The good news is that copying some settings from one PC to another is a problem that has been addressed in a variety of ways depending on circumstances.
- End Users. To have an end user copy profile information from their old PC to a new PC requires something like Laplink. We have not used it and can’t vouch for it but it looks like it should do the job.
- Small Business. Small business owners are almost in the same boat as end users. The upside is that there are 3rd-party products that move user settings from one PC to another. The key question is whether you have an IT technician available. If you don’t, then our advice is to get one. If you do have one, then you can use a variety of methods, the best results arising from the use of an imaging product and a profile transfer tool. “Disk Imaging” tools are available from a variety of vendors, just Google it. Then use a persona migration tool like ours or the one from Ivanti.
- Medium Enterprise. Enterprises or small agencies with IT staff surprisingly have not used persona migration tools but they really should. And they are not all the same. One situation we saw had one free tool taking five hours to copy a users profile and documents from one system to another on a fiber optic network. We saw our tool perform the exact same task in forty two minutes.
- Large Enterprises. Large enterprises all ready use imaging and have specialized enterprise software to manage their desktops. Where they can make more progress is in getting away from the difficult and uneven results they get with poor free tools to move settings. We saw data that showed that it was less expensive to purchase a license to a commercial grade profile copy tool like Tranxition, including the license fee, than it was to “go commando” with the unwieldy free tools. The best results are obtained when integrating these tools into management suites like Microsoft SCCM, LanDesk, Ivanti, and KACE appliances. Usually it can be done with reasonable scripting. The results speak for themselves.
Whatever you decide to do, bear in mind that this is a solvable problem if one sticks to first principles: It should be easy to deploy. It should work the same way every time. It should do the whole thing in a reasonable number of steps. It should not fail, though if it does there should be someone you can call or email to help you figure it out. It should be reasonably priced. If those are your first principles, then you can’t lose.