Laplink's PCmover product allows you to transfer settings, files, and applications from one machine to another, including moving up in versions.
Note: This review was performed based on a review copy of the software provided by the vendor.
- Company: Laplink Software, Inc.
- Product: PCmover Professional Edition
- Requirements: 200MB disk space, Windows 2000 and up
- Price: $59.95 (Professional Edition), $39.95 (Home Edition)
- Additional Information: Product Web site
Who's it for?
PCmover is for anyone looking for an easier way to move their old PC configurations and user settings to a new PC. There is also an Enterprise Edition for IT departments that need features like move templates and centralized control.
What problems does it solve?
Moving from one PC to another is a huge amount of hassle. It takes anywhere from a few hours to a day or two, and there is a good possibility of losing data along the way, especially for apps that bury files in nonobvious locations.
- Price: The price is great, considering the time you would spend doing this work yourself.
- Documentation: The "Quick Start" guide is great and makes it easy for even a less-savvy user to do a move.
- Options: There are a good number of different ways to perform the move (I tested over the network), including USB drives and a special transfer cable. You can specify a lot of different customizations for the transfer as well.
- Ease of use: While it is not the simplest application I have ever used, it is very easy to use considering what it does.
What's wrong?Errors hold the transfer up: In my testing, some minor errors needed to be acknowledged before the move could proceed, even though I had elected to be notified when it was done and thought it was in a "walk away and take a nap" mode.
Bottom line for business
Laplink has been in the business of connecting PCs together for transfers ever since I can remember. Their newest version of their PCmover product builds on this experience to create a great package for businesses and home users alike.
Doing a PC move is fraught with danger. I know from personal experience what can happen when you miss a critical file or setting during a move, especially an in-place upgrade. And that is really easy, when applications like Outlook and Outlook Express hide their data in unusual places! After the move has been completed, PCmover runs a startup app manager to let you choose what transferred apps from the old PC should be allowed to start at boot and login. That's a welcome feature indeed!
PCmover covers a lot of different scenarios. As long as the new computer does not have an older OS than the original one and you have a way of getting the data over (USB, disks, cable, network, and in-place upgrades), the move can be done.
I was impressed with some of its configuration choices, like being able to omit certain users or map them to new profiles. I loved the option to send me an email when the move was complete, giving busy IT pros the ability to start a move and do something else, but not waste any time with it sitting there finished.
For larger IT organizations, Laplink offers an Enterprise Edition, which adds centralized management and the creation of templates to allow you to standardize the migrations. Even if you use PCmover only once, the $59.95 list price for the Professional Edition is a bargain compared to the value of the time it saves.
Have you been putting off the move from XP to Windows 7 because of the anticipated hassle? Do you think Laplink's PCmover can help you with migration? Do you prefer a different way?
Justin James is an OutSystems MVP, architect, and developer with expertise in SaaS applications and enterprise applications.