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How do I transfer data from an XP desktop to a Vista laptop?

 
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Paul_G



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject: How do I transfer data from an XP desktop to a Vista laptop? Reply with quote

Hello it's my first post on Free PC Support and I hope someone can help me with an ongoing problem.

I have a desktop PC running XP Home and a Laptop running Vista Home Premium and I wish to transfer all the files and data from one to the other.
Usually this shouldn't be too difficult and there is quite a lot of information about it on the web but I have an additional hurdle: the CD/DVD drive on my desktop is not working.

The simplest way of solving this problem would be to change the desktop to Vista and run Windows Easy Transfer but there does not appear to be a way of doing this without installing a Vista disc. I have one of those from my laptop but as I said the disc drive is faulty and I would rather not have it fixed right now.

I have tried searching on the web but the only downloads that seem to be available are Vista upgrades, whereas I want to start from scratch. On the other hand, if there are any other ways of transferring the data I would like to know about them.

I have also tried using an Easy Transfer Cable from a company called Belkin. It did not operate even when I downloaded the driver from their website and when I called Customer Services they said their cables would only work with Pentium processors - my desktop and laptop are both AMD,

So I just don't know what to do next. Is the only answer to have the disc drive repaired or is there another solution?

Paul
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JonS



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

those easy transfer cables should work with anything - however you need to download a patch from Microsoft to enable the XP machine to transfer to the Vista one. I'll try to locate the patch later. The comment about "only working with a Pentium" is total garbage.

I don't understand your comments about needing to "change the desktop to Vista". Simply does not make sense

Whenever I do a data transfer I usually simply dump it all to a pen drive or external USB hard drive, and then copy it all to the new machine (AFTER antivirus software has been installed...)

On the XP machine your data will be in
c:\documents and setting\user named\My Documents (with videos and photos in subfolders)
Favourites will be in
c:\documents and settings\user name\favorites

The corresponding location on the Vista machine is
c:\users\user name\documents
c:\users\user name\videos
etc


Note the difference: In Vista the Video and Photo folders are not subfolders of "Documents", but sister-folders

Only other major issue is stored e-mail and the address book, but that depends on what e-mail program you use, and what you intend to use on the new machine


Now a question: is this a one-off move or do you have an ongoing need to keep the two machines in synch? If so it may be a case for using Microsofts "SkyDrive"


Last edited by JonS on Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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JonS



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS - the cost of buying a new desktop DVD drive is less than 20 and you should be able to fit it yourself
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JonS



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the relevant bit of easy transfer software

https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=2b6f1631-973a-45c7-a4ec-4928fa173266

this needs to be installed on the XP machine to allow transfers to the Vista machine.
It won't work the other way round
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Paul_G



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the very helpful advice, Jon. I should have mentioned that I have transferred most of the documents via a USB drive but it's the emails and address book, which are in Outlook Express and would go into Outlook 2007, that present the difficulty.

I have managed to import a few email folders via USB but there are literally thousands of messages I want to transfer.

By 'change the desktop to Vista' I meant upgrade XP to Vista to enable an Easy Transfer via a cable. I thought it would make the process far more straightforward but as you have found a patch, hopefully that will do it!

Yes I thought what Belkin Customer Services told me sounded dubious too.

I will try downloading the patch in the next day or so (unfortunately access to the desktop is limited) and report back on how I get on.

Paul
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JonS



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, thats easier than it sounds
You can copy the relevant files to a pen drive and then import them into Outlook

First amend XP so that hidden and system files are visible, and turn on viewing of file extensions
Then copy to the pen drive
1) Address book
this is in
c:\documents and settings\"username"\application data\microsoft\address book
By default its called "username".wab

2) Message files
these are in
c:\documents and settings\username\local settings\application data\identities\{identity}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

depending on how the machine has been used there may be more than one identity
You need to copy the entire Outlook Express folder - not just the contents, or else the import wont work

Once you've got them on the pen drive its time to import into Outlook
First, its a good idea to copy everything to a new folder on the hard drive. Sometimes importing into Outlook fails if you are doing it from a removable drive. It ALWAYS fails if you try to copy from a CD.So play safe and put it on the hard drive

First, the mail files
First you have to import these to Windows Mail and then reimport to Outlook. Microsoft broke the import wizard in Outlook 2007
So
in Windows Mail
file > import > messages > microsoft outlook express 6 > next > import mail from an OE6 store directory > browse to the copied mail folder
Select ALL folders and subfolders, that will import them to Windows mail

next import the address book into Windows Mail
so
file > import > windows contacts > windows address book file (outlook express contacts) > import Then browse to that saved wab file

Finally we have to get everything into Outlook 2007

so in Outlook
file > import and export > import internet mail and addresses > next > import Outlook Express 4.x 5.x 6.x or Windows Mail > next > finish
That should drag it all into Outlook

Simple Eh?

Note this only imports the addresses and mail files. It does NOT import the account settings, which you will have to set up again

Hope this helps

As a postscript - do you really need to use Outlook? If all you need is mail and a simple calendar take a look at Windows Live Mail 2011 instead
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