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Download directly to external drive, as existing one is full

by riverbird69 / April 19, 2008 5:09 AM PDT

Hi, I have a reconditioned Compaq Armada E500, operating Windows XP, with 256Mb of RAM, and a pathetic 6Gb hard drive..And no, I can't afford another laptop!
My problem is that when I download anything, be it music, photos, whatever, the system realises the hard drive is full and alerts me to this.
So if I were to buy an external drive, how could I get this to essentially act as the main drive for the unit, and have all those alerts eradicated when I try to download stuff. Also, would I need to upgrade RAM, or is that only the case if I were to try and put a larger hard drive in the laptop itself?. And then I assume a BIOS upgrade would be required in that case...
I'm looking the easiest solution.... all help appreciated!
Many thanks, Colin..

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Once You Get The External Drive..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 19, 2008 5:50 AM PDT

..it shouldn't be a problem..

1. YES, you can direct the download directly to the external drive..

2. NO, you can't make the external drive the "main drive", but 6 GB is enough to run Windows XP..

3. You could move some of the files, such as documents, pictures, and music, from your "full" C: drive to the external drive, therefore eliminating the error message.

And yes, more RAM is a good idea for even normal computer duties with XP, (no less that 512 MB and preferably 1 GB) but RAM itself shouldn't be a limiting factor with the external drive.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Download to external drive...
by riverbird69 / April 19, 2008 6:00 AM PDT

ok... now for the obvious question... without having to direct every single download manually... Is there a way to tell Windows XP to put whatever I download on the external drive???... (or is that trying trying to make the external drive the main drive.... which it can't be apparently)...
In other words, when I download stuff, will I have to select where it goes???
Example: I use limewire/napster... I can choose where I want the actual stuff to go on the laptop directly from napster for example, however it still gets stored in the Napster program folder in temp files... In other words there are certain programs that 'double up'... you can put what you want where you want, but the program stills puts whatever has been downloaded in it's own database...
Again.... any and all help greatly appreciated!

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downlaod to external hard drive..
by riverbird69 / April 19, 2008 6:20 AM PDT

or am I just being an idiot... and you can actually move your 'my documents' , 'my music', 'my pictures' etc folders from windows on the laptop to the external drive??..... and bearing in mind i'm an idiot.... how can i do this??.... Or have I got the whole jist of the suggestion wrong???

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Re: move My documents.
by Kees Bakker / April 19, 2008 7:13 AM PDT
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310147

As (in XP) 'My Music' is a subfolder of My Documents, it's moved with it.

A side note: files you download are put in Temporary Internet Files first, then copied to the final destination. So you should have room for that (and maybe set the Internet Options to clean it regularly). For speed reasons, it's better not to put TIF on an external hard disk.

And another side note: experience shows that an external hard disk is much more error prone than an internal one. If you don't believe me, visit our Storage Forum and see how many posts are about the theme 'I can't access my external drive anymore' and how much some people hate to pay a data recovery company to get their files back.

So heed the advice of my colleage Grif: "If you buy an external disk to store data on, buy TWO and use one as backup of the other". If it's not too much data, a 4 Gb USB stick might suffice. Or invest in a external DVD-burner.

Kees
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Download to external drive
by riverbird69 / April 21, 2008 4:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: move My documents.

Thats great thanks!!.

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