Windows computer file and settings transfer instructions

(Updated Monday, 8/16/13, Noon) - Click here for a printable PDF version

--- IMPORTANT: --- Previous versions of these instructions prior to Monday, 8/16/13, don't have you specifically back up Microsoft Outlook hidden folder which may or may not have been backed up using the previous instructions. The newer instructions have you have you specifically back up the Microsoft Outlook hidden folder as a separate section to assure it is not missed in the backup.

This page covers instructions for using an external hard drive to back up files and settings from a Windows 7 computer and restore them to a computer with Windows 8. If you are a faculty or staff member that wasn't issued an external hard drive you can have one issued to you at Micro Repair, LRC room 114. They are open from 8 am to 5 pm, Mon-Fri. We recommend printing these instructions so you can follow along on your computer. Steps are numbered and have a blank line next to them so you can check them off as you proceed. This page has been created without screen shots to conserve on paper if it is printed. A related page with screen shots will be linked here once it is available.

Any references to 'click' or 'select' in the instructions refer to using a left mouse click to make the selection. Any references to 'open' or 'double-click' refer to double clicking the left mouse button. Any right mouse clicks are uniquely identified as such in the text.

A 2 hour "New Computer Training" sessions for faculty and staff covering this process as well as sessions covering Windows 8 and Office 2013 are linked at the bottom of the Training Resources for Windows 8 and Training Resources for Office 2013 pages. This course was previously listed as 90 minutes but has consistently run 2 hours. Please review the instructions on this page and the available training resources before deciding to sign up for a course.

NOTE: Previous versions of this page referenced using the Windows Easy Transfer tool or the Thinkvantage Migration Assistant, both of which do not always work well, especially when upgrading versions of Windows and/or Office. The HelpDesk no longer recommends using either of these tools.

Main Steps

A. Checking Space Requirements and the External Hard Drive Format
B. Save Your Firefox Bookmarks (Optional)
C. Save Your Chrome Bookmarks (Optional)
D. Recording Your Settings
E. Back Up Your Files
F. Back Up the Outlook Hidden Folder

G. Restoring Your Files
H. Installing printers
I. Mapping Network Drives
J. Setting Up Outlook
K. Restore Your Firefox Bookmarks (Optional)
L. Restore Your Chrome Bookmarks (Optional)
M: Install Programs

A. Checking Space Requirements and the External Hard Drive Format

Some older Western Digital external hard drives were configured by default with a FAT32 partition. The maximum file size on a FAT32 partition is 4 GB. This may be a problem for larger files, such as video files, disk images, or large Outlook PST files. You can verify the partition type using the following instructions:

  1. ___ Go to the Start menu and then select Computer. 
  2. ___ Right click on your C: drive and select Properties from the menu.
  3. ___ Under the General tab note the amount of Used space: on the drive and click OK.  The USED SPACE _____________________ minus 30 GB (the space used for programs on the computer) is the FREE SPACE REQUIRED _____________________ on the external drive to assure you have enough room to backup all your files.
  4. ___ Connect your external hard drives to your computer.
  5. ___ Right click on your external hard drive (probably Drive F:) and select Properties from the menu.
  6. ___ Under the General tab you should see File System: near the top. If it displays NTFS then you can save files larger than 4 GB. If it says anything else you may want to verify if you have any files larger than 4 GB by following the instructions at Searching for Large Files in Windows 7 or backup the external drive and reformat it using the instructions at Formatting a New Western Digital External Drive as an NTFS Partition. These extra instructions are on the last page of the printed version of this page.
  7. ___ Note the amount of free space on the external drive listed near the top of the window and click OK.  FREE SPACE _____________________. If the external drive doesn't have enough free space remove some files and folders from it or use a different external drive.
  8. ___ Close the window.

B. Save Your Firefox Bookmarks (Optional)

The Favorites in Internet Explorer will be backed up with your files. If you use Firefox the bookmarks will not copied in the back up. Firefox allows you to export or import bookmarks into an HTML file that can be stored on your computer. This is also the best way to assure you have saved your bookmarks.

  1. ___ Open Firefox.
  2. ___ Click on the Firefox menu bar at the top left of the Firefox window hover on the Bookmarks menu choice and select Show All Bookmarks. The Library window will open.
  3. ___ In the Library window, click on the Import and Backup button and choose Export Bookmarks to HTML....
  4. ___ The Export Bookmark window will appear. Choose a spot to save your exported bookmarks. The documents folder or desktop is usually a good spot. Your bookmarks are successfully exported from Firefox into an HTML file and are now ready to be imported into another web browser.

