Copying Complete HD Contents

Avatar

Please consider registering
Guest

Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_topic_old
Copying Complete HD Contents
Avatar
ptmguelph
Canada
Member
Forum Posts: 17
Member Since:
December 31, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
January 4, 2012 - 9:05 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

I have a PC desktop and a PC laptop and I have recently acquired a new MacBook Air (having fun learning how to use OS X Lion!).  I have a 1TB external drive that I have been using to back up the two PCs and I would like also to use it to back up the MacBook.  The external drive is formatted NTFS, which I can't write to from a Mac, so I want to reformat it as Fat32 so that both the PCs and the Mac can use it.  To reformat it, I first need to copy the contents elsewhere, then copy those contents back after the reformat.  I have two questions related to this.

First, what program would be best to use for the copy operation?  I know I could just use Windows' built-in copy function, but I have heard that Windows sometimes has problems copying thousands of files at a time.  Both PCs are Win7, if that's relevant at all.

Second, where should I copy the files to?  I have another external drive that I am not currently using and I could connect this via eSATA to my desktop.  The current external drive is also connected via eSATA and I have two eSATA ports on the desktop PC.  (In case you're wondering, that drive can also be connected via USB, which I will use for the Mac.)  Though my current external drive is 1TB, I am using less than 300GB on it, so that would fit on the other HD, which is a 500GB drive.  But the other possibility that I'm considering is just to copy the 300GB from the external HD onto my internal HD, which is also a 1TB drive and has plenty of room for what is on the external drive.

Any thoughts on whether it would be better to use the second external drive vs. just copying to the internal drive?

Avatar
David Hartsock
Admin
Forum Posts: 1105
Member Since:
August 7, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
January 4, 2012 - 9:38 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

ptmguelph said

First, what program would be best to use for the copy operation?  I know I could just use Windows' built-in copy function, but I have heard that Windows sometimes has problems copying thousands of files at a time.  Both PCs are Win7, if that's relevant at all.

I would not worry about using a program at all. Simply copy/paste the files in one fell swoop. If you want to be super safe copy the entire drive to your second external, then create a folder on your desktop and copy them again from the original drive to that folder.

Any thoughts on whether it would be better to use the second external drive vs. just copying to the internal drive?

I would do both if the files are important. You can never be too safe!

Avatar
ptmguelph
Canada
Member
Forum Posts: 17
Member Since:
December 31, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
January 4, 2012 - 9:44 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Good idea to copy the files to both places, Dave.  When you say just copy/paste the files, that's waht I was referring to as Windows' built-in copy function.  So it sounds like you don't agree with the things I had heard before about Windows not being very good at copying large numbers of files at a time, i.e., you feel Windows does this well?

Avatar
David Hartsock
Admin
Forum Posts: 1105
Member Since:
August 7, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
January 5, 2012 - 12:45 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

300GB is billions of bits, so the odds of anything (computer, humans, robots, hard drives, cars) making an error are there, which is why I suggested making two copies to different media just in case.

In a nutshell when you are dealing with billions of little 1's and 0's, even if the odds are extremely low, there is a chance that a wayward 1 or 0 may get flipped or corrupt. It's always a possibility.
You'll be fine with Windows copy/paste. No need to hunt for another program.

Avatar
PewterTA
Member
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
December 1, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
January 20, 2012 - 3:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

If you wanted a nice program that's free and will show you all the stuff copied and make sure to copy everything over (great for a large amount of data) you can use RoadKill's Unstoppable copier.

http://www.roadkil.net/program.php?ProgramID=29

 

I personally like XXCopy myself, but it's command line, so if you don't like figuring out command lines code to copy everything, then I'd go with the Roadkill one... this way if any files for whatever reason don't copy, then you'll know exactly which ones!

Forum Timezone: America/Indiana/Indianapolis

Most Users Ever Online: 188

Currently Online:
14 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 10

Members: 1270

Moderators: 3

Admins: 4

Forum Stats:

Groups: 8

Forums: 19

Topics: 1538

Posts: 11819

Administrators: Jim Hillier, Richard Pedersen, David Hartsock, Marc Thomas

Moderators: Judy Novotny, Jason Shuffield, Mail Poet