Moving entire Documents to another PC

  1. Posts : 117
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit

    Moving entire Documents to another PC

    I have two PCs running W7 Pro with one as my main computer that is always kept up to date and the second PC is kept as a backup unit ready to boot up if something drastic happens to the main one. The backup PC had been out of action temporarily while I redecorated the office space and needed a lot of updating when I finally got around to setting it up again. I waded through the software and security updates without issue. I foresaw a lot of time consuming work getting the Documents up to date so thought I had a shortcut. I copied the entire Documents folder onto a USB stick and then plugged it into the backup computer after deleting the old Documents folder. I can't manage to offload the USB stick anywhere on the second PC. I can't even read what's on it via the drive listing in "Computer". Any idea how to go about getting my current Documents into the empty backup PC?

    I also have nothing in place as a backup for the main computer. I have read loads of recommendations of different ways to do it, including so-called automatic ways using software. I just don't understand most of the terms and language used to describe the process. Any links to plain language instructions on how to do it would be most welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 6,744
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64/ Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC

    Do you still have the original My Documents folder from the first computer? I'm not clear on that.

    If so, go in there and right click | copy all. Now paste in the USB drive. Do not use cut and paste.

    Better yet, use TerraCopy portable. Code Sector - Downloads - Code Sector You want the first Zip file.

    Chose your source (the My Documents folder. Chose your destination (Target) (The USB drive). Not the USB drive that's borked if that's your only copy of the My Documents folder. If so read on.

    Now about that borked USB drive. If that's your only copy of these (what I think are now deleted) My Documents files, we'll have to image that USB drive. So it's important you don't play around with that drive as it's your only backup.

    1) Download HDD Raw Copy Tool.

    2) Download and install IMDisk Toolkit Extract and run the batch file (Probably will look like a DOS icon).

    3) Launch HDD Raw Copy Tool.

    4) In HDD Raw Copy Tool chose your source which will be the USB drive.

    5) In HDD Raw Copy Tool chose your destination (Target) which will be on C drive, your desktop, anywhere on the computer and select the File option. We are going to create a file of the USB stick. Chose the .IMG option from the drop down Save As option. Don't select the compressed image option (IMGC).

    6) Once all that is done click Continue and clone away.

    7) Once the clone .IMG file is created we are going to right click and copy/paste it to another part of the drive for safe keeping. A clone of the clone if you will. So, if the clone .IMG file was copied to the desktop, right click and copy/paste that to the root of C drive or where other place on the internal hard drive. Maybe another internal hard drive if you have one. Preferably not USB based.

    8) Lets now see if we can't access those files that are now in an .IMG file format. We use ImDisk for this process. Go the the Start menu orb and type in IM. Chose "Mount Image File" from the list of programs. Pick the IMG file you just created with HDD Raw Copy Tool. Chose a drive letter like E or F or what ever is free. Device type is hard drive. Don't touch anything else. See screenshot.

    Moving entire Documents to another PC-capture.jpg

    Once the IMG file is mounted as a hard drive, you should be able to find that virtual hard drive under the My Computer icon. Your files should be there in that hard drive. I hope...

    This all sounds complicated but is really all point and click. Just follow each numbered instruction verbatim.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 117
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the response. After reading my post again I see where your question comes from. All is well and intact on the first computer. The Documents all remain unaltered.
    I did a copy/paste onto the usb stick (which took ages) and plugged that into the backup PC after deleting the old Documents that had been there. Happily I didn't delete or alter anything on the first computer. Apart from the results (or lack of results) I mentioned in my post, I have just now noticed that the local disc "C" which is an SSD of 64gb is now showing a Red bar and appears to only have 982mb capacity left. So the contents of the USB transfer have gone somewhere but I can't find it. Anyway, I checked before the transfer and there was 30+ mb space for my incoming Documents files of just over 20gb. Very puzzling.

    An unrelated issue (maybe) is that I also have a second drive in the box, a 250gb HDD that when I built the PC I wanted to use for my Docs and data leaving the smaller SSD for Windows system stuff. This larger drive shows as System Reserved indicating 72mb free out of 100mb. I never managed to get my Docs or software into it.

    Since the SSD is only of modest size I think I will need to clear it and start fresh to make sure there is enough space. I hate that because it take me days and lots of stress to do a full reinstall. I had hopes that using two drives I would avoid the problem.

