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Moving directories and files from C;/ to an external hard drive

Posted on 2014-07-22
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Last Modified: 2014-08-06
My C;/ is almost full - I want to move the directories and files on C;? to an external hard drive to give me more space on C:/.  How can I do that and will Windows and my other programs recognize where the programs have been moved to?
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Question by:dpsmithers
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31 Comments
 
LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40212124
You can move data to another drive but not "move" programs to another drive. You must re-install programs to do that.

Programs will not automatically recognize that data has been moved (e.g. Word won't know you want to open your document from a USB key). You must use the Open command to find your document and then likely make it "recent" from that point on.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40212133
I don't recommend moving things to an external disk. That is a guarantee for problem. First, external disks get disconnected when they shouldn't be an reconnected again, that makes things unstable. They also break more often as they often get dropped etc.

You should rather install a 2nd internal disk to your PC, and then uninstall the software you want to move, then reinstall it again. Most installers allow you to say where you want to install it on.

Or, if your PC is a notebook and only has room for one internal disk, get another larger disk, then clone your internal one to the other disk (you can use a USB dock to which the new disk is attached for cloning, or use another PC for that process), and then replace your new disk with the old one.
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40212146
First look at these options: with win7's updates of march or so, the disk cleanup wizard was pimped (win8 and 8.1 have adopted the new cleaning technique right from the start). So the disk cleanup wizard can be told to clean system files incuding updates and, if you are lucky, recover several GBs. Also, if you don't need hibernation on your device, turn it off. It's done using the command
powercfg -h off
from an elevated command prompt.
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 40212233
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40213542
what system is this, and what disks do you have installed?
maybe we can suggest a better way
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40214444
Windows 7 64 bit - one C: drive and a D: drive with Dell restore windows  -
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40214460
What is taking up the space?  Run TreeSize or WindirStat and determine what is using the space.

How large is the hard drive?
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40214591
that is no onswer to my question PC model plse, and disk models
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40224755
nobus - I don't understand your question - I thought I answered it -
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40224788
He wants to know the PC's manufacturer and exact model number, so we could check whether it has room for additional internal hard-disks, or whether you should replace the one you already have with a new disk.
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40224794
k - I'll check - thank you.
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40224799
Repeating my earlier comment:

What is taking up the space?  Run TreeSize or WindirStat and determine what is using the space.

How large is the hard drive?
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40225204
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40225210
Attached are two pdf's showing more info
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40225247
You are backing up your PC to the same disk your OS is running on. That makes absolutely no sense at all. Backups have to be done to some other location, preferably an external disk or a location on the LAN. On the same disk it is useless. If your disk breaks, you have lost your OS and the backup. That backup alone uses up 200GB.
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 40225258
dpsmithers--
What amount of space does Disk Cleanup show can be freed?  See http:#a40212146  and http:#a40212233
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40225260
I agree - didn't know I was doing backups on C:/ as I have Carbonite.  What folder do you see backups?
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40225279
171 MB  -  see attached
dpsmithers12.pdf
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40225306
It would be MUCH easier to read a single image rather than a PDF - in the future, please post the actual jpg/bmp file instead of creating a difficult to read PDF from them.  For everyone's reference, this is the screen shot as quickly pieced together from the PDF.

Pieced together WinDirStat from PDF supplied earlier.
Pieced together it appears you run WinDirStat on your computer and didn't select JUST the C: drive which would make it much easier to understand what is using the space.  At the moment, it appears you are using 201.5 GB out of about 300 GB in the C:\ProgramData folder.  You need to see what in that folder is using the disk space - it's probably one, maybe two different folders at fault.  The extensions at right and the suggestion that you are backing up to the C: drive appear false because the image is being misread due in part to not seeing the whole thing at once, I suspect.

What to do now?

Run Windirstat again, against the C: drive ONLY. Expand ProgramData and take a screen shot.  Post the screen shot as a graphic, not a PDF, and we can continue to assist.
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 40225370
dpsmithers--
"171 MB  -  see attached"
You did not read all of http:#a40212233
Click the "Clean up System Files" button and see what space can be freed.
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40225457
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40225489
0
 
LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 40225592
dpsmithers--
You have posted screenshots of two different versions of Disk Cleanup.  The first one, http:#a40225279 , showed a "Cleanup System Files" button at the bottom left.  That is what you should click.  
If you read
http://www.infoworld.com/t/microsoft-windows/new-windows-7-feature-in-kb-2852386-reclaims-wasted-space-your-c-drive-228449
you will learn why.
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40225672
@dpsmithers
Look at the image you titled dpsmithers21.jpg
Clearly your problem is your AVG Antivirus software - it's using 2/3 of your disk space. And most likely in the form of unneeded log files (see the extension types).

It's always better to be careful, so I would MOVE the log files to another drive.  Maybe leave the last week or months worth, but move the vast majority and you will have plenty of space.  Everything else is taking up a "normal" amount of space.

What's using your space
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40226781
Lee W, MVP - do you know where I can find the logs?  Do I need to contact AVG or would you know?  Thanks for the assistance.
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40226962
Just keep expanding the "+" off the C:\ProgramData\AVG folder and it will show you what folder is taking up the space.
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40230156
Lee W, MVP      See attached - where is the "+" in the folder?  Thanks -
avg-folder.jpg
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LVL 95

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 40230575
Clearly there isn't - the plus is in the WinDirStat view.  When you find the folder, right click on it and select to open the folder.  (Don't have handy so I can't say the EXACT right click menu option but it should be obvious) and very much like "open location" or "open folder"
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Author Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40232863
Looks like AVG is taking up a lot of room - see attached.
dpsmithers27.png
dpsmithers27.png
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40232879
Looks like AVG is taking up a lot of room - see attached.
are you reading my comments and looking at the picture I posted?

Please review what I said here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Q_28481391.html#a40225672
to Quote:
Clearly your problem is your AVG Antivirus software - it's using 2/3 of your disk space.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dpsmithers
ID: 40244293
Thank you -
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