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Help Files all over the place it's a Nightmare

by melbournian / February 2, 2009 9:18 AM PST

My personal data files are in a mess. I have 30 GB drive in my notebook and a 250 GB pocket external and another external 80 GB drive.
Over years, I have copied many Gigabytes of jpg photographs and other irreplaceable data files from the notebook to the pocket and the 80 GB drives, initially as a backup. In addition to this over a period of years I put other data on whatever media, either the notebook hard drive or either of my external drives which ever was at hand at the time.
The resultant mess is that I have data files all over the place some files are duplicated on all drives and in different folders and other unique files are sitting in root and sub directories that do not match on either drive.
Got the picture? I initially tried to find all duplicate files using utilities based on file names; this did not work because some unique photograph files in different sub directories happen now to have the same file name. These thousands of files show up as duplicates but are not necessarily duplicates or copies.
Got the picture? I need some serious discipline and future good housekeeping but first, right now, I need your help to suggest how I may clean up all my drives and get rid of all unnecessary duplicates, without risking deletion of all those once in a life time photographs and other data.

What utilities are out there to help me and what process, methodology do you suggest to get myself into a manageable condition? Please help this desperate housewife?

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I Know Of No Such Messy Desk Cleaner Program
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / February 2, 2009 1:40 PM PST

Organization of files is a skill that's learned over time and I've not found a program that can decide which picture, or music file the user prefers to save.. In addition, since the user could have the same picture/music file with different names, the only successful method for sorting such files is to do it manually.. Yep, it's time consuming and the user tends to learn numerical sequencing of such files, using a basic title, then a number to identify files.. Such as numerous pictures of a family member surfing end up with names like: JohnnySurf 01.jpg.. JohnnySurf 02.jpg...etc.. Then each one of those pictures is organized in a folder with the topic and a date on it.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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As Grif says . . .
by Coryphaeus / February 2, 2009 3:06 PM PST

You're in for long nights.

One word of caution. Backing up priceless pictures to another hard drive is not backing up. All you've done is move them to another drive that will crash someday. What's gonna happen when one of those drives crashes (and they will, count on it) and all those priceless pictures are gone?

That said, you need to start ASAP indexing the pictures, documents, etc., and start putting them onto optical media. I have my important "stuff" and my web site backed up to TWO drives and optical media.

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