Fast and Easy way to transfer from External HDD to another Internal/External HDD

hairy_bush

SLF Refugee
May 20, 2016
7,725
21,512
Hi all I apologize if it sounds mundane, but I'm an old guy.

after years of constant DLing and editing my external HDD is making funny noises and I worry about its continued existence on this planet.

I looked at cloning docks, but it would require that I remove the HDD from its case and remove some circuit board, right? I'm afraid of doing more damage

Drag and dropping files from external to another HDD...takes a long time and doesn't gaurantee that it copies everything over, right?

What's the easiest and fastest way to transfer data from it?
 

SamKook

Akiba Citizen
Uploader
May 10, 2009
3,023
4,085
There's 2 things that drag and dropping could fail to copy.
One are hidden or system files, if you don't have it set to shown, not user data so you should be fine for that one unless you messed with hiding files.
Another thing would be hitting the limit on the maximum characters a path can contain in windows(255, assuming that's still the case, might be more in win 10+) but if you copy from the root of one external drive to the root of another external drive, that's not an issue since it'll stay the same. It would only potentially be an issue if you copy to a folder in another drive.

If you want a software that's good for easily copying stuff in a reliable way, ChoEazyCopy uses windows robocopy function that's better than the normal copy it uses for drag and dropping with a nice GUI(robocopy is command line only in windows) so that would be a good easy way to transfer a lot of data and it should warn you if it fails on something.

The fastest way would be to boot on a usb drive and clone the drive, but unless they're both the exact same sizes, it will cause issues so it wouldn't be my first choice, unless you really don't want to wait, but learning how to do it properly will probably take longer than using the option above.
If it's all big files, cloning wouldn't save you a lot of time, only if you have millions of smaller files.