There are many different ways to move data from one PC to another.The purpose of this guide is to let you know of a few options you have and give you some gerneral ideas.
One great source is this how transferring files from one computer to another site.This is a great resource site that holds you hand and takes you step by step on transfing over data.
If you only have a few hundred files you want and no custom settings then just copy them over to a thumb drive or Cd and call it a day.
Vista and XP both have a built in Data Trasnfer program that can move over profiles, It can be a bit of a pain to get working however.They say it's easy but often times the software can go a little hay wire and take forever and then hang.This often times can be a very big pain in the you know what. That is why for people who need to transfer over user profiles and a ton of other settings your best option is to purchase software to do so. Check out this PC to PC file transfer site for some good pointers and reviews on software.
One option many people who are computer savvy can do is just export all their data and then re-install the software on the new machine and import the data back in.This works very well for transfering over things like Internet Explorer. Refer to the manufactures guide on how to do this or check out how to transfer files some great pointers.
Most programs wil work just fine on Vista but you should ensure they do before you install them.If you are unsure if your software is compatable with Vista just call the software maker. Most programs do work well on Vista but you may need an upgrade.
As far as external devices like printers and the like you also may need to go to the manufactures website to get the latest drivers and software updates before you can install the printer. If you have Vista you need to make sure you get the correct driver for the version you have. 32 bit or 64bit. You can tell this by right clicking on the “Computer” icon under the Windows Start Menu and then select “properties”. From there you can see what version you have.