Moving from Old Windows To New Windows Vista, All about Vista Migration

Whenever a new version of the product is being installed over an old version, sometimes, it is required to have the new version to contain certain features of the old version also. This is called as product compatibility.

What is migration ?

The important thing about product compatibility is the data which is in the old version should be fit for working in the new version without causing more problems. The method of moving settings and other things from existing old system to new system by solving any compatibility problems, if any, called as migration.

The more general term “Migration” is used mostly among travelers. Among travelers, Migration is the term which is referred to the movement of person from one place to another especially between two countries.

But, in computers, the same term refers to the moving of files, settings and applications from an old computer system to the new computer system. The data migrated should be useful to the new computer system.

Built-in tool - File and Setting Transfer Wizard

Migration is usually done in phased manner and in many ways. It usually involves copying the files and folders and settings before one could start using the new system. In Windows, while some use manual methods to copy Files and folders, others uses a Windows built-in tool or wizard called File and Setting Transfer Wizard for migration. However, most PC-to-PC file transfer applications lack the ability to transfer entire applications from an old system to a new system.

Scenario 1 - Migrating to Windows Vista

Migration to Windows Vista is based on two scenarios. The first scenario is “Migrating to Windows Vista”, which is for users who purchased a new computer in which Vista is already installed and want the setting and files to be moved from Windows XP. The second scenario “Upgrading to Windows Vista” will apply for those who are planning to install Vista on the computer running Windows XP.

Scenario 2 - Upgrading to Vista

Let us see now, “Upgrading to Vista” scenario. As said above, this scenario is for people who want to install Vista on a computer that is already running Windows XP. Before, start installing Vista on a XP computer, one should make sure that they have uninstalled or removed AntiSpyware Beta 1 from the XP system in order to avoid a software conflict between Windows Defender. The most important requirement is that the computer should meet the hardware requirement. One can check whether the system meets requirement or not by logging onto

Take the backup of all important files

After making sure that, the system to be upgraded meets hardware requirements, one should take the backup of all important files. This gives the system, a chance of recovery from possible data loss that can occur at the time of upgrading to Windows Vista. The available backup media are, network folder, CD’s or DVD’s, separate internal or external hard disk (I mean to say not partition, a physical separate hard disk in case of internal hard disk).

Vista Migration Diagram

Minimum requirement for upgrade -Windows XP with Service Pack 2

Upgrading to Windows Vista requires Windows XP with Service Pack 2 pre installed in the computer. The authentication CD-Key of Windows XP should be valid one. Windows Vista setup may raise an error and quit, if the CD-Key installed with the XP is invalid. One will be prompted with CD-Key of Windows Vista also.

Start your Installation

To begin with, insert the Windows Vista DVD into DVD ROM drive. The DVD is auto run, brings a screen of options, from which one need to select the Install Now option. However, If the system does not bring the menu even after waiting for some more time, one need to run setup.exe manually, by clicking the same after opening the root folder of DVD.

The next screen gives option to get the latest updates. Click “Go online to get the latest updates (recommended)” to retrieve the updates. Click “Do not get the latest updates” if you choose not to download the updates. The setup proceeds to the next screen, where you need to enter the product key. The product key will be printed on the DVD case.

The next screen shows the license agreement. Read and Click “I accept the License Terms” to continue. Windows Vista will not get installed if one chooses “I decline” option. The setup program will make an exit. You can however install Windows Vista, by running setup program again.

In the next screen, you need to select the upgrade option to perform an upgrade to existing Windows XP. From now onwards, Windows Vista setup proceeds to copying the required files from DVD and does changes to setting automatically.

You may get instructions like “Remove DVD and Reboot…” or “Reboot the computer” during installation process. One can perform the upgrade installation procedure, if he is a member of Administrator group on the local computer, or must have appropriate authority.

Three transfer mediums for migration

Now, we will discuss the second scenario, which is Migration to Windows Vista. One can perform the migration from a previous version of Windows if there is a computer which is running a supported version of Windows such as Windows XP. The applications, settings, and data can be migrated to a new computer running windows Vista and applied there. The migration tools in Windows Vista make use of three transfer mediums for migration. They can be, a network connection, Removable media such as USB flash drives or external hard disks, or CD or DVD. Migration tools do not support floppy disks as a transfer medium. The tool Windows Easy Transfer which is a default migration tool in Windows Vista is used to transfer settings and files of all users to a new computer. One can transfer files and settings to multiple computers, at a time, by using the User State Migration Tool.

