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Looking for help from a computer whiz new computer, XP to Windows 8

I purchased a new computer with windows 8. After reading and looking at the book etc. and reading on line I am less concerned about the learning curve than before. I am using my XP machine, have the new one set up in another room and taking my time before setting it up. I use Norton antivirus software with back up. Have figured out how to download to my new computer. MY question is, how good of an idea is it to transfer everything from an old computer to a new one as opposed to restoring the data on the same computer that lost it for one reason or another? I only store a couple hundred pictures, no other data really but I most want is my bookmarks. Seems to me all the other crap on the computer will download to the new one. Any errors or problems will also download. I am using foxfire but also have IE and Google Chrome. I want to try the new explorer before going back to foxfire. Would the old explorer overwrite the new explorer or would I end up with both of them. My chrome is screwed up so would transfer still screwed up. I can delete the chrome, but that data has already been saved by Norton.?????? Would appreciate any advice or things I should be cautious of. Would it be better to start fresh and transfer photos and book marks a little at a time. There is no time frame that I need to have the new computer up and running. I also have a 13" macbook to use if I need it, although I have never gotten used to the Apple world.

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