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Manually Migrate Files and Settings from XP Pro to Windows 7 Pro

Posted on 2013-02-02
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a Dell Dimension E521 running WinXP Pro. It won't boot to XP so I pulled the original hard drive and installed another one and installed Windows 7 Pro on it. It's working fine.

The old XP drive is visible to other computers via a SATA-to-USB adapter so I can get the files off of it.

What I'd like to know is whether there's a utility that will let me point it to the old drive, via the USB adapter, to pull off the files and settings and migrate them to the Windows 7 installation. If not, is there a resource (KB article, website, whatever) that can show me where files and such are stored in XP, and their corresponding locations in Win 7, so I can move them manually?
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Question by:gbrooke
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John Hurst earned 125 total points
ID: 38847801
Any files you need from XP are probably stored in Documents and Settings under the user name that was being used prior to the XP machine dying. IE Favourites would be in there, documents would be in there, and so would email.

If you try to upgrade a working XP machine to Windows 7, it just pretty much starts again anyway. Now you only have the drive.  So files you can get (above), but settings, probably not.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:Sandeep
Sandeep earned 125 total points
ID: 38848034
If you connecting the XP Drive to any other PC you can copy over the Data like Images, Mails in PST and Songs if any, but no such way you can copy program files which will be useless as when you install programs it do add some entries in registry etc which will not be added if you just try to access such programs from XP drive connected as USB or Secondary.

As advised above, I would also suggest to attach same drive back to old PC and try to upgrade it to Windows 7, this will enable you to upgrade the Programs as well as Data with Windows 7 Installed. There could be few programs on XP may not be compatible with Windows 7 which will not work but most of your problem would get solved.
Before you upgrade, you can test your Old XP PC and get report what software or hardware is compatible with Windows 7 by executing the Upgrade Advisor.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/download/details.aspx?id=20
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Assisted Solution

by:icehole11
icehole11 earned 125 total points
ID: 38848035
As another expert said, your user docs will be in something like
C:\documents and settings\{username}\documents
you may also want your outlook pst file:
C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\*.pst
IE favorites:
C:\documents and settings\{username}\favorites

Depending on the security you had on the drive, it may try to prevent you from getting to these locations.  If this is the case, simply take ownership of the folders and all subfolders
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753659.aspx
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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 125 total points
ID: 38848120
verify also if the user did  not put data in other locations; i found pictures on the C:\pictures location, but everywhere is possible
in fact you  need to check where each program has it's files
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Author Closing Comment

by:gbrooke
ID: 38851637
Thank you, Experts. All of your comments were useful.
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38851652
@gbrooke - Thank you and I was happy to help you with getting your files.
.... Thinkpads_User
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