Laplink PCmover Professional review
An effective tool for migrating between systems, but the price is a real turn off
Review Date: 21 Jan 2010
Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith
Price when reviewed: £34 (£40 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
PCmover Professional is a migration tool with an unusual ability: it can transfer not only documents and settings but entire working applications from an older PC onto a new system. It works with almost all versions of Windows (though downgrading isn’t officially supported), and can even perform “in-place” migrations – handy for moving a single computer between OS editions that can’t be directly upgraded.
The boxed edition comes with a special double-ended USB cable for connecting your old and new PCs directly together, but if you’ve opted for the cheaper download edition you can simply use an external hard disk to ferry your files across. Alternatively, if both PCs are attached to a network the software can transfer your data that way.
Before copying, PCmover briefly scans both source and destination PCs, identifying which files don’t need to be moved – a sensible time-saving measure. It also allows the software to warn you of potential application clashes or incompatibilities.
The actual copying remains a slow process, though, and it’s slowed down further by PCmover’s insistence on compressing everything. With a USB2 external hard disk, we found it took around four hours to move 30GB of data, and over 100Mbits/sec Ethernet the same load took more than a day of solid copying. Your best bet is either a Gigabit LAN (if you have one) or the Laplink USB cable, either of which should in theory work out around twice as fast as an external drive.
Still, all of our files and programs ended up in their proper places, and we were impressed to see that even bespoke Visual Studio applications worked perfectly on the new PC. If for any reason your transfer doesn’t go the way you want, you can roll your new PC back to its original state.
In all, PCmover works just as it should, and certainly shows up the limitations of the free Windows Easy Transfer tool. The catch is that the price isn’t exactly pocket money, and amazingly it only covers one migration; if you ever want to perform a second upgrade you’ll have to shell out for another licence. You could save a little by opting for PCmover Home, which is less customisable and supports fewer editions of Windows, but that’s still £24 exc VAT.
It’s a shame, because a cheap, unrestricted version of PCmover would be a great addition to any tinkerer’s toolbox. But at this price it has to be considered a luxury unless you have an unusual number of applications to reinstall – or, perhaps, have lost your old installation discs.
Author: Darien Graham-Smith
I think they've the company has missed a trick here.
As an ICT Manager I was already thinking of the time saving and usefulness of tyhis product, but they pricing model will lose them customers by the buckert load.
A business server based version of this software I feel would be very propular.
By a_byrne22 on 21 Jan 2010
Actually.....they have a PCMover enterprise version, don't details on pricing though.
By a_byrne22 on 21 Jan 2010
Thank you very much for the review!
a_byrne22: Yes we have an Enterprise version available. Please see http://laplink.com/business_solutions/pcmover for more info. Also, please feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com. Thanks - Daniel.
By Laplink on 25 Jan 2010
Low-cost PCmover, W7 Upgrade Assistant
For the budget conscious, we also have a low-cost version of PCmover for upgrade an existing computer from XP to Windows 7. It is called PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant for under $20 (USD). Please visit http://laplink.com/pcmover/pcmoverupgradeassistant
.html for more info. Thanks, Daniel.
By Laplink on 25 Jan 2010
Could be very useful (if the price was right)
I work for an IT consultancy and we have had numerous customer projects replacing/upgrading large numbers of PC's, mostly from XP to 7. This software would have been ideal and saved hours of work re-installing apps etc if it came with a site license for a company like ours to use over and over. I think it would be worthy of a price tag of maybe £100 or even £150 then. At £30/migration, we would be looking at more like £2k and would not even consider it. The developer maybe missing out on a large market slice here.
By EITeng on 26 Jan 2010
EITeng, we actually do have a site license for companies to use. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can get you the information that you need.
By AndyLaplink on 16 Mar 2010
Didn't work for me
Not to rain on the PC Mover parade here, but when I tried to use it, it completely destroyed my new laptop. I had to restore the system from backup - luckily, it was brand new and I still had the original disks that came with the laptop.
I ended up using Zinstall instead, which costs even more (!!!) But at least it got the job done without total destruction.
I don't think price is a turnoff, neither for this software nor even for Zinstall - it all boils down to how much you'd pay to re-purchase all the software which I don't have the install CDs for.
By AnthonyLl on 17 Dec 2010
Alternative to PC mover
You may consider to use WET (windows easy transfer) and PickMeApp: two free solutions to migrate from XP to Windows 7. WET may transfer your XP program settings to Win 7 while portable PickMeApp tool may transfer programs from XP to Windows 7. PickMeApp claims to support unlimited number of programs.
By Appmen on 1 Feb 2011
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