Windows XP comes with the File And Settings Transfer Wizard, a tool designed to aid you in migrating to the new operating system. However, this wizard isn’t the only migration tool on the block. If you have an Iomega Zip, Jaz, or Peerless Drive, you can download Iomega’s free Active Disk-powered Windows XP Moving Tool and migrate all your important files and settings from an older system to a new Windows XP installation in as few as two steps. I’ll introduce you to the Windows XP Moving Tool and explain how it works with an Iomega drive. I’ll also walk you through a step-by-step example migration procedure.

Downloading the Moving Tool
The first step in the process is to download the Windows XP Moving Tool. The download is a 2.5-MB executable file that runs on Windows 9x, Me, 2000, and XP. The download is so small because there’s very little original code in the Moving Tool. What you’re actually downloading is a compressed file that contains a Setup program that merges an Iomega code segment with the Windows XP File And Settings Transfer Wizard. The proprietary Iomega code makes the Windows XP File And Settings Transfer Wizard Iomega-aware. This means that the wizard not only recognizes Iomega drives but will also run from an Iomega drive.

After you download the file, double-click on the executable file (READY_TO_MOVE.EXE) to begin the installation. Although the setup process doesn’t tell you so, you must have a blank Zip disk in your Iomega drive. Also, as a part of the installation process, you’ll be asked to insert your Windows XP installation CD. After you insert your CD, the installation process will copy some files from the Windows XP CD to the Zip disk. When the procedure completes, the Setup program will eject the Zip disk and inform you that the installation has completed.

Copying files and settings
When the file extraction completes, the utility will place four files onto your Zip disk. One of these files is a SETUP.EXE file, which you should run. Upon running SETUP.EXE, your antivirus software may see the operation as the execution of a malicious script. In my case, I was running Norton Antivirus 2002 and had to manually authorize the script. After getting past the antivirus software, Setup will launch the File And Settings Transfer Wizard.

The wizard will begin by displaying an introductory screen, which you can bypass by clicking Next. The next screen will ask whether this is the old PC or the new PC. Tell the wizard that this is the old computer and click Next.

The wizard will ask which transfer method you want to use to move the files and settings from the old PC to the new one. Your choices are a Direct Cable Connection, a Home Or Small Office Network, a Floppy Drive Or Other Removable Media, or Other (for example, a removable drive or a network drive). Because we are transferring the files and settings to the Iomega drive, select the option for Floppy Drive Or Other Removable Media. Windows will activate the corresponding drop-down list of removable media. Select your Iomega drive from the list and click Next to continue.

The following screen will allow you to select what you want to transfer from the old PC to the new one. You can select Files Only, Settings Only, or Both Files And Settings with the click of a radio button. As you make your selection, a list on the right side of the screen will detail what you will be transferring by selecting that setting, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

When you click Next, the wizard will begin compressing the files and/or settings that you’ve chosen. You’ll see a summary of how many floppies or Zip disks the process will take. The summary will also tell you to insert the first disk into the drive. Since you’re already working from a nearly blank Zip disk, you can ignore the message and just click OK to begin the copy process. When the copy process completes, you’ll see a summary screen. Click Finish to close the wizard.

Transferring the files and settings
After you have a compressed copy of your files and/or settings, it’s time to copy them to your new PC. Before doing so, you must install Windows XP onto the new PC. Since you’ll be transferring all of the files and settings from another PC, a generic installation is fine.

Once the new computer is running XP and can read the media that you created earlier, insert the first Zip disk in the series and run the FASTWIZ.EXE file. The Setup program will launch the now familiar File And Settings Transfer Wizard. Again, click Next to bypass the introduction screen.

At this point, you’ll see the same screen that you saw earlier, asking you whether this is the new computer or the old computer. Select the New Computer option and click Next. You’ll see a screen similar to the one shown in Figure B, telling you that you need to have a Wizard Disk before continuing. Select the option that says I Don’t Need The Wizard Disk… and click Next.

Figure B

The next screen will ask whether you want to transfer the files via Direct Cable Connection, Floppy Drive Or Removable Media, or Other Method. Again, select the Floppy Drive Or Removable Media option and select your Iomega drive from the list of available removable media. When you click Next, you’ll be prompted to insert the first disk in the series. Since you’re already working off the first disk in the series, ignore the message and click OK to begin the transfer process.

The File And Settings Transfer Wizard will begin copying files and settings from the Iomega disk to the new computer. Settings will be applied to the new machine as they’re copied. When the process completes, you’ll see a summary screen. As you can see in Figure C, this screen will inform you of anything that didn’t transfer correctly and will tell you what you need to do about it.

Figure C

When you click Finish, you’ll either see a message stating that you need to log off or reboot for the changes to take effect. The message that you receive depends on what you’ve copied. If you’re asked to reboot the system, it’s possible that you may also be prompted to reactivate Windows.

Moving on
Now that you know you can use Iomega’s Moving Tool to migrate to a new Windows XP workstation, the need to use XP’s Files And Settings Transfer Wizard is diminished. If you don’t have an Iomega drive to work with, check out this tip on using the wizard to move your files.