Easy Transfer

eztransfer I took time off yesterday from configuring my wife Devvie’s new P1620 to watch my alma mater UCLA go down to defeat in the NCAA Basketball Championship Semi-Finals. This morning it was time to lick my wounds and go back to work.

I used the Belkin Easy Transfer cable (pictured above) and the accompanying software to transfer user settings, account and application information from Devvie’s P1510 (which runs XP) to her P1620 (which runs Vista). The purpose was to avoid having to perform tedious tasks such as re-entering her e-mail accounts information in Outlook. It all worked as advertised, and relatively quickly. To test, I fired up Outlook on the P1620. Her email accounts were all there. I clicked Send/Receive. I did have to enter her e-mail passwords (I guess that’s a security precaution) but that’s all.

You can use Easy Transfer to transfer files as well. But I didn’t. Just as moving into a new house or an apartment is an opportunity to rethink which items to keep and to re-organize them, I view a new computer as an opportunity to rethink file organization and storage. I’ve set up a Promise SmartStor NS4300N NAS (network attached storage) which is accessible within our internal network as a shared drive and outside as a FTP server. We’re moving the data files on the P1510 to the NAS using KarenWare’s free but powerful Replicator. The plan is that Devvie will check out files from the NAS, and when done working, will update her changes to the NAS, again using the Replicator. We’ll see how this system works out.

Easy Transfer does not migrate programs. Microsoft does offer a free but beta Easy Transfer Companion for that purpose. I passed. I’ve read mixed reports about how well this tool works. Therefore, I was concerned I might be creating problems rather than saving time, especially since it wasn’t all that hard to reinstall her programs. In this regard, as with files, the new computer was a good opportunity to rethink which programs she really uses. Turns out not too many.

Well, Devvie is up and running with her P1620. I’ve asked her to test drive it while I’m home (it’s Sunday) as it will be easier for me to solve any problems while I’m physically here. But (famous last words) I don’t anticipate any glitches.

So now the wait for my P1620 and whatever adventures await me with slimming down the Vista install.

2 Responses to “Easy Transfer”


  • I am interested in how well you like using your Promise SmartStor and KarenWare Replicator. My wife and I currently use an OLD version of Microsoft’s SourceSafe to check files (primarily source code) in and out to our computers. We aren’t really interested in moving up to the new version of SourceSafe as we aren’t convinced it is any more stable than the old version and we want to have something we can use for ALL our files. We want to be able to track who has what and when. Are you using it in this way? I will be checking out Replicator myself so maybe this post is premature, but I’d like to hear your take on it.

  • Hi Brad. I’m not using Replicator yet for source control purposes, just for efficient file transfer. Notwithstanding what I said in the blog, I may instead choose another conceptual solution. I’m still thinking about various ideas like FolderShare (which we currently use but has issues) and Groove (which we are licensed for but haven’t used). These solutions involve computer to computer sync. There also is sync’ing with the “cloud”, such as Google Docs, SugarSync, etc. This whole issue of staying in sync on multiple computers is a very difficult issue, and I will be posting on it soon. Anyone’s input or experience would be appreciated.

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