Windows XP vs Windows 7 vs Windows 10 Migrations

Many people over the years agonize over how and when to migrate computers and/or versions of Windows. Within the past decade or so, the popular Windows operating systems on desktops are Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 10.

I myself, must confess that I have a primary laptop that is still a Windows XP system but have supplemented it with a Windows 7 desktop. My expectation is that when time permits I will migrate and consolidate everything to a new Windows 7 laptop or upgrade the current laptop to Windows 7.

While Windows 10 is the most recent operating system from Microsoft for desktops, I do not see a real need for it at this time since Windows 7 will do everything that I need, and has most of the problems all worked out of it from the years of updates and service packs available for it. There also seems to be a ‘problem’ with the consumer version of Windows 10 where it is setup to constantly send data back to Microsoft about what the machine is being used for plus all kinds of telemetry from your machine about what you are doing online in an effort to target the machine for better internet ads. As you can imagine, a number of people do not like their Windows 10 machine being slowed down for all this advertising.

The easy way to migrate versions of Microsoft operating systems is to prepare a new machine with the operating system you want to go to, and then use PCMover to migrate from the old system to the new system. If the existing system is going to be the computer with the new operating system, then you can installed a new hard drive with a clean install of the new operating system, and then connect the old drive with all of your data to the computer and migrate everything from the old drive to your computer with the new operating system. I have done this on several machines and it has worked very well with only a few minor problems. In one case I migrated a Windows XP computer to a new computer with Windows 7 and the migration fixed a lot of the operating system problems that the older Windows XP system had. Specifically, in that situation it looks like the machine had gotten ‘mangled’ with a virus at one point plus one of the prior migrations, before I started to support the machine, made some kind of strange Window 98 or Windows NT upgrade that had taken place since I saw directories for Windows NT on the drive C plus the Windows XP was not installed in the typical folder where it would be normally installed. There were also strange problems where when I tried to do a repair install of Windows XP that the installer did not see any existing installation to repair plus some of the icons in the control panel did not do anything; i.e. you would click on the icon and nothing would happen. When I migrated that system to a Windows 7 system, none of the operating system problem could migrate, only programs and data, so once everything was migrated everything worked fine except for two old 16 but programs. That problem was solved by downloading Windows XP mode for Windows 7 and running them from that.

While PCMover has a few unusual problems at times, and sometimes you have to redo a migration, I have always been able to work through the problems and been very happy with the end results.

Hopefully, any of you doing a migration will have things go as well as I have.

Good Luck and Take Care,

Louis J. Desy Jr.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

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