Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Installing a new computer.

Let me share some of my experiences installing a new computer. I purchased a program from LapLink called PCMover. First it has a strange price structure. One can download a version for $50 and spend $40 on a special USB cable or buy a retail box for $70 that includes the cable and another program called Filemover. The box claims they will send you a $20 rebate.

The installation process takes more than 30 minutes and requires a serial number from the package and key code from the company web site. The process asked for my name and address at least 6 times. When I installed Filemover, the serial number on the package refused to work. I had to spend time on the phone and in their text chat to get help.

Right out of the box the program required a new version download. The installation had to be repeated on both machines and the versions had to match. This is a reasonable expectation, yet it was annoying.

PCMover asks a few set up questions that enable one to choose what kinds of files to move. I did not want to move any temporary files. The program claims that it will move all settings, programs and data. First the program scans the new computer. This is the basis for importing the files from the old computer as no current programs are overwritten. I had 14 gigabytes to transfer. The actual transfer is about 1 meg per second, but it take 15 minutes or so until the transfer is ready to start. The transfer took more than 5 hours. At about 95% complete the process gave an error message. By that time LapLink support was closed for the night.

I sent an email request for help and received and answer saying to start all over. I did not want to spend another 5 hours of transfer, but it didn't take that long the second time. The second and third times it failed, too.

These two programs are annoying to install and use. I sent feedback to LapLink and I want my money back because the program does not do what it promises. It is not acceptable for new program to require a call to tech support for a straightforward installation. Support costs money. If products work right, calls are not needed.

This is only the short version of my annoyance with these LapLink products. I should have listened when I was told no transfer program that works.

I reinstalled MS Office, Eurdora, Firefox, Skype and other programs on the new computer. PCmover did transfer my data to the correct directories. I am still trying to restore all my settings. I lost the Firefox history. They were erased from the old computer. I still haven't found the settings to change to make sure I can type and view Hebrew in all my programs. MS Office and OpenOffice have no problems with Hebrew and Cyrillic. Eurdora will not display either on the new computer, but displays them on the old one.

I still can't believe computer makers and software companies can't figure out a way to make the new computer like the old. It seems that tool would be a good sales tool. I was told that Apple and Linux based systems are easier to move to new machines.

Happy computing!