Transferring everything from old laptop to new one.

Oct 5, 2017 6:49AM PDT

What is the best way to transfer all of my information and programs from my old laptop (Inspiron 1545, with Windows 10 purchased in 2010) to a new laptop? Best Buy says they will do it for $100 or $80 if I buy my laptop there. I see there is a program you can buy for about $60. I would like the transfer to be as clean as possible, i.e. not transferring any problems from old laptop to new one. Thanks, Phil

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Most programs do not transfer.
Oct 5, 2017 7:07AM PDT

So while there are programs that claim to transfer programs I find they fail on apps like Microsoft Office (long reason why.) So why not use Best Buy and if they fail then you can go for a refund and transfer the old fashioned way where we install our apps and restore the data from our backups?

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Oct 5, 2017 9:14AM PDT

Assuming the old machine functions, get an usb stick and copy 'your stuff', pics/docs/vids etc to the stick.
Plug the stick into the new machine and transfer in.

Programs you reinstall.

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Transferring everything from old laptop to new one
Oct 5, 2017 5:47PM PDT

Thanks for the suggestions. Is there a problem reinstalling programs on the new laptop for which I have no CD, i.e. that were downloaded?

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For me no.
Oct 5, 2017 6:16PM PDT
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Oct 5, 2017 6:57PM PDT

If your asking if you can copy programs to the usb stick and transfer to the new pc the answer is NO.
In general programs don't transfer, there are pieces of it scattered all over the place.
Miss a piece and the program won't work.
You need the raw files and the installer.
So you download a fresh copy of the program on the new pc and run the installer.

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Transferring everything from old laptop to new one
Oct 6, 2017 6:50AM PDT

What happens if I an restoring copied files from my old laptop but there are files for a program I decided not to reinstall on my new laptop? Does it just skip those files? Aren't there some programs that do not allow you to install multiple copies to different devices? Thanks.

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Oct 6, 2017 7:44AM PDT

When you copy files out or copy files in you select which files you want to copy.

As for program install restriction you would need to check each program.

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Transferring everything from old laptop to new one
Oct 6, 2017 8:08AM PDT

Thanks for the input. Phil

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About your data files. Example? Microsoft Office files.
Oct 6, 2017 8:25AM PDT

Let's take Microsoft Office for a moment. Most of the versions do not move from machine to machine. Since it's unlikely you own Office Starter 2010 (more at ) this means moving and taking the app with you is 99% unlikely.

So what about those DATA files? No problem. Just move them over so when you sort out the app your files are ready to use. For example I went on travel with my travel laptop and for that I use LibreOffice from because it's free and works with my Office files. There's more to write about this but I'll leave you here and see if you have specific questions.

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You might also want to run...
Oct 7, 2017 3:11AM PDT up to date copy of Belarc Advisor, free download for personal use. It will list all your programs that have product keys, in case you have misplaced your install cases or whatever and it will also give you a list of all the applications on your PC and when you last used them. Just a useful cross-check - if you are like me, you always forget one!

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Transferring everything from old laptop to new one
Oct 7, 2017 8:32AM PDT

Thank you! This Belarc Advisor is awesome!! I had never heard of it. It will be a great resource. Phil

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Keyword you are looking for is "migrating/migration/migrate"
Oct 9, 2017 11:34PM PDT

I believe what you are specifically looking for, probably, is migration software! They all claim to be able to transfer files, applications, settings, corresponding files for programs, and even contents!

I, personally, have never had excuse to use; I proceed in a different manner. I'm under the impression that outside of simple .exe programs, it is excessively difficult to backup/transfer programs perfectly -- especially if it's one of common use; microsoft office, adobe products, browsers, anti-virus/malware/spyware, etc. One can't simply just copy and paste folders and files like you could with the simple .exe programs I stated earlier. Folders and files are simply just the beginning...there are registry keys (a whole different level of difficulty to backup/transfer) and hidden/system files that hold settings or files that act as "pointers" that "point" when a program wishes access certain data and it refers to a "pointer" where a file is to the file that actually is/belongs to a completely different section/folder. A lot of settings are only stored in registry keys and/or within the program code itself. 

In any case, I don't know how successful these programs can be, but in case they are, here are some good ones: or (i don't suggest you get the "free" versions as I imagine they'll more hurt & hinder than help). If anything, I use Acronis to backup my computer(s)...

Hope this helps...

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Transferring everything from old laptop to new one
Oct 12, 2017 7:10AM PDT

Thank you for the info and advice. Phil

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Oct 12, 2017 11:10PM PDT

Anytime! Happy to help! Laugh

If you have any questions....

Good luck to you!

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