Computer Newbies forum

General discussion

How to move files between two external hard drives?

by bullmkt3 / November 5, 2010 10:32 PM PDT

I have accumulated thousands of music cd's and dvd's that I copied to an external hard drive. I wish to back up or move these files to another external drive for safety. How do I move them between two external hard drives? Windows XP edition, using two Western Digital 160GB external drives.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: How to move files between two external hard drives?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: How to move files between two external hard drives?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Are you familiar with ...
by Edward ODaniel / November 6, 2010 10:22 AM PDT

Windows Explorer or "My Computer"? If so you could make use of them to drag and drop the files from one drive to another.

You could also make good use of the Command Prompt (Click Start then Run, type in CMD and click OK) as long as you know the drive letters of both drives (which can be found with Windows Explorer). The command to use in that command prompt window would be -
XCOPY E:\*.* F:\ /S /E /H /K /O Where E: is the drive letter of the drive containing the files to be copied and F: is the drive you want the files copied to. On your system the drive letters will probably be different.

Collapse -
Just a note.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 6, 2010 7:18 PM PDT

If I were you, I shouldn't MOVE the files. I should COPY them.

Moving deletes the original, so you still have only one copy and no backup. Copying leaves the original, so you have copies. That's much more safe. In fact, that's the purpose of the whole operation.


Collapse -
Yep, copy, not move.
by MDFlax / November 6, 2010 9:04 PM PDT

If I understand you correctly you still have the originals on your C drive, (hard drive in the computer), and have 'copied' these to that first external hard drive.

If that's right, then I would just do the same again. Copy the files from the computer's hard drive to the new, 2nd external hard drive.

The other ways get messy, eg;

1] Connect both USB hard drives to the computer and copy from the old to the new.

2] Connect the first external hard drive to the computer, copy the files back to computer's internal hard drive. Disconnect that first external, connect the 2nd, new external hard drive, copy those files to the new one. Test to see they are all there, then delete them from the internal, (since you already have them on there).

Windows Explorer is the easiest tool to use in all cases.


Collapse -
Moving files
by flrhcarr / November 13, 2010 10:42 AM PST

You can move them the same way you got them to the other drive in the first place. Copy & paste. Do keep in mind that you will be moving a large amount of information, unless you do them one at a time. Once your additional drive is ready, click on a few files & drag them over to the new drive. Being that it's another drive, it will copy them, not move them. I do this all of the time with the main drive back up. Be sure to let the drive stop blinking for a moment, before going for the next gig or two batch. usually that will be the time you, yourself are ready to click on the next ones.
A warning of course, something may choke, so only do a few files at a time. Don't have other apps running, updating & downloading while you do this, one of them may cause a glitch, & you think you have a file, when you don't.
Overall, this is very easy & you can have many copies of the same file on many different drives. I usually just click a dvd's space of data & drag it to the next drive, spot checking every few files to be sure. Once done, restart the computer & check a couple files again.
Good luck.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?