That Mac ad where the PC is going for "surgery" so he can upgrade to Vista really ticks me off. First, I upgraded a truly ancient Toshiba to Vista just fine. And second, way to make a bug a feature and a feature a bug! Ha ha when I need a new OS I just throw myself in the garbage and someone buys a new machine! That's so much better than replacing one card or switching to a bigger hard drive! Whatever.
That said, I know plenty of geeks are going to use Vista as an excuse for a new laptop. I'm one of those geeks and I'm about ready to get a new machine. One of the things that's held me back is the thought of the time and trouble to get everything set up my way. You know, my wallpaper, my favourites, my files of course, folder settings, there's so much. Applications don't worry me so much because half the stuff I have installed on here should really go, I don't use it any more. Half the rest came from my MSDN disks and I know where to find those. What's left (WinZip, a really old Paint Shop Pro that doesn't try to do anything fancy, miscellaneous games and utilities) I can install from the \install folder on one of my two main file servers.
And now for the settings, here's something that will make it much less painful: Windows Easy Transfer. Put the old and new machines on your network, and:
This wizard is built into Windows Vista and will automatically transfer your personal data from a Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista based-PC to a Windows Vista-based PC. It gathers up the data from your old PC and then applies it on your new PC in the right places. It will move user accounts, files and folders, email messages and settings, address book entries, and Windows settings. It does not move programs.
No network? (Helping your family, and they don't have a network onaccounta they only have one machine?) Use a special cable to connect the two machines. There's even an option involving removable hard drives or burning to disk that sounds like it might work if you have only one machine but are repaving. (Sounds a might scary to me, but ok.)
Plus, there's a tool in beta that moves your apps too:
we have been working on a new tool called Easy Transfer Companion, which will transfer programs and program settings from a Windows XP-based PC to a Windows Vista-based PC. When used together with Easy Transfer, you will be able to move everything you need to your new PC running Windows Vista. Easy Transfer Companion has been designed to transfer many of the most popular programs for consumers and small businesses, as well as many others. You can transfer programs with either an Easy Transfer Cable or a network. We've released the tool in Beta so that we can take feedback on the overall functionality and get more information about the experience of transferring specific applications outside of those that we've tested internally.
Now I just have to choose a shiny new laptop...