[SOLVED] How to COPY things from one hard drive to an external drive to another hard drive.

Sep 22, 2019
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Hello everyone, I want to set up a benchmark drive for my next builds, and I was wondering how I could COPY (not transfer/move) all of my games and possibly even windows from my laptop to an external hard drive, and then to my benchmark drive in another system. How would I do that?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Okay
It’ll be on lots of very different hardware though. Things ranging from celeron processors to FX processors and lots of deferent graphics cards. Are you saying here isn’t a way to just get a hard drive with a few games so I can test the deferent cpus and GPUs I’ll experiment with?
And that makes your thought of "One OS To Rule Them All" even less likely to work.

You could install some Steam games on a drive, and in a new Steam client in the OS that has been installed on a system....tell that Steam client where those games are.
But unless that drive is installed internally via normal SATA connection, you'd also be "testing" how that game drive is connected.

But for the OS and drivers? No.
That needs to be installed on a drive while that drive is in the system in question.

Windows is not plug and play across different hardware.


Is this a hobby, a business, a non-profit.....what?
 

USAFRet

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The "how" depends on exactly what you want the end state to be.

Windows currently lives in the laptop.
Doing a migration or Image to somewhere, and then applying that to a whole different system will almost certainly fail.
Windows is NOT plug and play across differing hardware.
 
Sep 22, 2019
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The "how" depends on exactly what you want the end state to be.

Windows currently lives in the laptop.
Doing a migration or Image to somewhere, and then applying that to a whole different system will almost certainly fail.
Windows is NOT plug and play across differing hardware.
Yeah that’s what I thought. I’ll just get unactivated windows then for now I guess.
I’m having trouble when I try to copy something like games to a usb or external drive. I just get the launch files so it doesn’t do anything. What do I do to copy a game? Thanks
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Yeah that’s what I thought. I’ll just get unactivated windows then for now I guess.
I’m having trouble when I try to copy something like games to a usb or external drive. I just get the launch files so it doesn’t do anything. What do I do to copy a game? Thanks
"Unactivated" Windows makes no difference.
It is not the license, but rather the actual install.

Via sysprep, you could create a generic install that might work across wildly different hardware.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/sysprep--generalize--a-windows-installation

But I don't think that will work for what I think you're wanting to do.


Copying games? What games are these?
If Steam, you can move to different drives or systems.
---------------------------------------------
Steam games location
In the steam client:
Steam
Settings
Downloads
Steam Library Folders
Add library folder


To move an already installed game
Games library
Right click the game
Properties
Local Files
Move Install Folder
-----------------------------------------------

Still unclear as to exactly what you're trying to do with this.
 

mangaman

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Jun 13, 2015
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As @USAFRet said, Windows is not plug and play across different hardware. If you do transfer a Windows image to a new system, regardless of setup, you will run into multiple issues.

It's best if you just install a brand new copy of Windows on the new system.

What do I do to copy a game? Thanks
Very easy to do if you have Steam.

-install steam on the new system
-connect old drive
-go to steam>settings>download
-open library folders
-add the directory location of the games
 
Reactions: Insane Potatoz
Sep 22, 2019
260
17
195
2
"Unactivated" Windows makes no difference.
It is not the license, but rather the actual install.

Via sysprep, you could create a generic install that might work across wildly different hardware.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/sysprep--generalize--a-windows-installation

But I don't think that will work for what I think you're wanting to do.


Copying games? What games are these?
If Steam, you can move to different drives or systems.
---------------------------------------------
Steam games location
In the steam client:
Steam
Settings
Downloads
Steam Library Folders
Add library folder


To move an already installed game
Games library
Right click the game
Properties
Local Files
Move Install Folder
-----------------------------------------------

Still unclear as to exactly what you're trying to do with this.
Sorry if I didn’t make it clear what I’m doing. Here’s what I’m planning to do now:
  1. Install inactivated windows 10 on a new hard drive
  2. Copy my games onto this drive as well
  3. Use it as my benchmark drive
Oh, I see what you’re saying. Windows, even inactivated, won’t work as I move the hard drive around PC’s... right?
Thanks for telling me how to copy steam games, what about regular games that I just downloaded from the internet like World of Tanks?
 
Sep 22, 2019
260
17
195
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As @USAFRet said, Windows is not plug and play across different hardware. If you do transfer a Windows image to a new system, regardless of setup, you will run into multiple issues.

