Getting a new PC is exciting and a pain. It's exciting because you get a faster processor, more storage and all the latest stuff even though it's outdated as soon as it hits your desk. The pain comes with re-installing all of your programs, re-customizing your preferences for programs, applications, and Windows, and transferring data to the new PC.
It can be simplified by using a bootable external drive or something similar and letting it load everything on the new PC. However, if you are like me, you probably had a few problems here and there that couldn't be found and fixed. So it's better to start with a clean slate.
I am getting a new PC at the office and my hard drive crashed on my laptop. There's nothing I can do about the laptop, but I kept it simple since it's a supporting computer rather than the main PC. I often used a remote application to connect to my desktop from the laptop. Therefore, the laptop had few loaded programs and data. I did try to make a backup of my user profile before the crash, but it was having too many problems and the backup didn't happen.
As for the work PC, here are the steps I took to prepare for moving to a new computer with the limited resources I had.
- Ensured all my work was on the network server. I kept backups of important files on the hard drive as a safety measure after my past experience.
- Deleted everything that I put on the hard drive.
- Made backups of data files such as the password manager's file.
- Took a screen shot of my Windows desktop, so I can rearrange things on the new PC to closely match the way I had things on the old PC.
- Used Belarc Advisor to create a print out of what's loaded on the machine.
- Changed my password to a temporary one that's nothing like my original so support could get in when I wasn't at my desk.
- Copied the properties of specially-made shortcuts like the one I use to lock the computer with one click.
- If you use Outlook, make notes of your preferences and options. Mine didn't get transferred.
- If you use the Office toolbar (typically on the side or top of the screen), add the programs and folders back in based on the screen shot you took earlier. I could not remember how to change the icons in the toolbar, so here's how: right-click on the icon you wish to change, select Properties, and Change Icon.
- Print the list of fonts loaded on your computer if you've added additional fonts.
Meryl K.Evans is the Content Maven behind meryl's notes , eNewsletter Journal, and The Remediator Security Digest. She is also a PC Today columnist and a tour guide at InformIT. She is geared to tackle your editing, writing, content, and process needs. The native Texan resides in Plano, Texas, a heartbeat north of Dallas, and doesn't wear a 10-gallon hat or cowboy boots.