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Robert M.
Robert M., Consultant
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 9044
Experience:  30 yrs. in NYC computer industry working with PC and networks, banks, brokerage, legal etc.
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Backing up a hard drive to an external drive on Windows 7.

Customer Question

Backing up a hard drive to an external drive on Windows 7. Is there a program that will look through the internal hard drive and automatically find and copy over just user created files like docs, pics, downloads, etc. to the external hard drive?
I have a lot of computers at work that I want to save all the info from then use the manufacturer supplied software to reformat and reinstall the original os.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Viet - Computer Tech replied 2 years ago.
Hello! Thank you for your question. I am a licensed computer professional with over ten years of experience, and I will be assisting you today.

I'm sorry about the issue. Can we do a remote support session, so we can chat, and I will be able to help you directly?

Please reply at the box below. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Expert:  Viet - Computer Tech replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Please accept the remote support offer, then please click on the website below in order to connect with me remotely:

, then allow the Elsinore.ScreenConnect program to download/run/open when prompted at the bottom.
Note: If it does not connect within 5 minutes, then please reply at the box below and let me know. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm on an android phone

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I can try latter

Expert:  Viet - Computer Tech replied 2 years ago.
On the computer, please open your email for email messages from JustAnswer / Viet in order to communicate with me at this web page on the computer. When can you be available at your computer? Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not to much latter. It would be easier if you knew of a software program that did as described in the question.

Expert:  Viet - Computer Tech replied 2 years ago.

I'm sorry, I wanted to show you how to use the backup program, but per your request, I can certainly provide you a good backup program, then you can try it out whenever you can, then let me know, so I can help further if you need. First, a backup program cannot find your created files, but you can set which folders to back up. Do you know where you put your created files, such as in Documents, Pictures, etc.? Please let me know. Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Its different for each computer at work. Is there a program that just searches and copies .doc, .mov, .jpeg, excel, .PDF, etc.?

Expert:  Robert M. replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I'm Robert and I'll be helping you with your computer question. It really wouldn't make much sense to create one as most backup programs can be set to only backup the file types that you want

Usually what companies do in this situation is tell everyone to copy their own stuff into a particular folder. Then that folder gets backed up. Even if you did a search for that type of stuff you will Get zillions of jpg files that are part of one software program or another

Better to make everyone responsible for their own stuff. Send massive emails around. If it's not copied to a folder under documents they are going to lose it. Then send someone to check on or do it for anybody important enough to blame you if they screw up

That being said this program might help though to me I don't see a big improvement over using the windows search


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sometimes employees in sensitive positions are let go and we want to archive all user created files.

So it might be all .doc and excel file formats wherever they are stored. We want them all archived then wipe the drive. We're not worried about getting some useless files saved as large GB drives are cheaper than spending time searching around for files.

Expert:  Robert M. replied 2 years ago.

most archive programs will search whatever folders you tell them to including the entire drive and you can set it to filter only xls or doc files

if you want it neater before you archive

just use the windows search command sort by file type

then highlight cut and paste everything of the correct type into one folder

then archive the folder

there might be a program out there that will do it in one step instead of 2 or 3 but I don't think its going to save much time. It would probably be an older program and might not use the windows index and everything you save with the copy and paste will be lost in the time it takes to search.

what the major companies do is give everybody a folder on a data server and tell them to keep all of their documents on that. Then that server gets backed up every day and a copy kept for at least a week

Not only does it save a copy for people that don't bother to back up their own stuff and a copy for the company. But its other advantage is if a users computer dies you just plug another one in map it to their drive and they are up and running again.