What are my file transfer options?

A reader is looking for advice on the best way to transfer files from one PC to another.

“A long time ago when Worldstart was still alive, he had some software/hardware when you wanted to upgrade a computer or backup the files from one to another. Do you have anything similar to what was being offered at that time? My old laptop is on its way out and I need to transfer files to my new one.”

I don’t offer any products for sale, but I can point you in the direction of some good choices. The best product depends on what you’re trying to do.  Do you just want to transfer important files like documents, photos, music, and videos?  Or are you hoping to transfer programs?

If you want to transfer only files like documents, photos, videos, music and perhaps your email contacts, You could choose to do it using a large USB drive or an external hard drive. Just copy the files you want onto the external drive and then switch to the other PC, plug in the external drive, and copy it back onto that one.

If you’re hoping to move programs as well as files, or would just prefer to have an all-in-one program to assist with the transfer, I suggest Laplink’s PC Mover.  You’ll get simple step-by-step instructions for the transfer.  The software costs $70 with the cable included and it’s only good for one use, but when you compare that with the cost of paying someone to do it for you, it’s still a pretty good deal. You can check it out on Amazon by clicking here.

If you just want to transfer your files, a file transfer cable with some simple software might work for you. There’s one that’s currently under $20 on Amazon right now running Bravura Easy Computer Sync Software. You can click here to check that out.


Before selecting any product, make sure that it works with both the operating system you’re transferring from and the operating system you’re transferring to.

One thought on “What are my file transfer options?

  1. I usually use the “just keep the disk” system.

    I have a local (not part of a chain) geek who is really sharp and is really reasonable on rates. Most towns probably do. It just takes a little time with a search engine to find them and read the reviews. I can handle most tasks myself, but I call him when I’m stuck. If I am retiring a computer because some critical component other than the disk has failed and it’s not worth repairing, or because it has become a wombat with a working disk, I purchase a hard disk holder with interface cable. (You do need to know what kind of cable attaches to the disk.) Then, I have my guy remove the disk from the old machine and put it in the case. At the same time, he can use his professional programs to assess the health of the retired/retained disk. By keeping the disk, I have everything to hand. Over time, a computer seems to build up all sorts of files, from critically necessary to junk I never got around to deleting. I can immediately plug in the old disk and transfer what I know I need or want, but if I miss something, it’s available later. Plus, I don’t need to worry about security on disposing of the old machine because I have the disk. When I get to the point of actually getting rid of the old disk, depending on circumstances, I take it to a shop with a disk shredder, or use a utility to do a security wipe on it (another topic). Again, depending on circumstances, one also can just reformat the old disk and use it for something else, such as extra copies of files, until it’s time for it to go.

    I could learn to do all this stuff, but for some of them, it’s not worth my time. There’s always a choice on DIY or whether it’s a better use of time to retain someone who does these sorts of tasks multiple times per day — someone who can finish in a short time for a few bucks what it would take me at least hours to learn and do.

    This brings us around the circle to back-ups. Do them, and be sure to find your program’s option to make a rescue/recovery (bootable) disk. Make one, and keep it current as your program is updated. By this means, the entire operating system and all files can be transferred to a new disk or computer. Although I’m not sure I understand how to do this (never had to, knock on something), I have everything my pro will need.

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