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Use Western Digital external hard drive as a backup drive

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by davinia3284642, Dec 12, 2009.

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  1. davinia3284642

    davinia3284642 Thread Starter

    Nov 30, 2009
    I purchased a Western Digital 250gb external hard drive (My Passport Essential I think) a few years back with the idea that I would use it as a backup to my main computer and/or an alternative hard drive storage for my music. But I have been sadly deceived and luckily I have only used it as a sync/temporary access drive when I needed to print stuff away from home.

    Well the time has come to upgrade to a new computer (with more space and speed etc than current) and I have been trying to find ways to transfer my existing files across.

    In my search, I have stumbled across many forums/websites that advise the WD external hdd and the preinstalled software (WD Sync/Dmailer Sync whichever it is now) is not suitable as a backup drive and that if the computer is erased and at any point resync'ed, the data on the external hdd will be deleted. Also many people advise they have lost files as a result of computer crashes etc and cannot retrieve the files from either their WD hdd or their computer. All of which has prompted me to start this thread.

    Can anyone please tell me, is there a way to...
    1. Transfer my files to my new computer using the WD external hdd? NB. Not as important as I have alternative methods/may start another thread.

    2. Turn the WD hdd into a back up drive without purchasing the Dmailer Backup software? (NB. I am not opposed to buying new software but I feel I have been "done" by a highstreet (actually retail park) computer store and I don't particularly want to purchase a product that has more limitations).

    3. Register my new computer with it so that I can wipe give this computer and give it away?

    4. Alternatively, wipe the WD hdd and start all over again?

    (I have contacted Dmailer already but patience it not my strongest point)

    current: windows XP, 35gb hdd, memory unknown, celeron M processor,
    new: windows 7, 500gb hdd, 4gb memory, core duo processor
    - both laptops/notebook.
  2. Mumbodog


    Oct 3, 2007
  3. davinia3284642

    davinia3284642 Thread Starter

    Nov 30, 2009
    Thanx. I have decided to use buy an easy transfer cable to transfer the files rather than buy a programme that I'd only use once.

    What I am more interested in is whether I can reregister the external hard drive with my new computer and would it require reformatting?
  4. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

    Dec 9, 2004
    You can use it as a simple data drive. Skip the synchronization software. Copy and paste your files.
  5. davinia3284642

    davinia3284642 Thread Starter

    Nov 30, 2009
    Thanx for the response I think I have the answer I am looking for. So for anyone who has an external hdd with WD sync or Dmailer sync and have purchased a new computer, they have confirmed I can transfer registration to the new computer. So here is the reply

    "...First you will plugg your device to your new computer and then you will use the restore option, that will permitt you to copy all your files and all your bookmarks and your oulook data.

    Then you will create a new profile, select the files you were synching on your fomer PC and that just had been copied to the new PC.

    Once done everything should work correctly. And you will be able to delete all the files from the old PC.
    (Before the wipe, please verifiy all your files so that you are sure you have restored everything you need)"

    I am not sure if it will work yet so I will keep this thread open. Hopefully i'll close it christmas day with good news. But I get the impression from their FAQs that the copy will be just a copy and therefore once my old pc is wiped im up the swanny! If it works I may invest in a backup programme. I get a years online back up with dell anyway.
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