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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Question Moving Libraries to a new drive

    Well, the time has finally come, my C: (1Tb) drive is almost full (mostly digital images) and so I acquired a 2Tb expansion drive to accommodate my images. This means I have to move my Pictures Library and all the files in it to this new drive. Being a relative newby at this sort of thing, I am hoping I can get some very detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to move these files without "screwing" it up. This would make my the new location for my Pictures Library resident on the G: drive (the letter assigned to it by Win 7) and I would be able to continue building my image library until that drive is full and I need to find another way to "store" the images. I have questions about this, most of which will happen as I try to make this happen. For example, can I move only part of the "Pictures" library files? Would it be best to move all my "Libraries" - pictures, documents, etc., to the new drive and free up all the "Library" space for any new apps that come along. Along with moving the Library files, are there other files that need to be changed or moved? I am running Windows 7 and the G: drive is attached through a USB3 port.

    This are all the "questions" I can think of at this time, but there may be more to come. Any insight that anyone would care to provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Ron M
    Last edited by Ron M; 2013-10-13 at 14:16.

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  3. #2
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    It's your choice, your pictures have real locations, probably mostly in My Pictures folder in your user account. Libraries only point to such locations. The default for Pictures library is to include shortcuts to both your user account Pictures and the Public user account pictures folder.
    So with that in mind you can move some or all your images to a folder on the expansion drive and then just include that location in the Pictures library, so you'd have 3 locations then instead of two. You can also remove locations from the library as well and point to only one location.

    Alternatively if you want your user account My Pictures folder to be located on the expansion drive, that involves actually moving the folder there so that anytime you saved more images or accessed them, your user account My Pictures would be on the expansion drive and no My Pictures folder would exist in your user account back on the 1 TB drive. You don't want to do this if the drive is not attached all the time because if it's ever unplugged and you try to go to your user account My Pictures, it won't be there and you'll get an error or/and a new (second) My Pictures folder will be created in your user account back on the C: drive, and you'll need to realize that while that one is empty of images, it's not the actual folder you've been using to store your images. You would ignore any library options in this procedure since you are actually moving a folder.

    Clear as mud? Just think of Libraries as shortcuts to folders with similarly grouped information, NOT the actual location of your images, and you can either add shortcut locations or delete shortcut locations per your wishes. I'm sure you've clicked on a Library folder and right below the library name you will see Includes: x locations, where x is a number and is almost always 2 by default. Click on that and a configuration window will open that lets you make changes to locations (add or delete).

  4. #3
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    To move the folder location, you just need to visit c:\users\YourUserName\Pictures, right click it, choose Location tab and then click the Move button.
    One additional difficult you may find, if you do this, is that your ability to do a Windows upgrade (not a clean install) may be affected.
    Rui
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  5. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    This PC World article is quite comprehensive on the "how to's" of moving data. As has been stated, the Libraries only contain pointers to the actual data. This allows data from various locations to show in one folder.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  6. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I second this article.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
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  7. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    Unlike all the previous responders, I am a non-Geek. The method shown in the article mentioned by Medico works flawlessly.
    I "play around" on my system, repartitioning and trying out various arrangements. (I'm retired, and playing around with my system is one of my hobbies - or, a giant time-waster, if you ask my wife). In doing so, I bet I have moved such Libraries around more than a half-dozen times.
    Dick

  8. #7
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    Ya, in your case your data will not only be on a different partition, it will be on a different drive altogether. Your choice is if you want your system to officially recognize that other location by moving your user folder locations or if you just want to add them to a shortcut library location.

    Since I'm never positive I will always have an attached drive attached, I go the library route and often exclude the default library locations, which gives me a very similar mode of operation to actually moving the system folders.
    If you were using another internal drive or partition then I think moving the system folder locations might be better.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    My 2¢.

    Long before Microsoft started putting "Libraries" in Windows, I developed and fine-tuned my own system for storing similar types of files that accumulate in large numbers, such as pictures. I use partitions. I have a dedicated partition for pictures, named Pictures. I have a dedicated partition for music, named Music.

    This has the added benefit of not interfering with any Windows functions, and for using drive imaging to back up these files in aggragate without including files of other types, or making a system drive image inordinately large.

    The Libraries feature (if I used it) allows for the addition of other locations to a library. Using dedicated partitions works whether or not one uses libraries.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
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  10. #9
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    Well, with the references provided here and other in put to think about, the job was done. My thanks to all who contributed. Medico, the reference you gave me proved to be the best at helping me organize all this. F.U.N downtown, thanks for the insight on what might happen if the drive becomes detached. This adds to my "awareness" factor for what is happening.

    Ron M

  11. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Ron, glad we were able to help.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  12. #11
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    I'm with ya bbearren! My Win7 install corrupted some Library files, and I now stay away from this latest New Whizbang from Redmond. It just destroys robustness, compared to the "old way", and adds learning curve and complexity. I have downloaded some Registry tweaks that are said to make the entire Library fiasco go away. Ideal for "old school" types like me! I am concerned that a few ill behaved (IMHO) programs like to store their stuff in the Library, without my permission. I wonder how those installs might behave if I were to go sans Library. Any ideas?

  13. #12
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I am concerned that a few ill behaved (IMHO) programs like to store their stuff in the Library, without my permission. I wonder how those installs might behave if I were to go sans Library
    A Library is not a location on your disk. Its a short cut to a collection of physical folders. Programs don't store items directly into a library but to a folder that shows up in a library. An example is c:\users\youruserid\My Documents which is displayed in the Documents library by default.

    Exactly what do you mean when you said your Win 7 install corrupted some Library files? The Library may not have had anything to do with the actual corruption but is just displaying it.

    Jerry

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    Ron,

    What ever you decide on, dont forget to backup (second copy) all of your library files/folders. You might want to look into one of the online backup services.
    Last edited by bigmats; 2013-10-18 at 12:45.

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