Subscriber Peter Schmidt wrote as he planned his computer upgrade:
Terry, I\’ve enjoyed your computer tips e-mails and website, and have learned from them. I first came to know of you through sweetmarias.com mail list. I\’m in the process of switching to a new computer; from a 7-yr old Gateway w/ Win98 to most likely a new Dell Vostro 400 w/ XP. Do you have any tip sheets on how to make sure I have all my bases covered in the transition, such as setting up new e-mail in a new Outlook, etc. I plan on downloading your security software suggestions, as well as Acronis True Image for backing up. The new machine will have two hard drives, and since I don\’t have that much to store, I\’ll use the 2nd one for back ups. I just burned all my Word docs and address book to a CD. Is there an easy way to get my current programs onto the new comp? If not, I can simply install new copies off the web. What order do you suggest the security programs being downloaded to minimize risk? Thanks in advance for any replies or assistance! Peter
I wrote back to Peter to give him my suggestions.
The best approach is to install your software on the new machine, not try to migrate it from another computer. Even if you’re upgrading an existing computer to the next operating system, your best choice is often to reinstall your programs.
There are some packages designed to migrate programs and data, but they handle a few common software packages only.
More importantly, in Peter’s case, he needs to avoid migrating old Windows 98 settings into Windows XP. Some programs have multiple settings, or different versions of their software and/or drivers, that they will install based on which operating system is in use.
For the installation order on the security programs, see my article Reinstalling Windows XP, which I wrote as part of an answer to a different subscriber.
That article was focused on the specific programs that the reader used, but the order should be obvious. The software mentioned in that are are: Kerio (now Sunbelt Personal Firewall), AVG (anti-virus) and Spysweeper (anti-spyware). My recommendations at the time for those three categories were: Sunbelt Personal Firewall, NOD32 and CounterSpy.
As of August, 2010, my recommendations are now VIPRE Antivirus Premium, which provides antivirus, antispyware and firewall.