Still with me on the slow migration to Windows 7? If so, it's time to start wrapping up the process, by which I mean installing any programs that didn't get installed by Ninite, copying over your data files and folder, and setting up peripherals like printers.
In other words, the time has come to start living under Windows 7's roof, returning to XP or Vista only when necessary. Before you turn off the lights and lock the door, however, make a list of the programs you still need to install and the data you need to copy.
Allow me to help with the latter. Here's a list of common data you'll want to make sure you don't leave behind:
Documents: Everything in your My Documents folder, and in any other folders you use to store Word files, spreadsheets, presentations, and the like.
Music: If you're an iTunes user, you're probably all set--I covered iTunes migration just the other day. But if you use a different program and/or keep your MP3s in a folder other than My Music, make sure to copy them over.
Photos: Most folks store them in the My Pictures folder, so all you have to do is copy the contents to the eponymous folder in Windows 7. Same goes for...
Videos: Most folks store them in the My Videos folder, so, again, copy the contents to that same folder in Windows 7.
Financial records: If you use Quicken or Microsoft Money, your best bet is probably to use either program's built-in backup option, saving the backup file(s) to an easy-to-find spot on your Windows 7 partition (the Documents folder, for example), then run the program in Windows 7 and restore the backup.
E-mail: If you use Gmail, Yahoo, or another Web-based mail service, you're golden. Just sign into your accounts as usual using your browser. However, if you hang your e-mail hat in Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, or Windows Live Mail, things get a lot trickier. Because I can't possibly cover the migration steps for all those programs, I'm going to advise a little Google searching to find the instructions you need. They're out there.
As I've noted before, the beauty of this slow migration is that if you forget something, no problem: You can copy it over as needed.
At some point, perhaps after a month or so, you can make this move more permanent by shrinking the old partition and enlarging the new one. More on that in a future post.