Backstage Quick Tip #12: Transfer Files and Settings

by Team Sony 07/07/2010

Editors Note: Backstage Technicians are here to help and in this ongoing series, they’ll offer me their favorite tips and provide answers to some of the most common service related questions they hear at both the call center and in Sony Style Stores.

Have you just purchased a new VAIO® PC?  Have an old PC that still has a lot of meticulously crafted personal settings, internet bookmarks, photos, music, etc. that you’d like to have on your new primary VAIO PC?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you may like to know there’s any easy way to capture all your favorite files and settings on your old PC running Windows® 7, Windows Vista® or even XP and transfer them to your primary or new VAIO running Windows 7.  This quick tip will review just how you do it and walk you through the simple process, step-by-step.

Before you get started, here’s a couple things to keep in mind.

  • What can you transfer?
    • User accounts and settings
    • Documents
    • Music
    • Photos
    • E-mail messages
    • Internet Favorites / Bookmarks
    • Videos

*Note:  You can transfer just about anything except other applications.

  • Make sure your logged into both computers as an administrator.
  • Install Windows Easy Transfer on your old PC
    • You can download it here.
  • Decide how you want to transfer your information.  You can do it one of three ways:
    • External hard drive
    • Easy transfer cable
    • Network

*For more information, check out the video from Microsoft below.

Once you’ve considered and completed the above, simply open Windows Easy Transfer on both computers.  Here’s how:

  1. Click the Picture of the Start button Start button
  2. In the search box, type Easy Transfer and in the list of results, click Windows Easy Transfer.
    1. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Once Windows Easy Transfer starts, simply follow the on-screen instructions and answer a few questions.  That’s all there is to it!

The process will take some time depending on how much you have to transfer.  And remember, you don’t have to copy everything.  If you’re only interested in migrating your home videos and a handful of documents, Windows Easy Transfer lets you to drill down to specific files, allowing you to capture only the items you need.  Also remember that you’re not deleting anything from your old computer – you’re simply making copies and transferring them to your new VAIO.

For more details, check out this helpful video on Windows Easy Transfer from Microsoft below.

Be sure to leave any questions you may have below and I’ll be sure to hunt down the answers for you.  If this process still seems a bit intimidating, remember your local Backstage Technician can take care of the whole process for you.  Visit for more information.

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  1. Anonymous wrote: July 20, 2010 8:28am

    How can I now eliminate duplicate email addresses that are now in my Windows Live Mail address book? Is there a command for that? Where can I find it? Thanks, Mark

    1. Michael wrote: July 30, 2010 9:59am

      Hi there. I must admit – this is a tough one. Especially because I’m not that familiar with Windows Live Mail. I did some digging at the office however and I found an interesting thread that might have a solution for you. You can find it here. Please let me know if this helps. And as always, thanks for reading!

  2. Anonymous wrote: July 20, 2010 10:43am

    This was very helpful. Thank you.

    1. Michael wrote: September 21, 2010 10:26am

      Thanks for note! Glad we could help!

  3. Anonymous wrote: July 21, 2010 8:41am

    Can I use Windows Easy Transfer to synchronize my files from one computer to another i.e. desktop to laptop? Will the process only copy files that are not the same? Thanks.

    1. Michael wrote: July 30, 2010 9:48am

      Long story short – no. It’s a one way street. You can only move data from A to B or from B to A. Windows Easy Transfer doesn’t have the ability to determine the newest or most recent file between two PCs and only transfer that information. Windows Easy Transfer is only for moving bulk data from one PC to another.

      However, if you’re looking for an application that can sync data between two computers check out this article on Five Best File Syncing Tools. Although the review is a little old, it’s still on point. I hope that helps and thanks for reading.

  4. Anonymous wrote: July 24, 2010 1:10am

    it is nis

  5. Anonymous wrote: July 24, 2010 1:29pm

    very good stuff

  6. Anonymous wrote: July 26, 2010 7:39pm

    I think my old computer may have some sort of virus… Will I still be able to transfer files from it to my new computer?

