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Save more than Web sites when moving to new PC

You can save quite a bit more than just your favorite Web sites when moving to a new PC. This tip explains your other options.

This tip is an extension to the tip on why you should save your favorite Web sites before changing PCs. You can also save quite a bit more than just your favorites when moving to a new PC (or even joining a PC to a domain you've been already using) or finding your desktop when your domain decides to lose you.

You will need "view all files" for this, but it is still within the user profile directory. The fastest way to get to this folder is to right-click on the start button and choose "Explore." This will open Windows Explorer, leaving you in the "Start Menu" under the currently active user.

Look at the other folders. "Desktop" has all your Desktop icons (that you added), "My Documents" is the default location for your data files, and "Local Settings" contains information such as your Outlook data files and preferences.

In fact, it's a good idea to backup your entire profile directory if moving to a new PC. You might want to clear out your Temporary Internet files first (there can be quite a lot of them).

If you notice your profile directory name shows multiple times (with extra bits after the name), you may find files you thought you lost within those other profiles. Usually, those profiles will have extra characters after the "." such as 'username' (which may also be listed as 'username.domain' and may even have number indicating multiple copies of your profile).

However, before you can do any serious manipulation to your user profile in this manner, you have to be logged in as some other Administrator-equivalent account. Usually, if I have a bunch of the same user profile directories here, I'll rename them all to *.SAV and logon as that user to create a new, blank profile. Then I can go back to the old profile directories and copy over what I need.

Please let us know how useful you find this tip by rating it below! If you have a useful Windows tip, timesaver or workaround to share, submit it to our tip contest and you could win a prize!



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