PCmover Saves Days of PC Setup

The other day I got some feedback about PCmover from David in Arizona that I wanted to share with everyone. It’s so great to hear from our customers and learn from them.

“I have been using PCmover for about 10 years. Migrating many systems from XP to Vista to Win 7 to Win 10. It always makes my work much less and as you learn how to use PCmover effectively it’s even more reliable.

I just used a copy of PCmover last week. After installing Windows 10 on the new computer I decided to set all my settings manually rather than transfer them. After my customization was done on the new PC I loaded PCmover on both machines Source and Target and used a [Laplink] USB cable (2.0) to do the transfer…I deselected moving my movies and music files as I restored those using an external drive I use for archiving. So I was basically transferring all my PROGRAMS (Over 100) and other files.

A little over an hour later DONE!!!!

I checked all the files and all the PROGRAMS….ALL of my files and PROGRAMS had been transferred and only one or two required to be reactivated.

That would have taken me at least a week to do working all day long.  Pretty good value for money…

The thing is…PCmover really is an awesome product. I hate it when I see people in review forums say it doesn’t work…I’ve been using PCmover for a long time and can definitely attest to it working and working very well. ”

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Imaging vs. Backup: Which to Use?

If you are confused about whether to choose disk imaging or backup software, you need to first understand the differences between the two. One question that comes up is if the terms “imaging” and “backup” are interchangeable. Well, they are not.

Although these terms are sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably, the two types of software actually differ significantly. Backup software copies just your data, while disk imaging software makes a full, exact copy of your entire hard drive.  Thus, with imaging software, you get a perfect mirror of the PC. Certain software programs do include both functions, such as Laplink Software’s DiskImage.

Importance of Imaging

If you only have a backup of your data and you need to format your PC, you will have to reinstall your operating system and all your software. In addition, you will also need to restore the backup data on the hard disk and individually reset all your preferences.  Thus, solely backing up data is not sufficient if you want to easily keep the same personalization of your PC. To accomplish this, use imaging software to restore the exact copy of your hard drive to your PC, and your PC will be the same as it was previously.

Imaging can also be convenient if you want to upgrade the hardware. Restore the image of your old disk onto your new computer, and your new PC will then have the same setup as your old PC. If you chose to instead back up your PC and reinstall the software, it would take you much more time and effort because you would need to restore each part one by one.

Third, if you image your hard drive regularly, then in case of any system failure you will be able to easily restore your PC to the point before the failure. You can schedule the imaging process with the help of imaging software. Imaging routinely has two advantages – you don’t lose any data, and neither do you need to reinstall your system.

Importance of Backup

Creating a backup of your PC also has some benefits. For starters, when you upgrade your computer’s operating system, taking a precautionary backup of your data is a good option.

Also, if you frequently revise files and create new files on your PC, taking a backup of the data at regular intervals is more important than creating a new image each time. This way, you can take a backup of only the files that have changed since the last backup, which will take less time and use less storage space than imaging each time.

Therefore, it is up to you to decide if you want to use imaging or backup software. If you want to avoid reinstalling your programs, use imaging. If you want to copy data and keep it safely, creating a backup is the best option.

For the most versatility, select software with combined imaging and backup functionality, such as Laplink DiskImage.  With DiskImage, you can choose which functionality to use based on your specific needs in each situation.

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SafeErase: Its Critical Importance

When it comes to computer data and security, erasing data permanently is not as simple as you might think. In the past, you may have placed unwanted files in the recycle bin and emptied the bin, thinking you removed the files completely. However, only the directory entry of each file is actually removed. The data remains on the hard disk and can be easily retrieved. If you format the partitions or opt for formatting through BIOS, a part of the data remains, and it can still be recovered, although one would need to work a bit harder to do so.

Considering all the problems associated with data theft and security, you need advanced software, such as Laplink SafeErase, to delete the data permanently. Laplink SafeErase, as the name suggests, deletes the data completely from your hard disk, making it unrecoverable for any misuse. Now that you understand SafeErase’s importance, let’s have a look at specific situations when SafeErase should be used.

