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How to transfer data from an old PC to a new PC for Windows 10

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Recently I bought a new laptop and I want to transfer all the data from my old laptop to the new laptop. My new laptop is already had Windows 10. So what I need, I just need to transfer the important data from my old laptop to the new one. My old data is around 345 GB.

Here the methods that you can transfer the data between computers

Using a USB data link

Since I live in Thailand, I can not find any USB data link. If you live in the USA, Canada, Australia, and Europe, you can order one directly from the vendor website or Amazon. Plugable is the vendor that I used their product before. And the product was working perfectly. Plugable has two USB data link products. One is for USB 2.0. Another one is for USB 3.0. You have to check which USB type you have. USB 3.0 is better than USB 2.0 regarding the transferring speed.

Using an external drive

This method might be an easy way to do for a non-technical person but the transferring will take more time to compare with other methods. If you don’t have any external drive, you can buy one from here. In Thailand, you can buy from Jib, Banana IT, IT city and other IT shops. To choose the external drive, you must check which USB port you have and how much storage you need to store all your data. For transfers, you just simply copy the data from your old computer to the external drive. Then transfer that data from the external drive to the new computer.

But if you have an extra hard disk, you can buy a hard drive enclosure instead of buying the external drive.

Using HomeGroup on a local network

This method, you have to set up the HomeGroup on your local network. If your house has an internet connection with wifi router. You can try this method. For me, I transfer big data, I use the LAN network which I will talk about it next.

In order to set up the HomeGroup, go to Control Panel then click on “Network and Sharing Center”. Then click on “Change advanced sharing settings”. Now choose “Turn on network discovery”. You can choose “Turn on automatic setup of network connected devices” option if you prefer. In my case, I choose this option. Also, set the network to be a private network. You want to set the HomeGroup above on both computers.

Next, you can share the folders or files or drive from your old computer.

For example, you want to share a D drive from your old computer, at the file explorer, click on D drive. Then click on the Share tab at the top toolbar. Click on Advanced sharing... It will popup the properties popup. Click on “Advanced Sharing…” button. Enter the Share name that you want the new computer sees it on the network. I enter “Old Data”. By default, the shared folder/files/drive will be grained only read permission. If you just need to transfer only the data you don’t need to change this permission. But if you want the new computer to write and delete the data, click on the “Permissions” button and change the permission there.

Now, at the file explorer, click on “Network”, you will see your old computer and new computer name. Click on your old computer name, you will see the shared drive or folders or files that you just share above in there.

That’s it. You can then start to transfer(copy and paste) the data between your old computer and the new computer.

Using an Ethernet network (Local LAN network)

I use this method. The transfer speed can be up to 100MB per second. The concept is the same as setup Homegroup but we will use the LAN cable instead of wifi. If you don’t have any LAN cable you can get one from Amazon or Jib in Thailand. I use the LAN cable catgory5. For me, I transferred the data that is around 345 GB within 1 day.

Ethernet network setting
  • plug the cable to your old computer and new computer
  • At the old computer
  • go to Control Panel then click on “Network and Sharing Center
  • You will see the new “unidentified network” with the public network. Access type is No network access and Connections is Ethernet.
  • Click on “Ethernet
  • Click on “Properties” then choose “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
  • Click on “Properties” then choose “Use the following IP address
  • Enter the IP address that you can make it up. I use “192.168.1.20“. The subnet mask will be automatically generated for you.
  • Enter the default gateway as “192.168.1.21
  • At the new computer
  • repeat the step above from the Control Panel to default gateway setting BUT we use “192.168.1.21” as the IP address for the new computer and “192.168.1.20” as the default gateway for the new computer. Next click OK to finish the setting.
  • Then you will see the message says “Do you want to allow your PC to be discoverable by other PCs and devices on this network?“. Click on Yes.
Share a drive
  • At your old computer, at the file explorer, right-click on your drive that you want to share with the new computer.
  • Choose “give access to…” then click on “Advanced sharing
  • Then click on “Advanced Sharing…
  • Enter the Share name that you want the new computer will see on the network. I use “Old Data” as my Share name. Then click OK.
Hints
  • At the new computer, at the file explorer, if you click on Network and don’t see your old computer name. You may have to turn on the network discovery. To do that, go to Control Panel then click on “Network and Sharing Center”. Then click on “Change advanced sharing settings”. Now choose “Turn on network discovery”.  Then check the Network at file explorer again.
  • At the new computer, if you try to access the shared data from your old computer and the login form popup. You will need to enter the windows login which is the same windows login from your old computer.

And that’s it. You can now copy the data from your old computer to your new computer via the local LAN network.

Using Cloud storage

You can transfer data using cloud storage services like OneDrive or Dropbox. Using cloud storage, you can get your data anywhere and any devices. Basically, you set up the cloud storage software you like on your old and new computers. On your old computer, you pick which data you want to store on the cloud. Then wait until all data is sync to the cloud server. Then at the new computer, log in to the same cloud service and sync the data into your new computer. Wait until all data sync from cloud server to your new computer. That’s it.

Using the hard drive enclosure  with your hard disk from your old computer

The last method, it will transfer your data from your old hard drive to the new computer very fast. You will use the hard drive enclosure and some screwdriver tool.

  • First, take your old hard disk out of your old computer using the screwdriver. Be careful when you take the hark disk out. If you still have your warranty sticker cover the screw, you will lose the warranty if you break the sticker.
  • Once you successfully take off your old hard disk then put the hard disk to the hard drive enclosure
  • Connect the hard drive enclosure to your new computer then start copy and paste the data you want to transfer.
  • Hints: USB 3.0 is faster than USB 2.0. If the new computer has the USB 3.0 port and the hard drive enclosure supports USB 3.0 then uses USB 3.0 for transferring.

Clone everything from the old computer to new computer

All methods I mention can transfer only the data. If you want to clone the Windows (applications, accounts, windows setting and data) from the old computer to the new computer, you will need the software such as EaseUS Todo Backup. Here is a useful post for clone Windows from the old computer to the new computer.