When it doesn’t do what it says on the tin
We’ve all been there; it should have been easy, it should have done what it said, you should have been able to leave it to get on with it and be all done and dusted when you get back. But it wasn’t, it didn’t, you couldn’t, and it left a mess behind when it finished. If it finished. Tech can be screamingly uncooperative and leave you hopping, if not actually throwing the whole kit and caboodle out of the window.
Well, having just gone through the most recent of many shifts to new or upgraded computers (this is April 2012 as we speak), and run aground on the rocks of 32 to 64-bit machines, Office components that don’t move over when they’re supposed to, icky tiddly bits of iTunes that make it impossible to either run or uninstall the new version, and the abundance of geek-speak on a myriad forums, I’m resorting to collecting work-around tips I’ve tried and that solved my problem. They may not work for you, so I wish you luck finding something else.
1. Transferring files, folders, and applications from one PC to another
This applies to transfers from a Windows 7 32-bit machine to a Windows 7 64-bit machine.
Windows Easy Transfer This will do a simple transfer of files, folders, and documents. It won’t move your applications (programmes). You can do it over a network but if you have a large amount of material stored and/or your network is not really zippy, it may be better to buy the cable. This may reduce the time WET estimates for the move from days (mine offered 119, at one point) to hours. You may still need to leave the two machines on and linked over-night though. Downside: even though it claims to take Outlook files, it doesn’t.
Orlogix Transfer MyPC This will move most things, but there are some caveats: DON’T be tempted to add your iTunes to the list – you need a different version for a 64-bit machine. DO make sure Bonjour (an Apple helper) isn’t ticked if you’re going from a 32 to 64-bit OS. This little blighter will stop you installing the new iTunes version, and it won’t uninstall because the uninstaller is 32-bit. Don’t take applications such as Diskkeeper or Norton either, even if the software doesn’t make them as incompatible. They will struggle in the new environment so install from fresh when you’re moved. Finally, this software also will not move Outlook, which seems to cling to its old home like a barnacle to a ship’s bottom.
Moving Outlook: I followed the instructions here, and they worked http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/move-outlook-information-to-another-computer-that-has-outlook-2010-installed-HA102544948.aspx. You will need to set up your accounts again, but unless you have dozens, it’s no bother. I had several and it was painless.
Accessing your playlists on a new version of iTunes: What with the iCloud acting as a server and distributing your music, books, and apps to all your devices, this should have been easy but it wasn’t. The new version happily plugged into the music I’d transferred over via WET and TMPC, but couldn’t access my iTunes library, so no playlists. Using iTunes’ own facility, you can get hold of all your purchased material by authorising your new computer (you can have a maximum of 5, not including iPhone, iPod, and iPad) and then going to the store to download all your past purchases. This may take a while so brace yourself for another over-night download session. To get your playlists, go here http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/27244/how-to-transfer-your-itunes-collection-from-one-computer-to-another/ and do as it says. The whole process is likely to take a while because your new iTunes will be syncing with your entire library, and pulling in the tracks it needs for your playlists so that they are stored locally. NO TRACKS, PLAYLISTS, OR iTHINGS ARE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS MOVE. So far.
As a side note, and because nobody tells you this; de-authorising all your computers – necessary if you have 5 already and some of them were decommissioned before you knew you should de-authorise them to make room – doesn’t lose you your library or purchases.