Windows Easy Transfer utility

The Windows Easy Transfer utility certainly replaces the Windows XP’s Files and Settings Transfer Wizard. It is one among the new features which Vista has introduced to its audience. It works only when the old system has the same utility installed with it. So, one need to download and install the utility in old system also, before the migration process could begin with Windows Vista.

In order to run the software, one must have Easy Transfer USB cable, connected to two computers, both old and new. The USB Easy Transfer cable can transfer data at the rate of up to 1 GB per second. It is not clear that, whether one is able to transfer applications also, along with files, email messages, contacts, photos, music, internet favorite links and other program settings.

Windows User State Migration tool 3.0 (USMT)

One can use the Microsoft Windows User State Migration tool 3.0 (USMT) to migrate user accounts during large deployment of Windows Vista as well as Windows XP operating systems. The USMT will copy the information about user account and other settings including desktop and application settings from the old computer to a new windows installed computer.
This utility will enable one to simplify the migration process, and intended for administrators who all performing automated deployments. This tool allows one to configure the tool for the unique situation, by using the migration rules to control exactly what should be migrated. The USMT defines these rules in .xml files. This tool enables automated migration using the two command line tools, which will control the process of collecting and restoring the user files and settings.

One can however use Windows Easy Transfer to move user accounts, files and folders, program settings, Internet settings and favorites, and e-mail settings from an existing Windows computer to a new computer running Windows Vista. The existing old computer must contain either of Windows XP with SP2, Windows 2000 with SP4 installed, or Windows Vista itself.

Configure Windows Easy Transfer

To configure Windows Easy Transfer, one should start by open WET on the Windows Vista computer, by clicking Start > All Programs > Accessories > System tools and click Windows Easy Transfer. If there are any programs running in the desktop, then one will be prompted to close them. Of course, this will not end the program abruptly without giving an option for the user to save whatever work he was doing till then.

However the option Close All, in Windows Easy Transfer enables one to close all programs opened, at once. After you close all programs, click the next button to continue further. At this stage, one can start preparing the tool to gather information from the existing computers, by selecting the Start new option. And then click “This is my new computer” to indicate that this is the system which want to import all settings from old system.

Select the correct destination for the tool

Now, you need to select the correct destination for the tool. One has the option of selecting the media in which the wizard files get created. One can select between CD or DVD, removable media such as external hard disks, or a network drive. Please note that both computers must support the transfer media that one selects. For example, if one wants to perform the migration using CD or DVD, then both source and destination computer must have a CD or DVD support. If one want to use the network, then both computers should be connected to network and must belong to the same network. One can now type a path and folder name in which the Windows Easy Transfer files. The default will be c:migwiz. After the files and settings get saved in the old computer, you can continue working with Easy Transfer on the new computer.

Time to transfer files and settings

Now, it’s the time to transfer files and settings. We see now to how transfer files using the network, by using removable media, and lastly by using CD or DVD.

Start WET in the computer from which one wish to migrate things, by browsing to removable media or network drive which contains wizard files, and then open migwiz.exe by double clicking on the same. Any programs opened, must be closed. Now, you are asked to choose the transfer method, which you need to select through a network, or removable media or CD or DVD. Both the computers must support the transfer method one chooses.

Otherwise, the transfer will not take place at all. The Wizard will prompt the user to provide the network path etc. while performing transfer. Provide correct information, such that, the transfer ends with success. The Wizard will also prompt the user to choose what to transfer such as everything to be transferred, or only the files, or only the settings to be transferred. Once, one provides these information correctly, the wizard begin transfer of files and setting from source computer to destination computer.

Replacement for Files and Settings Transfer Wizard

The Windows Easy Transfer wizard acts as a replacement for Files and Settings Transfer Wizard, which was used in Windows XP and other earlier Windows family of OS. Though the tool will not support floppies as a transfer medium, there will be high speed and high accuracy in transferring process, when compared to earlier tools.

Check out more topics on windows from here,

Advantages and Disadvantages of Windows 7

16 Reasons Why Should You Select Windows Vista

Advantages and Disadavantages of Windows Vista

Advice on Upgrading to Windows Vista

All about Windows Vista Migration

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