  C. Save Your Chrome Bookmarks (Optional)
 

  1. ___Open Chrome.
  2. ___Click on the Chrome Menu button at the top right of the window and click on the Bookmarks, Bookmarks Manager menu choice. The Library window will open.
  3. ___Click on the Organize button and choose Export Bookmarks to HTML....
  4. ___The Export Bookmark window will appear. Choose a spot to save your exported bookmarks. The documents folder or desktop is usually a good spot. Your bookmarks are successfully exported from Chrome into an HTML file and are now ready to be imported into another web browser.

D. Recording Your Settings

This process describes using Microsoft Word and the print screen key (Fn-PrtSc) feature to save screen shots of the current settings for your installed software, printers, network drive mappings, and Microsoft Outlook so they can be recreated on this or a different computer.

  1. ___ Open Microsoft Word and create a new document.
  2. ___ Add any notes at the top of the document that you would want to make for yourself such as “This document was originally created to save the settings of my SL410 computer on 8/12/13."
  3. ___ Save the document with the name of the computer model and your email id such as "SL410-bsmith".
List of Installed Software
 
It's possible you have installed software that is not on the NMU software image. This software will have to be re-installed on the new computer. Make a list of additional installed applications using the instructions below and if possible, find the installation disk(s), record the website they were installed from, or note if they were installed at the HelpDesk.
  1. ___ Go to Start, Control Panel, Program and Features.
  2. ___ Software is listed in the order it was installed with the newest items on the top of the list.
  3. ___ Expand the windows to full screen and click on the Installed On column header so the newest installed software is listed at the top.
  4. ___ Hold down the Fn key in the bottom left of the keyboard and press the Insert/PrtSc key to create a screen shot of the window and save it to the Windows clip board.
  5. ___ Go to the Word document and type in the word Programs and press Enter. This will create searchable text to make the screen shots easier to find.
  6. ___ Use the Paste button or Ctrl-V to paste the screen shot into the document, then press Enter to add a blank line after the image.
  7. ___ Go back to the Program and Features window and scroll down to find more programs you might have installed. Anything installed before the ThinkPad Power Manager software was installed as part of the NMU image and you will not need to record those earlier items.
  8. ___ Repeat steps 4-6 to add print screens if needed.
  9. ___ Close the Programs and Features window.
Printer Setup
Local printers directly connected to your computer via a USB cable and the Library Laser, Library Color Laser, PEIF Laser and Jacobetti Laser are printers pre-installed on the NMU image and whose setup doesn't need to be recorded.
  1. ___ Go to Start, Devices and Printers in the right side column.
  2. ___ Right click on the printer whose settings you want to save and choose Printer properties from the middle of the menu.
  3. ___ Click the Ports tab and then the Configure Port button.
  4. ___ Hold down the Fn key in the bottom left of the keyboard and press the Insert/PrtSc key to create a screen shot of the window and save it to the Windows clip board.
  5. ___ Go to the Word document and type in the word Printers and press Enter.
  6. ___ Use the Paste button or Ctrl-V to paste the screen shot into the document, then press Enter to add a blank line after the image.
  7. ___ Go back to the Printer configuration, Port Settings screen and click Cancel.
  8. ___ Click on the Advanced tab, the printer driver name will be listed.
  9. ___ Hold down the Fn key in the bottom left of the keyboard and press the Insert/PrtSc key to create a screen shot of the window and save it to the Windows clip board.
  10. ___ Go to the Word document and use the Paste button or Ctrl-V to paste the screen shot into the document, then press Enter to add a blank line after the image.
  11. ___ Go back to the Printer configuration, Advanced Settings screen and click Cancel.
  12. ___ Repeat steps 2-10 for each printer you want to save the port and driver settings for.
  13. ___ Close the Devices and Printers window.
Network Drive Mappings
 
