PCMover Eases Digital Transfer

Software acts as a cybermoving van in transferring photos, files, and programs.

By + More

A move is never fun, even if it's just a digital one. But PCMover ($50) is software that can take away much of the pain of a digital transfer, if you don't mind a hiccup or two. It greatly eases the shifting of cherished photos, files, and even programs from one Windows computer to another.

I tested PCMover on an old PC running Windows XP and on a new one running Windows Vista. The two computers found each other across the home network. That itself is a wonder, considering the complexities of Windows networking.

PCMover walked me through a simple setup, which mostly involved deciding which programs and files I wanted to transfer. With about 30 gigabytes to transfer, PCMover said it would take about four hours.

Then came a few hiccups. For no apparent reason, the software would stop transferring. I'd have to go through the setup again, and PCMover would pick up where it left off. The four-hour transfer turned into something closer to eight hours, as I didn't detect the stalls right away.

But that's a minor beef as everything appeared to work as hoped on the new PC. I did have to reactivate Microsoft Office, which took a call to Microsoft and a promise to uninstall Office from the old computer.

Vista comes with a utility for moving files and settings from an old computer. And Microsoft is letting the public test a free utility for moving some programs. But from my experience, PCMover earns its money as a digital moving van.