Network Storage Tips

How To Copy Files From PC To NAS Device

I am often asked how to copy files from a PC to a NAS device or external hard drive. While this is a one time deal, for the most part, and I recommend storing data permanently on a RAID NAS device and then backing up THAT network storage perhaps to an online backup service.

How you go about this depends on if everything you really need off of it is conveniently located in “My Documents” or “C:Data” or something like that and not scattered everywhere on the drive.

Programs typically cannot be transferred, they must be “installed” on the new PC, so this is just talking about copying data.

For years what I have done for friends and clients as a “CYA” for myself is to transfer the ENTIRE contents of their old drive to C:OLD-DRIVE on the new PC; then tell them to look for what they find they are missing there. The advice is to blow it away after 3 – 6 months when you are sure you have everything.

I would bet that 99% of the time, no one ever deletes “C:OLD-DRIVE” and when they get the NEXT new PC it’s still there!

If you want to copy EVERYTHING (which includes a lot of Windows garbage) to your NAS device or external hard drive, here is the command, assuming your target drive is F: and your current drive is C: and you want to copy the entire C: drive.

At a command prompt (DOS prompt):

XCopy C:*.* F:{directory name} /c/e/h/i/k/r/s/y

Replace {directory name} with whatever descriptive title you want, using no special characters not allowed in file/directory names.

I first make sure to find and delete the internet temporary files. Not only can they be thousands of files, can be gigabytes of data, but there is often a badly formatted filename that will cause XCopy to crash before it’s done.

When done, it should say “xx,xxx,xxx files copied” and NOT “insufficient memory”.

This isn’t the only way to skin the cat so to speak, but it works pretty well and has kept me out of trouble from clients for many years.

Adjustments can be made to accommodate different needs, but to copy files from your PC to the NAS device or external hard drive, it will do the job.

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