When you have to move files and programs from one PC to another, the operation can sometimes “intimidate” you, especially if you are not organized enough.
In a business environment it would always be good to have a NAS server that allows you to store files and backups in a centralized and secure location.
NAS servers generally allow you to make a copy of the same materials on multiple hard disks using the RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) technique. While with RAID-0 all the hard disks installed inside the NAS server are “paired” in such a way as to form a single large logical disk, RAID-1 (mirroring) is certainly the simplest and most effective strategy to secure your data, with the certainty that a malfunction on one hard disk will not affect the contents of the other or the other hard disks: Avoiding data loss: how to configure RAID.
The RAID-1 solution can be used in any professional studio or small to medium sized business. However, RAID-5 and RAID-6 are also widely used (refer to the above article), which apply the concept of redundancy not by using mirroring but, rather, by storing parity information (redundant data that prevents errors in data storage and allows you to check the information managed).
NAS servers are an excellent solution to have data always available and secure within the local network. From the various operating systems installed on the workstations connected to the LAN, the contents of the NAS are “seen” as well as any other folder shared in the local network.
The advice is to create on the NAS server one or more shared folders protected with username and password.
Numerous examples of NAS servers can be found on Amazon at this address.
Transferring Files and Programs from PC to PC with PCMover and EASEUS Todo PCTrans
With the release of Windows 8.x, however, the Windows Data Transfer utility, which is still integrated into the operating system, no longer contains the option to make it easier to move data within the local network.
In Windows you can still ask Windows Data Transfer to save files and settings to an external storage drive, connect it to your new computer, start the Microsoft utility and import the data from the removable hard disk.
To start the program, simply click the Windows Start button (or press the CTRL+W key combination in Windows) and type Windows Data Transfer.
However, Microsoft has been recommending the use of PCMover since the release of Windows. PCMover is a utility developed by LapLink that, in its basic version, allows you to transfer files and settings from your PC to your PC, but in its more complete versions, allows you to move programs from one computer to another.
In the article Transferring Programs from the Old PC to the New with PCMover, we explained both possibilities.
As an alternative, you can use the software EASEUS Todo PCTrans that in the free version, in addition to allowing the transfer of files and settings from PC to PC without any limit, allows you to move up to two applications from one computer to another: Move a program from one computer to another.
Windows Backup Tool
First of all, it is good to point out that the backup archives generated with the Windows 7 Backup and Recovery utility are not directly importable, for example, in Windows.
In Windows, in fact, Microsoft decided to introduce the new File History utility that allows you to not only create backups of files and folders on local hard drives or network drives but also in the cloud, with OneDrive.
The operation of File History is explained in the article Backup Windows: how it works and how to use it.
Copying Files Directly From One Computer To Another
To transfer files from a PC to a PC, it is of course possible to have a direct copy of the file transferred.
To proceed, it is sufficient that the two systems are connected to the same local network, via Ethernet cable or WiFi.
All you need to do is create a shared folder on the target system so that it is accessible from the system containing the files to be copied.
The procedure to follow is very simple:
1) Connect the system that will host the files to the local network, connecting the Ethernet cable between the router and the computer’s network card.
2) As a type of local network, when the following window appears in a Windows environment, you must choose either a company network or a home network.
3) When accessing the Windows Network and Sharing Center, you will need to click on Change Advanced Sharing Settings and then click on Home or Work.
The options Enable network discovery and Enable file and printer sharing must be enabled.
4) Verify that your PC is properly connected to your local network. If not, access the network card settings, click Change Card Settings, right-click the network card icon and choose Properties.
Under Internet Protocol version 4 and Internet Protocol version 6, click on the Properties button and select Obtain an address automatically.
5) Create a new folder (e.g. in the C: drive), right-click on it, choose Properties, the Sharing tab, and then the Share button.
The next window will allow you to specify the user accounts allowed to access the shared folder on the local network.
In the article Sharing Files and Folders on a Local Area Network with Windows, we explained how to share a folder on a LAN with Windows.
6) On the computer containing the files to be copied, just use the Windows+R key combination and type \COMPUTER_NAME whereCOMPUTER_NAME is the name of the system to which you intend to copy the files. After successfully completing the authentication procedure, by entering the user name and password of the users authorized to access the shared folder, you can start the operation of copying the files from one computer to another.
Regardless of which version of Windows you are using, you can use the free TeraCopy program to speed up and better manage the copying of files from one computer to another.
TeraCopy’s goal is to reduce seek time (the time it takes to move the head to the track in the case of traditional magnetomechanical hard disks) and speed up file copying.
The activity of copying information from one computer to another can be paused and then resumed at a later time.
If there is an error in copying the data, TeraCopy retries the information transfer operation several times. In the worst case scenario (inability to copy the file), the copying operation will not be interrupted but will continue with the next item.
Transferring files from one PC to another by setting up a temporary WiFi hotspot
If you are unable to use a local network to transfer files directly from your PC to your PC, you may want to create a temporary WiFi hotspot, especially if you are using laptops with a WiFi card.
One possible solution is to create an ad hoc connection in Windows. Instructions on how to proceed can be found in the article Creating an ad hoc wireless connection for transferring and sharing files.
The procedure takes the form of creating a sort of wireless hotspot on one of the two PCs.
The transfer of information from one computer to another can then be done by sharing a folder, as if you were in a local network.
Alternatively, you can follow the instructions in the article Configuring Windows 7 as a Wi-Fi hotspot. In this case, a virtual network card will be enabled and configured to create the WiFi hotspot in Windows.
Again, as a further alternative, you can turn your WiFi mobile device (smartphone or tablet) into a wireless hotspot.
The procedure to follow in the case of Android is explained in our article How to create a WiFi network with Android and connect multiple devices.
By connecting notebooks and other devices via WiFi to the hotspot set up using Android, you can put the various devices in communication by sharing files and folders, as happens in a normal LAN network.