The simplest way to move files from one PC to another is by direct connection. The Plugable USB-EASY-TRAN easy transfer cable allows you to connect two PCs via their USB ports and achieve data transfer rates between the two computers at USB 2.0 speeds (USB 2.0 required on both ends). Because the cable is six feet in length, you won’t have to squeeze the computers into a small space to connect them.
The power of this incredibly simple piece of hardware is maximized by two software packages.
- Microsoft’s Windows Easy Transfer software is built in to Windows 7 and Windows 8 Consumer Preview and is available as a free download for Windows XP (SP2 or higher required) and for Windows Vista. It provides a step-by-step interface for migrating Windows user account settings and files from an old PC to a new one.
- Plugable’s cable comes specially with a free license for Bravura Easy Computer Sync (a $19.95 retail value on its own), which enables drag-and-drop file transfer between two computers connected by the cable–a must-have tool for data management in non-networked environments. Even with a network, you can gain efficiency and security sharing data directly via the cable rather than by moving files to and from a network- or cloud-based drive.
The rest of this article focuses on when and how to use each of these two software packages.
Using Microsft Windows Easy Transfer
You’re thinking about buying a new Windows PC, but you’re daunted by the thought of transferring all your documents, photos, and Windows account settings from your trusted old PC. Have no fear. With Plugable’s easy transfer cable and Microsoft’s Windows Easy Transfer software, you can migrate
- from a Windows XP SP2 (or higher) or Windows Vista PC to a Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC,
- from one Windows 7 PC to another,
- from a Windows 7 PC to a Windows 8 PC, or
- from one Windows 8 PC to another.
Here’s how to do it.
1.Before getting started with the cable, you need to install the latest drivers for the older PC if it is running Windows XP or Vista. Go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/windows-easy-transfer and download the drivers for your edition of XP or Vista.
If both PCs are running Windows 7 or later, you can skip to step No. 2.
2. Plug the easy transfer cable into a free USB port on each of the PCs (make it a USB 2.0 port if possible for the best connection speeds). Windows will attempt to recognize the cable. If you experience any errors at this point, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. If all goes properly, move on to the next step.
3. Now you need to open Microsoft’s Windows Easy Transfer software.
If you’re running Windows XP SP2 (or higher) or Windows Vista, an autorun option will give you the opportunity to launch the Windows Easy Transfer software if it’s installed. If it’s not, you’ll install it on the PC in a later step.
If you’re running Windows 7, Microsoft’s Windows Easy Transfer will open on screen when an easy transfer cable is plugged in:
If you’re running the Windows 8 beta, you’ll need to run a search on your PC for Windows Easy Transfer to launch it.
Search is available at the top of the pop-out menu that’s accessible from the lower right corner of the Windows 8 screen.
Within the search box, just type “Windows Easy Transfer”; launch Windows Easy Transfer with the icon that appears on the left.
4. On the new PC, you’ll select whether this is the new or old computer. Choose new and continue.
5. On the new computer, you’ll be asked if you’re going to need to install Windows Easy Transfer on the old computer. You should already have addresed this in step No. 1, so select the appropriate answer from “I already installed it” or “My old computer is running Windows 7.”
6. On the old computer, make sure Windows Easy Transfer is running and select that it is the old computer.
7. At this stage, the Windows Easy Transfer software will connect the computers.
From this point forward, you will make all your decisions on the new computer.
8. On the new PC, the Windows Easy Transfer software lets you choose what you want to pull from the old computer and how you want the synchronization to occur.
The “Customize” option lets you select which file folders and settings to synchronize on to the new PC.
Choosing “Advanced” from this menu allows you to select specific files to transfer rather than the whole folder.
Back in the main window, the “Advanced Options…” link lets you decide whether to pull the whole user account associated with the files and settings from the old PC to the new PC or to merge it into an account already on the new PC.
From the “Map drives” tab in this window you can determine where on the new PC the files will be transferred if you don’t want them to be placed in the same file path as they had on the old PC.
9. Once you decide what you want to copy from the old computer to the new computer, choose “Transfer” and watch the progress as the data is migrated. When it’s finished, you’ll get the chance to see what was transferred.
Another useful option that this final window offers is to see what programs were installed on your old PC that you might want to install on your new PC.
This is helpful since the Windows Easy Transfer software moves documents and account settings but not your installed apps. Now you can see what you might need to re-install on your new PC to match your old PC’s functionality.
10. You now can close the Windows Easy Transfer software on both computers and disconnect the easy transfer cable.
Using Bravura Easy Computer Sync
The first scenario involved a common requirement when setting up a new PC. But a lot of times you simply need an easy way to share files between two computers on an ongoing basis.
For those purposes, you’ll want to install and use the Bravura Easy Computer Sync software that’s made specially available to you at no extra charge once you buy a Plugable easy transfer cable.
You can the Bravura software for moving any files between two PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 in any combination.
It’s easy to get started with Bravura Easy Computer sync. After your easy transfer cable purchase, you will receive an e-mail from Plugable similar to the one below (customized to your order) that tells you how to download and install the Bravura software.
Thanks for your purchase of the Plugable USB 2.0 Easy Transfer Cable!
In addition to compatibility with Microsoft’s built-in Windows Easy Transfer software, this cable also includes a full license to Bravura’s Easy Computer Sync application ($19.95 value), which adds drag and drop and other additional features.
You can download the latest version at http://www.bravurasoftware.com/easy-computer-sync/
This download also includes and installs the latest versions of Microsoft’s drivers (required on XP and Vista).
Your Bravura Easy Computer Sync product key is XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX
Please enter this key when requested by Bravura’s software.
This product key is uniquely matched to this Amazon order number, and is licensed for use with this cable on multiple machines.
1. You will need to install the Bravura software on all computers where you want to use it and then register it with the license key you received from us via e-mail (use the same key on all computers). The software works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
2. Once the software is installed, connect the two computers with the easy transfer cable.
Close Microsoft’s Windows Easy Transfer software if it comes up automatically once the cable is attached. The Bravura software will get confused if Windows Easy Transfer is open on either end of the connection.
3. To launch the Bravura software, look for the “Easy Computer Sync” folder in the Start Menu (for Windows XP, Vista, or 7) or its icon on the Desktop (if you chose to have a shortcut put there during product installation). In Windows 8, there will be a new tile on your desktop for Easy Computer Sync.
Remember to launch the software on both computers that will be involved with the sync.
4. You’ll click “Next” on some introductory screens.
5. When you come to a screen with default set of folders to sync, you’re almost there. This screen offers a repeat of the basic Windows Easy Transfer functionality. Ignore it in favor of using Bravura’s drag-and-drop file transfer between the connected PCs.
To do so, click the “Drag & Drop Files” button.
6. You’ll switch to a new UI that shows a traditional looking file manager for both computers.
You now can traverse the file system on either computer and move or copy files between the two by drag and drop or via the cut/copy/paste commands. To see the files associated with your Windows user account (e.g., Documents, Pictures, Music, etc.) in the Documents and Settings folder, you will need to select the options to Show System Folders and Show Hidden Files. Be careful with the power of this interface. Just as when you’re in Windows Explorer, don’t move or remove any files if you don’t know what they do.
If You Need Help
We’ve tried to cover the basics of how you can make the most of your Plugable USB-EASY-TRAN easy transfer cable in conjunction with Windows Easy Transfer (migrating Windows account files and settings from an old to a new PC) and Bravura Easy Computer Sync (general file transfer between two computers). But we’re always here to help with your specific questions and use cases.
Feel free to comment here or write us at email@example.com.