Ease user transition to a new PC

When you have to move users to different machines, minimize their confusion and irritation with these tips.

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This tip was submitted to the SearchWin2000.com Tip Exchange by member Bruce Harrison. Let other users know how useful it is by rating it below.


When users are given upgraded PCs or moved to a different machines, minimize their confusion and irritation by providing them with a seamless move.

I often have to move users overnight to a new work area or to a new machine. I use a simple checklist to verify that the new environment will seem familiar to the user. For network reasons, we do not utilize roaming profiles, so I take a very specific inventory of the current machine and note the following:

  • Mapped network drives
  • Printers and the default printer
  • Desktop wallpaper, screensavers, and display settings
  • Installed software and Office preferences
  • Outlook .pst files if used
  • Internet Explorer Favorites and cookies

    The mapped network drives can usually be cared for with a login script. I always export custom files used for Desktop wallpaper, check for an e-mail archive to be migrated and use the import/export functions in Internet Explorer to duplicate the users' Internet browser settings. In addition, I set up the User Information options in Office, including the paths to any Office template, font libraries, etc.

    Using this technique, I've heard various users say that they couldn't tell any difference between a new machine and their old one -- except for the crisper response!

  • This was first published in February 2003

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