Solved How do I copy all C drive to an external drive?

November 21, 2014 at 08:19:36
Specs: Windows 7
My wife's computer only has 70gb of memory on "C" & "D" drives and both are almost full. Our local PC shop suggested that a cheap option would be to buy a 500bg external hard drive and copy the contents of "C" drive onto it and delete the "C" drive, thereby running the computer from the new "H" drive.
Is it as simple as that or is there more to it?

message edited by BorderReiver


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✔ Best Answer
November 21, 2014 at 20:41:57
At the risk of sounding like an echo, I am going to restate some things, just to reinforce what was already said.
1- You cannot run Windows from an external hard drive.
2- You cannot move programs or operating system to another drive and using it from there.
3- If this is a desktop computer, you CAN add a second hard drive and move over your personal files to the new drive, therefore freeing up space on your C drive so your operating system and your programs run correctly.
4- You CAN clone your hard drive to a new larger internal hard drive using the hard drive mfg's utility (either disk or download) and switch out the hard drives and use the new larger drive instead. You CAN later when all is working right, wipe the old drive and install it as a second hard drive and use it as a destination for backing up your system to. Total cost $50. to $100. (USA) depending on the size of the drive needed and where you purchase it (do-it-yourself project). This is the preferred method by those who know what they are doing.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.



#1
November 21, 2014 at 08:29:54
You can't delete the C: drive or you will lose your operating system and need to reinstall it.

You can copy files/folders to the new drive. You can NOT copy programs/applications to the new drive - they won't work.

What make/model is this computer? You might be able to replace the current drive with a larger one and "clone" your current drive to the newer, larger, drive. Basically you'd copy everything "as-is" to the new larger drive.

You then wouldn't have to do anything to it. It would be a cheaper/faster solution than adding an external drive too.


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#2
November 21, 2014 at 08:45:47
The computer is a Packard Bell Imedia S3720.
My wife is wanting to keep this reasonably cheap & I already have a spare 500gb external hard drive. I also have all 4 recovery discs for her computer...would it be possible to load them onto this external drive and copy other files from the "C" drive?
We just need to free up space and speed up the computer and have already dome all the usual stuff ..defrag, disc clean-up etc.

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#3
November 21, 2014 at 09:07:29
I would stay far away from any computer shop that told you copy your C drive to an external drive and run everything from there, and delete the C drive.

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Related Solutions

#4
November 21, 2014 at 12:22:48
If you want to make use of the external HD then copy your own files (documents, pictures, video's, music etc) into folders on it then delete them from the C drive once you are sure you have them safely. That will free up some of your HD space. Having said that if they are important to you they should be held in at least two separate places in case something ever goes wrong.

Cloning the HD (properly) onto a new larger one, as already given, is the best way to go. Just copying the whole of the C drive contents onto an external will not work.

Just for info "memory" is normally taken to be RAM - what you are asking about is hard disk (HD) space.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#5
November 21, 2014 at 20:41:57
✔ Best Answer
At the risk of sounding like an echo, I am going to restate some things, just to reinforce what was already said.
1- You cannot run Windows from an external hard drive.
2- You cannot move programs or operating system to another drive and using it from there.
3- If this is a desktop computer, you CAN add a second hard drive and move over your personal files to the new drive, therefore freeing up space on your C drive so your operating system and your programs run correctly.
4- You CAN clone your hard drive to a new larger internal hard drive using the hard drive mfg's utility (either disk or download) and switch out the hard drives and use the new larger drive instead. You CAN later when all is working right, wipe the old drive and install it as a second hard drive and use it as a destination for backing up your system to. Total cost $50. to $100. (USA) depending on the size of the drive needed and where you purchase it (do-it-yourself project). This is the preferred method by those who know what they are doing.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#6
November 22, 2014 at 00:48:59
Thanks for all the replies. My wife doesn't want to go along the new hard drive route as the computer is a few years old and will need replacing eventually. The RAM is also nearly full and I can't find anything bigger than the one she's got that will fit that computer. After taking in all your advice I'm going to hook up my spare 500gb hard drive and move all her files, photos, music etc onto it. Not sure what else could be moved, but it'll free up enough space to make life a bit easier for her for now.
Thanks again.

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#7
November 22, 2014 at 04:51:48
Hi Border, before moving anything, I would investigate what is filling the disks.

There can be many culprits. e.g.

Internet files having too much workspace.
Temporary files not deleting
Recycle bin not emptied
Redundant Applications.
etc. etc.

It may be possible to increase the RAM cheaply, which will speed up the pc.

The recovery disks you mention, may be considerably out of date.

Remember, there are two types of disk, those that have failed and those that will fail. So please regularly take backups.

Good Luck - Keep us posted

message edited by Mike Newcomb


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#8
November 22, 2014 at 19:39:36
Adding the second 'old' hard drive cannot hurt and may be all you need.
Running Disk Clean Up also cannot hurt and will remove a lot of built up junk and speed things up.
Uninstalling programs you never use is also a good idea
Installing and running the free version of Malwarebytes (uncheck the trial of the paid for version) can remove other junk that may be causing you problems and has been found to be very safe to use.
Use Task Manager to determine what programs use a lot of RAM ('memory') and see if you need the program as well as if you need it to start automatically with Windows. Stopping these programs from starting with Windows is like adding more memory since it is free for you to use for the programs you really want to use.

Report back on how things are going and for more details as needed and when all is working better, please select a best answer to mark the post solved.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#9
November 26, 2014 at 14:41:00
OK Guys, I've got a lot of useful info from all of you & used it to at least clear a bit of space on my wife's computer until she decides it's time to renew it. To be honest, 70bg is not a lot of storage in the first place.
We use Norton 360 to manage backups & Startup Manager. I've also removed everything that's not essential & moved all her personal stuff onto my spare portable hard drive. That's freed up nearly 14gb & I'm sure things like Google Earth, camera, phone and printer software can be run from it too if necessary, although she seems happy with her computer now so I might just leave it.

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