I had a motherboard die on a Dell laptop that was running Windows XP. I now have a new Dell laptop running Windows 7. The old hard drive is fine, and I have it in a USB drive caddy, which I can attach to the new laptop.

How can I 'cleanly' transfer my User account data from the old drive to the new? I am most concerned about 3 things in particualar:

  1. Thousands of pictures and videos in Microsoft Digital Image Gallery
  2. Thousands of songs in iTunes
  3. Mail, contacts and calendars in Outlook.

I am more familiar moving accounts in OS X by just dragging the home folder from one machine to another and getting everything back. Given the account name Admin in the old XP machine, can I just copy everything from

c:\Documents and Settings\Admin

to the new Machine and assume I'll get everything back?

  • Maybe Migration Assistant (or whatever it's called in Windows) is equipped to do this? – Daniel Beck Oct 29 '10 at 15:39
  • It's called Windows Easy Transfer, but it only works with both systems booted i believe. – CaseyIT Oct 29 '10 at 15:56

Windows 7 moved Pictures, music, and video outside of the Documents folder. It might redirect correctly, but I would copy (assuming your USB drive is letter X) using Drag and Drop. (Don't move, copy, if something goes wrong, you still have the original on the USB drive)

x:\Documents and Settigns\Admin\MyDocuments\My Pictures to c:\users\<username>\My Pictures\
x:\Documents and Settigns\Admin\MyDocuments\My Videos to c:\users\<username>\My Videos\
x:\Documents and Settigns\Admin\MyDocuments\My Music to c:\users\<username>\My Music\
x:\Documents and Settigns\Admin\MyDocuments\ to c:\users\<username>\Documents\
x:\Documents and Settigns\Admin\Favorites\ to c:\users\<username>\Favorites

I'm not sure on outlook where the PST file is, but you will need to also copy it to your new computer, or just open outlook and Import the PST from your old drive.

  • The Outlook file should be in either: x:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook or x:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook – RSMoser Oct 29 '10 at 17:40

Try using USMT. Technet Video, Technet Video 2 and Technet Article

  • If he can't boot his old machine, I don't believe USMT or the Migration Assistant will be able to analyze and capture his data.. – Brian Oct 29 '10 at 15:52

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