Windows XP offers a utility that helps you transfer user settings, preferences and files from one computer to another, User State Migration Tool (USMT) transfer user settings files, folder, display properties, taskbar options, browser favorites and e-mail settings from one computer to another.
This tool provides a smooth transition to a computer migration, please notice if you are migration from windows XP to Windows Vista download this tool from Microsoft here is called “Windows Easy Transfer” and is the new updated USMT for Windows Vista.
To begin the process use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard by going to Start>All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > and click on Files and Settings Transfer Wizard.
When the window comes up click “Next” on “which computer is this“ window select “Old Computer” click “Next” unblock the Files and Settings transfer Wizard port on the firewall if it ask you to, on the “Select a Transfer Method“ window Choose whatever media you want to save the data to;
After you choose the media, click next, on the “what do you want to transfer“ window choose “both Files and Settings” and click next, click next to the following window to begin the transfer process. When the above transfer is complete, go to the new computer and go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > and click on Files and Settings Transfer Wizard.
When the window comes up click “Next” on “which computer is this“ window choose “New Computer” and click “next” on the “Do you have a Windows XP CD?” window click on “I don’t need the wizard disk. I have already collected my files and settings from my old computer” and click “next”
On the “Where are the files and Settings?” window choose “Other” and browse to the location of your data, either a shared folder or a movable drive and click “next” click on next on whatever window that my come up and that should begin the transfer of your data to the new computer.
If you get errors like “the location you specified does not contain any stored data“ please refer to one of my older posts about this, there seem to be a bug on this tool after windows Vista came out. Check the post here