Join Jeff Van West for an in-depth discussion in this video Easy Transfer and the File Transfer wizard, part of Windows Vista Essential Training.
So, here we are back at the installer again, but it's still not time to click that magic Install button. We want to do one thing first and that is to set up our files to transfer. And now this movie applies whether you are upgrading to Vista or if you just bought a new Vista machine and you want to transfer all of your files and all of your settings from the old computer to the new computer. Same process either way. We're going to click the Transfer files and settings from another computer, and it's going to run a new File transfer wizard. It's called Windows Easy Transfer by the way.
If for some reason you've already collected your files on the Windows XP machine using the old Windows system, that's okay. It's the same kind of file and it's the same kind of stuff that gets transferred. But if you haven't, ideally use the Easy Transfer wizard. Now, you need to figure out, you know, which computer is which. Is this the old computer or the new computer? And right now we're on the old computer. It's going to ask us how we're going to do it. You have a cable directly between the two.
They make this the recommended. Truth be told, they can take quite a long time, but it is the easiest if you're at home to just physically put a USB cable between the two machines and let them talk to each other. Transfer using a network connection so both computers on the network at the same time. Again, this requires that you have both computers running. It doesn't help you with a clean install or an upgrade. Or, you can collect all the files into a separate folder and then put that folder on another machine. Let's look at how this might work.
I'll click the, uh, Collect right now. Now, why would I want to do this if I was upgrading my machine? Well, if I'm upgrading my machine, this is a big, serious upgrade. I need to backup my files. First, and what I recommend is the easiest way to backup the files, or what I would consider the best way to back up files, is to back them up onto one of these transfer files. And then if you do what's called a clean install -- which we'll look at in the next chapter -- the clean install of Vista will wipe out everything on your hard drive. But then, if you have these files on an external drive, you can bring back all of your personal data and then reinstall your software as needed.
The other reason, even if you're doing an upgrade, this is a very reasonable way to back up your data, all of it, if you don't already have a good backup solution, because it puts it all into one big aggregate file. No matter what you're doing, unless you're moving Vista from one computer to another and you have two physical computers, if you're doing an upgrade, then I'd recommend also just copying all your files, all your critical files, onto some other format as well, so you'll have multiple backups. I'm a little paranoid. But let's use an external hard drive. We'll browse for one. We're in Windows XP right now, so we're going to go looking out on our local network.
And we have a whole bunch around here. I'm going to go onto one of our network computers here. If you had another computer at home -- you could do it here -- we can give it a name. Call this, you know, Jeff's old machine. You don't have to give it a password. This is your personal data, but if it's staying on, you know, your own home network, no big deal, just recommended. All user accounts, Just my user accounts, or Advanced options.
Let's just see what Advanced options is so you can see. What you're seeing when it says All accounts, Not all accounts, is what is going to be transferred from one file to another. So it's all of my application settings, not Microsoft Office, but all of my personal settings for Microsoft Office. And it's going to be everything on my Desktop, all of my Favorites, all the things in My Documents, My Music, Pictures, Video. Those are all going to get transferred. And in fact, all of these people on the computer are going to get transferred.
If I want to see what's deep inside these, I can. These are sort of miscellaneous files and folders that might also get transferred as I go along. Now, so this doesn't take forever, what I'm going to do is, I can selectively decide which files and folders are going to get transferred. You can leave -- well, we'll take that out. I just want to show you what's here. Normally you would want to do all of it, but this way, it won't take nearly so long.
And if I were to do what I'm about to do, the only things that are going to get transferred are say the stuff on my Desktop. So you get an idea of, you know, the kinds of things that you have transferred. That's all I want, stuff on my Desktop. Normally again you would just use the button to transfer all of your user settings or everybody on the computer. The cool thing is, if you have one computer and you have several people in the house, everybody's files, everybody's settings, everybody's passwords all get moved from one computer to the other one.
And what would happen is we'd go to the new computer or we'd take all those files onto the removable drive, right, set them aside. We would rebuild our computer in Windows Vista. We'd plug in the separate drive that we just copied these onto and run the Easy Transfer Wizard from the new computer and get all of our files for reinstall. I'm going to do it once more just so you can see really quickly, and we can sort of speed this up in time 'cause you've seen it once. I just want to show you what it looks like on this end.
Just so you know, if you were to go through and do it with the connecting the cables or connecting the two computers over a network, essentially you'll run the Transfer files and settings -- what you have right here -- on both computers. Let's go back and just look at what happens if you do have two computers on the network. This is what it's going to be if you bought a new computer with Windows Vista and you have on old computer on the network as well and you want to actually communicate between the two machines. We'll Transfer files, we'll click Next, Transfer directly.
Now again, this effectively is the same as we had before, but we're going to go right between the machines. This is the part I wanted to show you. You'll need a key to be able to transfer files between the machines. No, I need a key. There you go. There's the key. Now, if you go over to the other machine and you run the same Easy Transfer Wizard and go back, you would say Yes, I have the key, and you put in the key, hit Next, they'll connect over the network and they'll begin the transfer. And that's all there is to it. You're all set.
Now, you may be wondering, wait a minute. I've got two computers, but I've got the Vista installer disk in my old computer. How am I going to run Windows Easy Transfer in my new computer? Well, that's okay. The new computer has Windows Vista on it, right? Which means it has the Easy Transfer Wizard inistalled. Open your Start menu and you can just type right in the Start menu Easy transfer. Or you can navigate to it by Start menu/ All programs/ Accessories/ System tools/ Windows Easy Transfer. If you're having trouble using the Start menu in the new Vista, well, check out our movie on the Start menu.