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i used files and settings tranfer wizard and put all everything on an external hard drive now i hook up the external to the restored laptop and its telling me i cant use the files to be exact its telling me this your migration store was created with a previous version of files and settings transfer wizard please collect your settings using the current version of the files and settings transfer wizarf

but the data from before the laptop was restored to factory are now gone so now i need something to read these dat files uncompress them and let me load whats there

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First what are you going from os wise?  XP to XP?

I read about a patch from Microsoft that if installed would break the transfer wizard..


That being said.. on the new machine you can try to uninstall KB896344 and see if that works.. 

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yeah something really nasty happend to my laptop and i was luckily able to get into safe mode and i use the files and settings transfer wizard to get my files and yes its windows xp i got a new operations recovery disc and it appears that the disc has a newer version of windows xp than the laptop had so now it wont let me load i will check out this patch any other help info or advice is very much greatly appreciated

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