[ad]Dear Computer Lady,
We put windows 7 on my moms computer and we used windows easy transfer. We loaded it on a personal media drive from HP, and made sure it worked on her computer (it had XP before) and it had so we put 7 on it. 7 runs great, but those files we put on the media drive were not able to be read on any of our 3 computers. Mine has 7 on it, hers has 7 on it, and our laptop has XP service pack 3 on it. I think it saved them as a .unc file. The folder name is USMT2.unc. Is there any way to convert these files into a something windows can read or are these lost forever?
Windows Easy Transfer was created to make it easy for a user to transfer files from an older computer to a new one. I have used this program several times, and it usually works pretty good. I have even used it to store files when doing a fresh install of Windows on a computer, similar to what you have done on your moms computer.
The problem that you have run into, is that you used one version of Easy Transfer to create the backup files, and you are now trying to read them with a different version of Easy Transfer.
If your laptop was running the same version of easy transfer as your moms computer had been before you installed Windows 7, you would have been able to read the files from there.
Your files are not lost forever, but you might have to do quite a bit of work to get them back again. You would have to erase the hard drive on your mom’s computer and install the old Windows XP on it once again. You should then be able to read the files on the media drive and restore them to your hard drive.
Once you have your files back, you can either back them up to the media drive by dragging them to the drive (they can then be read in any computer), or use the Windows Easy Transfer on your Windows 7 Computer to create the backup files. Once that has been done, you can once again upgrade to Windows 7 and import your files.
Your situation is not rare. Often people use backup software to back their files up to an external drive or even DVDs and never even try to read the files from another computer. When the computer crashes, and they try to recover their files, they find that they can’t read them without the original backup software, and many people don’t even remember what the software is called, let alone what version of the software they were using.
My recommendation is that you backup your files, and then make sure you can read them on another computer just to be sure your files are accessible if you should even need to rely on the backup.