  1. ___ Go to Start, and click the Computer choice in the right side column. The drives, including the network drives will be listed in the window.
  2. ___ Hold down the Fn key in the bottom left of the keyboard and press the Insert/PrtSc key to create a screen shot of the windows and save it to the clip board.
  3. ___ Go to the Word document and type in the word Drives and press Enter.
  4. ___ Use the Paste button or Ctrl-V to paste the screen shot into the document, then press Enter to add a blank line after the image.
  5. ___ Close the Computer window.
Outlook Settings
These instructions cover recording the settings for your @nmu.edu POP/SMTP account. The exchange server account uses a standard configuration that doesn't need to be recorded.
  1. ___ Open Outlook.
  2. ___ In Outlook 2007, from the pull down menu, go to Tools, Account Settings or, From Outlook 2010, go to File, Info, Account Settings, Account Settings.
  3. ___ Click the Email tab to see the accounts set up in the Outlook profile.
  4. ___ Highlight the @nmu.edu POP/SMTP account type listed so the storage location for that account is displayed at the bottom of the window.
  5. ___ Hold down the Fn key in the bottom left of the keyboard and press the Insert/PrtSc key to create a screen shot of the windows and save it to the clip board.
  6. ___ Go to the Word document and type in the word Outlook and press Enter.
  7. ___ Use the Paste button or Ctrl-V to paste the screen shot into the document.
  8. ___ Go back to Outlook and click on the Data Files tab in the window.
  9. ___ Hold down the Fn key in the bottom left of the keyboard and press the Insert/PrtSc key to create a screen shot of the windows and save it to the clip board.
  10. ___ Open Microsoft Word and paste the screen shot into a Word document, then press Enter to add a blank line after the image.
  11. ___ If there is more than one POP/SMTP account listed repeat steps 3-7 for each account and then proceed to step 12.
  12. ___ Click the Close button to get back to Outlook.
  13. ___ Most people only use one Outlook profile. If you are prompted to select a profile when starting Outlook then you are using multiple profiles and will need to repeat steps 1-12 for each profile you use.
  14. ___ Save and Print the Word document so you can use reference it later and close Microsoft Word.
  15. ___ Email the document to helpdesk@nmu.edu as an attachment to help us help you when you set up your new computer.

E. Backing Up Your Files

If you are considering deleting or housecleaning your files before backing them up, we recommend you create the back up first so you have a copy of anything you may later find out you needed. Then do the housecleaning after your files are on the new computer.

  1. ___ CLOSE ALL APPLICTIONS AND CONNECT AC POWER.
  2. ___ Go to Start, and in the Search field type show hidden and select the Show hidden files and folders option at the top of the window. A Folder Options windows will open.
  3. ___ Assure the radio button Show hidden files, folders and drives is selected. Click Apply if it is available and click OK.
  4. ___ Plug in your external hard drive.
  5. ___ Open the C: drive.
  6. ___ Open the Users folder, then open the folder with your username.
  7. ___ Your folders and files from the desktop, documents, favorites, pictures, and music among displayed. Verify the normally hidden folder Appdata folder is displayed.
  8. ___ Hold down the Ctrl key and press A to highlight all the files and folders. Then hold down the Ctrl key and press C to copy all the files and folders.
  9. ___ Select Computer in the left side column and open up your external hard drive (probably drive F:).
  10. ___  Right click in the main directory window and select New Folder from the menu to create a folder and name it using your username. Double click the folder to open it.
  11. ___ Right click in a blank area of the main directory window and select Paste. This will copy all of your files to your external drive. This may take up to an hour if you have a lot of files. 
  12. ___ You may be prompted to that some files are currently in use, typically 5 files. Choose Do this for all items and then Skip for these files.
  13. ___ Another message that may pop up is like the one below this is just because it is trying to copy temporary files. You will always want to select Do this for all items then select Skip
  14. ___ Once your files have been backed up onto your external hard drive look through the files and folders to make sure they are all there.

F. Back Up the Outlook Hidden Folder

  1. ___ Open the C: drive.
  2. ___ Open the Users folder, then open the folder with your username.
  3. ___ Open the Appdata folder, then the Local folder, and then the Microsoft folder.
  4. ___ Right click on the Outlook folder and choose Copy.
  5. ___ Select Computer in the left side column and open up your external hard drive (probably drive F:).
  6. ___ Open the folder with your username.
  7. ___ Right click in a blank area of the main directory window and select Paste. This will copy the hidden Outlook folder
  8. ___ Once you have verified the Outlook folder and it's files has been copied on your external hard drive safely eject the drive by using the icon in the system tray on the bottom right corner of the screen. You have now successfully backed up your files.

G. Restoring Your Files

On your new computer complete the printed setup and registration instructions that came with your computer if you haven't already done so. Important to note: When you create your account on new computer it must be the same name as your old computer. For example if your username was jsmith on your old computer your new computer should use jsmith to log in. Once the process is complete you will see the Windows 8 start screen. Select the Desktop tile and then you will be at the new desktop environment.

The following instructions restore all your files to the new computer.

