Microsoft users upgrading to Windows 8.1 were in for a big shock when they opened their trusty Windows Easy Transfer tool.
Microsoft’s latest version of Windows has significantly reduced the usefulness of Easy Transfer. Previously, Microsoft allowed users to transfer files and settings directly from one Windows PC to another across a network or using an Easy Transfer Cable. Now, in Windows 8.1, users can only transfer data files using only external media, like an external hard drive or USB stick.
It’s even worse if the old PC is running Windows XP. In that case, Microsoft will not allow Easy Transfer to be used at all.
All around the nation today people are taking the pledge to recycle in honor of America Recycles Day. Already, over 48,000 people have taken the pledge, with many businesses joining in on the cause. Our national recycling rate currently sits at 34.7% and avoids greenhouse gases that equal removing more than 34 million cars from the road each year. Together, people are pledging to increase that percentage to save energy, protect the environment, and create green jobs for millions of Americans. So, how can you join in?
As if right on cue for Cyber Security Month, a new malware named “CryptoLocker” has been hitting people’s hard drives with force.
This malware installs itself into your “Documents and Settings” folder under a randomly generated name. It then adds itself to the list of programs that run every time you log on and eventually creates and uploads an ID for you online. After your ID is created, a public-private key pair is generated, with the public portion being sent back to your computer.
Soon after setting you up, CryptoLocker encrypts all of your files. From important work documents, to spreadsheets, to family photos, CryptoLocker scrambles and locks it all. A pop-up then greets you with a “pay us or lose all your data” message. Typically, CryptoLocker gives users about 100 hours to pay a fee of $300 for the private key to recover their data. If this fee isn’t paid, the key is destroyed and the files are lost.
Laplink launches new “Free Transfer Assistance”
If you are like most people, you expect your personal computer will make you more efficient. It’s a tool to get more stuff done more quickly. And even as we use smartphones, tablets, or other computing devices, we still have significant reliance on our PCs.
Whether using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or other productivity-focused software; whether editing videos or pictures; or whether running various games or entertainment programs, we expect our PCs to be there for us.
However, the world of personal computing has become more complicated, growing to include home networks, hotspots and interacting with other PCs, tablets, and phones. As the PC and its environment become more complicated, the typical PC user is more likely to need professional help now and then.
Getting a new personal computer should be exciting and rewarding. For many, though, the thought of setting up a new computer creates much fear and uncertainty. Mike Hogan, an editor of the well-respected Barron’s Magazine, recently asked in context of replacing a PC: “How many programs, utilities and games under your Windows Start button would you like to reinstall? Have all the discs? How many of your programs are no longer published, or require new versions ‘improved’ by limiting your favorite features?”
Often I am asked to name the top 10 reasons why our customers select PCmover Enterprise. Each organization has different requirements, which means not all these reasons are applicable to every situation. However, from many discussions and customer feedback, I have comprised this generalized list:
- PCmover copies applications from an old PC to a new PC and “installs” them automatically, even between different versions of Windows. This is actually not easy. No other product available offers this feature. Most competing solutions move data and settings only; or if they move applications, the usage scenario is very restricted (e.g., copying an image of the old PC to a virtual machine on the new PC).
- The Policy Manager in PCmover Enterprise allows the IT administrator to easily structure the migration of applications, data, and settings to the specific needs of the organization, department, or user group. Migration options for PCmover can be pre-defined in a policy file that allows the end-user or IT staff to execute the actual migration of applications, data, and settings while still being controlled by the administrator. The Policy Manager, unlike many IT tools, is easy to learn and requires no third-party consultants or programmers. An IT administrator can create a policy with minimal training, providing full control with flexibility to execute from a centralized location or to do so in a decentralized process. And PCmover will provide reports and notifications to supervisors. The result is “IT Managed migrations even for unmanaged PCs” which only PCmover can deliver.
