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Moving things between hard drives

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May 26, 2011 9:54:12 PM

Hello,
We have a 6 year old HP PC that we share with 2 accounts and separate browsers etc. I would like to move my husbands stuff to another older but still serviceable PC. I did buy a new WD caviar green drive. I don't want to lose windows media center on the HP, or the important things like browser bookmarks. However there is a lot of junk that needs to go. Any suggestions?

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a b α HP
a c 116 G Storage
May 27, 2011 3:48:31 AM

The browsers can be installed on the older computer without a hitch.

After doing that (or before; it really doesn't matter when), transfer all of your husband's files and directories to the new WD Caviar drive. Then transfer the WD Caviar drive to your husband's computer.

If the WD drive is an internal drive, install it in the HP computer, format it, and then transfer the directories and files to the WD drive. After that, remove the WD drive from the HP, and install it in the older computer. It will work fine.

You will not lose anything by doing so. After the successful transfer, you can re-visit the computer and delete the files that you no longer need. This should be done on a regular basis anyway.

Don't forget to perform regular backups of both computers.
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May 27, 2011 4:21:07 PM

Ubrales' suggestions sound like a good plan to me.

I would just add some further clarifications:

(Forgive me if you already knew and planned to do these things or something similar.)

I would start by logging in as your husband. (That way you can be sure that you see all the files he does.)

Provided that the following things ARE ALL TRUE:
- that he mainly just uses the PC to get onto the web,
- that he ONLY saves files to his "My Documents" directory,
- that you DO NOT have an office suite, like "Microsoft Office", or email program like "Outlook" installed,
- that you and your husband DO NOT have any games, photo or video applications installed,
then it should be pretty simple to find and copy your husband's files onto the spare hard drive.

Finally, I would ask your husband if he ever specifically chose to save his files anywhere besides under his 'My Documents' directory.

Given that all the listed items above are TRUE, and your husband ONLY saves files to 'My Documents' then after the new hard drive is connected (and formatted if necessary) I would do the following:

- Double-click on My Computer (on his Desktop)
- Double-click on the "Documents and Settings" (folder)
- RIGHT-Click on his user folder
- Select COPY from the pop-up menu
- Click the Back button (near the upper left of the My Computer window) twice

(Now you should see the list of drives attached to the PC.)

- Double-click on the TARGET DRIVE (the new hard drive where you want to save his files)
- Right-click in that folder (probably empty white space with no existing sub-folders)
- Select PASTE from the pop-up menu

...and the file copy process should begin.

NOTE: Selecting his top-level user directory under "Documents and Settings" will copy a lot of most likely unneeded files, BUT it is the safest and most assured way to make sure you don't miss anything, and you can easily go through and clean up afterwards.

As an extra check I would do the following:

Starting from the Desktop (with no folders open)
- Double-click on My Computer (on his Desktop)
- Double-click on the "Documents and Settings" (folder)
- RIGHT-Click on his user folder
- Select Properties and write down the figures next to the Size: and Contains: entries,
- Close the windows.

Starting from the Desktop (with no folders open)
- Double-click on My Computer (on his Desktop)
- Double-click on the New Drive
- RIGHT-Click on his user folder (the one you just created, by copying his files)
- Select Properties
- Compare the figures you recorded.

Provided the Size: and Contains: entries match what you wrote down, you should be all set.

Good luck..



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June 11, 2011 3:29:46 PM

Best answer selected by myra.
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a b α HP
a c 116 G Storage
June 11, 2011 3:34:33 PM

Thank you!
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