Easiest Way To Transfer Files to a New PC?

My wife dropped her laptop (4 years old Toshiba-good machine). The display is gonzo-but everyting else works. What is the easiest way to transfer all of her files to a new PC?
Thanks for your help!

buy a usb housing for her hard drive, install old hard drive into housing.

Plug new external hard drive you have created into new machine.

Do you have WiFi or Ethernet at home? Easiest thing is to connect both computers to the network. You probably have to get onto the laptop and configure the drive so files can be read by other network users. If you have a desktop monitor you can connect it to the laptop long enough to do that.

Better yet, install the hard drive as boot drive in the new machine. :slight_smile:

Actually, under Windows, I’m not sure how well this would work. Unless the new machine was identical in hardware to the old machine, there would be all kinds of update issues.

VMWare Fusion has a feature where you can copy an entire Windows machine into a virtual machine and use it on your Mac, but that’s not quite the same thing.

You could have just said, “I don’t know”, or not posted at all. Migrating to a VM would be a nightmare to someone not well aquainted with such an environment.

use ‘essy file transfer’ in the windows tools. it transfers personal files like mydocs, photos, music as well as personal settings like browser favorites. there is a special cable you can use to transfer directly or you can create a transfer file on an external disk drive. this can take a few hours. then you run easy file transfer on your new machine and it works like a charm. I’ve done this a couple of times and it works really well. in fact, I use easy file transfer every once in a while as a backup. I have not used the cable but have done the EDD and via a network.

Note - Groove files are NOT captured by easy file transfer.

It’s a great tool that’s in windows

Then use this to back up the new PC.

The display being gone is really not that big a problem if you are just going to be moving files–most laptops have a plug for a monitor or television.

This will make using easy file transfer a breeze.

I assumed the point was that, since it can be done for a virtual machine, it can be done for a real one, too. Still, it would probably more difficult than the other methods already provided, as most laptops use proprietary drivers that you would somehow have to get on the boot drive. But, if you bought the same (or extremely similar) replacement laptop, it might be worth a try. Just figure out how to boot via USB.

Easiest - Get an 8 or 16 gig thumbdrive. They’re pretty cheap on sale and they will have lots of utility later. See www.newegg.com for prices. Use an external PC monitor on the damaged Toshiba to make it functional and move whatever files you need to the new machine.

Unless I am missing something, you need a working monitor / screen to set up an external monitor to begin with. If you plug an external monitor or tv into your laptop, its not going to work right away, you need to set up that monitor in windows and extend or switch the desktop to it; which is going to be difficult when you cant see what you are doing.

Same goes for a usb drive; how are you possibly going to transfer files to it if you cant see what you are doing?

You can certainly get a usb hard drive caddy and hook it in to another pc as drachillix said.

More simply why not just install it in another (desktop) computer? For gods sakes just dont install it as a boot drive (why would you even think that?). Most desk top pc’s have room for several drives. Your may need another cable and / or adapter depending on whats in your other PC.

usb hard drive caddys/holders are fantastic. I updated my laptop drive last month. It took maybe 5 minutes to mount the old one in a caddy. I took my time and moved files over as needed.

I’m not sure I’d trust a thumb drive for anything important. They’re fine for stuff saved somewhere else. But, not my archived words docs from college.

I believe most of the recent versions of windows have a feature called “windows easy transfer” which allows all the files and settings to be transfered from one PC running windows to another.

In my experience Windows’ default settings will duplicate the desktop to a second display and all that is required is to use the keyboard Fn-key combination to get the hardware to direct video to the correct output.

In almost all notebooks simply tapping the monitor function key (looks like an outline of a monitor screen) while pressing the function key will cycle through the [notebook screen-external monitor screen- both at once] display output options. You don’t need to fiddle with extending the desktop display over both the notebook screen and an external monitor. In fact this would be the last thing you would want to do in this scenario with a busted notebook screen.

Well ignorance fought.

I actually have a laptop with a broken screen, hooked it up to the tv and then had a wait-a-minute moment as I realized every time I had done it before I had a working screen to operate from. I gave up and took the drive out

I know for next time I guess.

You can buy new screens for some models. It took about 20 minutes to replace the screen. Mine was about $150.

Also, some laptops will switch to the output jack when the lid is closed.