert but these are common issues.

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Not a stupid question
by themenz / January 25, 2010 10:01 PM PST

Great question. I don't have the Win7 computer..had to turn it in. But I tried to assign the same name even though the two computers refer to networks with different terminology. I could not get them to talk.

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use external drive, usb or dvd
by TaraS_WinTeam / January 26, 2010 1:07 AM PST
In reply to: Not a stupid question

I really do recommend using an external method to transfer your files then, it will work without sharing a network. As for networking your computers, are they Windows (XP or Vista) or another OS?


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by themenz / January 26, 2010 1:46 AM PST

The old computer is XP Professional. The new computer was Win7 Ultimate.

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transfering files and network setup
by TaraS_WinTeam / January 26, 2010 2:07 AM PST
In reply to: Networking
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