It's best if you just install a brand new copy of Windows on the new system.



Very easy to do if you have Steam.

-install steam on the new system
-connect old drive
-go to steam>settings>download
-open library folders
-add the directory location of the games
I’m not taking my hard drive out of my laptop, I just want a hard drive to run benchmarks on new builds.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I’m not taking my hard drive out of my laptop, I just want a hard drive to run benchmarks on new builds.
Right.
And an Image of the OS on the laptop drive is no different than taking the physical drive out and putting it in a different system.

As above, Sysprep is the way to go about this.
But in this case, it doesn't really solve anything a clean install on a drive in a new system doesn't do.
 
Sep 22, 2019
260
17
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Right.
And an Image of the OS on the laptop drive is no different than taking the physical drive out and putting it in a different system.

As above, Sysprep is the way to go about this.
But in this case, it doesn't really solve anything a clean install on a drive in a new system doesn't do.
Okay, so I’m getting that I install windows as normal on the hard drive, then install Sysprep, ten get my games onto there... right?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Yes, I did read that, and I don’t quite understand it... sorry.
Could you explain it for me?
It is a process to capture a basic Windows install and generalize it for applying to different hardware.
It removes the hardware specific drivers and the computer SID (computer security identifier), among other things.
It is useful in a corporate environment where you need to deploy an OS and some settings to multiple systems, and have them start out (mostly) the same.

For your stated use, benchmarking different systems, it is probably not the path you need to take.
It would be much better to just do a regular basic OS install on your systems, then install whatever you want to use for 'benchmarking'.
 
Sep 22, 2019
260
17
195
2
It is a process to capture a basic Windows install and generalize it for applying to different hardware.
It removes the hardware specific drivers and the computer SID (computer security identifier), among other things.
It is useful in a corporate environment where you need to deploy an OS and some settings to multiple systems, and have them start out (mostly) the same.

For your stated use, benchmarking different systems, it is probably not the path you need to take.
It would be much better to just do a regular basic OS install on your systems, then install whatever you want to use for 'benchmarking'.
My problem with that is these PC’s that I’m building aren’t for me, they’re for other people, and I’m just curious about how they perform, so installing everything onto the local drive would make me have to delete everything later
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
117,243
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You can only "benchmark" on software that is installed on the drive in the system.
Anything else, you introduce too many other variables for a valid performance test.

And with multiple systems, given similar hardware, they will all perform about the same.
 
Sep 22, 2019
260
17
195
2
You can only "benchmark" on software that is installed on the drive in the system.
Anything else, you introduce too many other variables for a valid performance test.

And with multiple systems, given similar hardware, they will all perform about the same.
Okay
It’ll be on lots of very different hardware though. Things ranging from celeron processors to FX processors and lots of deferent graphics cards. Are you saying here isn’t a way to just get a hard drive with a few games so I can test the deferent cpus and GPUs I’ll experiment with?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
117,243
2,636
148,290
19,115
Okay
It’ll be on lots of very different hardware though. Things ranging from celeron processors to FX processors and lots of deferent graphics cards. Are you saying here isn’t a way to just get a hard drive with a few games so I can test the deferent cpus and GPUs I’ll experiment with?
And that makes your thought of "One OS To Rule Them All" even less likely to work.

You could install some Steam games on a drive, and in a new Steam client in the OS that has been installed on a system....tell that Steam client where those games are.
But unless that drive is installed internally via normal SATA connection, you'd also be "testing" how that game drive is connected.

But for the OS and drivers? No.
That needs to be installed on a drive while that drive is in the system in question.

Windows is not plug and play across different hardware.


Is this a hobby, a business, a non-profit.....what?
 
Sep 22, 2019
260
17
195
2
And that makes your thought of "One OS To Rule Them All" even less likely to work.

You could install some Steam games on a drive, and in a new Steam client in the OS that has been installed on a system....tell that Steam client where those games are.
But unless that drive is installed internally via normal SATA connection, you'd also be "testing" how that game drive is connected.

But for the OS and drivers? No.
That needs to be installed on a drive while that drive is in the system in question.

Windows is not plug and play across different hardware.


Is this a hobby, a business, a non-profit.....what?
Ah I see. Thanks so much!
This is just a hobby of mine, but recently people have come to me and paid me to build computers for them.
Edit: I also like to find cheap hardware on eBay and see how it performs.
 

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