Portable Hard Drives

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anotheoldgit | 14:37 Sat 14th Apr 2012 | Technology
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I have a portable hard drive fitted to my computer.

How can I copy some of my programmes over to this drive?

Also is there any way one can mirror image all the personal documents one has on the computers main hard drive and transfer them to the portable hard drive?

Windows XP


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What i did was, open up c drive showing all the files, reduced the window to half the screen, opened up the external drive and reduced to the other half of the screen . Then drag and drop all the files i selected across
You won't be able to copy the programs over.

Programs are like trees - mostly visible but with deep roots anchored firmly in the operating system. Your portable hard drive doesn't have an operating system.
With hc4361 on ths one. Agree it cannot be done. What you can do is drag and drop all music , photos videos etc which may help you create some space and have a back up of them, done it yesterday after having the dreaded bue screen in the week.
I have a feeling that the answer would lie in installing the program on the external drive - then you could run the programme from wherever.
As hc4361 says, dont try and move any of your programs as the install process "hard codes" them to the drive they are installed on.

You can copy the files to your external hard drive by using copy and paste or drag and drop.

For copy and paste - Go to the place where the original files are, then do "select all" then select "copy". This will copy all the files to the clipboard.

Now create a folder on your external drive, go to your this folder, select within the empty folder (to get the cursor ther) and now select paste.

This will COPY all the files from the original folder to the new folder.

You can also use drag and drop like Celticv11 says, but drag and drop can be used for MOVE or COPY. Make sure you select COPY rather than MOVE becuase Move will move the files rather than copy them.
It is not a good idea to install programs to the external hard drive either, because if the external hard drive is not plugged in it could case confuse Windows and cause a number of problems.

Programs are usually not that big so moving them to an external drive is not going to save you much space.

30 seconds of video is probably larger than most of the programs on your computer.
Thanks VHG - your answer explains why I've always had problems when someone says 'it's OK I've got the program on this pen drive...'
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Question Author
Thank you all for your very informative answers.

It looks as if the split screen method is best, as one can then see what one is moving over, except for the fact that, this only moves them over.

Since I want to copy them (back them up) perhaps using the copy and paste method is the best.

I will take your advice and leave the programmes alone.
"It looks as if the split screen method is best, as one can then see what one is moving over, except for the fact that, this only moves them over. "

Using this method, the default action is COPY if you drag to another drive and MOVE if you drag to another location on the same drive. So this should work perfectly well for you.

If you want more control, you can use a right-drag (i.e. using the right button instead of the left); when you drop (release the button), a menu will pop up offering Copy, Move, or Create Shortcut.

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Portable Hard Drives

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