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Windows 7: Consolidating Harddrives

03 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Consolidating Harddrives

Over time, I've got three harddrives from various PCs that no longer operate, but are plugged into my current Windows 7 Desktop computer. Is there any utility that will consolidate (and even better, eliminate duplicate files) from three computers - i.e. I have three drives with three 'My Document' folders with files within that I would like to consolidate onto one drive, that will be backed up regularly.

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Mar 2012   #2

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

I think most of the duplicate file finders work on a single drive. As far as syncing, FreeCommander has a file sync function that can easily sync folders such as My Documents, with optional subfolder inclusion. It's very easy to use. Put the folders you want to sync as the active tab on each side, hit the Sync Button inbetween. It then pops up options such as Include Subfolders etc.. When you do the sync search it will show which files will copy in which direction, then show a summary before you commit. Also you can remove files from the list manually.

It's pretty much fool proof for syncing small folder trees. If you really only need to sync data then delete I would probably sync the stuff, then make a backup image of the old drives in case you remember something you want later. Then quick format them and just use them for data storage.

Image backup programs such as Easus ToDo Backup and Macrium Reflect you can mount the backup image as a drive letter and copy files or folders out if you need them later.

Presumably you would back up to an external drive. But once you clean off one of the old drives you can copy the backup image to it. The backup images are not dependent on which drive they were written to. They can be copied without losing information.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

The job of "consolidating" from multiple old hard drives that very likely contain much duplication is a job best left to YOU to fully control, evaluating information presented to you by very capable software tools and utilities.

As was already expressed, Free Commander has some good capabilities in the area of comparison/sync.

But for truly superb such folder/file capability, along with the sought-after "sync" and "mirror" (from left to right, from right to left, both sides, etc.) functions that provide ultimate flexibility (under your direction but performed flawlessly by the program) I highly recommend Beyond Compare.

This program supports not only folder and file (i.e. directory) comparisons, but also can compare on CONTENT (text and binary), showing you the differences highlighted with colors, and allowing you to selectively copy portions (i.e. lines or fields, etc.) of that content from one-side to the other, etc.

The user-interface of Beyond Compare is very easy to understand and make use of.

So for your purposes, it might be just the ticket... finding not only absolute duplicates that might be on multiple drives (perhaps in folders that have different names) but also allowing you to conveniently examine file CONTENTS from what you suspect might be duplicates (or maybe even near-duplicates), so that you can decide for yourself WHICH one you'd like to end up with and which one you can delete in the consolidation process.

Highly recommended. But YOU are in charge of this, and the program is simply your tool.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Mar 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

It's easiest to browse the older HD's in Computer, rightclick on the desired folders to Add to Library. Then they will all appear when you click on Documents, Pictures, Downloads, Videos, Music, Favorites, etc.

Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2012   #5

 

Also, see the following thread...

ROBOCOPY - Create Backup Script
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