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I've decided to upgrade my laptop on a regular basis and one of my main concerns is recreating my entire Windows 7 environment every time I do this. I'm talking toolbar positions, login settings, start menu items, applications and all their customizations... everything but my drivers. It literally takes weeks to fully recreate my working environment, not to mention the risk of user error or just simply forgetting "how I liked it."

I'm assuming I won't find something as painless as Apple's Migration Assistant for Windows, but maybe there's something out there that can at least package up your apps and their settings? Bonus points if you can point it to your personal files, too - whatever's the quickest way to get from one machine to the next.

I intend to install Windows fresh to remove bloatware on every machine that I buy, then selectively install the drivers I need. Something that accommodates loading my old apps into this newly prepared environment would be ideal.

One random point of concern is in regard to application settings that refer to old hardware. I'm not sure if there's anything that can be done about this. If you have any thoughts, feel free to share.

Thanks for your help!

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Frankly, I like clean starts and I don't bother with most of this stuff. However, if you really want to, there are two things you can try (I would suggest testing first). The Windows Easy Transfer and the User State Migration Tool (USMT). The latter is meant more for corporate environments, but it seems to work well the one or two times I used it.

More information on both: Windows Easy Transfer http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/windows-easy-transfer

Windows 7 Walkthrough: User State Migration Tool http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=e263796c-c7e4-44d6-96dd-32e821c88a25&displaylang=en

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I used to use some software from alohabob...it appears to be discontinued though. A google banner that noted this fact pointed me to: http://laplink.com/pcmover/pcmoverpro.html

Looks like a similar tool that claims to do what you want and be windows 7 compatible. PC MAG appears to like it....might be worth a shot

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