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jttheclockman

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OK computer people. Talk to me. I with great satisfaction was able to get my recently talked about hard drive to work with purchasing a set of jumper cables that had a separate power supply which was key. I was able to get drive to load on new computer and after playing around abit I found where all my files were stored. Now I want to download them or upload them to my new computer or should I say transfer. Never know what term is correct. 🙂 So being there is a ton of photos that I have saved over the years alone. Then there is letters and documents that I had written and saved over years. Then there is many sites that I saved that I visit for supplies and tools and things. What I am looking to do is the quickest, safest, and easiest way to save these things. This computer is operating on Windows 10. Have to bear with me because I was so use to Windows XP and this has been tough finding my water wings on this one already. Thanks to all before we even get started. Please bear with me.
 
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bsshog40

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John, I usually just drag and drop. What I do is find the folder on my new computer where I want to put things. For instance, I will go to my Documents folder on my old hard drive, drag it up to my Documents on my new hard drive. Drag my photos from old hard drive and drag to photos on new hard drive and so on. Depending on the size of your folders, it may take a bit to transfer but this is the easiest way to do it. This process will copy everything to where you put it. Btw, everything will still remain on your old hard drive. This only copies everything over. I can’t count the many times I've reformatted and bought new towers and used this process. If you want also, you can just keep your old hard drive hooked up and access everything from there just as if it was on your new computer.
 

crokett

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I am glad that you were able to access the files. For you, the easiest way is to manually go through all of your letters and photos and then copy and paste them from the old drive to your new computer. That's the most low-tech way of doing it. All of your bookmarks, etc from your web browsers will likely be available wherever your profile is kept for your browser. You might be able to copy the profile over manually.
 

jrista

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Proper term, when copying from one drive to another, would be to copy, or transfer. Upload refers to when you are sending data from your computer to a remote server somewhere (i.e. on the internet, or on a company network, etc.) Download refers to when you are retrieving data from a remote server somewhere (i.e. the internet, most commonly) to your computer.

Ok, terminology out of the way. If this is Windows 10, then really its the same as Windows XP, Widows 7 & 8. You can just open two "Windows Explorer" (Explorer for short, this is Microsoft Window's standard disk and file exploration and management program) windows, one displaying the directories (or also called Folders) and files you wish to copy from your old drive, and another displaying the directory you wish to copy them to on your new drive. With both windows open side by side, you can select the files and folders you want to copy. This selection can be done a few ways. Either "drag" a box around them with the mouse (click and hold at one corner, keep holding and move the mouse to create a box around the content you want to copy), or you can select files individually or in ranges using CTRL+CLICK and SHIFT+CLICK. To select more than one file at a time, select one, then press CTRL, and keeping that pressed, select additional files to be added to the selection. To select a range of files, click the first one, then press SHIFT, and keeping that pressed, select the last file in the range. With files displayed in a list, the range is up/down, down/up, top/bottom, bottom/up. When files are displayed in a grid, the range is left/right, and will wrap rows. Note, you can multi-select with dragging as well by holding CTRL when making subsequent selections.

Once you have a selection, you can copy in one of two ways. You can again "drag" the selection, by clicking one of the selected files and holding the button down, then moving the cursor to the other Explorer window you opened into the folder you want to copy the files to, and let go of the mouse button (i.e. "drop"). You can also just hit the "copy" hotkey (CTRL+C) once you have made your selection of files and folders to copy (doesn't matter how, you can drag to select, or use single or range file selection as described above), then click in the other Explorer window where you want to copy them to, and use the "paste" hotkey (CTRL+V).

When you copy, windows should display a progress window for you.

Rinse and repeat for each set of files you wish to copy to each destination folder.

BTW, to open anything in windows, you can use the hotkey WIN+R (which stands for "Run"), which will open the run dialog. With Windows 10, search is endemic, so you can also just hit the WIN key, which will bring up the start menu...then, you can simply start typing to search the computer for programs. If you hit WIN, then type "Windows Explorer", it will show up in the search and you can run it that way, if you don't know how else to get to it.
 
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monophoto

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Deciding on a file structure is a matter of personal taste - boxers vs briefs. I can tell you how I do it, but your choice is up to us.

