Question W10 User Settings and Files on Old Computer --> W10 User Settings and Files on New Computer

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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::: SIGH :::

OK...this started out to be a really nice anniversary present for my wife. New build, awesome speed machine, with good video capabilities.

Her old machine was one of those AIO HP mini-tower jobbies that was OK, back when it came with Win7 on it. It was upgraded to Win10 just before the cut-off date, and has gotten to be increasingly slower since then. At this point, it is a real pain to work with--particularly so for my wife, who is somewhat sight-challenged.

The new build is a μATX MB with maxxed-out memory and SSDs for local storage and W10-Pro boot.

Now, she uses Edge, Firefox, AND Chrome, for her browsers; and has a butt-load of music and photos stored in her user directory. The music and photos are easy to migrate over, and I have an image of her old HDD to work with in pushing those over a USB 3.0 cable.

It's the user settings, stored passwords, and all the customized stuff that is making me pull my hair out--where is it all stored, and what is safe to transfer from the old installation to the new installation?

Microsoft, in their infinite pseudo-wisdom (and greed), has dumped any migration tool that actually worked in anything approaching a sane and predictable manner, and using their cloud fluff offerings are out of the question, according to my wife.

I work with Linux daily--never microsoft (my NT days are FAR BEHIND me)--and I have no solid approach for dealing with this sort of thing. Bak in the day, it was move the data files and let the user reconfigure their preferential settings.

::: Huge sigh :::

This didn't go over so well, when I hooked-up her new machine and she said, where's my stuff? Moving her files didn't help, and now I'm stuck trying to figure this out (and Google is no damn help), because most of what I find is mostly BS add copy.

Does anyone have direct, hands-on, experience with some sort of migration tool, utility, magic incantation, that will allow me to selectively move things like browser profiles, bookmarks, and personalized windows settings, and anything else I am unaware of, from an old installation of W10 to a new installation of W10--on a user by user basis?

Can anybody give me a recommendation that I can actually trust?

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###### UPDATE ######
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I'm deep in searches, and have run across a recent iteration of the old Lap-Link program that I presumed to be long dead--"Laplink PCmover Ultimate 11".

If this will save me some time transferring settings & browser configurations, and get her using her new machine faster, I'll pony-up for it; however, I really don't trust what might amount to astroturfing when it comes to positive comments about it. (It is distributed as a "single use" executable, which sux.)

Has anybody used said Lap-Link and found it to be worth what they spent for it?
 
Last edited:

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
The browsers each have their own Export function. Settings, saved passwords, etc.
Of course, this Export should have been done while the old system was still running.

The rest of the user setting for all the other applications and the OS? No.
 
As you're probably aware, applications have to be reinstalled. After installation you can find them in the Start menu. When you find one you want on the desktop, point at it with the mouse, hold down the left button, and drag it to the desktop. The Start menu will be unaltered, and you'll have a shortcut on the desktop.
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
1,549
282
1,640
...Of course, this Export should have been done while the old system was still running...
Well, it is a new build, in its own cabinet, and fully operational...so I can swap chassis back and forth between her KVM&I connects.

I'm assuming that the export produces a portable file that is used as an import source on the new system, then? (Long live sneaker net!)

...The rest of the user setting for all the other applications and the OS? No
Cr@p. I will avoid muttering blackly about how easy that should be to do.



As you're probably aware, applications have to be reinstalled...
Yeah....not that I'm looking forward to that, but she never updates her proggies, so it'll be a blessing of sorts. Most of her installs are whatever was installed back when the machine was brought into the house.

The upside to all of this is that her new machine screams, speed-wise, as compared to her old machine, and she does look forward to that as a daily thing.

I did find some comments "out there" about a recent iteration of Lap-Link, and will update my question, above, instead of down here.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
FireFox
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profiles-where-firefox-stores-user-data

Chrome
https://smallbusiness.chron.com/export-chrome-profile-79321.html


For all the other applications, that is case by case basis, stored in the Registry and elsewhere.
But the Reg also holds a LOT of machine and OS specific info, so you can't just take the whole Registry from one system to another.


For installation of a lot of small free and open source applications, I find ninite.com to be invaluable. Download a single small exe, and it installs all those things you selected.
Bonus, it automatically bypasses any 'extra' stuff applications tend to want to install.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Laplink or similar?
I wouldn't use it if it were free, either then or now.

I don't want to drag all the old gunk into a new system.
For instance, something you deleted/uninstalled 3 years ago, but it didn't quite clean up after itself properly.

I do use cloning/imaging tools (like Macrium Reflect) to move between drives in the same system.
But a new system deserves a clean install of the OS and everything else.
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
1,549
282
1,640
I agree with you wholeheartedly

The new install of W10 is....well, it's a new install, and was done last Wednesday. There really is no other way to do that, especially with all the activation crap that one has to deal with.

All apps were freshly installed as well....new drivers, system configured for her current monitor, blah-blah-blah, and etc.

My thought was more targeted towards all the configuration in user settings (because she is vision impaired) and all the browser bookmarks and saved passwords that she has in her old machine--then, there are the host of data files, but those are the easiest to deal with.

If I'm able to get those three targeted areas, I'm golden, and she will probably stop tearing-up when she looks at the new chassis, sitting next to her old one.

Thanks for the links to FF and GC backups. That confirms my first instinct in dealing with those. I already started copying those directories from a cloned image of her original drive, a while ago--along with her music and photos--uh, it's only about 1.3TB of stuff, so it'll be done before I go to bed (I hope).

Now ninite.com is new to me, and I wish that I had seen that two days ago, but I will definitely bookmark that for future needs. Once this is all taken care of, I think that I'll test that out on her old installation...the bypassing of all of those "helpful"extras is a definite inducement.
 

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