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Move The Data Yourself

Updated: Dec 15, 2019


At some point your old laptop will fail or become obsolete. So what do you do with the data you have saved on that old windows xp, vista or windows 7 laptop or desktop computer. You can take it to a local computer repair shop and pay a good amount of money.

The other option is for you to do it yourself. It may seem like a daunting task and you will say to yourself, I can't do that. Well that is wrong, yes you can transfer that data to your new computer.

First you need a program to move all that data. I like to use a free program called unstoppable copier. It can be found at this link Unstoppable Copier.

Save the file to the desktop on the good computer.

The next step is to remove the hard drive from the older laptop or desktop. Laptops can be a little tricky with newer models. Some you will remove a panel from the bottom case, then a few screws and maybe a ribbon cable connector. There are other laptops where you have to remove the whole bottom case and then you can remove the hard drive. If you need to look it up on youtube and locate a disassembly video. Use the make, model and serial number to find a video.

If it is a desktop, you will need to generally remove the side cover. Next you will have a sata cable to remove as well as a few screws. If it's an ide hard drive ( old system), then you will remove a larger ide ribbon cable. Sata cables are much narrower.

I usually recommend buying a external hard drive enclosure. You will install the hard in the enclosure and then connect it to a usb port on the computer. Go to computer and double click to open the drive to see your files. It may ask for your permission, so click okay and it will read the drive.

Now open the unstoppable copier program. Make sure to uncheck the two attribute boxes in settings. You can check mark the skip damaged files. This will allow the program not to hang up trying to copy a file it can't. Always pay attention to the size of the data on the old drive and how much free space you have on your new hard drive.

External Hard Drive Enclosures come in many models. I prefer the ones that have ide connections as well as sata connections. Also if it's a desktop hard drive or a notebook hard drive. I like to use Amazon to purchase the enclosure. There are hard drive enclosures that will work with desktop or notebook drives. If it is a desktop, you may be able to connect the old sata drive to a sata port on the motherboard and a free sata power supply connector. If you don't have one you can purchase them . Older systems will require the ide enclosure as there most likely are no older ide ports on the motherboard.

When the copying id done compare the amount of data to the amount of data copied. In rare cases you may have to copy data a little at a time. In other word documents, pictures etc.... Once the data is copied, open the folder where you saved it and see if the data is there.

My next step is to open two windows on the desktop. One is the current users profile folder and the other is the saved data folder. I then move documents to documents, pictures to pictures, music to music, favorites to favorites and so on. Music may involve itunes which will need to be installed and rename the old itunes library folder with for example the word old in it. Do this before moving the itunes to the new itunes. This way there won't be a bunch of useless files.

Remember to reinstall any programs that were used with these files, such as Microsoft Office Etc... The old drive can be kept in the external enclosure to look for any data that you do not find.



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