The Do's and Don'ts of Data Migration (Make Sure You Do It Right!)
When it’s time for a computer upgrade, the thought can leave users both excited and a little apprehensive. A brand new machine that’s faster and has more capabilities is great, but how do you get everything from the old system to the new one smoothly?
And what if it’s a Windows to Mac migration, or vice versa? How can you reduce any errors that might cause data loss?
Migrating data from one computer to another can be tricky, and if not done properly, it can mean hours of frustration and having to manually drag each file one by one onto the new system or it can result in data loss.
Of the small businesses who’ve lost data, 85% of them never recover it.
But if you know what “don’ts” to avoid during a data migration, you can sail through smoothly with all your files and folders safety intact in your new system.
Data Migration Mistakes to Avoid
While data migration can be complicated, if you don’t rush it and carefully go through the proper steps, it can save you tons of time when it comes to getting started on a new computer with everything you need.
Here are common mistakes to avoid when you’re migrating data from one device to another.
Migrating “Junk” Data
Over time, it’s not unusual to get a lot of “junk” files built up on your computer. They could be duplicates of files that came about over time, files with corruption problems, or outdated files that were left on your workstation from a previous user.
You don’t want to start off a new system with unnecessary files that will only get in your way. So, before migrating your data, go through your hard drive thoroughly and either store on a separate drive or delete anything that you don’t need copied to the new computer.
Not Checking Your Migration Compatibility
When moving data over from one system to another, you can’t just assume that every system is going to speak to another one perfectly. You may need to format a transfer differently or save the files on a different type of backup.
For example, if you’ve used the Time Machine backup on an iMac to back up the data you’re migrating to an external drive, is the new Mac using the same operating system as the old one? If not, your migration can hit some snags.
Be sure to check out compatibilities between the old and new file structures and operating systems so you can address any compatibility issues in advance.
Neglecting Validation or Business Rules
Companies often have certain business and validation rules in place for their data. This can be something as simple as a particular naming convention for files and folders or something like permissions and where files are backed up in a cloud storage system.
If you just migrate data over without taking your business rules into consideration, that new data can become problematic and get lost outside your normal data protocols.
Sensitive files, such as payroll data, financial records, or inventory should also be validated when moving from a legacy system to a new system.
Not Having the Proper Expertise for the Migration
Data migrations can be complex, and there are any number of issues that can come up in the middle of a data transfer. If you don’t have an IT professional on hand to ensure things go smoothly, you could end up spending hours for something you thought would take minutes or losing valuable data in the event of a major problem.
It’s always smart to let a pro handle the transfer of your files and folders from one computer or server to another to you can be sure it’s done properly.
Forgetting About Cross-object Dependencies
If you have a PowerPoint or Excel document that’s referencing other files on your hard drive using a local file address, you can end up with a bunch of blank boxes with X’s if you don’t take these dependencies into consideration during migration.
This is a common mistake when someone is trying to migrate their own data. They think everything will just magically appear the same exact way on a new system, but those cross-object dependencies can be broken if they’re not handled properly up front.
Neglecting Post Migration Testing & Data Handling
Just because everything moved over, doesn’t yet mean you can kick back and call your migration a success. It’s important to test data integrity after a migration and ensure nothing was missed or corrupted during the transfer.
And what happens to the data on the source computer or backup drive? If you have to comply with data privacy regulations, then you’ll want to be sure to properly clear and decommission the old device so you don’t leave sensitive data laying around that could cause a breach later.
Call Pro Tech Guy for Data Migrations Made Easy
If you need help transferring data from one device to another (Windows & Mac), Pro Tech Guy can get the job done efficiently and quickly. Rather than spending hours and possibly hitting some major snags, just contact us and we’ll handle everything!
Schedule your data migration today by calling 508-364-8189 or contacting us online.