#1: Recycling Hardware: Security Against Identity Theft

If you are planning to recycle or sell your old PC, you need to take precautionary measures to protect yourself and your data. If you only format your hard disk, sensitive documents may remain on your PC, leaving you at risk of identity theft. A tech-savvy individual can easily extract the information from your hard disk and use it against you or your organization. However, if you use Laplink SafeErase to securely delete all your data, your sensitive information will be unrecoverable. SafeErase’s government recommended deletion methods provide you with complete privacy protection.

#2: Ongoing Data Deletions

If you are planning to use your hard disk in a different computer, or you want to format it to make the performance more optimized, then you need to use SafeErase. With the help of SafeErase, you can permanently delete data you don’t want on your PC.

You should also use SafeErase for regular deletions of unwanted data, such as email archives, Internet browser data, and financial information. In the past, you may have deleted such files using the recycle bin, but now securely delete files so they are gone forever.

Now that you know why and when to use SafeErase from Laplink Software, it is time to start using the software. However, before securely deleting data, make a copy of any important files so that you don’t lose them. Have any questions? Feel free to reach out to us!

Laplink SafeErase

 

Windows 10 Impact on IT departments and how to eliminate costly migration issues for Enterprises

The Windows 10 feature set suggests many areas which may impact IT departments in the future. A recent survey found that 80% of large enterprises and 71% of businesses plan to migrate to the new OS in the next 18 months after release, suggesting that it will be even more popular than Windows 7, which still commands a very large market share, particularly in enterprises. This was probably too optimistic, but the vast majority of organization are preparing their migration.
Microsoft has made it also very clear that a major focus of Windows 10 is the business users:
•   Better usability via new, advanced Start Menu, better windows and desktop management (e.g. task viewer), seamless integration (windowing) of new “metro” apps, and so on.
•   Better/faster/more secure browsing experience (Edge)
•   Cross device familiarity and universal apps – this is very important for larger organizations. The ability to run and manage different form-factors with the same OS will accelerate mobile adoption in enterprise
•   Enterprise apps can be built “once” and deployed (optimized) for all devices (although it is not that easy) – all supported via a central, unified App Store.
•   Extended Mobile management
•   Voice Recognition – Smart Assistance: Cortana can be a change agent of how consumer interact with the desktop PC. Voice recognitions and machine learning will enable new and innovative scenarios
•   Lowering Cost of ownership
•   Security improvements / Support of two factor authentication
Windows 10 promises to deliver advanced security and management capabilities along with ongoing innovation and security updates for businesses of all sizes. These new capabilities will deliver a host of benefits to organizations, enabling them to make key enhancements across their IT landscape and maximize ROI.

The Impact on Migration
Windows 10 will be the next big migration for IT teams to undertake, and they need to adapt to this reality if they are to continue delivering a positive and consistent user experience across the corporation. There are a number of key issues to consider, such as:
•   The still existing base of machines running Windows XP (NT/Vista), adding to the complexity of deployed Windows 7 and 8/8.1 PCs.
•   More migrations will occur simultaneously, including software, applications and devices. This means less time for IT teams to prepare and test new upgrades, likely resulting in issues following the deployment.
•   Technical scenarios are these days are far more complex, with greater connectivity and interdependencies across systems and key applications.
•   Scenarios are now more complex largely because of a multitude of devices and new form factors. Many new devices are running operating systems like Android and Apple iOS, thus adding to the complexity.
With so many migrations now taking place in increasingly complex environments, desktop or end-user oriented IT teams run the risk of underestimating the time, complexity and overall project management involved. Further, the impact of post migration help-desk support must also be understood and accounted for.
The end result is that it is more difficult than ever to deliver effective management of policies and user privileges, while providing a positive user experience.

