I love WLW, but it has an Achilles heel. On XP it’s pretty much impossible to move your configuration data between machines.
Of course that’s true for almost all of Microsoft’s products, but we expect better of WLW. On the other hand, I hear rumor there’s a configuration migration service built into Vista (some OS), so maybe it works fine there.
I found out about this after I switched machines. I have the old data of course, but I’ll just migrate manually. It would be nice if the WLW were to build in a migration utility, but for now here are two somewhat useful references:
- Backup your WLW Settings: a post about this utility, but the utility is quite old and hasn’t been updated
- Migrate Windows Live Writer data: reveals location of the files, unfortunately key data is in the foul pits of Hell, aka the Windows Registry.
There’s some accessible data in ..
- C:\work\My Weblog Posts (path will vary)
- C:\Documents and Settings\[userid]\Application Data\Windows Live Writer
You might imagine you could copy your older WLW posts and drafts to C:\…\My Weblog Posts and WLW would be able to browse and search them, but that doesn’t work. It can open them if you double-click on them, but there’s a cache/index missing somewhere.
Happily, if you copy our old posts and drafts into the new WLW folders (ex: C:\work\My Weblog Posts) and delete the XML cache files WLW will rebuild them and find all your draft and new posts.
 I got messed up here because when I forgot to point the “My Documents” folder to my personal file store. So WLW was only looking in My Documents. I copied the data from My Documents then pointed My Documents to c:\work then launched WLW.
Update 6/17/09: Corrected my mistake about posts recovery.