    1. Michael wrote: July 30, 2010 9:34am

      Good question. It’s hard to say without being able to look at your computer in person. I would offer you this advice however if you think you PC has a virus. First, do you have an anti-virus program installed? If not, I would suggest Microsoft Security Essentials at the very minimum. It’s free and easy-to-use and has kept my personal computer safely running in top form for almost a year now. Simply Google Microsoft Security Essentials, download and install. Once installed, scan your system and quarantine and delete anything the program picks up. Please note that your initial scan may take some time – especially if you have a lot of data.

      Depending on the extent of the damage, you may or may not be able to transfer your files from your old PC to your new one. If you are, I would still caution you to be very careful about what files you transfer – the last thing you want to do is transfer an infected file from your old PC to your new PC. I hope that helps and thanks for reading !

  7. Anonymous wrote: July 27, 2010 3:15am

    Just upgraded my laptop from VAIO VGN-SZ430N to a VAIO VPCF126FM. I was unaware of the Easy Transfer function until a pop up notified me of this feature. I had a LAN cable handy, and the operation transferred my settings absolutely flawlessly and FAST! I had over 11gigs of information. I was prepared to copy only the vital things I wanted off the old laptop by either wireless network connectivity or the old flash drive or DVD method. I dreaded thinking about it. This is probably one of the best software applications yet! Thanks!

    1. Michael wrote: September 21, 2010 10:21am

      Hi there – thanks for your comment! I’m so glad to hear this tip helped you out. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for other tips. Thanks for reading!

  8. Anonymous wrote: July 29, 2010 4:23pm

    very good

  9. Anonymous wrote: August 3, 2010 11:22am

    I am at a real loss. When my friend helped me set up my computer he set it up with an administrative password. Now every time I try to boot it asks me for the password which neither of us know. How do I change or get rid of the password? My computer is useless without being able to log in. Thanks.
    Jim Davis

  10. Anonymous wrote: August 8, 2010 10:39am

    OK here’s the deal. This computer is the first new computer I have purchased in 11 years. Sad isn’t? I want pictures of my grandson that are still on my old one. How do I transfer these photos from a computer running Windows 98? Will I need to burn a cd or are they gone forever?

    1. Michael wrote: August 9, 2010 9:01am

      Congrats on the new PC purchase! What did you get?

      Although I believe that Windows Easy Transfer is only backwards compatible through Windows XP – if all you want is the photos of your grandson off your old PC, you have plenty of other options. Depending on how many photos you have, I would recommend simply using or purchasing a USB flash drive. A 1GB thumb drive is relatively inexpensive and can be found almost anywhere. Plus 1GB should be enough space for all the photos you may have.

      Once you have the thumb drive, simply plug it in, navigate to where the photos are stored on your PC and drag and drop them onto the thumb drive. Once you have the photos on the thumb drive, plug it into your new PC and and copy over the files to whatever location you like. That’s all there is to! The process is the same if you’d like to use a CD instead. Thanks for reading and let me know if you need any other help.

  11. Anonymous wrote: August 14, 2010 3:10am

    1.My computer is VPCCW21FX If I want a windows7 in chinese whatshould I do?
    2.If my computer outer covering has damaged, can you provide the new outer covering? (Pay)

  12. Anonymous wrote: August 15, 2010 1:07am


  13. Anonymous wrote: August 19, 2010 5:43pm

    Hi I’m new customer with SONY VAIO PC thank you keep in touch .

    1. Michael wrote: September 21, 2010 10:25am

      Hi there – thanks so much for your business! We really appreciate you. What model VAIO did you buy? How did you find the Sony Blog?

  14. Anonymous wrote: August 19, 2010 6:32pm

    can you help me to make my new Sony pc VAIO 2010 a cool PC please help me I already buy it in 10 days ago .

