Question Networking Laptop to Desktop Computer

Feb 10, 2020
Would this work? I'm using a Win10 (which I hate) Dell Inspiron laptop. My old desktop is running XP. from 2003. Everything worked fine until a few weeks ago. I use programs like Ancestry on the desktop and my genealogy file that I've had since the 90s, but they upgraded the other week and since it's XP, a lot of the real documents can't be seen anymore. The laptop only has 250 GB hard drive and between the real documents and my family files, I don't have enough room. I don't know if they'd work on the laptop since the genealogy program I use is from 2005. Is this a possibility? Would there be a problem?

Another thought I had was to buy a hard drive case and remove the hard drive from the desktop to plug into the laptop, but the piles of family groups are all over my desk and no room for the laptop to network. I also thought about networking and/or wifi.

I don't want to buy another desktop and have to start all over and I can't lose the genealogy program I've been using all these years either. I've got over 10,000 ancestor files I use and that doesn't include the documents or photos. Would any of the above ideas work?


Jul 7, 2020
If you are still running XP and do anything on the internet, your risk level for ransomware or viruses is high. XP has not had security updates for years. Even going to established sites can sometimes be dangerous. Hackers love people running XP!

Whether your software will work on Win10, I can't predict. Windows does try to maintain backward compatibility and there are ways to improve compatibility with older SW by making some tweaks--research this yourself. I have run a lot of old SW with no issues, but you may not be so lucky.

I sympathize with adjusting to Win10 but I for one would never go back. Win10 is so much easier to use and runs much better. You just need to get used to the new user interface. Again, there are many tricks and tips articles you can find on the internet that will help. Not that I love Win10 totally. MS really works hard to "own" you and this is evident in Win10. But that are ways around some of that. Pay attention to the privacy settings if you care.

Buying a new desktop computer may be the best choice. If your current computer is 17 years old, it's going to be a real dog compared to modern machines. You might consider going to a local computer store (ideally one where they build computers) and ask them about moving your current drive into a new machine along with a new large system drive (1-2 TBs). You could then work with moving the files from the old HDD to the new one (hopefully an SSD). You don't need a powerful (expensive) CPU or more the 8GB of RAM (my guess unless you do gaming or lots of video editing).

I hope you are keeping good backups. Sounds like you have a huge amount of important data. Good luck
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