Copying programs to new computer questions

Got new laptop with Win XP Pro, and have to start moving files from my desktop computer (with Win98SE) and re-installing other programs.

Wondering about Firefox, Thunderbird, Netscape, etc. Do I have to install them again because of the Registry content, or could I just copy the folders and sub-folders from desktop to the laptop?

If I do have to install them again, can I then copy the main folders (or some files), so can preserve the tweaks, extensions, bookmarks, etc?

Yes, install them from scratch, especialyl since they are coming from a different OS.

As for old bookmarks, emails, etc…, there should just be folders marked as such, and those can be copied easily.

You can install them on the new computer and THEN copy over the data folders – but only for some programs. Different software packages store user content in different places. Modern, well-behaved programs store the user stuff separately from the program files. Firefox, for example, stores all user profile information in %HOMEPATH%\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox. Some others put their stuff in My Documents. Yet others leave settings solely in the Registry. So ya really just gotta fiddle with the programs one by one.

If you’re lucky, the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard (comes with Windows XP) will help you move some files and settings over. It won’t catch everything, though.

There might also be commercial programs designed to help you move from one computer to another.