    If I can get this problem sorted I will follow your very detailed instructions to get my Document files across. Thanks for your help.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 6,744
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64/ Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC

    An unrelated issue (maybe) is that I also have a second drive in the box, a 250gb HDD that when I built the PC I wanted to use for my Docs and data leaving the smaller SSD for Windows system stuff. This larger drive shows as System Reserved indicating 72mb free out of 100mb. I never managed to get my Docs or software into it.
    It sounds like when you first installed Window 7 all those Suns and Moons ago the installation process stuck (unbeknownst to you) the reserved partition on your second HDD. This is a classic issue with Windows 7 if you have more than one drive connected while you install Windows 7. To remedy that issue is to install Windows 7 using only the HDD you intend to use for Windows and no other HDDs are connected at installation. After of which other drives can be connected.

    How would I remedy this without having to go through the painstaking process of re-installation? I would first use that program I talked about called HDD Raw Copy Tool and create cloned .img image files of both drives and place those .img files on another drive for safe keeping. That's what I use for my personal cloning needs, but that caveat is it clones the ENTIRE HDD data or not. Others may use something like Macrium Reflect or whatever.

    Now once you have backups in place you'll want to move or rebuild the system reserved partition to the main C drive so you can now use the HDD that's 256GB. I've used EasyBCD in the past (my XP days) for such things. Doing a quick Google search yields these two resources on how this is achieved.

    Changing the Boot Partition

    How to Fix: Move System Partition to C |

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    USB is and can be a very problematic channel (if you will) for massive data moving. For one, never ever use the cut and paste maneuver to a USB drive. You could end up with data loss if the transfer goes bad. Trust me. Ideally you want to pack all of your documents into a single file like a 7Z archive and then move that one 7Z zipped archive over to the USB drive. Again, I'd use TeraCopy for such things as it seems like TeraCopy doesn't have Explorer overhead...

    Yeah, 7Z zipping all of your documents is going to take a very long time as well as the transfer. I'd mitigate this with an in place periodic backup solution and FreeFileSync will do just that. You first setup the parameters in FreeFileSync and create a launch icon and that can be double clicked or run from Task Manager...

    Remember to always have air gaped cold storage for backups as well. i.e. not attached to the computer. I use all forms of media for such things. Yes, that includes optical media like 50GB Blu-ray BD-RE disks and DVD/RW disks. All stored in a $35/33 Euro fireproof safe. I actually have three of these. They do sell 100GB Blu-ray disks, too. My internal writer is a Pioneer BDR-209D. So far it has worked great. I even burned all of Wikipedia to M-Disc with it using Wikitaxi.

    Why optical as well as HDDs? Redundantly and bit integrity (depending on drive and optical media). Flash-based media like SSDs, NVMe, SD, USB, etc are all vulnerable to data corruption just like a platter. Optical media not so much if treated appropriately. This means never writing on the optical disk its self, don't place a sticker on the optical media, use a jewel case, and store in a cool dark place like the aforementioned fireproof safe.

    I had one of those old 2.5 inch? (6.35 CM?) mini optical disks I used circa 2004 that I burned browser bookmarks to. Up until recently I just discovered it in my dresser drawer and to this day it still works. LOL Not only did it have browser bookmarks, but to my surprise I also had PlayStation 2 game saves on the disk I created with Game Shark. Game Shark allowed you to backup game saves to USB stick plugged into the PlayStation 2 (yes, two) and store the backups there. In addition to the USB stick backups I also backed up those game saves to 2.5 Inch optical media and my computer. Somewhere on one of my old 80GB HDDs I bet are all those other game saves from ~18 years ago.

    Anyway, just some food for thought. Others will read this post too... Data can be worth as much as currency...

    Tip # 302. If you live in hurricane or flood prone areas, your dishwasher can be used for items for water proofing... YMMV never tried it.
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 117
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit
    Thread Starter

    There is much to ponder in your detailed post. Thanks for explaining why some stuff ended up on the large HDD. I will make a note to only connect additional drives after the Windows installation is finished.