The default structure in Windows 10 is to have a directory called 'Documents' that holds working data. I have augmented that by having several subdirectories for specific kinds of data - financial records, photos, medical records, etc.

You will need to learn how to use Windows Explorer - this is the app that replaces the old File Explorer app of Windows XP days and that allows you to manipulate directories, move files, etc. You can open Windows Explorer by left-clicking the Windows icon at the left end of the tool bar, and searching the app list. I keep an icon in my tool bar to make it easier to access Windows Explorer.

To create a subdirectory within Documents, open Windows Explorer and search the list for the Documents directory. The default structure in Windows 10 is here:
1639413207617.png


Select Documents, right click and select 'New" and choose "Folder". You can then enter the name of your choice for the new subfolder.

Note that Windows sets up default folders for Music, Pictures and Videos. I prefer to have my photos in a separate folder under Documents so that I can then back it up more easily.

As Dave and Bobby have said, once you decided on how you want the data on your new Windows 10 computer to be organized, you can then either copy/paste or drag/drop to move files to the appropriate folder on your new computer.

Whether you can transfer your browser bookmarks may depend on which browser you use. I know that it is possible to export bookmarks from Firefox to Google Chrome or Opera, and it is also possible to create a bookmark list that can be easily transferred to a new computer. However, my experience is that I tend to accumulate lots of bookmarks that I never actually use, and to move to a new computer and have to search for urls and create new bookmarks for the sites that I really frequent, is a great form of housecleaning!

It would also be prudent to be thinking about a backup plan. Having multiple backups is not a bad thing. There are a number of free cloud options - Windowsn One-Drive and Google Drive are probably the most common and offer free storage. And since your old hard drive is still working, you could use that as a backup drive. That said, the fact that is is getting elderly suggests that you might want to also be thinking about purchasing a new backup drive - before the old hard drive gives up the ghost.

Something you should look into with your new computer is a Windows 10 feature called 'File History' - this is a feature creates a backup, and then periodically (you set the schedule) scan your computer for changes and create new backup copies of any changed files. Be aware that if you have a file that you update frequently, it will create multiple copies of that file (all date flagged) which means that your available backup storage will shrink over time. It does have a feature that allows you to 'clean up' the backup and eliminate duplicates, but that has to be done manually.
 

jrista

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It would also be prudent to be thinking about a backup plan. Having multiple backups is not a bad thing. There are a number of free cloud options - Windowsn One-Drive and Google Drive are probably the most common and offer free storage. And since your old hard drive is still working, you could use that as a backup drive. That said, the fact that is is getting elderly suggests that you might want to also be thinking about purchasing a new backup drive - before the old hard drive gives up the ghost.

The nice thing about OneDrive is it is fully integrated, and by default now, I believe all the users "My" stuff is stored on OneDrive automatically if the user has an account set up. So anything that goes into the users profile directory is effectively backed up automatically once the user signs up for OneDrive. Makes it seamless and easy to have that security, in the event the computer dies. Also easy as just signing into the same OneDrive account on a new user on the next computer, to restore it all.
 

monophoto

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Regarding OneDrive -

There is a totaly free version that offers 5GB of storage. Beyond that, there is a cost, and you can purchase however much storage you want for a monthly fee. If you have an Office 365 subscription, you are allotted more storage - up to 6TB shared among family members (an Office 365 subscription itself is a 'family plan' which allows the Office software suite to be installed on multiple computers within a family. But that''s an annual subscription arrangement.

And this is pretty much typical - iPhone users have a similar situation with backing up to iCloud that offers a basic block of free storage, and additional space for a monthly fee.

But the other thing that some people worry about is that cloud storage puts you at the mercy of the company offering that service. Service offerings can change, and Microsoft made a change in the terms and conditions for OneDrive a few years ago that caused pain for some users. Having our own backup device means that you are fully in control of your backup, and you don't have to rely on an outside service provider. On the other hand, if your backup device fails, it's your problem and you don't have anyone to yell at other than yourself.

You pays your money, and takes your choice.
 

penicillin

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(Apologies to technical people. This post contains imprecise terminology to aid understanding by those who are not so technical.)

