Hi....... Complete numpty here who is looking for help from experienced users. I've owned a Sony Handycam DCR-HC44E for a number of years (yes it's ok for my needs) & I had no problems transferring to my Dell laptop running Windows XP (no longer supported by Microsoft) with Movie Maker included. Now here's the problem.......I was forced into purchasing a new laptop after the Dell packed up. My new laptop is loaded with Windows 8.1 (yuk) which with Windows 7 does not support the driver in my Camcorder. Sony's answer was to use I-link connection (FireWire) using PMB as content transfer software, which of course didn't work, or I should consider purchasing a FireWire PCI card for my laptop / PCMCIA FireWire card port, if the laptop has a PCMCIA port (which of course it hasn't). They have now washed their hands of the problem because of the seniority of the camcorder (their words not mine).
It would be easy to go and spend a few hundred pounds on another camcorder but the one I have is in working order the only problem of course being transferring recorded tapes to the laptop/dvd.
So is there anyone who can give me practical advise on what I should do know?