PCmover Image Assistant: Easier Than Manual Migration, Less Powerful Than the Full Version

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Migrating your data and settings from your old PC or OS to a new one is relatively easy. Microsoft even provides several versions a free utility called Windows Easy Transfer to facilitate the task. Moving your programs is another matter. Of course you can reinstall them all yourself--an easy, but somewhat labor-intensive task--or you can use a program such as PCmover Image Assistant ($40, buy-only). Promising as it sounded at first, this program may not save you much time or trouble.

PCmover Image Assistant screenshot
Although copious, the PCmover Image Assistant dialogs are concise. They walk you through the transfer process.

Alas, PCmover Image Assistant appears to be an exercise in marketing hype rather than a new and unique program. From the advertising and marketing pitch, I was thinking the program would deal directly with image files. However, it turns out that the image has to be mounted as a virtual hard drive, which must be done with your own software or with Laplink's included DiskImage Professional program.

Beyond the fact that it transfers only from mounted virtual hard drives, IA is basically a cheaper version of the competent PCmover Professional application I reviewed in October 2009. PCmover carefully guides you through the process. My major caveat is to study the list of programs to be transferred carefully and avoid transferring stuff you no longer need.

PCmover Image Assistant works, but I have a difficult time seeing the need for it unless you have lost the install disc for an important piece of software. By the time you've installed the program, learned how to use it, created, transferred, mounted and/or converted an image, you could have copied your documents and settings using Windows Easy Transfer via a Flash drive and manually reinstalled all of your software.

Note: The serial number you purchase is good for one PC only and must be validated over the Internet or phone. If you want to use the program on another machine, you'll have to buy another serial number.

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