New PC coming: best migration software?

I finally decided it was time to get some new hardware. I was running an AMD64 eMachines rig from, oh, maybe three or so years ago, and went to to get a new system. I had been running Windows XP on the old system and will have Vista on the new one. I have lots of apps and data files that I would like to transfer over to the new system. I have a 1 TB external drive that has more than enough space to copy the files that I want to keep. Is this enough to ensure a smooth transition, or should I look into specialized software for the migration? If so, any recommendations?

Apps are unlikely to successfully transfer to your new computer. You will simply have to install them on your new computer the same way you did on the old. For files, copying and pasting onto the external drive, and then from the drive to the new computer will work fine. Alternatively, you can physically install your old HD into your new computer. It should mount as a drive, and then you can either copy and paste onto your new HD, or leave the files on the old one.

Good point about installing the old HD on the new rig; I did leave a drive bay open, so that might be just the ticket…

If you will have both computers running at the same time, this might help you:

Ah, that looks handy! Thanks.

I believe you can also use that with an external hard drive, even if you don’t have the two machines networked.