John is asking for us to help him migrate his life from a Windows XP computer to his new Windows 10 computer. Please read this thread first, to gain an understanding of where John started, how he got here, and his level of technical experience:
https://www.penturners.org/threads/computer-techs.172545/

After reading that thread, please keep in mind that John needs help with the most basic computer terminology and concepts. In my opinion, some of the posts above would be helpful to many people, but not for John. John may find some of the posts above very challenging to understand and follow.

MY INITIAL RESPONSE:

Computers store a lot of your personal data for you:

1. Computers store your documents, spreadsheets, photos, music, etc. Those are the "files" that people described above, and they are easy to copy from one drive to another. They are easy to locate and copy to a new computer.

2. Computers also store your browser history, website passwords, the Options and settings for each application that you run, etc.

3. Many of the programs that you run store your data for you, but they don't tell you where they are stored. Examples may include contacts, calendar, personal finance, your highest score for a game program, your needlepoint patterns, etc. etc. etc.

4. Of course, there are third-party programs that the owner installed, but are not installed on the new computer. Many programs that run on Windows XP will not run on Windows 10, which complicates the situation.

Everyone above is focused on the easy part - copying his personal files to the new computer ... what I described in #1, above. What John has asked for is a true migration where his settings and other "hidden" information is moved to the new Windows 10 computer so it knows what his old Windows XP computer.

CONCLUSION:

Quite honestly, we may be able to talk John through how to copy his basic files (#1). I wonder how easy or difficult it would be to help John do a true migration. It won't be easy in a forum setting.

Let's communicate with John to understand what he had on the Windows XP computer that he wants to recover, what he has done on his new Windows 10 computer. From that, we may be able to find the best way(s) to help him accomplish his stated goals.

-> At this point, I wonder whether finding a competent local computer expert is the best solution for John.
 

crokett

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(Apologies to technical people. This post contains imprecise terminology to aid understanding by those who are not so technical.)

John is asking for us to help him migrate his life from a Windows XP computer to his new Windows 10 computer. Please read this thread first, to gain an understanding of where John started, how he got here, and his level of technical experience:
https://www.penturners.org/threads/computer-techs.172545/

After reading that thread, please keep in mind that John needs help with the most basic computer terminology and concepts. In my opinion, some of the posts above would be helpful to many people, but not for John. John may find some of the posts above very challenging to understand and follow.
........

-> At this point, I wonder whether finding a competent local computer expert is the best solution for John.
I'm aware of his lack of computer knowledge. That's why I told him a manual copy and paste is probably the best solution for him. It requires the least technical knowledge to do, and given his aforementioned lack of knowledge he probably stores everything in the default locations (My Documents, My pictures, etc) and can simply copy the files there from the old drive to the new one. I would not take it to a computer expert, unless said expert was a trusted friend or relative, and even then I would stand there and watch them. I've seen way too much abuse of other people's data.
 

penicillin

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Good point. My bad.

Replace the text with "competent computer expert with integrity."

I guess I am used to working with people like that, not the local "Geek Squad" or other retail repair places. I have not needed or experienced retail technical support services. They would not be my first choice for people I care about, either.
 

jttheclockman

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I am reading this all just to let you all know. I again will bookmark this thread for further reading and returns for sure. I have done that with all computer questions in the past. I will try as much on my own as I can with your help. Hopefully I do not screw anything up but this is the way I can learn. I know I am never going to get terminology correct so bear with me. I basically want to start by getting my photos and important documents transferred to new computer and in files that are easy to find. I always worked off Documents on XP so am familiar with that. Mr Green is correct I used My documents and My pictures mostly on old computer. I was able to transfer those files to my photo software called Picture It. I worked out of that alot. I get to that point, then would like to see if I can transfer programs that I used. But that is down the road. Heck I do not even know how to take screen shots and post them here. Maybe it is not so easy to teach an old dog new tricks. But I will go down swinging. Heck I got the drive up and running. 🙂 I will play around some to get a feel for things.
 

randyrls

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Heck I do not even know how to take screen shots and post them here. Maybe it is not so easy to teach an old dog new tricks. But I will go down swinging. Heck I got the drive up and running. 🙂 I will play around some to get a feel for things.
John; To save a picture of your screen press Windows Logo Key + PrtScn The file image will be saved in the Folder "Pictures / Screenshots" Remember this will show everything on your screen at the time you take the screen shot. There are other ways to capture just a portion of the screen too.
 

