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Transfer large data between two extrenal hard disks

by Imranw23 / February 3, 2013 12:10 AM PST

I have two external hard disks hooked on to the back of my PC. I think the port is USB 2.0.

I wish to transfer all data from one extrenal hard disk to the other. The thing is, the amount I am transferring is around 530 GB. It is virtually impossible for me to transfer it to my internal hard disk and then transfer to the new external.

I wanted to ask, will it be ok to connect both the extrenals and leave the transfer on overnight? I don't want any damage to happen to either of my external hard disks.

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by Imranw23

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2013 12:15 AM PST

You wrote TRANSFER. That means that if during the transfer if it corrupted content that all would be lost. You did not write you were going to COPY it over then decide what to do later.

Beyond that, yes I've left my externals on for days with an unit at the office that runs for months at a time between power downs. Was there a problem with these drives that caused you to worry about using them for a normal amount of time?

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My bad
by Imranw23 / February 3, 2013 12:25 AM PST
In reply to: DANGER. DON'T DO THAT!

Oh, sorry. My bad. When I said transfer, I meant I would copy paste all the data from one external to the other. Once successful, I will then delete all the data from the original external hard disk (I need that empty).

There is no bad history with the two external hard disks. Only thing is that one is just out of the box brand new while the other one is just over a year old (I don't think that should factor in much). I am just worried because I have never done such a large transfer and that too between two USB external hard disks.

So, do you think I would run into any trouble??

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Re: copying
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 3, 2013 12:32 AM PST
In reply to: My bad

Hardwarewise, I don't expect any errors.
But, for some unclear and maybe unwarranted feeling, I'd use an xcopy command in stead of copy/paste or drag and drop from the GUI.

Be sure to check the amount of space (GB) and number of folders/files on the new disk before deleting everything on the old disk. It should be exactly the same (except when the block size is different).


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Copy. Much better idea.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2013 12:36 AM PST
In reply to: My bad

If you don't use the xcopy command then look at


For this one I'd do that since it will do the copy in a way that, in my opinion, will be less stressful on the externals.

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by Imranw23 / February 4, 2013 3:36 PM PST

Thank you all for helping me out with this. The command line worked pretty well and it was done overnight. The number of files and capacity matched as well

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