• If you use Linux you can just copy your whole /home directory. It’s all there, baby.

  • Wow, that almost sounds non-techie enough. Now if most of the free world could learn Linux without having to know words like “kernel,” we might be getting somewhere.

  • Kevin

    These days you don’t have to know any more about a kernel to run Linux on your desktop or laptop than you do for Windows. Get a Fedora 7 or Ubuntu/Kubuntu livecd, boot it to check hardware support, you’ll be amazed. It’s actually easier than Windows in many regards. If you want to install some software, say image editing, go to the “Add/Remove software” program on the menu, and select what you want from the list, usually there are 3 or 4 things of the same type to chose from, and say apply, all done, almost never a need to reboot, but it’ll tell you if you do.

  • I use both PC and mac, but I have to say that this is strictly a PC problem. Next week I will have to upgrade laptops (again), but I’m not complaining because (1) my work is paying for it and (2) it’s a mac upgrade. So I will put my old mac into “target” mode (it acts like an external hard drive) and copy it all over to the new machine via firewire or USB 2. Everything will transfer, including all passwords and preferences. I have to say, this is one area where Apple really shines.

  • Erin

    I need help. I was given a brand new computer for Christmas and really the only things I want to transfer from my old computer are the photos. I have close to 700. Can someone help me? Thanks!

  • Kevin

    Spend a few bucks on an external USB hard drive, I think that the 500GB one is just over $100 now. Plug it into the old computer, copy all of the stuff you want to it, turn off the old computer, plug the USB drive into the new computer and copy it over to it. This will also have performed a backup of your pictures. Every now and then just copy all of your important stuff to the external drive, it’s a backup!

    Another possibility is to put all of your pictures up on Picasa, picasaweb.google.com, it’s a free gallery of your pictures, as well as a backup of sorts.

  • Another option, Erin, is to use an online backup system like Mozy. Just click on the sidebar banner that says Mozy, and you can sign up for a free online account.

    The free version allows you to backup up to 2 gigabytes worth of data, which is probably enough for your 700 pictures. How it works is you install Mozy’s program on your computer, and it will ask you which files you would like to backup. Just select your pictures folder.

    The service will then copy your pictures folder onto a secure location online. Then, on you new computer, login to your online Mozy account and download your pictures.

    The options Kevin has listed are good as well… though a USB hard drive costs something, of course, and Google’s Picasa may not give you enough free storage for all your pictures.

    Good luck and Merry Christmas!

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