Understanding the Cost Issues
We have broken down the most common complaints and the mistakes organizations are making that result in unexpected costs.
1.   Many organizations underestimate the time end users spend to become familiarized with their new PC system, as well as problems with migrating existing user data, and settings recovery. This time can easily exceed three to four hours. These soft costs are often not part of IT budgets, but are of great concern for business owners experiencing employee-productivity drops.
2.   End user customizations are frequently not considered in the overall plan. Customization are mostly left for the employee to complete on company time. Customizations like reapplying and creating settings for the new desktop can be beyond a normal users’ comprehension, leading to a surge in PC helpdesk requests with associated cost of $50 or more per call.
3.   The third mistake is underestimating the logistics associated with PC migrations for users in remote locations and international subsidiaries, which can prove to be extremely difficult. The need to outsource to a contractor or flying a staff member to a site, causes deployment issues and costs to rise quickly.
4.   The fourth, and final, mistake occurs inadvertently when data and settings are left behind. In a recent study conducted with enterprise level IT departments, the results were troubling: 27% of respondents who used various tools for transferring data and settings reported data loss in the process.
The Market for PC Migration Solutions
Windows 10 will cause businesses and IT teams to increasingly respect the fact that end user computing is changing. What is happening in the OS market is comparable to the BYOD revolution that saw the number and variety of devices on the corporate network sky rocket. This has and still is raises a number of challenges in terms of control and management.
The PC, tablets, and other devices have evolved into very powerful systems. Because today, we have dozens of vital applications, several gigabytes of data, and thousands of settings in the Windows registry, reestablishing all that on a new PC is time-consuming and near impossible to streamlined for a company.
With new PC deployments on the forefront of many IT teams’ tasks, issues surrounding the fact that there are few tools at the enterprise level to successfully complete this endeavor. Proven solutions like PCmover® Enterprise are not always known within many IT Organizations.
Organizations need a solution with minimal interruption to employees’ productivity, save time and resources, and will seamlessly migrate files, folders, and applications vital to each employee’s daily workflow. An IT professional at one of the largest PC manufacturers once stated: “We are supporting thousands of large organizations to deploy their PCs. We do everything from logistics, imaging, tagging, and bringing the PC to the workplace. We do not, however, have a solution for the actual migration between two desktops.”
Laplink developed a simple view into the Enterprise Value Quadrant. The costs associated with the migration are rules by two factors: the way PCs are managed, and the physical location of the PCs. If PCs are managed solely by the IT department, users do not have admin rights, data and settings are stored on servers, and the PCs are centralized within one location, then the benefit from PCmover tends to be minimal. However, if the PCs are managed by the users and are decentralized, the benefit from PCmover is the highest.
Experience indicates, there is no large organization that will fit into any of these quadrants solely, but rather will have different departments or groups that are scattered over this matrix. It can be assumed that PCmover might not be the tool for every PC, but it is the tool for every organization. It is the perfect tool for a managed migration of un-managed desktops.

An Effective Enterprise Solution
Laplink developed PCmover® Enterprise to make the workstation migration process effective and cost-efficient. It automates the transfer of selected applications, data, and settings to a new PC. This including user accounts, applications’ environments, applications’ add-ons, background pictures, favorites, and more.
PCmover Enterprise is an OS-independent transfer tool that allows to migrate to the newest version of Windows, including Windows 10. All migration scenarios are supported, and it has been proven successful in migration projects ranging from 100 to 100,000 PCs.
PCmover Enterprise has an easy-to-use wizard that does not require any developer knowledge and enables the IT Administrator to set the rules. IT departments are able to predefine certain rules and policies within the organization to fit all cases.
The Policy Manager allows IT Administrators to pre-check a variety of choices within the program to create a predefined version of the product that can be executed by a user or an IT engineer with minimal interaction. The experienced user might require all options to be open to them, but most users in an organization may be better off with a no-touch or light-touch solution to minimize user errors.
PCmover Enterprise by Laplink Software is the solution for every organization that has over 100 PCs. It will save a minimum of $300 per PC deployed, eliminating the need for extended project cycles. Using PCmover helps organizations decrease unbudgeted costs during the projects, and dramatically decreases productivity loss.
No matter where you are in your deployments of new PCs or operating systems, PCmover® Enterprise will help make the process streamlined, cost-effective, and efficient.