WIDirt

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John,

Just a word of caution here. Make ABSOLUTELY sure you are COPYING the files. DO NOT DO A CUT & PASTE! You could possibly lose your files if anything went wrong with that. Once you have copied your files, checked to make sure they are in the location you wanted, and verified they are intact, THEN and only THEN, you can delete them if you want to. My opinion is to keep the old drive as a backup of all those important files.
 

jrista

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John,

Just a word of caution here. Make ABSOLUTELY sure you are COPYING the files. DO NOT DO A CUT & PASTE! You could possibly lose your files if anything went wrong with that. Once you have copied your files, checked to make sure they are in the location you wanted, and verified they are intact, THEN and only THEN, you can delete them if you want to. My opinion is to keep the old drive as a backup of all those important files.
For clarity, "cutting" files (with CTRL+X, rather than the CTRL+C I recommended earlier) will do a "move" rather than a "copy".

For what its worth, moving files in Windows 10, will not actually delete the source file, until it has been confirmed that the destination file has been written successfully to disk. If writing fails, then the source file is NOT deleted.

I agree though, copy, rather than move, so that you have both copies in the end, one could be a backup.
 

jttheclockman

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I played around some tonight and found a button that says all. When I click on this I check mark all photos instead of one at a time. Can I now copy them all at once and open a file and place in there?? If so how do I do this. Right now all these photos are under documents on old computer. The same question for favorites?? If I put in new file will they be displayed the exact same way with thumbnails?? I like this because I can see photos.
 

randyrls

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I played around some tonight and found a button that says all. When I click on this I check mark all photos instead of one at a time. Can I now copy them all at once and open a file and place in there?? If so how do I do this. Right now all these photos are under documents on old computer. The same question for favorites?? If I put in new file will they be displayed the exact same way with thumbnails?? I like this because I can see photos.

John; You can mark all folders and files under the current one by clicking to highlight a folder, then pressing Ctrl key and while holding it down, press the "a" key. (Yes, I'm a keyboard kind of guy!)

The details of computers can change BUT there is only one way to add 2 + 2 and come up with 4!

Always check to make sure the files are in the new location before you do anything with that old drive. I would take that old drive and store it away in case you discover files you didn't copy. (Yep, I'm paranoid like that!)

TechnoBabble: The reason why some have mentioned "Copying" as opposed to "Move" is that moving a file moves the security / user permissions and file attributes for that file to the new location. In effect the file thinks it is still on the old computer. This will cause you problems down the road. You may NOT be able to access the file. Copying the file just moves the file content to the new location and the file inherits the security / user permissions and file attributes from the target location and the file knows it is on a new machine.

Analogy: If you take your key from off your old car, it will not work in your new car!

After each copy you do, check to make sure the files are on the new machine and that they are accessible. Try to open the file. (Yep, I'm paranoid like that!)
 

monophoto

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For photos and other files, yes - you can select them, and then copy and paste them into the desired directory on your new computer.

"Favorites" (aka 'Bookmarks') are devices used by browsers to allow you to return to specific urls on the internet when using that browser (eg, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, Edge, Safari, etc). How favorites/bookmarks are handled is specific to the browser being used. In general, most browsers have a provision to import or export bookmarks that allows you to transfer the bookmarks from one browser to another (ieg, Firefox to Chrome, Opera to Safari, etc) in a working computer, but there may be limitations on whether you can retrieve favorites/bookmarks from a hard drive taken from a non-working computer and install them for use by the browser on a new computer.

For example, when my computer died back in October, I had a full backup on an auxiliary hard drive. My preferred browser was (and still is)
Firefox. Firefox allows you to create a file that lists your active bookmarks. This file is not the repository used by Firefox to store bookmarks, but rather is intended as an archival record of those bookmarks for possible future use by the computer owner. I was able to retrieve that file from the backup drive, copy it to my new computer, and then use it to reinstall those bookmarks. However, the file on the backup drive was created about a year before the computer failed, so it wasn't current at the time the computer failed - I had created some new bookmarks that were not recorded in that bookmark file, so when I set up the browser on my new computer, I had to search for and recreate those bookmarks.

