Adding third hard drive

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242
Location
PA
Thread starter
Hi folks:

I have an SSD and a 1TB regular drive for storage of photos / documents.

The regular drive is filling up faster than expected.

What is the better solution - adding a third drive or moving all data to a larger drive? I cannot seem to tell how Windows would manage this - for example would I have to point to documents folder to a particular drive?

Thanks!
 
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436
Location
GA
Your preference. The safest thing would be to buy a bigger drive, hook it up, let Windows format it. Leave your original hooked up and if you want, move everything to the new drive.

It sounds like you use the "Documents" folder in Windows. So yes if you decide to use a third drive you'll need to point the "Documents" link to that drive.

This is sort of the downside of software mfg's dumbing down OS's. People don't realize what's going on behind the scenes. If you didn't have those ridiculous pre-decided folders you wouldn't have to worry about this.

For this reason I steer people away from these folders and tell them to create and use their own folders named whatever they want to name them.

https://www.pcworld.com/article/2079571/move-your-libraries-to-a-second-drive-or-partition.html
 
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7,550
Location
Cajun Country, La.
I just recently bought an HP laptop without a hard drive. I have an external HD so I didn't see the need to buy a LT with a HD.
Can I burn CD's with my external HD? If so, how?
Thank You! ;)
 
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366
Location
Michigan
I just recently bought an HP laptop without a hard drive. I have an external HD so I didn't see the need to buy a LT with a HD.
Can I burn CD's with my external HD? If so, how?
Thank You! ;)
When you say your HP has no hard drive, do you mean it has an EMMC rather than a hard drive or an SSD? I bought a cheap Dell with an 32 Gig EMMC and immediately opened it up and installed a 250 Gig SSD that I had laying around. I assume HP would also be easy to upgrade. I also bought a $20 USB external DVD to burn the occasional CD/DVD.
 
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2,168
Location
CA
Buy an external DVD writer. A year or so ago HP stopped offering an internal one.
I can't remember though if you need to buy one with a USB3 interface (older USB interface only good for 5 watts power, which I think isn't enough for a DVD writer without an external power supply). Google for hp external dvd drive.
You want the slim one. It's the same one they put in servers. Really flimsy drawer compared to what they used to be.

Plug it into your USB port. Use Windows 10 to burn files to DVD; no extra software required.

If you do a lot of burning be prepared to buy a new one every year. These drives always had problems.
Started off burning fast, then slowed down in a year.
An LG Blu-Ray external "tank" is a lot more expensive, but doesn't slow down after a year.
 
Messages
7,550
Location
Cajun Country, La.
When you say your HP has no hard drive, do you mean it has an EMMC rather than a hard drive or an SSD? I bought a cheap Dell with an 32 Gig EMMC and immediately opened it up and installed a 250 Gig SSD that I had laying around. I assume HP would also be easy to upgrade. I also bought a $20 USB external DVD to burn the occasional CD/DVD.
OOPS! I meant it doesn't have a CD player.
 
Messages
242
Location
PA
Thread starter
Your preference. The safest thing would be to buy a bigger drive, hook it up, let Windows format it. Leave your original hooked up and if you want, move everything to the new drive.

It sounds like you use the "Documents" folder in Windows. So yes if you decide to use a third drive you'll need to point the "Documents" link to that drive.

This is sort of the downside of software mfg's dumbing down OS's. People don't realize what's going on behind the scenes. If you didn't have those ridiculous pre-decided folders you wouldn't have to worry about this.

For this reason I steer people away from these folders and tell them to create and use their own folders named whatever they want to name them.

https://www.pcworld.com/article/2079571/move-your-libraries-to-a-second-drive-or-partition.html
Thanks - I hear you. I have the documents folder pointed to several different folders behind the scenes - this computer holds data from a couple other dead systems. Same with the photo's folder.

It was kinda a mess trying to set it up - and then Itunes dumped all my music on the SSD and maxed it out. (I had to make a bunch of reg edits to fix that stupidity).

My fear was that adding a new drive letter would add to the confusion.
 
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242
Location
PA
Thread starter
I’m actually not sure. I seem to remember multiple sata ports on the motherboard but probably should look again. There is a dvd drive also, but I can’t remember how I connected it.
 
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5,887
Location
Texas Hill Country
DVD drives have mostly gone the way of the dodo in computers. You can use the SATA port for that.

Is your Power Supply up to the task of three drives, and an Optical drive anyways?

Any of those drives at the end of life?

Me personally I would just buy one big drive and dump the other two in a safe in case that drive dies.

You can get non-SSD 3-4TB drives for a song.
 
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242
Location
PA
Thread starter
The drive is relatively new (by my standards anyway) about 3 years old. I didn't think of Costco.

I'm pretty sure the power supply can handle it - I think I bought a 600w. This was a low budget system that was going to be mainly for storage - but it runs so well with the SSD, I use it everyday. Family videos and pictures are filling it up quickly. The real answer is a RAID device - but the learning curve is steep.

Is there an easy way to schedule a an automatic local backup? I've tried the windows stuff in 7 (now running 10) but could never seem to get it to consistently run a backup image. I run backblaze - but would feel better with a local copy.
 
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5,887
Location
Texas Hill Country
the above post recommended using robocopy and a scheduled task.

Robocopy is a great tool comes with windows. I use it to migrate files from servers sometimes.

Not really a great backup strategy to backup the drive within the same computer, but I guess better than nothing.

You can write a robocopy script that will sync two folders as a scheduled task.
 
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12,507
Location
Middlesex County CT
The real answer is a RAID device
RAID however implemented is NOT backups.

You need a physical separation between the data you value and the backup copy. I recommend a USB powered drive that is easy to attach and remove.

SSD = OS
2Tb drive = Data
USB drive = backup

A "one in a million" scenario is pretty frequent given the # of PCs in use worldwide.
 
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1,536
Location
TX, USA
After you install the new HD and formatted properly, you can link the new HD with a current directory in the old HD like "Document" or "Photo/Pictures" or "Movie", etc.
Everytime you move it to that link directory, it will automagically written in the new HD.
 
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242
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PA
Thread starter
Thanks for the help guys. I have a new drive on order and I'm also going down the NAS rabbit-hole, as a backup, and a way to transfer files. (I have cloud backup already - but want a local copy).
 
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