opinion

An Easy Transfer?

Stephen Yagielowicz
I want to tell you a little story about the huge menace posed by the relentless advance of technology and the demands of 'keeping up' that it poses on smaller operators without the benefit of IT departments and other timely, qualified, on-site assistance.

Yep, I'm having computer problems again and I want it to serve as a lesson to you all…

You see, my lovely wife Dawn just bought a fancy new widescreen Dell laptop running Windows Vista and I'm giving her a hand in transferring the files from her old laptop on to the new one. The problem is that I tried to take the "easy" way out.

Vista supports a feature known as Windows Easy Transfer, which according to its website, "helps you to easily move the files and settings stored on your PC running Windows 2000, Windows XP, or even Windows Vista to a new PC running Windows Vista. Windows Easy Transfer will automatically transfer things like: user accounts; files and folders; e-mail messages, settings, and contacts; photos, music, and videos; Windows settings; program data files and settings; Internet settings … let Windows Easy Transfer do the work for you."

It sounded good and I went to BestBuy to pick up an "Easy Transfer cable" – a special connector that uses a USB port – and easily connected the two laptops together.

Perhaps I should have known better and investigated the advanced options more closely, but the on-screen prompts had recommended that I stick with the default settings and transfer everything – all I needed to do was push the button – Heck, Microsoft knows more about its software than I do, so I pushed the button like it said.

Yeah, I know; be careful what you ask for…

I won't get into the litany of problems I created for the new laptop (and my network), but suffice it to say I went looking for the "undo" option, only to find out that there isn't one – and worse yet, I wasn't able to successfully return to any previous restores point on the new box in an effort to return it to its original configuration.

I'm now slowly working through the issues and making sure my sweetie is able to work with her new system as efficiently as she did with her old one – and I seriously regret having used the "Easy Transfer" process.

Googling for solutions reveals that I'm not alone in this, so if you find yourself needing to transfer your old files to your new Vista box and thinking "how can I make this all go easier?" – I know an option you should be very careful about trying!

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