Laplink Solves Hidden Dangers of Moving off Windows XP

Laplink and Microsoft partnered to offer PCmover Express for Windows XP to support PC migrations of data and settings from a Windows XP machine to a Windows 10 machine.

End of support for Windows XP occurred in April 2014. Windows XP users who chose to stay on the operating system after April faced an end to hot-fixes, technical assistance, and security updates. Remaining on Windows XP was risky; many reports pointed out that the lack of security updates would make it a big target for hackers, viruses, and other malware. When Microsoft released security updates for Windows 7 and 8, attackers checked and tested Windows XP for these same vulnerabilities. If the vulnerabilities were shared, it made it easy for a hacker to release malware into the target XP computer.

Studies suggest that Windows XP users are six times more likely to suffer from a virus or other malware. We highly recommend that XP users upgrade their current operating system or transfer to a new Windows 10 PC. Our flagship product, PCmover, helps users move into a new PC seamlessly, so there’s no reason to face the risks that Windows XP carries.

PCmover for Windows XP transfers all selected files and personalized settings from an old PC to a new PC. Its streamlined process handles everything automatically using a step-by-step wizard to guide the user through individual selections. Users can choose to transfer everything, or they can select which files, and settings to leave behind. PCmover handles the rest!

For users interested in migrating their applications, also, they should look at PCmover Professional. There’s no need to find old serial numbers, license codes, or installation disks because PCmover transfers most applications to the new PC installed and ready-to-use.

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PCmover also comes with 24/7 Free Transfer Assistance. Users can simply call the toll-free number and receive expert guidance from a certified migration specialist. The migration specialist will walk any user through the complete transfer process, including setting up peripherals like printers, wireless internet, and more.

There is a hidden danger behind moving off of Windows XP that many PC users aren’t considering. Once a user leaves the old PC, what do they do with the data? Data that isn’t erased permanently can be retrieved, causing them to become victims of identity theft. Fortunately, we offer a solution for that too with SafeErase.

Research shows that identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and affects approximately 19 people per minute. The average victim of identity theft suffers an estimated $500 and 30 hours to resolve the crime. Deleted data can be recovered; even when hard disks are formatted, data recovery software can be used to obtain personal confidential data. Laplink SafeErase protects users by permanently deleting data so that no one can retrieve and use it.

Laplink SafeErase is the fastest and most secure way to permanently delete sensitive information from an old PC before selling or recycling. Utilizing a series of government recommended deletion methods, SafeErase completely wipes personal data from the hard drive making it completely unrecoverable.  SafeErase is compatible with Windows 10, making it the perfect tool for those looking to move off Windows XP to a new Windows computer.

Full versions of PCmover can be purchased at www.laplink.com for users interested in moving off Windows XP. Laplink SafeErase is available for $29.95 at www.laplink.com.

Your 7 Worst Tech Habits

As a professional in the software industry, I am just as guilty as many of you are of committing 7 of these worst tech habits. But together, we can learn to be better!

1. Leaving equipment in plain sight: This seems too simple to be a problem, but for a lot of us, those brief forgetful moments or short breaks to the bathroom at a coffee shop can result in a frustrating situation of theft. With the abundance of devices people own, it can be hard to remember that each one is worth hundreds of dollars. Beyond that, the information we now store on our mobile smartphones, tablets, and laptops that can be hacked into and stolen is frightening. This same sentiment goes to office workers using a desktop or laptop: at the end of the day, log out or shut down completely. Leaving your computer vulnerable and unlocked can result in data hacking or deletion which could jeopardize your job and company’s security.

