My wife's 6 year old Compaq laptop (WXP, SP3, 1 GB RAM, Windows Defender, CCleaner, MBAM, SuperAntiSpyware, all WU's current) keeps requiring more and more hand holding to keep it running ok. The fan is weak and sometimes doesn't start. A few times the drive shut down due to overheating. Firefox freezes sometimes as does WLMail and the computer will decided (whilst idle) to either shut down or do a restart without prompting. I just had to work on some weak-springed contacts inside of each USB port to get them to work, but this may not be a permanent fix. If I purchase another laptop I'd like to be able to transfer her files and programs from the current one to the new one. In particular she has tons of purchased games (in Real Arcade and MSN) and tons of photos and Office files. The 60 GB hard drive has 41 Gigs used up. I'd like to somehow transfer all or most of this to a new laptop, before the current one crashes for good. I've got the OS CD (WinXP, SP2) and an `Application and Driver Recovery DVD'. I've never really backed up anything on this machine other than to put all or most of our photos on a flash drive and copy them to my Acer Desktop. I understand there are utilities out there that can make an image of this drive but, frankly, I'm not really sure what that means. I know very little about a product called Acronis but I think that's mostly for recovering an old machine and not transferring files and programs to a new one. Not sure. Can someone advise as to where I should start in terms of copying all my `good stuff' to a new laptop. I haven't a clue how to do this. Or should I just give the new computer (not purchased yet) and the old one to a local geek who can copy all this stuff for me? Will it matter that the new laptop might be a different OS? Thanks to all you experts in advance...............Paul C.