Use USB stick as extra permanent storage.

By billyarrow ·
Due to lack of funds, I'm replacing my XP computer with a smaller XP computer with only 40 GB HDD. I'd like to use a 32 GB permanently plugged in USB stick as extra space. Can I put folders like Programs on it, and if so, will a simple COPY to the stick and then delete the original work? Any suggestions welcome, but as simple as possible please, as I'm 82, and not very technical! Thanks.

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All Answers

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You can... just be careful about what you copy across

by gechurch In reply to Use USB stick as extra pe ...

Hi Billy,

You can do that, but you're best to just store your files there (things like Word documents, music, videos etc). And yes, you can just copy (or move) the files across to the stick and be done with it. Whenever you save a new document you'll need to manually choose your USB stick as the place to save the file. If you'd like we can make it so your 'My Documents' folder (where many programs save to by default) is on your USB stick. Since you're not very technical though I wouldn't recommend this. Keep it simple instead.

I don't recommend trying to run any programs from the USB stick. For starters USB sticks are very slow, so it'll slow down the speed of opening programs significantly if you do so. The main reason though is that most programs get installed to the folder 'C:\Program Files'. They expect to be run from there, and many programs will not work if you copy them from here to your USB stick.

One last thing to be aware of - as well as being smaller, 40GB hard drive are slower than larger drives (simply because they are older). If you're coming from a bigger drive, you'll likely notice your 'new' computer is significantly slower than the old one, particularly when booting up and when you first open programs.

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Reponse To Answer

by billyarrow In reply to You can... just be carefu ...

I am interested in your suggestion of of placing the "My Documents" folder on the USB stick. If you would be kind enough to set out the steps required to do this, I might give it a try. Thanks for help so far. Also thanks to all other respondents.

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Reponse To Answer

by gechurch In reply to You can... just be carefu ...

See for redirecting My Documents in Windows XP.

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Reponse To Answer

by billyarrow In reply to You can... just be carefu ...

To gechurch, Thanks for the link. I've printed off the instructions, and it seems clear enough, so I'll give it a go. Many Thanks!

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Copy Programs

by TheChas In reply to Use USB stick as extra pe ...

For most programs you cannot just copy them to another drive and have them run.

There are so many pointers and registry settings that it is best to uninstall and then reinstall the program.

I would also STRONGLY recommend that you have an additional backup of ANY file that you store on a USB (or any other flash) drive. Any number of glitches can cause a flash drive to loose pointers to files or even the file structure.

As stated, the USB drive will slow down your system. Even more so if this is older hardware and has USB 1 rather than USB 2 ports.


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Be Aware

by dldorrance In reply to Use USB stick as extra pe ...

USB sticks are notorious for losing data and becoming unusable if unlplugged from a USB slot before being unmounted before removal. if this happens you lose all your data, and the USB stick no longer functions.

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USB as a "permanent" drive

by Gisabun In reply to Use USB stick as extra pe ...

Lack of funds? I'm sure you can find an older but still usable hard disk that will give you plenty of room. Lowest price on a new hard disk is $49 [TigerDirect]. Maybe something cheaper on eBay or maybe even a liquidation or second hand place. You could have an issue with your 40GB hard disk. That is quite old. At one point it will die and you will be up sh?t's creek. I wouldn't take the gamble. Spend the few $$$ and get yourself at least a proper drive.

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An Addition to What Gisabun Said

by a.portman In reply to Use USB stick as extra pe ...

Chances are you could add a second hard drive for about $50.00 depending on the chassis. If you open up your computer you will find two cables attached to your hard drive. Chances are one is about 2 inches wide, flat and gray. The other has red, yellow, black and white wires. If there is a second connector on each of these cables, or unused cables that look like these, you can use those instead. You may even have an extra bay to bolt the drive to.

Here are the steps:

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