So the key point is that you can copy and paste files, but whether you can copy and paste bookmarks depends on how the browser actually stores those bookmarks. Files are not necessarily favorites/bookmarks.

Edit: Firefox has a provision to manually create a file that is a backup listing of favorites/bookmarks with the file extension .json. Note that you actually have to go into Firefox to create that backup file - it isn't created automatically.
 
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Sylvanite

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Whenever I buy a new personal computer, I attach the hard disk from the old one and copy the entire file system contents to a directory on the new disk. Yes, there's a lot of stuff that is useless and that I'll never look at again. Yes, it's wasteful of disk space. Disk space, however, is cheap. Each new hard disk I buy is at least four times the capacity of my previous one and I now have an archive of every file I've ever created - no matter where on disk it's located. I don't run the risk of losing a file that was stored somewhere I forgot to copy. If I ever scratch my head and say "I did something for that 30 years ago", I can (if I care enough) search my current computer to find it.

Regards,
Eric
 

jttheclockman

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All good info and all making me more confident that I can do this without losing things. Yes I am going to save this hard drive and also create my Click It device again to save all info from new computer. What is nice about it is I load it at any time and it just picks up any new info I created within the period from the last time I did a save. But this time I will make sure that all has loaded and play it back and check files to make sure they are there. Yes I am clicking to copy and save and not clicking to move. I basically want duplicates of everything.

There seems to be some confusion as to what my bottom goal is here so let me say I am not looking to marry my old XP computer to this one. I am just looking to save the photos, documents and my favorites list where I bought many of my supplies from over the years. It had taken me a long time to accumulate all this and was bummed out that I thought I lost them. Glad I asked the guy to not destroy the hard drive and that I took it back to try myself. With the help of members here I was able to get right cables to get me up and running this drive and get to this point. The drive I believe is actually in great shape and sound fine running so believe there was other problems that caused that computer failure. Water under the bridge and I move on. I use my compute basically for searching web sites. It is not a computer where I do work on perse. I would loved have been able to transfer some programs such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Picture It, and a photo editing or sizing thing. But I will work around them and find new ones to use.

Thanks all for the help.
 

monophoto

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Whenever I buy a new personal computer, I attach the hard disk from the old one and copy the entire file system contents to a directory on the new disk. Yes, there's a lot of stuff that is useless and that I'll never look at again. Yes, it's wasteful of disk space. Disk space, however, is cheap. Each new hard disk I buy is at least four times the capacity of my previous one and I now have an archive of every file I've ever created - no matter where on disk it's located. I don't run the risk of losing a file that was stored somewhere I forgot to copy. If I ever scratch my head and say "I did something for that 30 years ago", I can (if I care enough) search my current computer to find it.

Regards,
Eric
Agree in principle - but at least temporarily, technology is making this difficult. When I bought the 'puter that recently failed, getting a 1TB hard drive was not an issue. But when I bought a replacement two months ago at the same store, the 'standard offering' was 256gB, and they only had one option with 528gB. The thing that has changed is that computers are now coming with SSD memory rather than HD, and SSD is more expensive on a $/gB basis. That premium will eventually go away, but right now its an impediment to getting more memory.
 

jttheclockman

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Agree in principle - but at least temporarily, technology is making this difficult. When I bought the 'puter that recently failed, getting a 1TB hard drive was not an issue. But when I bought a replacement two months ago at the same store, the 'standard offering' was 256gB, and they only had one option with 528gB. The thing that has changed is that computers are now coming with SSD memory rather than HD, and SSD is more expensive on a $/gB basis. That premium will eventually go away, but right now its an impediment to getting more memory.
This is what they told me too at the computer store when I just bought mine. He said things are just much different as far as solid state components go also. I mentioned to him I remember when heat was such a big issue especially in lap tops. Not so much these days. They cram so much in such a small platform these days.
 

monophoto

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Probably flogging the dead horse, but I've recently been struggling with a computer data backup issue, and what I have learned my be helpful to others.

There are two ways to do backups. One way (which is what is done with the Microsoft OneDrive) is to create a backup copy of each file on the backup drive (in the case of OneDrive, that copy is in the cloud). If that file is modified later, the backup copy in the cloud is also modified. As a result, the backup copy always mirrors the active copy, and if something happens to the computer (the most likely problem being that the hard drive crashes), it is possible to recover a duplicate from the backup.

