Laplink Software has released PCmover Free, a cut-down version its migration tool for transferring applications, settings and data from one PC to another.
And if you’ve used a commercial build of PCmover before, then this new release will seem very familiar. It’s essentially a simple wizard which walks you through every of the migration process, from choosing what you’d like to transfer, to collecting and packaging that data, and moving it to the new system.
As this particular version is free, though, you won’t be surprised to hear that there are some major limitations. PCmover Free can move a maximum of three applications, for instance; it only supports transferring settings and files from the currently logged-on Windows user; and the program will only copy files from your system drive (other drives will be excluded from the transfer).
And there’s another catch, too. Because as a part of the migration process, you must also agree to have several programs included on your PC, whether you want them or not: the Ask Toolbar, RealPlayer, Update Star, Kaspersky Security Scan, SpeedUpMyPC, Easy Duplicate Finder, MAGIX Movie Edit Pro and iYogi Support Dock.
You could of course uninstall each of these right away, but that probably won’t be too much consolation for most people. If you’re hoping that your new PC will be clean, and so faster and more stable, then equipping it with up to 8 unwanted programs immediately is unlikely to appeal.
For all these hassles, PCmover Free may just about be worth using in a few situations. If you’ve a few particularly complex applications to transfer then turning to the program will mean you won’t have to find CDs and serial numbers, then locate and reinstall extensions, updates and so on.
And Laplink are at least making an effort to ensure your migration runs smoothly. If you run into problems during the transfer process then the company are providing a toll-free number, manned 24-7, which American users can call for guidance.