    The methods for transferring files or cloning from computer A to computer B will be very useful and I have copied them to my set up notes for reference. Yesterday I had a look at the Crucial website. I used their scan tool and it appears I can upgrade from my 64gb SSD to a 500gb one for modest money (UKŁ42) which is less than I paid for my 64gb one a few years ago. I was tempted to do the upgrade but hit a snag when trying to do the purchase. My Paypal account and UK bank account are both registered in France, where I live. Crucial UK website won't accept the payment. So l went to the Crucial France website to purchase from there. Surprise surprise, the cost is much higher. I can happily have things sent here to my home or to a friend in UK who will be coming over next month. This often works well to avoid paying import duties now that UK has left the EU. I will put the computer problem on the back burner while I apply my addled brain to solving this payment snag.

    Your advice is much appreciated. I will mark this thread as Solved.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 6,744
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64/ Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC

    You're welcome, and just so you know, if your bank issues you a debt card just use that to make the purchase rather than PayPal. Using an escrow like PayPal might afford you some protections, but your bank should as well. If the website you intend to purchase from is notable then it probably isn't going to be a big deal. Just read their return policy if you should need to use it. In all the years I've bought an SSD I've never had to return one. You should have access to UK Amazon, right? Not sure if they ship to France though. I've seen some good deals on 500 GB Crucial SSDs on there. Might be due to NVMe HDD popularity now. Just one technology slowly being phased out.

    Also, you don't need to have Crucial scan and dictate what HDD you need. That's fine for RAM, but for HDDs it's not necessary Well, in a MBR type situation with an OS your HDD limit is 2 TB. With UEFI and a GPT formatted drive the limit is well beyond a 2 TB limit. I don't remember off hand what it is. But it's like NSA level storage capacity. LOL Heck, the NSA probably uses GPT or their own version.

    Anyway, you could use a 1 TB Samsung or what ever. I do like Crucial myself though and it's what I buy Crucial for RAM and hard drives.

    There are actually only four or five (I think four) memory manufacturers. Crucial, Samsung, Hynix and something else. So if you see G.Skill RAM or AData hard drives and whatnot they use one of the four memory manufacturer chips. It's just all on how they use the flash chip with their own circuitry...

    - - - Updated - - -


    PayPal is starting to go to hell. I've probably gotten three or so emails from them and their new terms in as many months. And there are other things beyond this thread about PayPal...

    Other escrows like Zelle and what have you are taking over.

    Did you know the precursor to PayPal was Guess who owned He relatively recently was able to acquire that domain name again for "sentimental purposes." Going to he's got a simple text file there that will just say X.
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 117
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit
    Thread Starter

    The debit card trick worked. A pair of ram cards arrived this morning, and the new Crucial SSD is on the way.
    I was aware of the big memory manufacturers Crucial and Samsung and have seen lots of other brand name stickers on products at the cheaper end of the market but I have always gone for Crucial in my desktop builds.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 6,744
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64/ Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC

    but I have always gone for Crucial in my desktop builds.
    Good choice in my humble opinion. I honestly think Samsung is popular for the sake of being popular. Memory, TVs, phones, all that stupid crap. LOL I also think Samsung phones are a think different ecosystem which ticks me off. I know because I've owned two. I go Motorola anymore. But meaning to try a Google Pixel just to flash it with GrapheneOS or LineageOS or something (ironic... a flipping Google phone ).

    I like Crucial because they are a direct memory manufacturer and I'm going against the consumer "man" so to speak. HAHAHA

    Besides, I've had no trouble once so ever with Crucial products since I started using them circa 2006. (Well, the direct name brand Crucial. I have no idea what other flash chips I may have used if it's G.Skill or something).

    This may also be true for Samsung, but I have reservations about the company and their dim witted, follow the crowed consumers. LOL! (There's a better word rather than a phrase for that but I can't think of it now).
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 117
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit
    Thread Starter

    I have similar thoughts about Samsung. My first build was maybe a little earlier than '06 and at the time the Samsung memory seemed to be reviewing well but it occurred to me that they might be spreading themselves a little thin plastering their label on so many other products and when I see a lot of hype advertising I tend to step back and bring the shutters down. At the moment I simply can't get away from some woman on the radio that sounds like she has a sore throat banging on about the Samsung Galaxy something-or-other being the greatest thing since sliced bread. I tend to wonder what rubbish the previous models have been.
    Apologies for the thread drift.
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 6,744
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64/ Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC

    Aardvarkly said:
    At the moment I simply can't get away from some woman on the radio that sounds like she has a sore throat banging on about the Samsung Galaxy something-or-other being the greatest thing since sliced bread.
    stevie nicks goat part 1 - YouTube
      My Computer


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