One of the biggest concerns most computer users face these days is the dreaded “data transfer” from an old machine to a new one. The reasons for getting a new machine are varied. The biggest concern though, the one that keeps people up nights is “can my stuff be seen on the new computer?” With all the new operating systems and data platforms currently in use it’s a valid concern.

Here are some helpful tips when migrating your data to a new computer. First make a list of the following:

  • Usernames and passwords, this includes email accounts
  • Location of important folders and files, this includes backups
  • All associated user accounts
  • Important third party programs
  • Is your new Operating System 32 bit or 64 bit. This will be crucial information if you need to download software from the Internet for your printer.

Next find out if the third party programs, programs like QuickBooks or MS Office need to be upgraded to a newer version that is compatible with the new operating system. Many companies will suggest they can migrate programs along with the data. Due to the potential loss of data and additional problems it may create we at DII Consulting don’t really recommend that path. Also be sure to find out if your printer has the proper drivers available. 

Finally determine how you want to transfer the data. There are several options here

  • Buying an external hard drive to copy the data to
  • Obtaining the proper cables to connect your old hard drive to the new machine. This entails finding out if your old hard drive is PATA or SATA
  • Calling a professional computer technician

When buying an external drive try and find one that is relatively compact. Not a thumb drive but one that will fit into your back pocket like a wallet. These drives will most likely have a USB cable included, can be inexpensive and have a lot of storage capability.

If you decide you want to go straight from the old hard drive to the new machine we recommend going to a large technology store and purchasing PATA or SATA to USB transfer cables. If you’re not sure just ask one of the store representatives

While there is a lot more that could be written covering the details of moving to a new Operating System. Following the simple steps above can reduce the concerns and help for a smooth transition.