Buying a computer system/Transfer Data


QUESTION: I expect to buy a newer computer soon (the one I have is about 10 years old) and I have some things on this computer I would want to transfer to the new one. Is this something A novice, like me, could do? If so, any tips would be appreciated.

ANSWER: By "things" what do you mean - files? Or hardware devices?

Transferring files is generally very straight-forward, as long as they're in a format that the new computer can read, and as long as you have some sort of device to transport them with (e.g. a flash drive, or burn them to a CD or DVD).

Hardware devices are somewhat trickier, and it will really depending on what we're talking about and what you want to put it into.

Reply with follow-up for clarification and more information if you wish.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Bob - Thanks for getting back. Just files no hardware devices. If this means anything most of the files were produced by open office.


You should have little to no problems doing this, especially if you're keeping Open Office on the new system (newer versions tend to have no problem reading files created by older versions). Simply save the files on some form of removable media (like a DVD or a flash drive) and then connect that media to your new computer and either access the files directly, or save copies to the new computer.

Do this by right clicking on the file (or group of files) and selecting "Copy" and then going into your removable media and selecting "Paste" (also via right click). Windows should open a file transfer prompt and give you an estimated transfer time (if the transfer is too large for it to do instantaneously). Repeat in reverse on the new computer (copy from the device, paste to a location on the new computer (e.g. within My Documents)).

Microsoft actually has a demonstration video of this feature:

If you need to select large groups of files, hold down the CTRL button and click on the files you'd like to select, or simply copy/paste the folder the contains all of the files you'd like to move (instead of doing each one individually). More from Microsoft:

Depending on how many files you have to copy will dictate what size of removable media you should buy (CDs and DVDs only come in one size, but if you're purchasing flash media you will have an array of choices). There is nothing wrong with buying larger media than you need, but if you need to move (For example) 7 GB of data, and you purchase a 4GB device, it will require multiple "trips" - whereas purchasing a 16GB device will carry all of that data over at once.

If you need further clarification, feel free to ask.


Buying a computer system

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.


I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

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