 2. Oblivious gadget usage: It’s easy to point at the younger generations and mock them for having their cell phones glued to their palm at all times. Whether it’s at work, in the classroom, the dinner table: their mobile phones are never apart from their being. Yet, hard as it is to admit, many grown adults are also guilty of constant gadget use. And as much as we try to set a good example, sometimes we do end up texting while driving, or scanning Facebook instead of watching our kid score a soccer goal, and spending time on the computer at home instead of interacting with the other people under our roof. Time to change those habits.

3. Not cleaning your equipment: Our cell phones are in our hands, our pockets, our purses, and rubbing up against the sides of our face throughout the day. But how often do we actually clean that phone..? It probably has more bacteria colonies growing on it than a public restroom’s toilet. Another forgotten piece of equipment is your computer’s keyboard, at home or at work. Take a few minutes to use canned air can to blow out the crumbs, dust, and dirt between the keys. As is described in this PCWorld article: “Dust, dirt, hair, and other debris can build up on fans and heatsinks. Components can come loose or become unseated.” Basically your computer can go to dirt if you let too much dirt accumulate on it.

4. Sitting with bad posture at the computer: This is something everyone is guilty of, no doubt about it. Sure there’s some offices that have stand-up desks, treadmill desks, or exercise ball chairs, but for the rest of us, we just need to remember to sit with the screens at eye level, our wrists and arms straight over the keyboard (not bent, which can lead to carpal tunnel), and shoulders back. You can read more here.

5. Not taking breaks: I always take a lunch break at work, but beyond that, I sometimes forget to give myself breaks from my screen. Studies have shown that constant sitting is very damaging to your health. Try walking around for a couple minutes, standing and doing stretches—anything to break up a full day of sitting on your bottom is good for you! Take short 1-2 minutestretch breaks every 20-30 minutes. After each hour of work, take a break or change tasks for at least 5-10 minutes. Always try to get away from your computer during lunch breaks.

6. Reusing passwords over and over: In today’s world, there are so many online accounts to keep track of, it can be a lot easier to use the same password across multiple accounts. But as we’ve all seen in the news more and more, data hacking and identity thievery is becoming commonplace on the Internet. Two basic solutions for this problem are, first, to keep a spreadsheet to contain the necessary (user name, password, email, website, etc.) to keep organized. You can “Password Protect” this sheet, using a master password that you will never forget for as long as you live! The second solution a lot of people use is a one-stop-shop password application like 1Password or LastPass that gives users a safe way to have a “safe” full of personal data that you don’t want laying around the house or office.

SafeErase Right

Another tip from us is to regularly schedule deletions of your deleted data, temporary files, and Internet search history using Laplink’s SafeErase. It uses six government-level deletion methods to permanently erase your data so that it is unrecoverable, even if a hacker uses the most sophisticated recovery software. Your data will be gone.

7. Failing to back up data: This is another scenario where you don’t want to be caught unaware. While most of the time our computers are reliable, and our data is safe, it only takes one time to make the idea of losing everything on your PC a living nightmare. By being proactive about your backup habits, you can protect yourself against complete data loss. And with Windows 10’s release, you can also take an image of the entire PC’s contents, including the operating system, using Laplink’s DiskImage software. DiskImage makes a mirror copy of your PC’s data content, OS, and anything else you select, and saves it to an external disk. You can schedule regular back-ups to run in the background while you’re using your PC, and it will never tamper with your computer’s performance. But that way, you’ll always have the latest version of your computer’s personality and contents backed up to an external disk just in case.

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This concludes our list of 7 bad tech habits, though there are plenty more we can think of! What are your bad tech habits? Share on Facebook and Twitter.

Series: 5 Tips for Software Developers (Part 3)

Jack Wilson, Laplink Software’s Chief Technology Officer, has 30 years of experience in a wide variety of software development projects and is a seasoned software developer. In the final post of this 3-part series, Jack expounds on his last two tips for software developers he would give to interested parties applying to work on his team.

