[SOLVED] Is There Anything I shouldn't Delete From an Old External Hard Drive I'm using As-Is?

Jan 13, 2022
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Hi. I've just replaced my computer and was pleased to learn I could re-use my old hard drive externally, and that it was very easy to do. I'm intending to use it to store the photos, video, etc. that are already on there, and I'm wondering if it's OK to get rid of "everything else"? The primary reason for this is just to make navigation easier, but, for instance, the "Windows" folder is over 32gb. There's a "SWSETUP" folder that gave me pause when it asked for admin confirmation. Program files, I can't imagine needing any of that if I don't plan to use it, but I haven't done this before and had no luck finding an answer to this particular point. I don't have any of this backed up elsewhere, so I wanted to make sure. Thanks!
 
Jan 13, 2022
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Can I ask what that would do? It's a 1TB drive and my current one is half that, and I have an extraordinary amount of stuff saved. Also it would also be a big chore deciding what I want and don't. I'm able to access everything now, I'd just like to continue to do so. If there's something I need to leave on there to continue to be able to, that's no problem. It's a rather old drive and I'll probably be replacing it soon as well.
 

USAFRet

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Can I ask what that would do? It's a 1TB drive and my current one is half that, and I have an extraordinary amount of stuff saved. Also it would also be a big chore deciding what I want and don't. I'm able to access everything now, I'd just like to continue to do so. If there's something I need to leave on there to continue to be able to, that's no problem. It's a rather old drive and I'll probably be replacing it soon as well.
Was this the OS drive from a different system?

Trying to remove 'everything but' usually ends up in a confusing mess.
 
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Jan 13, 2022
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Whatever personal data you want from it, copy that to some other device.
Then, wipe that drive clean. All of it, all partitions.

Keep nothing.
It seems as though you're answering questions other than the ones I'm asking. I have no idea why I would wipe anything or back anything up. I'm only going to be using the drive until I get a new one. Everything I've read up till now has told me I can use the drive to store and access the data that's on it. I am able to do that now. Is there some reason I won't be able to do that in the future?
 

USAFRet

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It seems as though you're answering questions other than the ones I'm asking. I have no idea why I would wipe anything or back anything up. I'm only going to be using the drive until I get a new one. Everything I've read up till now has told me I can use the drive to store and access the data that's on it. I am able to do that now. Is there some reason I won't be able to do that in the future?
Again...was this the OS drive in a different system?

My suggestions are just to declutter.

If it was NOT the OS drive, no problem.
Connect and use as desired.
 
Jan 13, 2022
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Was this the OS drive from a different system?

Trying to remove 'everything but' usually ends up in a confusing mess.
Sorry, missed this one. The OSs were the same, Windows 10, which is why I didn't need to format the old one, as I understand it. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to access anything.
 

USAFRet

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Sorry, missed this one. The OSs were the same, Windows 10, which is why I didn't need to format the old one, as I understand it. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to access anything.
The OSs being the same does not relate to being able to access anything.
If it were a Win 7 system, you'd still be able to access that data.
With the permissions issues you are already seeing.

The issue comes in with all the other gunk on that drive.
There are multiple folders and partitions that are mostly inaccessible, and just taking up space.

So, my suggestion still stands.
Find all that you wish to keep from it.
Copy to elsewhere.
Wipe that drive completely.
Copy the data back onto it.
 
Jan 13, 2022
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Your photos, documents and such should be in their respective folders. Unless you placed things where you shouldn't, backing those up shouldn't be much of a chore.
Apologies for the consecutive posts but my brain's at capacity trying to figure this out. I neglected to quote you, but when I asked "Can I ask what that would do?," that was in reply to your initial response. And, yes, everything is in it's respective folder. I've expressed no issue finding anything. As I said, the chore is in deciding what I do and don't want to keep. And having no idea why I would have to do that now. I've never backed anything up, have no place to back it up too, and if I need to buy storage, I'll be buying a new external drive. And I won't be using this one anymore, because it's very old.

I asked if it was safe to delete the folders I mentioned. That's all I really wanted to know. Getting rid of those folders is not in any way worth transferring all those files, and transferring them back. As I said, it's not a huge just to leave them where they are.
 

USAFRet

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You can delete, or leave, whatever you wish.
Assuming the system works without that drive connected, there is nothing critical on it that needs to stay.

Was just trying to help declutter that drive, int he case that you wanted to continue using it.
 

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