Safely moving files onto an external drive

by on August 6, 2009

Q: I have a PC running Windows XP and it is almost full so I bought an external hard drive for more space. What files can I transfer over to this new drive? Can I also install programs? I am told some things need the registry on the C: drive, so I know those cannot be moved.

A: The only kinds of files that can safely be transferred from one hard drive to another are files such as documents, pictures, videos, music, emails, Internet favorites, data exported from financial software, etc. Please note that neither programs nor system files can safely be transferred!

The best way to transfer files from one hard drive to another is to “copy” them and then delete them from the source hard drive after the transfer has completed. If you encounter a transfer error while copying, all of the data remains on the source hard drive and you can try again. But if you “move” instead of copy and encounter an error, data will have been removed from the source hard drive and you will have lost some of your files.

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