Getting data off old laptop

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jtpa1221

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Oct 24, 2007
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Probably a rookie question, not sure if in right category, but appreciate any help or resources!:)

SITUATION: Screen on old Dell Inspiron laptop pooped out, not going to fix.Laptop still turns on, & I can hear things working when I power it on, but nothing on the screen. Have replaced it with a Lenovo laptop, soon to be arriving. Was told to get Windows XP on it to facilitate the transfer, can upgrade later if necessary.

QUESTION: How do I get the data fom my old laptop to the new, if the screen on the old is not working, but the computer seems to be? I went to the Apple store & they copied the old HD to a backup HD, but some have told me I might be able to get it right off my old laptop. What can I bring from my old HD...Files? programs? Will I need to re-install programs like Microsoft Office or Itunes?

Looking to do this for $0 or close to it. Most of the stuff I have found on the web pertains to dead computers or ones that are still working (not in-between like my old one). To do Files & Settings Transfer Wizard, I think both PC's have to be working...? Any resources or tips are really appreciated.:)
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2007
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You can hook your Dell up to an external monitor if you have a VGA port on your laptop(Dell).
 

jtpa1221

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Oct 24, 2007
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Already tried hooking it to a friend's monitor 8-( Didn't work. I had consistently had trouble during grad school trying to hook it to projectors for ppt presentations. about 3 months before the scren completely died, I would have episodes where, if I moved the computer a certain way, the screen woud black out, and I woud have to power down and restart, and the screen would come back. Then, finally *sigh* it did not come back. No knock against Dells...that laptop took a lot of abuse.
 

DoubleHelix

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It's not gonna happen for free.
The problem certainly doesn't sound like the display espeically since you said it took a lot of abuse. I doubt it's booting.
You'll have to take the hard drive out and connect it to another computer and then copy your data files. Programs have to be reinstalled from original disks and installation executables. You can't copy any of this over.
 

Byteman

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Hi,

Reinstall any needed programs on the new Lenovo.

You can't just copy over installed programs, especially those like Office...you have to save your documents and bring them back into your My Documents folder on the new computer. You may find that you don't have access to the files...in that case, you can take ownership of those folders and files, by following this:

http://www.winxptutor.com/ownership.htm

Don't simply copy the My Documents folder> copy the documents to a folder created, and don't copy the other system folders, like My Pictures, My Music, copy the files or user created folders in them. That way, you won't accidentally overwrite your own folders on the new Lenovo.


I went to the Apple store & they copied the old HD to a backup HD


I think the easiest thing to do would be to use the backup drive, and copy off what you need. You did mean, your backup drive, right? If not, have them burn the files you need to CDs....you don't need the entire copy of the old drive, you won't be starting up from it.



They could also have just made you some CDs to copy files back from, I actually prefer that method.

You do not need any part of Windows, except maybe Outlook or Outlook Express address book if you used that, and the backup of your email, copy your Favorites if you need them, and any other data you created, like music, iTunes music, playlists....there is quite a bit, but how would we know?

Leave the backup drive intact, in other words, don't Cut or Move the files.....Copy them. This way, you have the originals intact in case you goof or forget something and can go back and rescue them.

You may have to reset some files from Read Only to Read/Write, I am not sure.
 

jtpa1221

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Oct 24, 2007
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Hmmm...I took my old laptop to the Apple store (where they made endless jokes), and a friend said he "copied" the hard drive, and gave me the external hard drive to hold onto. I did ask about making CD's, but they were super busy so it was easier to just copy the thing.

I DO need to retrieve mucho files...I used Microsoft Outlook quite extensively, sync'ing it with my PDA. I also had many Office, photo, Adobe files, as well as a big itunes library. Would like to get as much of the stuff as I can.

Thanks for your help. I appreciate any resources you can offer. I realize this is a rookie question for some of you more experienced users, but even after becoming pretty familiar with many software programs, I've never had to do this before!
 

Byteman

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Hi, Very nice explanation! You may find it best to recruit a friend or relative who has used CD burning software to do what you want.


Your new machine should have at least a CD burner drive, or even a DVD burner, it just does not pay to get a computer without one these days, and just about any new one will have this type of drive.



It should also include a preinstalled disk burning program, something like Ahead's Nero.... you may find it best to get someone to help you locally, to make the process go smoothly.

The hardest part is finding all the data you want to copy over.

