Peripherals forum

General discussion

External Hard Drive use

by luncheater / July 2, 2007 11:36 PM PDT

How do I optimize my new external hard drive (WD 160GB)?

I do not know how to move programs there

I do not know how to create folders in which to place my data files (such as My Documents or My Pictures).

Any help would be appreciated.

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Programs do not move.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 3, 2007 12:52 AM PDT

Since a Windows version introduced in 1995, almost all programs do not "move". In fact it's best to leave them there.

As to what can move to the new hard disk the repeating plea in this forum is for help to get files out of a cranky external. So let's cover a few (Windows) basics.

1. Use NTFS if possible since FAT32 is not damage resistant.
2. Remember it's just another hard disk so we must keep our backups current of what we can't lose.
3. While chkdsk and defrag do work on USB drives I'm hesitant to run defrag on externals since there are so many that overheat and the contents go missing. If you have a great drive and enclosure then it's a non-issue.

Bob

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External Drive
by luncheater / July 3, 2007 1:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Programs do not move.

Thanks. I think it is now FAT32 - I dont recall making that choice, it must have been made for me. Any idea on how to make the change and will I loose things there now if I do?

Is there any reason why I need to partition the drive? - i have seen other threads discussing how to do that.

Related question - If I do nothing, will new items begin to be stored on the external when the interal HD is full? Does it act merely as an overflow or will things only go there when I direct them there?

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Which OS?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 3, 2007 1:28 AM PDT
In reply to: External Drive

You didn't supply this but for XP here's how to make it NTFS -> http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=CONVERT+TO+NTFS

The reason it's FAT32 is that the maker can't predict which OS you have so they supply it in that form.

"Is there any reason why I need to partition the drive?"

You need to tell me the reason. I never do this since it can make file recovery that much harder.

"If I do nothing, will new items begin to be stored on the external when the interal HD is full?"

No. No operating system is that smart yet. If you want something there then you put it there.

Bob

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