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Windows 7: Two co-workers swapping laptops- what do I need to know

23 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 pro, 32 bit
Two co-workers swapping laptops- what do I need to know

I have a Dell Vostro 3700 laptop that has Windows 7 pro 32 bit.
My co-worker has a Dell Vostro 3700 laptop with Windows 7 pro 64 bit.

I do more high-powered work with my machine (Photoshop CS5) and need the added RAM potential of the 64 bit operating system.

He has agreed to swap laptops with me.

Can anyone give me some advice on what to watch out for?
I'm not sure the best methods for doing this.

I was thinking I'd just create a new user on his PC giving it my user name, and create a new user on my PC with his user name and then start setting up each user from scratch, copying file folders as necessary and installing apps as needed.

We primarily use Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager (using an outside exchange server).
Our company has a Windows server that is being used as a depository for our files, but there are still plenty of files stored locally on each of our laptops.

Thanks in advance

My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Nov 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP


If you copy your User profile intact including hidden AppData files then you'll have your settings, but since settings can be a corruption path I would start fresh with a new User account just copying in the active User folders.

Easiest way to do this is plug in the external backup or connect via network, open the User folder needing import, on Organize tab Select All, then on highlighted group leftclick>hold to drag the whole group slowly to the lefthand Explorer bar and place into corresponding User folder using Library shortcut if easier. Don't release the left click until the Explorer bar stops expanding as it eventually will and hypertext confirms you are copying to correct folder or sub-folder.

Once you're sure you have everything in place you can delete the old account in Control Panel>User Accounts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 pro, 32 bit

Thanks. Is there any advantage/disadvantage to try using the User State Migration Tool (USMT) to import my user profile onto the other laptop, and visa-versa?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Nov 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP


As stated importing hidden AppData folders will carry over your Program and other settings, however as it's a corruption path I never advise doing this on reinstalls and wouldn't here, either.

User account import/export apps are often a bloated, buggy mess that actually take more effort than simply dragging your files into new User folders for each.

Where I do use these is to back up and reimport mail, bookmarks and mail settings as they usually work well and are found by googling e.g "transfer Windows Mail to another computer."

Others may know an easier method for this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 pro, 32 bit

Ok, I will give it a try as you detailed in your first post.
I'm curious: once I copy my user info to the other computer, for a time my user profile will exist on 2 different computers on the same network. Will this create any issues?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Two co-workers swapping laptops- what do I need to know

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