If there was more than one user account, you will have to check them all...luckily, these folders are named for the users, so it's fairly easy to keep track, but each will have C:\Documents and Settings\

You have the option to create Data, Music, Video disks...you will be making Data CDs, or if DVD> a mixed disk.

iTunes: You will have to install iTunes to your Lenovo, if you had an account to buy music from the Apple store, you will have to have a new account on the Lenovo...I don't know too much about accounts, I just use iTunes itself....

I found it fairly easy to use the iTunes Backup to CD utility, but, in your case you will not have any music to burn...you will have to first burn whatever files you can rescue from the external drive. They should be in the iTunes folder...I will post a good link showing the step by steps to get your Library burned to disks. (You can of course, copy the files directly from the external drive it you wish).

You will need to import the music back into iTunes from the external drive or from CDs. This is important, because I don't think either you made or the techs made an iTunes backup, which is slightly different than just copying the folders which contain the music.

You will have to wade through this guide and pick out what is relevant to what you are doing: Restoring iTunes music on a new computer

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/tutorials/

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/ar...te-guide-to-backing-up-ipod-and-itunes-music/

It's the most fun thing I've ever done! I'm including all the Tutorials, in case you need something there.

Since you will be most likely using CDs or DVDs at some point> might as well have some help with media, types of and quality.


It gives you a rock solid backup on something that does not depend on starting up> CDs used can be a very good grade of the archival type, that last much longer, but cost around .26 cents apiece, compared to the cheaper everyday type that runs .10 cents.

Practice with the cheaper, then make good quality ones when you get things working correctly. You won't regret making more than one copy, either.

Here is a link to read about the quality of disk media, where to get good disks, and what brand:

http://adterrasperaspera.com/blog/2006/10/30/how-to-choose-cddvd-archival-media/

If the entire hard drive is backed up on the external drive,

you can simply browse using Windows Explorer and go through the folders to get items you need to copy to the new machine's hard drive.

You will have to read up on using Outlook's how to on moving your address book and saved email folders....we do have some great folks here with lots of experience with doing that, I use only OE, but I am good at finding places for you to follow step by step guides, in case you need anything. I will post what I can.

If you had a digital camera: You probably used their software to arrange your saved pics or created albums. Pics may be in standard format if standing alone in the typical named folders like 2006-07-04, etc....those you can simply copy. If they are in albums, you have the option of grabbing just the photos or the album, but you may have to read the Help section for whichever particular program you used to create the albums!

Music other than iTunes> grab the MP3's and other music files. Rember what I posted about moving the music (or video) files into folders that you create> these will be just added to My Pictures, My Music, or whereever you choose....

For Windows Media Player or other media players that have Playlists...and if you used lists...you will again have to study up on getting those imported into the new players. It's not difficult, but if you did use Playlists, you don't want to lose them!

Favorites: Grab the whole bookmark.htm folder and copy it to the desktop or someplace you know where it is....You then use the Internet Explorer File>Import and Export wizard to move the old bookmark.htm to Favorites.... it will ask if you want to Add them, or overwrite> I would choose Add and then later, delete anything you see that is not needed. You will get duplicates of some things that come standard in Favorites, and you do not want to overwrite any IBM links to Support, Help, etc.

Documents: You may need to make sure that your new machine has Office.... or something that will work with Office files.

The new version should work fine with older documents. You may need to Update the new copy of Office though. If you used Excel, PowerPoint, some types of Office installs, Basic edition do not come with those things....just a warning. There are standalone versions available.

Messenger type programs: Some keep the contacts list online, some don't. AIM does, MSN I think does not, but that may have changed.

Some can import the contacts from other Messenger programs. Check in the Help or Support forums or links for each to make sure.


MS Outlook>>> Depending on your old version>>>

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/276511

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/287070

http://www.terryscomputertips.com/computers/moving-outlook-express-files-to-a-new-computer.php

http://www.iopus.com/guides/oe-backup.htm

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Email-3244/Outlook-Express-transferring-new.htm

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Windows-XP-3282/Transferring-files-new-computer-1.htm

http://osdir.com/ml/mail.outlook.user/2005-11/msg00306.html

https://www.answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=244846

There are thousands of posts about Outlook.


Check on what version of MS Office you are getting, and make sure it has what you need.

Don't do much on the Internet until you get some protection installed..... the new machine should come with an installed antivirus and may have some antispyware apps, or a good all in one security suite, that's becoming common.

Get it updated before you do much on the Net.

Adobe, I am not at all familiar with, but they do have decent support forums for their Premium as well as free programs:

http://www.adobe.com/support/forums/

I'll be around if you need to ask anything, feel free.
 
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