I have a 5-year-old computer. I'm ready to get a new, more powerful one. The only thing stopping me is that I don't want to lose any files or programs.
Is there a device that makes this transfer easy?
If you can afford the luxury, nothing beats having a techie do these transfers at a storefront computer shop or at some of the large consumer electronics stores that offer this service. If you want to do it yourself, I favor the PCsync program from LapLink Inc., of Bothell, Wash. (www.laplink .com).
The product comes with the needed serial port connecting cables, and the software is fairly easy to understand.
You get one window representing your old machine and another window showing the new one. You pick data files in the old one and drag them to the new one and click a button to start the transfer. This can take several hours because serial links are notoriously slow.
Note as well that this deals only with data files. PCsync will not move programs like Microsoft Word, so you will have to reload whatever software you're running on the old machine using the original discs.
James Coates is a reporter for The Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing Co. newspaper. He can be reached via e-mail at jcoates@trib une.com.