How can I transfer files from a computer running Windows 95 to one with Windows 7?

March 2, 2014
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How do I transfer files from a windows 95 computer to a windows 7 computer?

  1. Matthew
    March 7, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    USB support in Windows 95 may be an issue, it only came in with the OSR2 releases, and was rudimentary at best, similarly driver support for USB devices is limited, so I would not bank on using USB connectivity on the 95 system.

    CD or DVD may be an option, as it was possible to fit CD / DVD writers in 95.

    FTP transfer may be another option - an old version of Filezilla will run on 95
    http://www.oldapps.com/filezilla.php?system=Windows_95

    Finally, there is the option of moving the disk drive to an external enclosure and connecting to the other machine.

  2. Youri W
    March 3, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Upload your data from your Windows 95 computer to dropbox or a similar cloud service and then download it to your windows 7 computer.

    • Howard B
      March 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Pretty sure there's no Dropbox client for Windows 95, and you may not be able to upload from Dropbox.com from any (severely dated) web browser running on Windows 95.

  3. Jenne Q
    March 3, 2014 at 5:19 am

    use a usb

    • Charles
      March 21, 2014 at 12:03 am

      Of all the answers I've gotten from everyone, none of them work. The reason is because the files on the windows 95 are in a FAT32 format, the files on windows 7 are NTFS. Some readable files I was able to get off by connecting the hard drive of W 95 to W 7 and transferring them in that manner, the exe files are too old and will not work with W 7.

      Thank you nall for your help.

  4. Oron J
    March 2, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Wow, now that's a challenge! There are two questions - how to move the data (physical access) and what to do with the data). Let's look at the question of physical transfer first. You have two options:
    1. Remove the hard drive from the old PC and connect it to the new PC, perhaps by using a USB-SATA adapter (also called a USB to SATA bridge). These adapters are cheap and easy to get on EBay, so if you are happy with this method it will work well for you.
    2. You can also copy your data onto a backup location and then access that backup from the Windows 7 machine. The backup location can be an external hard drive, a USB drive (provided you have Windows 95 drivers for it, of course), floppy discs, or a network location.

    What to copy:
    If you are using method (1) above, you'll need to do some preparation. While running Windows 95, RIGHT-click on the the "My Documents" folder, choose "Properties" and note down the location of that folder. If you have Internet Explorer favorites, start up Internet Explorer and export them to an HTML file (I'm afraid I can't remember the exact procedure for doing so, this was so long ago...). If you are using a different browser, take similar steps to export the bookmarks and store them within the documents folder. Finally, if you store mail messages on the computer (as distinct from using an IMAP account or GMail etc), you'll need to back up your mail messages as well (details vary from one email program to another I'm afraid, so I can't help you much here).
    Having done all that, copy the contents of the "My Documents" folder to the backup destination if following method (2), and from it to the new computer. If connecting the old hard drive directly, you'll just need to copy the data once, from teh location you noted down earlier and into your new Documents folder. You'll need to move pictures, videos etc, if there are any, manually.
    It's difficult to comment about data conversion, since there are so many possibilities. Some types of documents (e.g. Word 97 and later) will open just fine on later versions of Word. Older formats will need some tinkering, or using a specialised converter. Other formats may present their own problems and solutions...
    You are welcome to come back to us with more information for more specific advice.

    • dragonmouth
      March 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      It is almost a certainty that any HD with Win 95 data is an IDE so USB to SATA connection will not help.

    • Oron J
      March 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Good catch, Dragonmouth! I meant USB to IDE. Autopilot got the better of me...

  5. Orange County B
    March 2, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Use a flash drive. Most files on older computers can still be opened with newer programs.

    I would recommend copying the following folders to the flash drive / CD.

    Desktop, documents, pictures, downloads, and music.

    Pretty much everything else can be replaced. Hope this helps.

    • Howard B
      March 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Many versions of Windows 95 (pre OSR 2) didn't support USB, and of those that did, you still needed a device driver to support USB Mass Storage. Easier to pull the hard drive and connect it to the destination computer via IDE or USB adapter.

    • Howard B
      March 20, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      If your Windows 95 computer has a network adapter, connect it to your router and share the folder(s) you want to copy over the network.

      http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000535.htm

  6. dragonmouth
    March 2, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    What kind of files? Data or executables?

    You cannot just transfer executables, you must re-install them on the new O/S. However, there is a very good probability that programs designed for Win 95 will not work on Win 7.

  7. Hovsep A
    March 2, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    well you can use IDE to USB connector, plug your hard drive to the connector then to the USB port of your Windows 7 pc.

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