How do I get my files from Point A to Point B?
April 23, 2009 3:10 PM   Subscribe

I need to move several gigs of music files from one external hard drive to another. But, there are a few problems...

I have a 250GB WD HD in an enclosure and recently bought a WD Elements 640GB drive. I now want to back up all my music files from the 250GB to the 640GB drive. They total about 33GB.

Problem is, my computers do not have USB 2.0 drives. Every time I begin the backup process, it goes for a while, and then terminates due to an error in writing from the 250GB drive.

Is there an easy way to do this backup?
posted by reenum to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can you tell us more about the error you're encountering and the operating system you're using?

What percentage of completion have you achieved before the error? Are you trying this with two external drives attached to your computer or are you copying the files to an internal drive before putting them on the new 640gb drive?
posted by chudmonkey at 3:22 PM on April 23, 2009

Best answer: I had a similar problem and got the following from Lacie tech support which worked;

When having Delayed Write issues, please first try to make the following changes in your computer’s configuration:

-Open the Device Manager (right-click My Computer > select Manage; click Device Manager)
-Find the external drives as listed under Disk Drives.
-Go into the Properties for each of the external drives and select the Policies tab.
-Either uncheck Write Caching, or select Optimize for Quick Removal.

-Right click My Computer > select Properties
-on the Advanced Tab: click Settings button under Performance
-new window: on the Advanced Tab: click Change button under Virtual Memory
-new window: Click on the Custom Size option, and multiply both the Initial and Maximum size values by 1.5 (Thus, if the size is 512K, change it to 768K).
-Click OK - OK – OK

NOTE: Make sure you do NOT set up the paging file on the external LaCie drives when you perform step 2 (adjusting virtual memory). The paging file MUST reside on your Windows drive (C:) and the size must be adjusted for the Windows drive.

Also make sure that you have all Service Packs, updates, patches and fixes for Windows from Microsoft installed. The following articles from Microsoft’s Knowledge Base might also help:

If you continue to experience the problem, also make sure that there is not another device on the USB or FireWire bus that may be using too much bandwidth or cause any conflicts. Also try different cables, ports, and a different computer.

I would also use a free back up utility like SyncBackSE to do the work of copying the files as if there's a problem the program will sort out what's already been copied and just pick up from where it left off.

Good luck with it!
posted by merocet at 3:23 PM on April 23, 2009

Try copying it over in more manageable chunks, like all the Axyz artists, then Bxyz, and so on.
posted by 6550 at 3:23 PM on April 23, 2009

And what's the file system (Fat32, NTFS, HFS+, etc) on each of the external drives?
posted by sharkfu at 3:23 PM on April 23, 2009

If you feel ambitious use attrib to set the archive flag on all the files (assuming it's FAT or NTFS) and then use xcopy /M to copy only flagged files and clear the flag once copied. Then if it bombs out you just restart it. All this from the command line in Windows.
posted by GuyZero at 3:35 PM on April 23, 2009

Best answer: Rather than GuyZero's method, check out TeraCopy. It's the only way I move multiple files anymore.
posted by niles at 3:50 PM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

Yeah, basically Window's Explorer file copy stinks on ice. I never tried TeraCopy but I can pretty much guarantee it's no worse than Explorer.
posted by GuyZero at 4:06 PM on April 23, 2009

Response by poster: I'm running XP Pro, and these are two external drives. The internal drive in the computer (which I bought in 2001) has a capacity of around 40GB, so no go on copying to the internal drive first.
posted by reenum at 4:13 PM on April 23, 2009

Response by poster: I believe the file system is NTFS on both drives.
posted by reenum at 4:13 PM on April 23, 2009

Best answer: Seconding Teracopy
posted by aubilenon at 4:45 PM on April 23, 2009

Assuming that the root cause of this issue is some kind of timeout caused by using a USB1 port to service an external hard drive, your best option may well be to fit your computer with some USB2 ports. If it's a desktop, you can get a plugin PCI card for this; if it's a laptop, you can get a PCMCIA or PCI Express card.

Even with a reliable file copy utility, copying 33GB of stuff via USB1 is going to take a loooooooooooooooooooong time.
posted by flabdablet at 5:22 PM on April 23, 2009

Drop in cards which will give you USB 2.0 are painfully cheap, about seventeen bucks.
posted by adipocere at 5:26 PM on April 23, 2009

Use robocopy (available in here).

robocopy L:\mp3-src\ M:\mp3-dest\ /E /Z /R:0

This will flag the successful transfers and be restartable if your connection to either drive dies.
posted by benzenedream at 5:53 PM on April 23, 2009

Best answer: Thirding Teracopy, otherwise Synctoy from microsoft (it's free) also works well.
posted by defcom1 at 5:59 PM on April 23, 2009

Response by poster: I believe this is a timeout error. I can restart the copying, and the files that the computer hangs on previously will copy.
posted by reenum at 7:55 PM on April 23, 2009

Best answer: Hmm... well Terracopy has the benefit of being integrated... anything you copy after installation will use it. I'm considering moving over to Fast Copy though, since it's supposedly much faster.

However I'm also a fan of Rich Copy which is an internal microsoft project they released publicly that does multithreaded copying with a lot of options. It isn't integrated into the shell like the Terra or Fast, but it sounds like it might be what you are looking for.
posted by gryftir at 3:33 AM on April 24, 2009

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