Copy Programs

Dear Computer Lady,

I enjoy reading your columns in Making It At Home, they are so very helpful. I have a problem:

I have Adobe PageMill 3.0 in my old computer. I can not find the disks for it to load it into the new computer. Is there a way to download the program into the new computer? 

The old computer a Dell dimension 4100 does not have the capability to burn CDs, it does have a couple of UBS slots in the back. The new computer is also a Dell with 4 UBS in the front. The memory stick I have is 128MB, I don’t know how much memory is left in it.


Dear Raymond,

When you are moving from one computer to another, it is possible to bring your data files from one to the next, but you cannot move programs from one computer to the other. Let’s take a look at the difference.

Data files that can be transferred from your old computer to the new one are files that you create on your computer. Common data files are your email address list, favorites, photos that you have scanned or uploaded from your camera, email messages that you have saved, audio files that you have copied from CDs or downloaded from the internet. Office documents like those created in Word, Excel, Power Point, or files that you have created in Adobe PageMill can also be transferred.

Programs that you have installed on your computer, cannot be transferred, they can, however, be installed on the new computer using the same install media that you used to install it on the original computer. In other words, if you used a CD or set of CDs to install PageMill on your old computer, you can use the same set of CDs to install it on the new computer.  In this case, the CDs are your install media.

If you download a program from the internet, you will want to save the original file that you downloaded, and you will be able to install the program from that file on the new computer.

 Let me give you an example. I recently purchased a two year license of AVG Antivirus plus firewall for my computer.  When I completed the purchase,  I created a new folder named, AVG in my “Downloads” folder and downloaded the file from their website, saving it in the new, AVG, folder. I then opened the email that came from the company with my registration number and saved a copy of that email into the AVG folder as well. Now, I have everything that I need to install that program saved together in that one folder. Once I have installed AVG, I save the folder in case I need it in the future. Usually, I save it onto a CD or DVD along with several other programs that I have purchased on line. You could also save it onto a USB flash drive or copy to another computer hard drive. My downloaded folders are also automatically saved by my online backup program, Carbonite.


NOTE: For older programs, you want to check and make sure they will run on the new computer. You might have to purchase a newer version of the software if you want it to run on a newer operating system.

The reason that you can’t simply copy a program from one computer to the next is that most programs make changes in your system registry that enables them to run. Many programs also install support files in your windows folder, and you really have no way of knowing which files go with what program.

I know this answer doesn’t really help you with your missing PageMill Cds, but hopefully it will help you to be better prepared for future upgrades.


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