The problem with this approach, however, is that if you introduce an error into a file, and then save it without correcting that error, the erroneous copy will be saved as the backup. This doesn't happen often, but it does happen, the results are painful, and bad words are often said. Been there, done that!

A way around this is to to keep multiple versions of files in the backkup. That is, each time a file is saved, that version is individually backed up to the backup device. With a versioned backup, it is always possible to retrieve an earlier version of a file that included an error at the time it was saved. This is how the Windows File History scheme works. That's obviously a good thing, BUT the downside is that over time, the backup drive can accumulate many versions of each file, and each version consumes storage. Fortunately, most duplicated files are fairly small, but there are special cases. For example, I've been using Quicken to maintain our financial records for at least 25 years, so the Quicken file is gigantic, and saving multiple copies rapidly depletes backup drive space. The solution to this problem is to have the discipline of periodiicaly going to the backup drive and deleting unneeded older versions .

Windows 10 does include a 'File Cleanup' function that allows you to direct the software to delete multiple copies of files while specifying that duplicates that are newer than a period you set are retained - eg, you can specify that duplicates that are more than 30 days will be deleted. . File Cleanup makes the process of winnowing out duplicates much less painful when it works. The problem I have on my computer is that it doesn't work, and Microsoft doesn't know why - they suspect that something is corrupted in the operating system and have suggested that a complete reinstallation should solve the problem (but they don't make any guarantees). However, that would also mean reinstalling all software, and that would be very painful. So I'm just going to live with the problem for now.
 

penicillin

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I keep multiple levels of backups. There is no value in getting into the details here.

-> What I want to emphasize is the importance of maintaining offsite backups. If Godzilla stomps and flattens my home, I have one final fallback, a set of three hard drives: "Clone" is the poorly named primary copy of the data. "Backup 1" and "Backup 2" are exchanged for each other. When a family member comes to visit from out of state, which usually happens once or twice a year, I do the following:
  • Make sure "Clone" is up to date with the latest backups of all the family computers.
  • Duplicate Clone over whichever backup drive is at my home, Backup 1 or Backup 2.
  • When the family member comes, we exchange "Backup" drives. They return the backup drive that was away, and I give them the newly updated backup drive that I had at home. It is a swap.
  • They take the updated backup drive home with them, where it is stored safely far away, out of state.
  • I do not update the Backup that they returned. The Clone drive has a copy of what just went back with the family member, and it is good to have alternate, older files on the backup drive that was returned.
If ever there is a complete disaster, there is that one final backup, safely out of the state. Sure, the data may be as much as a year old, but it still contains decades of digital photos, scans of important documents, etc.

The Backup 1 and Backup 2 drives are kept in padded drive cases designed for travel and abuse. The cases also contain the power brick and a USB cable to make restoration easy.
 

jttheclockman

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I will be getting to the backup off the old hard drive this holiday because the Nephews are coming and believe me they know more about computers than I do. I already have a thumbdrive on the system so that is good to go. Will have a few backups on the now content after I get photos and things loaded. The disaster will not happen again to me for sure. Learned my lesson.
 

sbwertz

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Sorry I didn't mention the power supply. I just use one I salvaged from a computer! Didn't even think of the fact not everyone has one of those.
 

jttheclockman

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Location
NJ, USA.
Just wanted to put a bow on this thread. I was successful in copying the old hard drive info that I wanted to the new computer with a little bit of younger minds help this past week. At least it is now on the new computer and I will probably do some rearranging of things and getting rid of extra garbage that I saved over the years. The old drive is working well since I got power supply. Amazing that I saved that thing. I went back to the store I bought new computer and told the so called tech I got it working and he did not believe me. He still says that when he had the computer it had the power source from the tower and it did not want to boot up. Then when he took drive out he was not using external power source. He said he would like to see it. Not sure I should show him in fear of him deleting things. I am still going to use that as a backup.

So wanted to say a Huge Thank You to all who partook in this thread and for the help. As I said I will keep as bookmarked. Thanks again and Happy New Year to all.
 
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