    1. Michael wrote: August 20, 2010 3:58pm

      Hi there – thanks so much for your business! What exactly would you like help with? Can you provide more details? What series did you purchase?

  15. Anonymous wrote: August 29, 2010 6:31am


  16. Anonymous wrote: August 30, 2010 10:31am

    Need assistance transferring Windows Works Address Book to my new Sone

    1. Michael wrote: September 21, 2010 10:29am

      Good question. I’d love to help but can you be more specific? I’m not sure if I understand what you’re trying to transfer your Windows Works addresses to.

  17. Anonymous wrote: September 9, 2010 1:14pm

    My grand daughter spilled a glass of water on my old computer. I purchased a new Sony VAIO. I was able to have Best Buy recover everything and place it on an external drive. I had a lot of family tree information on my old computer under Ancestry’s Family Tree Maker. I’m having trouble transferring that information to my new computer. Can you assist me?

    1. Anonymous wrote: September 16, 2010 7:29am

      I also have an external drive from my old PC, it died! I have been able to transfer just about everything except for my ‘Favorites’ directory. It will not let me take ownership and everything that I tried that worked with other files won’t work, I still get an access denied message.

  18. Anonymous wrote: September 12, 2010 9:50am

    Is there any way to transfer outlook express e-mail to my vaio? I LOVE this e-mail and would like to have it on vaio.

    1. Michael wrote: September 21, 2010 10:33am

      Hi there – thanks for your question! This should be pretty easy to do but first, I need to know, are your e-mails saved locally on your PC? Or, is your Outlook Express simply syncing with an online e-mail client like Hotmail?

      If your e-mail is saved locally, the tip above should have captured your locally saved e-mails and transferred them to your new PC. If Outlook Express is pulling in e-mails from Hotmail, you simply just need to add your account information to the Outlook Express on your new PC.

      Does this help? Thanks so much for reading and for your business! Please let me know if there anything else I can do to help.

  19. Anonymous wrote: September 16, 2010 10:16am

    Sony Vaio content sharing is takes too long to load on initial start up. Is there a wasy to “turn off” Vaio Content Sharing.

    1. Michael wrote: September 21, 2010 10:50am

      Hi there – good question! I’m sorry to hear that you feel VAIO Content Sharing is slowing things down. Although it’s a cool feature here’s one way to turn it off – try this:

      1. Click Start then Control Panel

      2. Within the Control Panel window, change the view to All Items or Icon View then click Administrative Tools

      3. In the Administrative Tools window click System Configuration

      4. In the window that appears, select the Startup Tab.

      5. Under the Startup Tab, your presented with a list of applications that are configured to automatically run when you start your computer. Look for VAIO Content Sharing and un-click it. This will disable the program from starting up at boot up and should speed things up.

      I hope this helps and thanks for reading!

  20. Anonymous wrote: October 11, 2010 5:46pm

    very good

  21. Anonymous wrote: October 27, 2010 4:30pm

    I was a system mcse engineer for 13 years while u where an incombante company. I’m petty sure I can handle this laptop better than most. thank you

  22. Anonymous wrote: October 31, 2010 8:57am

    I attempted to use Easy Transfer four times. My new computer asked for a Windows Easy Transfer key. I could never find one. Where is the key? Thank you.

  23. Anonymous wrote: November 2, 2010 9:22pm


  24. Gale Walker wrote: November 3, 2010 12:44pm

    Help me get started!

  25. Anonymous wrote: November 4, 2010 6:29pm

    It was great help

  26. Anonymous wrote: November 7, 2010 8:09pm

    During the process of transferring files and settings from the old computer to a new computer, is there a risk of transmitting virus to the new computer as a result?
    thank you.

  27. Anonymous wrote: November 8, 2010 4:39pm

    Hi! I just bought a new Sony Vaio laptop and my old laptop is also a Sony Laptop. My question is this: both of the USB ports on my old laptop don’t work. Is there another way to use easy share to transfer everything to the new laptop? My computer skills are basic and I am not sure about networking.