- PCmover saves organizations a minimum of $300 dollars per desktop deployed or upgraded. In general, PCmover generates savings for any organization, from businesses to educational institutions to government agencies. In some extreme examples, we have customers claim that PCmover has saved them over $1500 in logistical costs per new PC deployed/ A migration could be performed locally in a remote location without sending IT personnel or shipping loaner PCs back and forth – all while allowing the IT administrator to remain in full control of the migration. Laplink has published several white papers on the subject. Continue reading
We got a great question the other day on twitter from @jethrosan and had to share it with you. He asked the following:
We sure do, it can be done with PCmover® using the “File Storage Device” migration option. So, if you are wanting to conduct an in-place upgrade of your existing PC to a CLEAN install of Windows® 7 here are the steps to complete this type of migration:
Laplink Software, Inc. and Enterprise Integration, Inc. today officially announced a partnership to provide Windows 7 upgrade services to enterprise clients throughout North America. We sat down with Tracey Brown, Enterprise Integration’s Chief Operations Officer, to find out a little more about the obstacles his clients face everyday and what computing trends he sees in the future.
What is the background of Enterprise Integration [EI]?
“EI has a rich background from both a technology delivery and a technology training perspective. As a company we thrive on the “Raving Fan” brand of service where going above and beyond for our customers is first and foremost in our action and intent. We started off as a small business with a very big client and were able to leverage lessons learned, create a solid vision and execute to share that knowledge across a much larger base of mid-sized clients. We are a managed service provider for all of IT Operations, from Service Desk to Operations Architecture Strategy. We are Gold Microsoft Partner, Platinum Citrix, Advanced Cisco, VM Ware Enterprise, Riverbed and Net App.” Continue reading
We sat down with our Chief Technology Officer Jack Wilson and asked him what he thought were some of the most import features of the new and upcoming PCmover Image Assistant. Here’s what he said:
“Many times in the past people have contacted us saying that their computer died but they have an image of the hard drive – and how can the image be restored to a new PC.
“Often, this can’t be done easily. Even when the imaging software supports a “hardware independent” restore there can be problems. Sometimes it is because the computer is different or the image expects the hard drive to have the same format, partitions or size. PCmover Image Assistant will give you complete independence by allowing the PC user to take a disk image (or even the actual hard drive itself) from any computer and restore it to any new computer, regardless of the hardware or the operating system on the new machine.” Continue reading
Microsoft’s User State Migration Tool
Microsoft’s User State Migration Tool (USMT) tool provides large organization a way to transfer data from one PC to another. USMT is a command line driven utility that is used for a larger deployments in corporate settings and can work on most version of Windows but requires extensive development for older versions.
USMT utilizes a two step process (load state and scan state) to capture and transfer user accounts, settings, and data to a “destination” PC. Most importantly, it does not transfer applications. This can have a major impact in regards to end-user downtime, helpdesk support activity, and other costs for PCs with non-standard software (media replacement costs).
The User State Migration Tool also requires XML expertise on an ongoing basis, and possibly software development resources in order to create a user interface, configure application settings for migration, and migrate non-standard configurations on a user’s desktop. This can drastically increase the cost of deployment services, upgrade services, and other support related services.
PCmover Enterprise can also be used to deploy “user templates” or “images” stored as an archive file (done using a file-based migration method on a reference PC). Since PCmover is hardware and OS neutral, updates to the core image will not require updates to the PCmover migration “templates” or “images”, enabling PCmover to streamline the imaging maintenance component. “Templates” may contain a single application and no data, multiple applications, or a pre-set grouping of data and applications specific to the user or role. Continue reading
We get tons of questions about how PCmover compares to other utilities out there and so we are starting a comparison series. The first in the series is PCmover vs. Windows Easy Transfer.
In comparison to PCmover Professional, Windows Easy Transfer (WET) provides an incomplete migration experience and does not transfer everything you need from your old PC.
WET is a migration utility that can be downloaded for XP and is available on Vista and Windows 7. With this tool, users can move limited types of files and settings stored on their computers. It provides an incomplete migration experience as it can only transfer certain Windows settings and data files.
PCmover is a complete and precise migration utility. It allows users to move entire applications, documents, settings, user profiles and folders. Through a step-by-step easy to use migration wizard, PCmover will automatically move your entire “PC personality” from one computer to another. PCmover will not affect the source computer and will only copy what the user wants from the source PC. If you forget to move something over, go back and undo the migration and bring over everything you want. Continue reading