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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Massive reorganization needed - don't know how to start.

    Hello everybody,

    I just worked through a month long problem with my computer and must go back and thank those that tried to help.

    I think the computer is under control now (whose I don't know ) and I've noticed that I have pictures everywhere, also music files, word files, pdf files, avi files and a ton of the free software to try (someday.) Just trying to put my music in Jet Audio gave me over 8,000 files - not even close due to duplicates.

    I have a Dell Dimension E310 running Windows XP SP3. I have three physical hard drives: the C drive is 100GB and with the Dell backup programs partioned on that drive which adds 40GB of unusable space. I'd like to replace this one as I am able. My second internal drive is 250GB and is almost full and the third is an external is a 600MG which has space and everything is being dumped there.

    I just found out that I have Adult ADHD so I can see how I ended up making this mess but part of that also is my difficulty in actually carrying out a plan to put everything in order. I was hoping if someone was kind enough, I could get an outline - an idea of what should go where - to start this project off of. I can say my program files are actually in C:Program Files as they should be but there is also a lot of junk in the C drive.

    As an FYI, I tried a program called Similarity to find duplicate files and it was not very successful for me. I was thinking of upgrading to Windows 7 in the near future but apparently my graphics card won't handle it and I found out over the last month it is part of the motherboard.

    I know this is remedial - sorry - but I could really use the help!

    Thanks.

    cs.
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
    Mahatma Ghandi

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citsme View Post
    ...........

    I think the computer is under control now (whose I don't know )

    ...... the C drive is 100GB and with the Dell backup programs partioned on that drive which adds 40GB of unusable space.
    ......
    As an FYI, I tried a program called Similarity to find duplicate files and it was not very successful for me.
    .......
    Hello cs -
    Is the concern mostly to straighten out the C drive by eliminating duplicate files on the C drive?

    Is the C drive part of a physical drive that is 160 GB? The physical 160 GB drive has a C partition of 115 GB and a D partition of 40 GB? Is the D partition empty and it shows 40 GB Free and available?

    Which imaging program is being used? Is there a backup image of the C drive? Where is the backup image stored? Was a recovery CD made using the imaging program?

    Rest easy that the folks here will continue helping you.

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Talking

    Hello! I am very happy to see your assistance. Sometimes I am sure I am forgetting more than I am remembering; technically I am too young for that.

    I was always taught that the C: drive was for the programs and I'll call it the basic operating files needed to run the computer. Of course, if you have a large enough C: drive, everything can be put on there using partitions. I have at least 5 files named Download or versions of that between the three drives, pictures everywhere - multiple duplicates (difficult for backup), too many programs that do the same thing or something very similar and I must be the Queen of the Screen Prints.

    On the C: drive especially there is a multitude of misc files which I don't remember being there when the computer was new. I know as I download and save different things, that changes but I need to set up a system where I can actually find something, know it belongs on the computer - you get the idea.

    For your second question - yes, mostly. 160 GB partitioned this way: 39MB FAT/107.09GB NTFS/ 3724 NTFS Designated "Backup" and one more I've never noticed before: 4.64 FAT32 Unknown.
    The next drive is 232.88 NTFS (and almost completely full) and the external is 596.17 NTFS. I can see that some partitions at some point might help.
    I started using Paragon System Back Up 10 today and a snapshot has been taken with snapshots scheduled at 4:00am daily and three to be kept before erasing. The snapshots are kept on the external drive but if I'd like to move them the program suggests another 120GB external drive. I have to find the back up file on the external file; it is not readily apparent. It does give me the option to Download and burn Windows PE 2.0 based recovery CD image and to Create a recovery CD. What is the first disk for and do I need it. If so, I will burn them immediately!

    Just to give you an idea what I am dealing with, this is most of what is on the C: drive. It was full so I had to do some moving around and I'm still suffering for that!

    Thank you so much for your kindness. I find myself second-guessing things that I've known for awhile. Hopefully that will go away in time.

    Thanks so much!
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    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
    Mahatma Ghandi

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I might start by copying all data files (pictures, documents, movies, app data, favorites, contacts, etc) to an external drive for safe keeping. Once you have them copied, delete these files in their respective folders on the HD.

    Once you have cleaned out these files, use an app or two for cleaning temp files. I use both CCleaner and Privacy Mantra. Be aggressive in cleaning, both files and registry.

    Look for duplicate folders (remember you have already copied all data files to an ext HD) and delete them.

    You can then slowly examine all the data you copied to the ext HD and weed out duplicates, then move them back into their proper folders in the OS.

    Or this would be a great time to format and install Win 7 before slowly checking the data in the Ext HD, removing duplicates, then moving the data to the appropriate new folder in Win 7. This would also be a great time to use a good partitioning app, I use Partition Wizard free for this purpose, to get rid of some of the partitions. If I am reading your post correctly you have 2 internal HD's, a 100 GB and a 250GB. The partitioning app will allow the 100 GB to be changed to one partition containing the OS and apps (All apps would need to be reinstalled, but this is the best choice anyway in my opinion). You can then move all data folder to the second (250 GB) HD.

    This will give you a new, very clean install of Win 7 organized very nicely. Once done, create an Image of both HD's and store on the Ext HD.

    Once you have done this
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  5. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    It would probably be easier to start fresh with a clean install of the operating system.

    Even if you have a Dell OEM disk it would not be hard to decrapafy the installation afterward and replace old drivers with updated ones.
    Doing the clean install would also give you the best oportunity to rework the partitions to your liking. Separating out as much of your user data from the operating system would also ensure image backups to DVD ROM would be limited to a singe DVD disk.

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  6. #6
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    I would seriously consider an upgrade to Windows 7. The Library feature in Windows 7 would be extremely useful for you. Basically you can put files into folders wherever youi please. Then if you add the folder to a Library you can access those files and other similar files from one place.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Star Lounger
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    Massive Reorg of XP Computer

    Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. I'd love to upgrade to Windows 7 but that is going to have to wait for a while. I am intrigued about that LIBRARY feature and plan on looking it up for more information.

    To make it more expensive, my graphics card is part of the motherboard and when I ran the check to see if I could upgrade, the graphics card needs to be upgraded.

    Unfortunately, so does my car. Basically, I am generally following the procedures Ted outlined (while I sit here and wish for 7!) Slowly it is working somewhat; I have cleared half of the 250GB hard drive.

    Thank you so much for your help. Clint, I still plan on following your links - never know when I'll need it!

    cs.
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
    Mahatma Ghandi

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    There is probably much you can do with your current set up in terms of speeding it up and organizing your operating system & data for greater efficiency.
    In the mean time, since your not quite ready to invest in Windows 7, get yourself an external drive or high capacity USB stick and start backing up
    your most valued data. The first place to start would be to ensure that everything of value is safely preserved.

    Then, and only then, can we talk more about the next steps.

    Use this train of thought: You operating system is the bathwater (completely expendable) & your data is the baby.

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