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Guide to Moving a Home Computer and Printer

How to Move a Computer

Before you pack your computer, back up your files in duplicate. Use a cloud-based backup service, like Dropbox or Google Drive, along with storage media (portable hard drive or USB drives). Gather your operating system software discs and any other discs you may need to reinstall if you lose data. Pack any discs in a portable CD case so they're all in one place.

If you don't have the box your computer came in, purchase electronics boxes and foam padding for the computer and monitor at an office supply store or specialty box store. If you're moving a laptop, it's a bit easier to pack, but still make sure it has sufficient padding to help prevent it from being damaged. You can even pack it in the same travel bag you use to transport it for everyday use.

Unplug your computer. Use masking tape to label each cord and where it goes, including keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Wrap the cords and secure with zip ties and place the cords in a storage container or moving box. Wrap the keyboard and mouse in bubble wrap and pack them in the same box with the cords and your backup files.

Pack each component in the electronic boxes, using the foam to ensure the items don't shift during transport. List the contents on the box.

Your computer can travel in the moving van as long as you have the appropriate insurance. If your moving insurance covers items by the pound, you'll want an electronics rider to protect this expensive, yet lightweight, equipment.

If you transport your computer in your car and make a hotel stop, bring the computer into your room with you.

Important: Do not pack your computer/laptop and your backup files together. If you put your computer in the moving van, carry your backup media in your car.

How to Move Your Printer/Scanner/Fax Machine

First, unplug the machine. Then disconnect the power cord and USB cable. Label them with masking tape, and wrap them with zip ties or twist ties. Remove any inkjet or toner cartridges and pack them in a sealable plastic bag. For scanners with a lid, tape the lid shut with packing tape.

Wrap electronics in a sturdy box with packing foam on the bottom and top. Tape the box sealed and label it with the contents and the words, "This Side Up" and "Fragile" so you know this box requires special care.