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Transferring Files Using Windows Easy Transfer in Windows 7

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Windows Easy Transfer (WET) is a useful tool for transferring the files and settings from an old computer that is running a Windows operating system (OS) earlier than Windows 7 to a new computer that is running Windows 7.
You should consider using Windows Easy Transfer if you bought a new computer and would like to move files and settings to the old one or reinstalling an OS and would like to keep data and settings. If your old computer is not running Windows 7, the Windows Easy Transfer instructions guide you through the process of copying Windows Easy Transfer Wizard to the media that you are using to complete the transfer.
Windows Easy Transfer allows you to select the following options.
  1. Choose the way to connect the two computers:
    • An Easy Transfer cable
    • A network connection
    • An external hard drive, USB flash drive, or CD/DVD
  2. Choose the data to transfer:
    • User accounts
    • Files and folders
    • E-mail messages, settings, and contacts
    • Photos, music, and videos
    • Windows settings
    • Program data files and settings
    • Internet settings
After you make these choices, you can Start the Windows Easy Transfer to transfer the files from one computer to another.

Different methods of transferring data between computers

Windows Easy Transfer provides different ways to transfer the needed files.
NOTE:If you are participating in the Windows Upgrade Option program and would like to clean install and keep data and settings for the new OS installation, HP recommends starting with Windows Easy Transfer.

Using an Easy Transfer Cable

Microsoft recommends using an Easy Transfer Cable for transferring files and settings between computers. If you did not purchase an Easy Transfer Cable with your computer, you can order one online or purchase one at an electronics store. You may use any of the alternate methods if you did not purchase an Easy Transfer Cable.
To use this method, connect the Easy Transfer Cable and a USB port on both computers. Always start Windows Easy Transfer on the new computer using Windows 7 first and follow the on-screen instructions. If the old computer is using a different Windows operating system, Easy Transfer will display instructions on how to download the Windows Easy Transfer software to the other computer, and will guide you through the transfer process.

Using a home or small business network

When using this method, both computers must be connected to the same home or business network. On your new computer, start Windows Easy Transfer and then follow the on-screen instructions.
CAUTION:To prevent lost or damaged data, do not start Windows Easy Transfer on your old computer first.
To transfer files directly over a network without copying to and from a network location, a Windows Easy Transfer key is necessary. The key helps protect files and settings when you transfer them over the network.

Using a USB flash drive or external hard drive

When using this method, Windows Easy Transfer estimates how much disk space is needed on the USB flash drive or an external hard drive to transfer your selections.
If you are using a USB flash drive, try to use one with enough storage space for the entire transfer. If you do not have enough storage space on the USB flash drive for the entire transfer, copy as many files as possible and then repeat the process until you have transferred all of your files and settings.

Using CDs or DVDs

When using this method, Windows Easy Transfer estimates how much disk space and now many CD/DVD discs are necessary for transferring your selections. Both computers must be able to read and write the same type of CD/DVD format.

Starting Windows Easy Transfer

After logging onto the user account with administrator rights and choosing a method for transferring your data between two computers, start Windows Easy Transfer by using the one of following methods, and then follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Click Start , type easy into the Search field, and then select Windows Easy Transfer from the list.
  • Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then Windows Easy Transfer .
  • Click Start , Help and Support , type easy into the Search field and then press enter . A list of results displays. Select an Easy Transfer topic from the list.
Figure 1: Easy Transfer
Image of the Easy Transfer screen.
NOTE:Windows Easy Transfer is installed by default on Windows Vista and 7, but not on XP or earlier. You can install Easy Transfer Wizard using a USB or external disks when prompted in the Window in the image below. When transferring files from an old computer with Windows Vista OS or Windows 7 OS, or if you have installed the Windows Easy Transfer Wizard on the old computer, you may select “It is already installed it on my old computer” and proceed with the onscreen instructions.

Transferring using an Easy Transfer Cable

Transferring files and settings using the Easy Transfer Cable requires that the cable be connected between both the old and new computer.
Figure 2: Easy Transfer Cable connection

Transferring using a home or small business network

You have the option to use a network to transfer large quantities of files and settings to another computer with one simple process. Make sure you have logged into the old and new computers with administrator authority. On each computer connect an Ethernet cable to a router so that they share the same network. Start Windows Easy Transfer on both computers. On each computer, indicate “Which computer are you using now?” you will be prompted to enter a Windows Easy Transfer key provided by the old computer also running the Windows Easy Transfer feature. After entering the key, you will have the option to customize which data and settings you would like to transfer.

Transferring Using a USB flash drive or external hard drive

You have the option to use a USB drive or external hard drive, or CD/DVD Drive to transfer files and settings from your old computer onto your new computer. Make sure that there is enough space on the drive to complete the transfer. This will avoid repeating transfers.
NOTE:This method is best for upgrading from Windows XP/Vista to Windows 7.
Figure 3: Easy Transfer File drive options
Image of the Easy Transfer File screen showning drive options.
1 - CD/DVD Drive
2 - USB Drive

Completing file transfer

After you have followed the onscreen instructions for the method you choose to use on Windows Easy Transfer, you can click Customize to decide what specific files and settings you would like to have transferred from your computer.
Figure 4: Customize file transfer options
Image of the Customize file transfer options.
The Protected Content Migration window will appear after you have customized and clicked Transfer. You will be prompted to enter the password of the account being transferred. This is to protect the files from being transferred without the owner's permission.
Your customized transfer will be complete once you have finished the process and should be able to access the files and settings that were transferred.