File Transfer Trauma

More than 16 million people bought a computer last year.

Deciding on a new one isn't hard it's transferring your old information that gets tricky.

Consumer Reports says computer stores charge by the hour to do this for you.

But as Call for Action reporter Betty Sexton explains, you can do it yourself without spending a dime.

Stephanie Corbo-Pecht just bought a new computer. She's worried about making the switch from her old PC. “I had several items that I needed to get from my old computer onto my new computer and I have no idea how to do it."

Moving all your data to your new computer can be daunting especially if you have lots of files.

Consumer Reports resident computer whiz Dean Gallea can help you make the switch without a hitch.

First and foremost, don't even think about moving programs, like Adobe Photoshop, from your old PC.

It's hard to move windows programs because parts of the program are scattered all over the hard drive. So you really need to install them on the new computer from the original disks.

Your next move is to set up folders in your new computer. Then you can move your information right into them.

An easy way to transfer your personal files is to copy them to a writeable CD or a removable memory card, if they're available.

If you have many disks worth of files to move, you're better off using something like Microsoft's files and settings transfer wizard.

You'll find it at the start menu. The program walks you through the transfer process. Connecting the two computers with a cable to transfer the files is another way to simplify moving a lot of information.

Now before you get rid of your old computer, take the new one for a test drive.

You want to make sure that all your files are there and that all your programs work. Also, surf the web and send and receive a couple of emails so you know those functions are working.

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