Copying to another drive


Hollywood

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This is a hypothetical question. Say I have 6 folders on drive D each with one 200mb file and I want to move them to a single folder on drive E. Obviously you can't click on all of the files at once because they are in different folders.

I am fairly fast with the mouse. When I drag one to move it, there is a "progress" bar. Before the move is complete, I can drag another file, maybe more.

My question is if I don't wait for each file to completely move before I start the next file, will the new file be fragmented? The question is for members that know, and I am asking about the target drive that could be an HHD or an SSD if that makes a difference. Is fragmentation even a thing anymore?

Thanks!
 

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hsehestedt

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In that scenario there will be some fragmentation, yes. However, that's not normally something that should be of great concern. First, on an SSD it's pretty much a non issue. On a disk with spinning platters the issue with fragmentation is that the head has to move from one spot to another spot repeatedly to read all parts of a file and that physical movement takes time. SSDs don't have a physical head to move around.

In addition, Windows performs optimization on a disk on a regularly scheduled basis to prevent a disk from becoming highly fragmented.

To determine if a drive is fragmented, right-click on it, select properties, go to the Tools tab, select Optimize. Note the percentage of fragmentation (does not apply to SSDs).

You can always kick off a manual optimization if you like.
 

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Hollywood

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there will be some fragmentation, yes. However, that's not normally something that should be of great concern. First, on an SSD it's pretty much a non issue. On a disk with spinning platters the issue with fragmentation
Thanks for your reply. What you wrote make sense. Computers and drives used to be more simple and I would regularly defrag because I liked to see that graph or chart show continuous files, but for many years I realized there are so many data file, system files, and temp files, it is no longer practical. All of my drives are plenty fast but I can't help but think having several copy/move dialogue going at the same time would make the head have to work harder the next time the file was accessed like you said.

If moving a file to the same drive, the process is almost instant as I think it just modifies the directory entry (or what ever they call it). In the past I sometimes created a temp folder on the first drive and moved all of the files to it, then selected all of them (ctrl-A) and drag the group to the 2nd drive. In my mind they would then copy one after the other. Basically instead of six 15 second operations, it would be one 90 second operation, but should result in continuous files assuming there was enough continuous free space.

This is just an example, it could be more and larger files. Do you think the fragmentation is a concern if you had several operations going at the same time, or is it expected an not enough of an issue to matter?
 

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Ghot

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I always "move" all the data, first... in one big move.
Then, when I have it where I want it... I arrange it how I want it.
 

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cereberus

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I always "move" all the data, first... in one big move.
Then, when I have it where I want it... I arrange it how I want it.
Yeah - this is the obvious way to do it - then when you rearrange, it does not move files around - simply modifies the file pointers.
 

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fuzzbutts

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I'd move them then sort them too. And you can move with windows explorer or in command line via copy or robocopy if you know the settings to use.

Bigger thing is I don't thing that fragmentation is really that big of a deal to worry about it on such small files. Maybe if they were multiple gigabytes or tens of gigabytes but 200MB files isn't really all that large and the drive should be able to find sequential places to fit it all into.

I just moved all the files off of one of my old back up drives to a new hard drive and even though some of the .afi / .adi files are nearly 1.4TB in size fragmentation isn't a concern.
 

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badrobot

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I've had issue with moving big files once to the point that the file got corrupted and unusable when the move process was interrupted. As to how it happened, I don't really know. But I am the only one to blame. From then on, I use copy command to a new location and delete the source file after. It is a much safer process. But moving a small file or two, move command is fine.
 

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Archigos

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Not that it matters at this point, but you can select the files from different folders and move to a singular folder using something like "Total Commander" which is a File Explorer replacement. I've been using it for years and rarely ever use File Explorer for anything.

For people that are cheap, you can download it (it's shareware) and use it for as long as you'd like without paying, you just have to put up with pressing a button on a dialog box each time you open it. It's relatively cheap which resolves that problem. (One of the best software purchases I've made).

Available here: Total Commander - home
 

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johnlgalt

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I use Xplorer² in a similar fashion to Total Commander, as it is also an Explorer replacement / file manager.

Also, technically, you can do it all at once - from commandline, but also from Explorer directly - it's a great way to use the Library function built into Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Here is a good reference on that method (and a couple of others as well, including 7 Zip lol).

 

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Dru2

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I simply highlight the files or folders I want cut/copy and use the copy/move command to move files around. Windows 11 no longer has the copy/move command in file explorer, but it can be added to the context menu using Brink's tutorial

 

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