Move W7 programs from internal to external HD

May 18, 2011 at 10:29:09
Specs: Windows 7
I am rapidly running out of drive space and looking for advice. My drive is 160GB and have about 23GB free and am running Windows 7 Home Premium on a Packard Bell - Can't remember RAM or CPU

I have an external drive - Buffalo 500GB, and am looking for advice as to how to transfer all my programs from my C:/ drive to the external drive J:/

Can anyone help or advise? Many thanks.

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May 18, 2011 at 10:44:18
Except for the so called "portable" applications directly moving applications from one drive to another is not practical. The problem is that the registry (and or configuration files) will contain references to the old location. Locating and updating all these references would be a formidable task, even for an expert. The only safe way to do this is to uninstall the application and reinstall it where desired. Application data can be moved. The details will vary with the application.

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May 18, 2011 at 11:18:15
That is not a good idea anyway. Your hard drive is not filling up with programs. It is filling up with the stuff you are downloading. Do you ever do any disk cleanup?

I suggest you download Ccleaner Slim from the link below. Check your free space before and after you run it.

You should be maintaining backups of your personal files somewhere. The external is a good place for that.

If you have a desktop computer why not just install a second hard drive?

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May 18, 2011 at 11:44:21

Thanks for the tips on transferring. Seems like both are going to be a long process, but you both have suggested what was going through my mind. Think it's going to be a case of transferring the programs one-by-one - all because I can't get the back up to work.

Thanks anyway.

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May 18, 2011 at 11:58:38
Running programs from an external is not the best solution. Your should reconsider.

Without backups of your personal files eventually you will be back here asking how to recover your files after a hard drive crash.

If you can't get the backup feature in Windows 7 to work either you are doing something wrong, or there is something wrong with your Windows 7 installation.

What happens when you try to perform a backup? Are you running backup from the Control panel? Do you have a third party backup program installed or is there backup software on the External drive?

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May 18, 2011 at 14:27:42
You could transfer them and then edit registry maybe. Not all programs can be moved, some have a special way to prevent that by locking files to the drive and are unmovable.

The best way is to consider a clean install of W7 and then re-install each app to the new usb drive.

I'd consider other ways to clean drive right now and use compression until you make the jump.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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May 19, 2011 at 10:16:29
My common solution when upgrading OS's and desiring to retain programs is to make images that can be loaded, this works exceptionally well on externals if you keep in mind that you are NOT actually running the programs on the external drive. To get the best off both worlds do this:

Here is the synopsis - 1) make an image of your system to an external 2) Mount that image to verify you can access it 3) start removing and deleting un-necessary files from your Internal HD (not programs) 4) if you zap something you need you can always recover it from the image w/o very fast.

Find and run a registry logger, Windows 7 boasts to have that built in now, or use system checkpoint restore facility.

The logger will create an image of your registry file then when you remove programs / apps the registry will change and you can run programs to extract those changes into registry update files that can be re-applied to your current running registry shoudl you want the programs back. again win 7 can do this as well as having the "prevoius version" option and there are apps that can assist. OR just re-install from original CD's.

You see I do everything manually because I no longer trust many of these applications and that process is too extensive to write up or re-install the software

Images can also save you from a serious OS crash, the ones available are NORTON, ACRONIS, and many shareware (free) ones.

Hope that helps

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