Clean out old programs and save data from secondary drive (F:) that used to be primary (C:)

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Clean out old programs and save data from secondary drive (F:) that used to be primary (C:)

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When we purchased my wife's Vosto 260 computer, we took her previous computer's HD (C:) and installed it as the secondary (F:) drive to have as her data source.  That F: drive still has the Windows operating system and previous Program Files and the data files. 

 I have recently installed a new primary drive (Western Digital 500GB) to replace a failing C: drive.  The new C: has 122 GB used and 315 GB free.  The recovery (D:) has 6.73 GB used and 20.6 GB free.  The F: drive has 111 GB used and only 13.1 MB free.  The Program Files folder is filled with 5.76 GB, and the Windows folder on the F: is 5.46 GB. The F:\Documents and Settings folder is 13.9 GB.  The F:\MINIT-UOLxxx folder contains 3 Backup Sets from earlier this year with a size of 74.0 GB

I want to clean out the old program file, old settings, and older version of Windows (Vostro is now running Win7) and use the F: drive for data  or as backup.

What is the best way to save the data on the F: drive and then clean out the un-necessary program files, Windows OS, settings, etc.?  Some programs do not save their data in the same place, which makes it harder to consolidate them and copy to the C: drive and then format the F: drive. What is the best way to find all the old data files that I might need to save?

Should I take the current C: drive out, put the secondary drive into the primary drive slot, and then un-install all the programs?  That still would not get rid of the Windows operating system from what will later become the secondary drive again.  As I look at even the Documents and Setting folder and sub-folders, I am not sure that I even need them saved, since the C: drive already has that information.

The first question is what is the most efficient and thorough method to clean the secondary drive?  The second question is should I partition the primary hard drive to have a partition for data or backup?

 

 

All Replies
  • Hi Raboatman,

    I understand that you wish to free the space on the F: drive. I believe best way would be transfer all the required data to either C: drive or an external hard-drive.

    Once data is backed up then you should format the F drive and transfer the data back.

    This would be the most efficient and safe way to get rid of the unwanted files from the secondary drive.

    If you wish you can partition the primary drive as well so that Windows files and programs are saved on C drive and rest on a different partition.

    In this way you would not lose the data incase of Windows failure and re-installation is imminent. I hope I was able to answer your query today.

    If you have any further queries, please feel free to contact us.

    Thanks and Regards
    Sandeep P
    #iworkfordell

    Thanks and Regards
    Sandeep P
    #iworkfordell

    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US Customers; UK Customers; India Customers. For Dell support videos click Here.

  • Thank you.  I believe that you are correct. 

    My C: drive now has a primary partition which has Windows and other programs plus data at present.  My secondary hard drive, called F, has an old copy of Windows and old programs left over from when it was my primary drive. Ans the F: drive has data too.  This F: drive is the one that I would need to format and then change to use it as just a data or backup or image focused drive. 

    When I installed a new C: drive , because the original one was at risk for failing based on the SMART test, it has partitions for the primary partition holding Windows 7 and programs, and a D; partition which is the RECOVERY or Factory Restore.  Based on what you tell me then I should take the primary partition and divide it so that the first part is for Windows and programs that we have now and may install in the future, and set up a new partition for data (which I may call E:).  Then the primary hard drive would have the C: (Windows and programs, D: (Factory Restore), & E: (data and downloads, etc.).  My next question is how do I choose what size the C: and E: should be? The D: Factory restore would not need to change, I presume.  What is not quite clear to me is how to get the data into the data partition, which I called E: .  Do I just move the folders called ProgramData and the folder called Users to the data partition?

    One other worry is that the computer that is to have these changes is my wife's computer, and she does not understand all of this.  I need to make it as fool proof as possible.  When she backs up Quicken for example it will need to go automatically to the E:, rather than the default location for the program.  The same will be tru for her other programs.  (BTW, maybe I should not have said "fool proof.")

     

    Thanks

     

  • There's always a risk of deleting something worthwhile when "cleaning" a drive. I've always left mine alone and got around the space issue by buying one with more of it.

    Regarding backups, an external drive that can be removed is a better idea and they don't cost much. In the event the main drive fails, the data on the external will be safe.

  • Hi Raboatman,

    Thanks for your reply. You are correct in stating that D drive (Recovery) should be not be changed. Size of C drive would depend on your usage. It is advisable to keep windows and all installed programs in the C drive itself.

    Somewhere between 50 to 100 GB should be enough if you do not install alot of softwares. And rest of the data like backups,picture,videos and music to E and F drive.

    Please note we always advise to have a single partition drive. As partitioning, re-sizing and moving data can cause data corruption.

    If you have any further queries, please feel free to contact us.

    Thanks and Regards
    Sandeep P
    #iworkfordell

    Thanks and Regards
    Sandeep P
    #iworkfordell

    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US Customers; UK Customers; India Customers. For Dell support videos click Here.