Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Copy all contents from external USB HDD to another?

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8

    Copy all contents from external USB HDD to another?


    I have purchased a new 2TB external HDD. I want to backup my old one (also 2TB) by copying everything to the new one. It's about 1.6TB.

    I assume a Copy/Paste transfer would not work (I always seem to encounter one error or another, when I try to Copy more than 40 or 50GB at a time). And I'd rather not babysit it for hours, copying chunk by chunk.

    They're both NTFS by default, if that's important.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    When you say copy, do you mean the copy in the picture ?

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8


    Well I use Rightclick > Copy, or Ctrl+C. Not sure if the Copy To button is the same function?

    (I don't trust Explorer to copy everything at once. It always seems to freeze or fail eventually.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by ceecilt View Post
    Well I use Rightclick > Copy, or Ctrl+C. Not sure if the Copy To button is the same function?

    (I don't trust Explorer to copy everything at once. It always seems to freeze or fail eventually.)
    I use it to copy to USB drives.
    It works good for me.

    Click image for larger version

    Unless you you try it you will not know if it works or not.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8


    OK thanks,

    I'll report back.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by ceecilt View Post
    OK thanks,

    I'll report back.
    It helps to use check boxes to select things---

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    I would use ROBOCOPY from a cmd prompt:

    robocopy d:\ e:\ /MIR

    You can find more information on Robocopy here: http://www.computerhope.com/robocopy.htm

    OR you can always use a disk copy utility to do the copy too.

    Hope this helps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    When you say copy - are you meaning CLONE the old disk?
    Or are you looking to make a backup of the old disk?

    why you want everything from old disk on new disk? as backup? or to replace old disk with new?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8


    Update: I decided to try using Explorer's Copy function as D Bailey suggested. Decided to just try one folder (~650GB) first, and it's still running and no signs of impending failure (previously, when I tried to copy large amounts at a time, the speed would gradually decrease until it reached 1Kb/s, and then I'd get an Explorer message, Operation Failed or something). So far so good.

    KYHI: I don't understand the distinction between cloning and copying, but, basically I am just doing a 1-time backup. The old HDD will serve as long-term storage, and the new one (a nice lightweight SSD) will be a convenient day-to-day copy.

    play2mefish
    :
    Thanks, this was the advice I was actually trying to ask for. If I run into problems with Explorer I'll switch to robocopy (thanks for linking to the guide), and if that fails, I'll try the disk copy utility that came with my new drive. Much appreciated.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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