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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Windows Easy Transfer

Windows Easy Transfer was originally designed to round up the files and preference settings from one computer and copy them into the proper places on a new one. In Windows 8.1, it’s not nearly as useful. It transfers only files (not settings), and only from a PC running Windows 7 or later. (Microsoft says that Windows Easy Transfer is on its way out, since your settings and even files can be auto-synced between Windows 8 machines anyway, thanks to the OneDrive.)

You can use Windows Easy Transfer in several ways:

  • If you have two computers, you can run Windows Easy Transfer on the old computer, package its files, and then transfer them to the new computer.

    You can make the transfer over a network connection, a direct cable connection, or via a flash drive or hard drive

  • If you have only one computer, you can run Windows Easy Transfer before you install, saving the files to a flash drive or a second hard drive. Then, after performing a clean install of Windows 8.1, you can run the wizard again, neatly importing and reinstating your saved files.

Phase 1: Backing Up the Files

To save the files on your old computer (or your old operating system), you’ll need a copy of Windows Easy Transfer. If it’s not already on your computer (it’s included with Windows 8.1, for example), you can download it from Microsoft’s Web site at http://bit.ly/9rt8eg, and then proceed like this:

  1. Double-click the file you downloaded.

    It has a name like “wet7xp_x86.exe.” The Setup program opens. Install ...

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