  1. ___ CLOSE ALL APPLICTIONS AND CONNECT AC POWER.
  2. ___ Connect your external drive to the computer.
  3. ___ If your computer has a Start Menu, go to Start, Computer, otherwise click the File Explorer icon (manila envelope) on the task bar.
  4. ___ Once computer is opened you should see your external hard drive. It should be the D: drive.
  5. ___ Open the drive and right click your user folder that you backed up and select Copy
  6. ___ Select Computer in the left side column and open up the C: drive.
  7. ___ Open the Users folder. Right click in a blank area of the main directory window and select Paste. This will copy all of your files from your external drive. This may take up to an hour if you have a lot of files. 
  8. ___ after some time a Replace or Skip Files window may be displayed. This is normal. For this message you will want to select Skip these files.
  9. ___ A "File In Use" message will be displayed. Select the check box that says Do this for all items and then select Skip. This message may pop up 2-3 times and look a bit different but make sure to always select Do this for all items and Skip
  10. ___ After transfer is complete you should double check all your files are on your new computer. Be sure to keep the back up on your hard drive for future use. You have now successfully restored your files.

H. Installing Printers

NOTE: When connecting a local printer using a USB cable, Windows 8 should automatically load the appropriate printer driver. If it doesn't,  download the appropriate Windows 8 printer driver from the printer manufacturer's website such as http://www.hp.com. If no Windows 8 printer driver is available use a Windows Vista 64 bit printer driver. If you use an All-In-One printer that is also a scanner, fax and copier, you may want to download the latest printer driver to use the other All-In-One printer features.

  1. ___ Go to Start, Printers (or Devices and Printers in Windows 7).
  2. ___ Click the Add a Printer button at the top right corner of the window.
  3. ___ Click The printer that I want isn't listed button.
  4. ___ The radio button selected should be Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname. Click Next.
  5. ___ Enter the hostname (typically something like: depthplaser.nmu.edu) or the IP address in the Hostname or the IP address field. This would be the port name if you had previously saved settings. The port name field should update with the same information. Click Next.
  6. ___ The Additional port information required screen will be displayed. Click Next.
  7. ___ Choose the printer manufacturer in the left column and then the printer model in the right column. If the printer or manufacturer to add isn't on the list use the Windows Update button to get a longer list of printers. If the exact printer model isn't available select the closest one available such as an "HP Laserjet 4200 PCL 6" if you had previously used "HP Laserjet 4250 PCL 6". Click Next.
  8. ___ Change the printer name to what you had recorded before or something you can easily identify such as "My Dept HP Laserjet 4200 PCL 6". Click Next. The printer will be installed.
  9. ___ Check Set as the default printer if you want this to be your default printer.
  10. ___ Click the Print a test page button and check the printer to verify it worked for you.
  11. ___ Click Finish. You should see the new printer listed in the window.
  12. ___ Repeat steps 2-11 for each printer you need to install.
  13. ___ Close the Printers window.

I. Mapping Network Drives
 

  1. ___ Get to the Desktop.
  2. ___ Right click the Computer icon.
  3. ___ Select Map Network Drive…  from the menu.
  4. ___ Select the drive letter for the drive such as I:
  5. ___ Enter the server name and folder in the Folder field in this formatted example \\instruct\yourid
  6. ___ Click Finish.
  7. ___ You may be prompted for a login. If so use your NMU ID and password.
  8. ___ Open the drive to verify access to the file and folders.
  9. ___ Close the window.

J. Setting Up Outlook

J-a. If you were previously ONLY using your @nmu.edu SMTP/POP mail account follow these steps. If you were previously using a Microsoft Exchange account go to the I-b. sub section following this one.
 

  1. ___ Run Outlook for the first time. This will automatically create the settings to access the @nmu.edu pop mail account.
  2. ___ You will be prompted to log in. Log in with your NMU ID and password. Check "Save this password in your password list" if desired and click OK.
  3. ___ In Outlook, go to File, Open & Export, Import/Export.
  4. ___ Select Import from another program or file and click Next.
  5. ___ Choose Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.
  6. ___ Click the Browse button and find the .pst file previously used by the account in Outlook and click Open. The Open Outlook Data Files window will open.
  7. ___ Click in the location field at the top of the window and if you were using Outlook 2010 or 2013 enter file location C:\Users\YourID\Documents\Outlook Files if it was previously reference in the recorded settings, otherwise enter C:\Users\YourID\Outlook.
  8. ___ Use the icon at the top right of the window to select the Details View so you can verify the date of the file reflects a date you last used Outlook on the old computer and double click the file you want to import  to select it.
  9. ___ The radio button selected in the Import Outlook Data File window should be Replace duplicates with items imported and click Next.
  10. ___ Verify Include subfolders is checked and the radio button Import items into the same folder in:  is selected.
  11. ___ Click Finish. The messages, tasks, calendar items, and contacts (now People in Outlook 2013), will be imported into the currently used .pst file.
  12. ___ Send mail to yourself as a test. Use the Send/Receive button or F9 key to send the message immediately. You should get the message within 3 minutes. You can use the Send/Receive button or F9 key to check for the incoming immediately.
  13. ___ If you previously had Outlook set up for more than one pop mail account we recommend you contact the Computing HelpDesk, 906-227-2468, to complete configuring Outlook for the other accounts.

