by August 21, 2002 0 comments

StepUp 1.6 is a PC-migration tool that can transfer all data, applications and settings from one computer to another. This is handy if you buy a new computer and want to transfer all software and settings to it from your old computer. The product claims to be an easy-to-use tool for naive users, giving them the facility to have their own familiar looking settings back without too much trouble. You just need to install the software on the destination machine, and share the hard drives of the source machine. It’s supposed to do the rest. 

We tried migrating data onto a Win 2000 Professional machine from a Win 98 and Win 2000 Professional machine. It allows you to do either mass or selective migration. The former migrates everything from the source PC, while the latter lets you choose what to migrate. Also, in the latter mode, you can choose from Desktop settings, Network settings, Applications and Data to migrate. The software allows the migration to happen over parallel port cable, direct Ethernet crossover cable or over a LAN. We chose to migrate over a LAN, and connected the two machines on a separate hub so that the migration wouldn’t be affected by the traffic. 

Rs 1,370: StepUp Migration Kit having parallel port and crossover cables
Rs 1,135: StepUp CD copy with free crossover cable
Rs 978: Just the StepUP software
Meant for:
Those who want to transfer data and apps from one PC to another
Win 95/98/ME/2000/XP
Good for simple migrations
Can give errors on Win 98 source machines, doesn’t support migration of e-mail from Outlook Express
TechnoPundit Systems,
044-6524326, 6524327

We first tried migrating simple applications like WinZip, which went fine. However, we faced one strange problem in the migration process. When you migrate, you have to run a batch file on the source machine, which exports certain key registry entries. The StepUP program running on the destination machine then picks these up. Unfortunately, during our tests, this batch file didn’t run properly on the Win 98 machine and gave errors. So we had to run the steps mentioned in the batch file manually. It worked fine with that. 

The program worked like a charm with simple application migrations. We migrated several MS Office 2000 applications without a hitch. We then made some customization to MS Word, which it wasn’t able to migrate. We migrated Outlook Express with a few customization. Here, it managed to migrate the application with the account settings, but nothing else. 

The current version of StepUP doesn’t support the migration of a user’s e-mail along with the client program. You’d probably have to do that manually. There’s also a feature to undo a particular migration, but it doesn’t work for Microsoft applications.

We came to know about certain shortcomings of the software, which were later confirmed by the vendor. 

One good feature of the software is that you can map the data on the source machine to the drives of your choice on the destination machine. The software comes with simple-to-follow instructions so that users don’t find it difficult to use. It can work on machines having at least a P II processor, 64 MB RAM and 45 MB of hard-disk space. The supported OSs for the source machine are Win 9x/Me and 2000 Professional. The destination machines could have Win 2000 Professional, XP Home or Professional. 

The Bottom Line: It’s a useful software as it saves you the time of installing all software afresh on a new machine. The company has a 24-hour online Web-based chat help on their website. 

Rashmi Sahu at PCQ Labs

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