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Copying pictures to disk

by mtnslope2 / February 25, 2011 8:47 AM PST

I have been copying my picture files to disks for several years, but I don't know how to just copy the ones not already on disks. I have Windows Vista and can't find a place to enter a start date or something like that. I like to put the most recent ones on disk every six months or so. They of course are in several different files. Thanks so much for any help. I feel kind of stupid asking this, but I really do need the help.

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It is "always" difficult.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 25, 2011 9:16 PM PST

It is not a stupid question at all, and is often a very real problem. What you are trying to sort out are the well known, "duplicate files" problem.

There is no easy answer to this. You may want to read a new and ongoing discussion about it raised in Lee Koo's newsletter here; How can I get rid of all my duplicate files in multiple hard drives?.

It may not be exactly the same as your problem, but something there may help.

Specifically though, if you use Explorer in Vista, (eg My Computer, My Documents, etc), you can choose what columns to display in the right hand pane of Vista, as in the example here;

That right hand pane shows date, but within the folder itself you can choose whether to display "Created date" or "Modified date", and so on for each of the files.

The problem is that this doesn't really help you find and decide whether two files are identical. There's only one sure way, to look through each and every photo file, and keep the ones you want and delete those you do not.

Sorry, but I hope that helps.


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Re: copying to disk
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 25, 2011 11:31 PM PST

I think it's only an issue if you've so much picures that they don't all fit on a DVD. With a picture being 1 to 2 MB and a DVD 4.7 GB (if single layer, more if double layer and much more if blue ray) that's some 3000-4000 pics on a DVD. If you've got less than 4.7 GB, just copy all each time.

If more there are several options. I'll give your 5:
1. Find a backup or burn program that lets you select files from folders by date
2. Find a backup or burn program that lets you select new or changed files from a folder via the archive bit
3. Use xcopy (from command mode) to copy the changed or new files to a temporary folder and backup that (that's the /a switch in xcopy).
4. Set the folder options to show the creation or modification date in detail mode (see post by Mark), sort on that and copy the new or changed files to a temporary folder yourself
5. Don't burn to disk, but to an external hard disk using a backup program like Syncback or Synctoy that compares source and destination itself.

Remember, however, that only having one backup is not secure enough. So you'll need to use your primary backup to the hard disk of another PC or webbased storage to be really safe. But, of course, that's the same thing as when you backup to CD or DVD. Having a picture on only one disk is not enough to feel safe. They can become unreadable much too easy.


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