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Retiring Your Old Drives - Gracefully

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Retiring Your Old Drives - Gracefully

So you've decided it's time to change to a different removable-media drive while you still can. Great idea! There's nothing scarier than sitting on a pile of useless media with valuable data trapped inside.

At first glance, you might figure that the best way to move from your old drive to your new drive is simply to attach both of them to your system and just drag-and-drop the files with the Windows Explorer. However, if you're transferring data between two parallel-port drives, if your drive is no longer supported by your current operating system, or if the drivers used by your old and new drive can't coexist, this won't work. And, depending upon the nature of the data stored on your current removable-media drive, this direct copy procedure may not be necessary.

Depending upon your situation, one of the following alternatives may work better for you.

DOS Drivers Only

If your removable-media drive is supported only by MS-DOS drivers, I recommend that you boot your Windows 9x/Me computer with its startup disk and load the MS-DOS drivers for your removable-media drive. Then, copy the files from each of your removable-media disks to your computer's hard disk:

    1. Insert the removable-media disk into the drive and use the DOS Dir command to view its contents. For example, if the drive is drive E:, type Dir E: and press [Enter]. If the disk's contents are displayed, continue to step 2.

    2. Make a folder for each disk. For example, change to your hard disk (C:) and type MD\Disk01 and press [Enter] to make a folder for the contents of Disk 1.

    3. Change to the folder you just made: for example, type CD\Disk01 and press [Enter].

    4. Use Xcopy.exe to transfer the files from the removable-media disk to the current folder: type Xcopy E:\*.* /s and press [Enter]. This will replicate any folders containing files in the folder you made for the data.

    5. Repeat all steps for each additional removable-media disk you have. Use a different folder name each time you repeat step 2, and change that folder name in step 3. Use the actual drive letter of your removable-media drive in place of E:.

Windows Drivers

If your removable-media drive is supported by your current version of Windows, moving the data will be a lot easier:

    1. Use Windows Explorer to make a folder on your hard disk for each removable-media disk containing data.

    2. View the contents of each removable-media disk and drag its contents into its folder on your hard disk.

Moving the Data to Its Final Home

Unless you are currently using the data on your old removable-media drive for day-to-day operations, you don't need to transfer it to your new drive's media. Instead, use a CD-RW drive if you have one to make CD's of your data. With a maximum storage capacity of 737MB per CD (80-minute CD-R), you can archive a lot of data with just a few CD's and keep your new removable-media drive free for ongoing work.

Before you archive the old files, use Windows Explorer to organize them into new folders, rename them and make them as easy to use as possible. Then, use your CD-RW drive's mastering software to create CD's as desired.

Store The Drive for Now

Once you've transferred the data from your old drive, remove it from your system and store it for future use. Murphy's Law suggests that, sooner or later, one more removable-media disk will turn up.

© Copyright 2002 Pearson Technology Group. All rights reserved.

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