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Definition: PC migration

Moving applications and data from one Windows PC to another. Migration software such as Laplink's PCmover is an effective way to migrate an entire computer. Another method is to use the backup program that backed up the source computer onto an external drive. The backup program's restore function may be able to migrate selected applications or the entire hard drive.

Manual Software Migration
When a Windows application is installed, it enters Registry data that are read by the app at startup. This is why it is better to re-install the application or use migration software. However, if there is no installation disc or download available, the application folders can be copied, and the Registry entries can be exported and imported manually, providing the user is extremely familiar with them.

It is easy to copy an application folder to a new machine, but entries may be spread throughout the Registry database that, if not copied over, will prevent the program from running. Not many applications re-establish their Registry entries at startup.

Manual Data Migration
If the user is familiar with the application's data folder location and file types, those files can be moved to the same folder in the new machine, and this is usually all that is necessary. See migration.