TIP 4: Beware of getting “stuck” in one area

It’s certainly not bad being an “expert” in something, but if that’s all you know and that technology goes away–then what? I remember working on a long term Air Defense system that was mainly written in FORTRAN. The project got cancelled and all of us had to find new positions. The work I was doing was written in ‘C’ and on embedded processors. I had no problem finding a new position. The mainframe FORTRAN guys were not so lucky.

I am also probably one of maybe a handful of people who can say they helped write implementations of DecNet, Netware, and TCP/IP for embedded systems. (Right now, there is one gray-haired guy in a ponytail someplace reading this who is thinking “Cool dude” and the rest have no idea what I’m talking about.) But that brings up a point, besides new advances in hardware and technology, there are tons of things that have also gone obsolete. Ever see a punch card? What happened to all those AOL floppy disks that used to come in the mail? Engineers don’t often think about that.

TIP 5: Make your hobby your job.

The last thing you want to do is wake up in the morning thinking, “I don’t want to go to work.” The best job is the one where you can’t sleep at night because you want to get back at it. However, don’t become so obsessed that life passes you by. Stop worrying about money.

That concludes our series of tips for software developers! If you have anything you’d like to add, leave a comment on Laplink Software’s Facebook page!

Series: 5 Tips for Software Developers

With the rapid evolution of technology, the demand for software developers and engineers is growing. Software has woven itself tightly into daily lives; programmers and developers have almost guaranteed job security.

The job outlook for software developers in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is growing at a rate of 22%: faster than the average career. With an undergrad degree and computer programming skills, college grads are hired out of school earning a much higher starting salary than almost any other profession that does not require more than a BA.

But while this is an exciting time to study software development, young graduates and newcomers to the industry might lose sight of their goals, or get lost in the shiny haze of new opportunities that are coming at them as fast as technology is changing.

Jack Wilson, Laplink Software’s Chief Technology Officer, has 30 years of experience in a wide variety of software development projects from radar and air defense systems to commercial software. He is a seasoned software developer and has extensive experience developing network devices and network-enabled applications. Jack’s professional skills were honed at leading companies, including Networks Northwest Inc., Boeing Defense and Space Group, and Westinghouse.

As the manager for the tech department at Laplink, Jack expounds on his 5 tips for software developers he would give to interested parties applying to work on his team. This series will be broken into 3 posts, so stay tuned for the next two posts, also.

TIP 1: Don’t just get into something just because it’s the “in” thing.

Get into something that you can be truly passionate about. In the late 1990’s everyone who could spell “www” got jobs creating web pages. By 2001 most of them lost their jobs, except those who were passionate. They became even better. Something that has vastly advanced in the last 20 years is the Internet. I remember telling one of my engineers back in the early 1990s to go get this Mozilla browser thing and look into what this World Wide Web “thing” was all about. In those days, smaller companies had networks running Novell Netware. The really big companies networks ran Digital’s DecNet on mainframes. (Those networks don’t even exist anymore.) Companies connected offices to each other using state-of-the-art “modems” sending about 300 bits per second.

To give you an idea of how slow that is by current standards, my home Internet today is connected at 50 Mega-bits per second: it is 166,666 times faster than what we used in the nineties, and I still complain that the Internet is slow!

Laplink & Webroot Product Bundle

Laplink Software, Inc. announced today our partnership with Webroot to provide a software bundle to users purchasing a new Windows 10 PC this holiday season.
Webroot is the market leader in intelligent cybersecurity for endpoints and collective threat intelligence. In partnership with Laplink, the two companies will boost their consumer offerings by bundling Webroot SecureAnywhere® Internet Security with PCmover Express to make cybersecurity and new PC setup easy—just in time for the holiday shopping season.
PCmover Express moves files and settings from an old Windows PC to a new Windows 10 PC quickly and easily. Take a look at the press release and email me your questions or interview requests for ThomasKoll, Laplink CEO.Thank you for your interest in Laplink Software! Connect with Laplink on social media: Twitter // Facebook // LinkedIn
Shireen McCleary
Public Relations Manager
Laplink Software, Inc.
shireen.mccleary@laplink.com
+1 (425) 952-6027