SMBs

Transwiz makes replacing computers much easier

Transwiz can save SMB techs a lot of time and money by making a common process much easier.

A small business has the computing needs of a larger company but not nearly the budget to devote to outside consultants, new computers, or hiring a full-time IT person. Tools exist to help small businesses save money by decreasing the time they spend with outside consultants.

The tool

Transwiz is a tool that does exactly that-- save you time and money by making a common process a whole lot easier. You can download Transwiz at https://www.forensit.com/downloads.html. It comes in two editions, personal and corporate. The corporate edition adds some features around automation with command line parameters and scripting while the personal edition is free for home use and lacks the automation features mentioned.

What it does

Transwiz, created by ForensiT, allows you to take your settings, your desktop, your documents and move them to another computer. The tool takes all the files in your user profile directory and packages them up in a transfer zip file for transportation to another computer or shared storage location. It's totally GUI-based and extremely easy to use. When moving your transfer file to the new computer, Transwiz will even create the new user account, rename the computer if needed, and join the computer to your domain in one step.

You can find the Transwiz user guide details all the information needed to get you up and running (though I doubt that you'll even need it because it's so easy). Below you will find a short guide on how to get up and running with Transwiz.

When you run the downloaded program you're prompted with two different options, whether to move data to another computer or to move data to this computer. For the purposes of this tutorial, select the top option as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

On the second screen you will select which user profile you want to move. Select it and click the next button. Figure B shows where you want to specify where to save the transfer.zip file.

Figure B

Usually this can be a removable flash drive or a network share location. For demonstration purposes I have selected the desktop. Click the Next button. Ensure that the location has enough space to hold the contents of your user profile.

On the next screen, shown in Figure C, you can encrypt the transfer.zip file with a password if needed. Leave it blank and click the OK button if you don't need one.

Figure C

After this, the process of zipping up your user profile will start. This may take a long time depending on the size of your user profile. If, at any time throughout the packaging process, Transwiz finds a file that is actively being used you will be prompted with a "Error Packing File:" error, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

For the most part you can ignore these. In my example, the transfer.zip file itself is errored on because Transwiz itself is writing to it. If you have too many of these errors, I suggest rebooting into safe mode to minimize the number of active applications, thus reducing the amount of locked/active files.

When the process is complete, you'll see screen shown in Figure E.

Click Finish to close out the program. Your transfer.zip file should be wherever you saved it in the previous steps. Now you need to reverse the process and bring the data to the new computer.

Un-packaging on the new computer

This process starts out the same way as the packaging does, except, of course, you select the second option on the first screen, as shown in Figure F. Then click Next.

Figure F

In the next box, you will specify where you have saved the transfer.zip file you created earlier (see Figure G).

Figure G

Click Next after you've browsed out to the location of the transfer.zip file.

You'll see the screen shown in Figure H. Enter the domain you would like to join and type in the destination account name.

Figure H

After you enter the possible domain name and account name, the process will start un-packaging that transfer.zip file to the new computer.  You can watch as all the user profile folders get populated and put into the correct position. Click Next when the process has finished. You have successfully moved over all of your user profile data from one computer to another with a simple, time-saving tool. I hope you find this tool helpful.

2 comments
liamrh
liamrh

I'd like to know how it gets around many of the permission errors that crop up with the documents directory and other folders that have exclusive rights set on them, even against the admin.

mark1408
mark1408

...such as the Files & Settings Transfer Wizard in XP or the Easy Transfer tool in Windows 7?

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