  28. Anonymous wrote: November 10, 2010 7:40pm

    i am sanjay

  29. Anonymous wrote: November 16, 2010 7:54pm

    I used the Windows Easy Transfer to transfer my files from my old PC, now I realize that I transferred a lot of files that I do not want. Is there any easy way to partially or completely reverse the transfer so my new computer does not have these excess files stored on it?

  30. Anonymous wrote: November 20, 2010 12:34pm

    My laptop was stolen con I use my backup disk form my old computer and put it on my new one.

  31. Anonymous wrote: November 23, 2010 3:55pm

    Hi. I cannot use the method described above since my old computer destructed. I had the hard drive removed and got my files stored on an e drive. I was able to click and drag these to my va10 but how can I get into my e-mail files. I had outlook express. Is there anything I can do?

  32. Anonymous wrote: November 23, 2010 7:25pm

    how this programa works

  33. Anonymous wrote: November 27, 2010 6:09pm

    Can I use any of the 3 afore mentions transfer methods to transfer my Itunes account from old Dell computer to new Sony?

  34. Anonymous wrote: December 1, 2010 5:48am

    What specific brand/type of transfer cable or network do I need?

  35. Jenethe Jesey Melani wrote: December 3, 2010 3:50am

    love my new sony Vaio laptop

  36. Antonio Elias Abou Zeidan wrote: December 4, 2010 9:56am

    hey i like the sony , my one is perfect .

  37. Anonymous wrote: December 5, 2010 6:51pm

    The video is so blurred.

  38. Tonetone Wu wrote: December 22, 2010 1:19pm

    Didn’t say which way is faster.

  39. Anonymous wrote: December 25, 2010 12:32pm

    Am I allowed to tranfer my Microsoft 2010 software from my old laptop to this new one?

  40. Anonymous wrote: December 26, 2010 4:48pm

    Hi, will my itunes playlists be intact after the transfer?

  41. Anonymous wrote: December 27, 2010 4:46pm

    idk lol

  42. Anonymous wrote: December 29, 2010 4:44pm


  43. Anonymous wrote: January 4, 2011 4:05pm

    how do i download sony easy file transfer to my old pc

  44. Anonymous wrote: January 8, 2011 9:34am

    What do I do to transfer all my WORKS docs to an app on here that will open them? I’m extremely frustrated right now!

  45. Anonymous wrote: January 8, 2011 4:31pm

    There are two key transfer issues I have to my new PC (running 7) from my old (Vista): Can I transfer my setup and personalization settings from my Microsoft Office programs (I have the base programs installed on my new computer now) and how can I transfer my autocorrect dictionary to my new computer?

  46. Anonymous wrote: January 8, 2011 7:53pm

    That was straight and damn easy…matter of fact the process was faster from my external drive to my new laptop..wonder if it had anything to to do with the processor!

  47. Anonymous wrote: January 11, 2011 9:52am

    The download link for Windows Easy Transfer did not work.

  48. Anonymous wrote: January 12, 2011 2:48pm

    esto es muy bueno

  49. Anonymous wrote: January 13, 2011 3:45pm

    Hi, I was dreading this process but you make it seem easy! My old laptop crashed, but I was able to remove the hard drive and plug it into my IDE HDD combo enclosure and I found that I didn’t lose all of my info. How do I transfer the files using the enclosure, since my old laptop no longer starts up? I just purchased a new Vaio E series and I would like to get those files transfered quickly and easily. If it can’t be done using the Easy Transfer process, is there a fast way of doing it manually or do I have to transfer the files to a flash drive one-by-one? Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  50. Anonymous wrote: January 21, 2011 9:13am

    I have my files from my Vista computer on a removable drive. When plugging in the external drive, the files are there, however cannot open them up (it is a complete backup of my C drive on the old computer) the files are marked TIB and I cannot open up. Can you help?


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