Troubleshoot file transfer problems

Here are solutions to some common problems with using Windows Easy Transfer to transfer files and settings from one computer to another.

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I can't move my computers close enough to use a cable between them and my computer is not connected to a network.

You can transfer files and settings by using CDs, DVDs, an external hard disk, or a USB flash drive. During the transfer process, Windows Easy Transfer displays the total size of the files and settings that you want to transfer and the number of discs or USB flash drives you'll need. This will help you decide which kind of storage device to use.

Note

  • An average CD has about 700 megabytes (MB) of space, a standard single-layer DVD has about 4.7 gigabytes (GB) of space, and a standard dual-layer DVD has about 8.5 GB of space.

I need a new password to log on to my new computer running Windows Vista.

To help keep the information on your computer more secure during and after the transfer process, you need to change your password or create a new one. For more information, see Change your Windows password.

Some program settings were not transferred.

If you have a program on your old computer that you want to use on your new computer, make sure to install it on your new computer before you run Windows Easy Transfer. This keeps the program settings you transferred from being overwritten when you install the program.

Note

  • You can use Windows Easy Transfer to transfer files—but not settings—from a computer running Windows 2000 to a computer running Windows Vista.

I don't see any programs appearing in the list of what was transferred.

Windows Easy Transfer only transfers program settings, not the programs themselves. To use the programs from your old computer, install them on your new computer, and then transfer files and settings for those programs. It's possible that some kinds of programs, such as security and antivirus programs, might not work with this version of Windows.

I can't open or read some files I transferred to my new computer.

If you can't open or read a file that you transferred to your new computer, you might not have installed the program on your new computer yet. Install the program on your new computer and try reopening the file.

Note

  • If you have a program on your old computer that you want to use on your new computer, make sure to install it on your new computer before you run Windows Easy Transfer. This keeps the program settings you transferred from being overwritten when you install the program.

Windows Easy Transfer stops during the transfer.

One of the most common reasons that Windows Easy Transfer might stop during a transfer is because the connection between computers was lost or the connection to the network folder where files and settings are stored was lost. If this happens, check connections between computers or the network status to make sure everything is connected and running properly, and then start the transfer again. Windows Easy Transfer will detect previously transferred files and continue copying the other files you've selected.

The Easy Transfer Cable isn't working properly.

If the Easy Transfer Cable isn't working properly, you can try a few things to fix the problem. Make sure that you have installed the Easy Transfer Cable drivers on your old computer with the CD that is included in the cable package. If you did not do this, close Windows Easy Transfer, insert the CD that came with the Easy Transfer Cable into your old computer, and then follow the instructions on the screen. When this is complete, begin the transfer process again.

USB ports might be another cause of the problem. When Windows Easy Transfer asks you to connect your computers with the Easy Transfer Cable, try plugging the cable into other USB ports on your computers.

I don't have an Easy Transfer Cable.

If you don't have a universal serial bus (USB) Easy Transfer Cable, you can buy one online, from your computer manufacturer, or from an electronics store.

Drives on my old computer don't map to the drives on my new computer.

Drive redirection is only an option if Windows Easy Transfer detects that the drive names on your old and new computers don't match. For example, if you choose to transfer files and settings from the C: and D: drives on your old computer, but your new computer only has a C: drive, then you will be asked to select which drive on your new computer you want to transfer information to.

If both computers have the same drive letters, you will not see this page. Instead, information on each drive on your old computer will be transferred to the respective drives on your new computer. For example, if your old computer has C: and D: drives, then information on those drives will be transferred to the C: and D: drives on your new computer.

If you would like to create new drives or increase drive space on your new computer, do it before starting the transfer.

Some things I chose to transfer were not transferred.

The items that did not get transferred either were not compatible with this version of Windows or might have been detected as known malicious software, which means they were blocked from being transferred to your new computer. You can see a report of what was transferred in Windows Easy Transfer.