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Can i delete files off my computer and use them on my external harddrive?

By mollyannrawr ·
After backing up my entire laptop and all its files onto my External Hard Drive.

Can i uninstall and delete files off my laptop once they are on my external hard drive?
and then just use them when i need them by plugging in my external hard drive into my laptop and then use the files and programs on my external hard drive?

For EXAMPLE:: iTunes is a really big file and i kinda wanted to put that on my external hard drive so that i can take it off my computer along with all my music and just use it on my hard drive when i need to sync my iPod and whatnot.


cuz i bought the external hard drive so i can clear my bigger files off my computer and just use them through my external hardrive. when its hooked up to my computer. so i have the files when i need them.


if that makes any sense at all.

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All Answers

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Depends on your OS

by Spitfire_Sysop In reply to Can i delete files off my ...

Naturally my first response is "Of course! Why not?"

If you are using a Mac you can launch an application from anywhere, I think. If you are using Windows then you have this thing called "The registry" that needs to point to the actual location of various program files, database and config data. Do not attempt to manually change all of your registry pointers to the new location. Yes you could... don't. The simple solution for programs that you want to launch from a different drive is to reinstall.

Example:
1. Copy all of your music to the external drive.
2. Uninstall iTunes
3. Download a fresh installer for iTunes
4. Run the Setup
5. At some point it will tell you where it wants to install:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\"
6. Just change the C to the new drive letter
7. Point iTunes to the new destination holding your music library
-=OR=-
Make sure iTunes is off and copy the old music structure over the new installation
8. Test that it still works.

Now you can safely delete all traces that iTunes ever existed on your C: drive.
NOTE: If the drive is not plugged in and you fire off the shortcut to iTunes it will tell you that the shortcut is broken.

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Yes and No

by oldbaritone In reply to Can i delete files off my ...

It depends. (How's that for a consultant answer?)

Many files like drivers, DLL's and the like must remain on your original system. The copy you made on the external drive is for backup purposes in the event of HDD failure.

Many (most) data files (like DOC, XLS, PDF, PUB, MP3, JPG, GIF and lots more) can probably be migrated to the external drive and deleted off the original hard drive.

So Yes, your \%UserProfile%\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\ and other data directories may be migrated to another location including an external drive, and then the files may be erased from the original drive. BE CAREFUL though, or you may lose purchased downloads because the DRM does not transfer with the file copy. Relocating DRM rights to another place is tricky at best, and may be impossible. CONSIDER YOURSELF FOREWARNED.

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Another Warning!

by rjluvkc In reply to Can i delete files off my ...

Unless you are backing up to some other media (tape,dvd,cdr,etc..) if you lose your external drive and that is the only location where your files are...everything is lost. Just an FYI.

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