PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant

PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant

Average User Rating:
3.6
out of 7 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
5.0
File Size:
61.24MB
Date Added:
May 06, 2010
Price:
Free to try (1-upgrade trial); $29.95 to buy (Buy it now)
Operating Systems:
Windows XP/Vista/7
Total Downloads:
15,756
Downloads Last Week:
32
Product ranking:
Additional Requirements:
Not available

Editors' review

Editors' take: One of the biggest frustrations for most people upgrading their systems to Windows 7 is that what Microsoft calls a "custom upgrade" is nothing less than a full system install. Some Windows Vista users won't have to reinstall their programs after upgrading, but many will and all Windows XP users will, too. Here's where LapLink's PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant steps in.

For $30, LapLink will pack up your programs, settings, and data, store them as you upgrade to Windows 7, and then reinstall them using its proprietary VAN file format. The process is simple, says LapLink: install and run the upgrade assistant, upgrade to Windows 7, then reinstall PCmover and restore your programs and settings.

While that's the gist of the process, it's not quite as simple. Reading LapLink's Quick Start PDF guide (PDF download) is a must. PCmover requires 200 MB of hard disk space in addition to the 16 GB that Windows 7 will need, and you'll probably have to reboot your computer. If you don't regularly run your antivirus program, you'll need to do that, and it's a good idea to run your defragger as well. Users will need to turn off their screensavers and power management options should all be set to Never. If the computer hibernates or goes to sleep during the upgrade, it will damage the process.

The guide recommends using the Windows Task Scheduler to make sure that all scheduled tasks and programs have been disabled, and warns that you should disable your security programs. If you're not comfortable performing this kind of maintenance on your computer, PCmover is definitely not for you. LapLink also advises that when you run the program, you should choose to not migrate your security app, your media jukebox, or your desktop search utility.

When you run PCmover, the first screen you'll see will ask you to check for updates. The next one will ask you to identify the computer as either Old, for XP or Vista, or New, for after you've installed Windows 7. The migration type should be Full, and then you'll be asked for the serial number. From here, subsequent screens let you choose which programs, settings, user account info, drives, and files you wish to migrate. There's a reasonable level of customization here, allowing you to choose specific folders, files, and file types to exclude.

The program will then create a "moving journal" followed by a "moving van," each requiring user prompting. The VAN creation process is lengthy, around 45 minutes on my computer, but unloading it takes even longer. If you don't memorize, print, or write down the instructions before upgrading, the first thing you'll need to do after installing Windows 7 is to install a PDF reader. It would've been simpler if LapLink had just HTMLified the PDF.

I used LapLink over the weekend to ease the upgrade process on a Lenovo 3000 N100 with a 500GB hard drive and 3GB of RAM from Windows XP Pro to Windows 7 Pro, and I found the process to be slow with some minor problems. Besides the security and media programs that you need to reinstall, I found that other programs that rely on processes that load at startup will also require fiddling. My backup program's scheduler broke, for example, as did my VPN client and a couple of Firefox extensions.

After installing Windows 7, you'll need to reinstall PCmover, and when you start it again you'll need to identify the computer as New and then point the program to the "moving van" file. This was all fairly simple, and here's where I encountered the biggest problem. The Estimated Time Remaining progress bar fluttered between four and nine minutes, and it did this for nearly three hours. Grossly inaccurate, the program nevertheless transferred most programs and data satisfactorily.

Despite the successful transfer, I'm hesitant to recommend PCmover to newer users or those who aren't familiar with involved program settings and adjustments. For large hard drives, it may be faster to save the $30 and the settings tweaking adventure in exchange for simply reinstalling your old programs and then using Ninite and the Windows Easy Transfer to restore your settings and files.

At the time of writing, LapLink was offering a 33 percent off deal on PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant, bringing the cost down to $20.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    3.6

    out of 7 votes

    • 5 star: 2
    • 4 star: 3
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 1
  • Current Version:

    2.0

    out of 1 votes

    • 5 star: 0
    • 4 star: 0
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

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    Results 1-1 of 1

  • 4 stars

    "Worked VERY well for WinXP to Win7 migration"

    July 28, 2012   |   By bob-atkins

    Version: PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant 6.0

    Pros

    Straight forward installation
    Good step-by-step instructions
    Packed up everything without difficulty on a VERY large system with >100 programs and applications.
    Unpacked everything without any problem.
    Is very efficient - doesn't copy things that it can move but gives you the option to do so.

    Cons

    Crash (BoD) after reboot that was likely caused by the restoration of a 32 bit remote viewer app, Netopia Timbuktu. I was able to recover by booting the Last Known Good configuration - whew!
    Moved pictures from one of the user's accounts into the Administrator's account for some unknown reason.

    Summary

    Overall, I'm pretty impressed with how well PC Mover worked. I have a true acid test system with over 100 installed programs and applications ranging from Win 2K and unregistered CAD programs to numerous installed versions of the same program. I have a huge number of files and several users defined on the system. I have remote viewing applications, scanner, webcam, fancy Logitech keyboard and mouse, huge sets of bookmarks - could go on.

    I was dreading the upgrade process to Win 7 for months. PC Mover did an excellent job overall. The crash that I refer to above was most likely due to the loading of a 32 bit remote viewing package once known as Netopia, Timbuktu which was a 10 year old version of the software dating back to Win2K days. Thankfully the Win 7 'Boot Last Known Good configuration' worked as I had not yet configure System Restore points.

    I would highly recommend creating a system restore point BEFORE unpacking the PC Mover VAN file just in case something gets restored that causes your new system to choke and crash. A Restore Point will give you more flexibility for recovery than just the plain old "Last known config" boot option.

    I am impressed with how well PC Mover handled the huge task. All of the installed software under Win XP. Everything was moved instead of copied as one would expect for an in place move however, at the time of unpacking the VAN file, you have the option to select whether you want to move or copy the files to their new locations.

    All of the installed software shows up correctly under Win 7. All of the various custom registry entries that were made also showed up in Win 7. PC Mover made recommendation for what not to move but left the option for you to move them if you wanted to take the chance.

    The 'packing' process was relatively fast considering how much there was to pack up. I was expecting the moving 'van' file to be very large (many Gigs) however, instead the file was quite small (about 12M) so it only contained the file locations and registry entries and not the actually file data. Very efficient.

    I was able to run several packing sessions that created multiple moving van files that I put in different places just to see how the program worked. Each packing session took about 20 minutes. I saved my final moving van file in 3 different locations just to make sure.

    The one significant glitch was that all of the pictures from one of the user accounts got moved into the Administrator's account on the Win 7 machine. Very puzzling failure since *everything* else was moved correctly. I can see how this could cause quite a problem to someone who isn't capable of accessing the Admin account to change settings or provide access the Pictures folder under the admin account on the new Win 7 machine. I was able to move the folders over myself so it wasn't a huge problem. All I had to do was drag and drop the folders from the Admin's Pictures folder back into the user's picture folder and the problem was solved.

    I would definitely recommend this program!

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