By: Hanif Bhatti on June 24th, 2010

External Hard Drive

External Hard Drive connected to a PC / Image Source:

Have you just bought a new external hard drive and are wondering how to transfer files to it? Well, we are here to help! Transferring files (such as photos, videos, music and documents) to an external hard drive for the purpose to back-up or free storage on your internal hard drive is fairly simple. Most modern external hard drives have a USB interface and don’t need external power adaptors. So you can simply plug the external hard drive and it’s ready for you to start transferring your files.

Some external hard drives even feature automatic backup software that start backing up your selected folders on your internal hard drive to the external hard drive. However, this post is intended for a normal computer user.

Connect your External Hard Drive

While most external hard drives come with USB interface, some of them support Firewire. Make sure your computer supports the interface of your external hard drive. Connect your drive into the USB port of your computer. Your PC should automatically detect that there’s a new device connected and you’ll see a notification pop up in the notification area. The operating system will install the driver and will let you know when your external hard drive is ready to use.

When your drive is ready to use, you’ll see a new drive appear in your file manager, with the name Removable Disk E: F: or G: (depending on the number of partitions you already have on your internal hard drive and the number of other storage devices connected to it).

Transfer Files to External Hard Drive

Double click the Removable Disk icon in your file manager. A new pop up window will appear or will open in an existing window. It’s always good to organise your files and folders by giving them relevant names so when you come back to find that special photo, you should have no trouble locating it in the matter of seconds.

Drag and Drop Method

Right click to create a new folder and name it, then press enter. You can always rename a file or folder by right clicking on the icon and clicking ‘Rename’. Open this folder and leave it open. Now go to the file manager and open the folder of the internal hard drive in a new window. Align the two windows in a way that you can easily locate the files in both the folders. Now you can simply drag the files from your internal hard drive folder and drop it to the destination folder on your external hard drive.

Copy and Paste Method

Sometimes the drag and drop method could lead to wrong placement of files or folders due to sloppy mouse work. So if you’re not very good at drag and drop or you use your notebook or netbook’s track pad, use the copy and paste method instead. Simply right click the file/folder to be copied and click copy. Then go to the destination folder of your external hard drive and right click in an empty space and click paste. Your files will be copied.

You can repeat this process for all files and folders that you want to transfer to your external hard drive. Try to copy individual folders instead of copying all at once as if one file can not be copied, the rest of the files/folders will also be stopped and you’d have to figure out which of the data has already been transferred.

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