J-b. If you were previously using a Microsoft Exchange account follow these steps.

  1. ___ Run Outlook for the first time. This will automatically create the settings to access the @nmu.edu pop mail account.
  2. ___ You will be prompted to log in. Log in with your NMU ID and password. Check "Save this password in your password list" if desired and click OK.
  3. ___ Close Outlook.
  4. ___ Click on Start, Control Panel, Mail (32-bit).
  5. ___ Click on the Show Profiles... button in Mail setup window.
  6. ___ Double click on Default Outlook Profile in the top of the window.
  7. ___ Click on the E-mail Accounts... button.
  8. ___ The NMU POP/SMTP account is already set up and displayed. Click on the New... button above the name header.
  9. ___ Click on the Manual setup or additional server types radio button and click Next.
  10. ___ Click on Microsoft Exchange or compatible service then Next.
  11. ___ Type in exchange.nmu.edu in the “Server:” field in the "Add New Account" window.
  12. ___ Click on "User Name:" field and type in your UserID such as jsmith then click Next.
  13. ___ You will be prompted with a separate window to log in. Enter ADS\UserID for the User name field and your email password and click OK. ADS\ indicates the windows domain for the exchange account.
  14. ___ Click on OK to accept the change in Mail Delivery Location.
  15. ___ Click Finish. The exchange account is now added and displayed in the Default Outlook Profile with the storage location of your exchange server Mailbox/Inbox.
  16. ___ Select the @nmu.edu POP/SMTP account in the Account Settings window.
  17. ___ Click the Change Folder button on the bottom left corner of the window.
  18. ___ You may be prompted with a separate window to log in. Enter ADS\UserID for the User name field and your email password and click OK.
  19. ___ Click the + sign next to Mailbox and select the Inbox to select the exchange mailbox/inbox as the new delivery location and click OK.
  20. ___ Verify the POP/SMTP account is set up so message storage is to the Mailbox\Inbox for mail storage at the bottom of the window.
  21. ___ Click Close, Click Close again, and then Click OK.
  22. ___ Open Outlook and verify your Email, Tasks, Calendar items, and Contacts (now People in Outlook 2013) are there.
  23. ___ Go to File, Info, Account Settings, Account Settings.
  24. ___ Go to the Data Files tab.
  25. ___ Select the Outlook Data File and click the Remove button to remove the .pst file from the profile. Click Close to close the window.
  26. ___ Send mail to yourself as a test. Use the Send/Receive button or F9 key to send the message immediately. You should get the message within 3 minutes. You can use the Send/Receive button or F9 key to check for the incoming immediately.

K. Restore Your Firefox Bookmarks (Optional)

  1. ___ Click on the Firefox menu bar at the top left of the Firefox window hover on the Bookmarks menu choice and select Show Bookmarks. The Library window will open.
  2. ___ In the Library window, click on the Import and Backup menu and choose Import bookmarks from HTML....
  3. ___ Choose the location and file to import and click Open.
L. Restore Your Chrome Bookmarks (Optional)
 
  1. ___ Install Chrome from www.chrome.com (It is not part of the NMU Image.
  2. ___ Open Chrome.
  3. ___Click on the Chrome Menu button at the top right of the window and click on the Bookmarks, Bookmarks Manager menu choice. The Library window will open.
  4. ___Click on the Organize button and choose Import Bookmarks to HTML....
  5. ___Choose the location and file to import and click Open.

M: Install Programs

Install any programs that you previously had installed, preferably versions that are compatible with Windows 8. Here's some tips:
  • Some programs available on the Internet, such as Skype, will detect Windows 8 and automatically offer a link to get a version as a Metro App that requires you to have a Microsoft account (i.e. hotmail.com, live.com, outlook.com, etc)  to use the Windows store. Such programs may still offer a 'Desktop version' from their website that is compatible with the Windows 8 Desktop and doesn't require the Microsoft account. Skype offers this as a 'or choose another version, Windows Desktop' link on http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/
  • Oracle VM VirtualBox is installed on the NMU software image and available from the Windows Desktop. It runs a version of Windows XP inside a window on the Windows 8 desktop in a virtual environment for older applications that do not run in Windows 8. If you need help using the Oracle VM VirtualBox contact the NMU Computing HelpDesk.

See Also:
 

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