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Transferring files

Community Veteran
Posts: 8,405
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Transferring files

I have an external 500 Gb drive that  is 4 or 5 years old and wish to copy every file on it to a new  external  hard drive which I have yet to purchase but guess  I will go for 1TB.
Almost all of these files are  fairly large and consist of photographs which cannot be replaced so I do not want to mess the job up.
I Could drag each file across on an individual basis, which would take ages or I could highlight the lot and drag them across that way, which will still take ages but at least I can leave the computer to get on with it.
Is this the safest  and best way to transfer from one external drive to another external drive or is there a better/safer way ?
4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Transferring files

Do you have enough space on your normal hard drive for a chunk of them
Selecting multiple files should be OK but I wouldn't select the lot at once
I ask because, although copying directly from one drive to the other should work without problems I would usually go through the intermediate step
There is probably no valid  reason to do this but I am a bit paranoid
Community Veteran
Posts: 8,405
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Transferring files

Yes I would have the space to move them to my internal drive in chunks and then move them on to the second hard drive, like yourself I am paranoid about losing them hence the reason to keep a second copy.
Even a new drive could fail at any time but for 2 drives to fail at the same time would be very unlucky but continuing to use a 4 or 5 year old drive as my only backup is pushing it.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Transferring files

Quote from: gleneagles
I could highlight the lot and drag them across that way, which will still take ages but at least I can leave the computer to get on with it.

I'd do this, first making sure the PC's power settings won't let it sleep or hibernate during the process.
When I do such moves I check the properties of each top-level folder afterwards to verify the size and number of files match between source and target.
A bulk copy like that should be fine if you've saved everything there yourself. If there are hidden or system files or program-created ones with odd attributes you may hit glitches.
WTF
Grafter
Posts: 673
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Registered: 14-09-2012

Re: Transferring files

I would suggest you copy and paste the files rather that cut and paste, that way even if the copy fails, the files remain undisturbed on the orginal disk.
Once you've verified the copied files, you can delete them from the old disk .. if you must.  Personally, I prefer to keep multiple back ups given how flaky external drives can be.  I have a about half a dozen external drives and only the most recently bought one has yet to have some sort of failure.  Given they just sit on my desk, I have to wonder what it is I do to them ..