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Deleting programs from an external HDD from old laptop


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#1 RedVelvet777

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:21 PM

I had an old laptop (Dell MA7 or MT6711 - says both on back) that had power issues, but HDD was still good. Finally decided to transfer files (mostly pictures) over onto another working laptop (HP g4/Win 7). Was told the easiest thing would be to buy an enclosure, which I did yesterday -Rocketfish USB 3.0- (prior to reading mediocre reviews about it's construction). In any case, I was thrilled to be able to recover my files HOWEVER, it was also recommended that I could now use that as a back-up external HDD...problem is it only has 20-something Gigs of free space (total space is only 120G).

I'm wanting to free up most of that space, but can't seem to be able to. Control panel only displays my C-drive programs. Afraid to simply delete at random from the program list for fear it doesn't work and simply mucks it all up. I've read other forums online, but haven't seen anything helpful. More questions on the topic than answers.

Grateful for any instruction!

Thanks in advance...

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#2 Andrew

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:56 PM

Programs installed on the old drive will not (as you've found) show up in the Add/Remove Programs control panel. There are several things you can do to free up space:

1. If you've already gotten all the files you want to save off of the drive, then you can just quick-reformat it thereby freeing up (almost) the entire drive.

2. If you don't want to reformat then you can delete the programs by browsing to the Program Files (and/or Program Files (x86)) folder on the old drive and delete either some or all of the contents (or just delete the folder itself.) Most applications get installed to this location so deleting it will delete the programs. You may also want to delete the Windows folder as well since it will be taking up a large amount of space too.

3. Repartition the drive to create multiple new, blank volumes (see here, here, and here.)

#3 RedVelvet777

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 04:39 PM

Thanks Andrew!! Going to finish some things I'm working on and get crackin' on your suggestions :busy:

Heart your quote btw :thumbup2:

#4 RedVelvet777

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:30 PM

Hey Bleepin' Night Watchman....soooo I tried doing a manual delete by folder...starting with Windows, but it didn't allow me to. Then tried to format the whole thing since I triple checked I had all the data I needed. Still, nada. I had renamed that file from the generic default "G" drive to "Dell Drive". After I unsuccessfully attempted to format it, it defaulted back to "G" drive and no longer allowed me access it/view files.

The following are some of the error messages I rec'd:

** G:\is not accessible. The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required system file drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.

*** Windows can't format G. Check to see that the disk and drive are connected properly, make sure that the disk is not read-only, and then try again. For more information, search Help for read-only files and how to change them.

Any idea what's going on?

Thx for your help!

#5 Andrew

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:16 PM

That's odd. It sounds as though the disk was wiped but not formatted. Try formatting again?

#6 RedVelvet777

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 03:13 PM

Story of my life...

So when I tried formatting it (with 'Quick Format' checked) it wouldn't even let the process to start. Once unchecked, the disk started to format, showing green progress bar trolling through the very end. But once it finished, a pop-up shows with the message "Windows was unable to format this disk" or something to the effect. I tried doing it several times, same thing happened, same results/message.

Tempted to chuck it out the window, but afraid it'll land on someone's head and I'll get sued :oopsign:

Hoping you have a more civilized alternative.

Thanks again for your time and energy with my wittle debacle!

#7 Andrew

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:23 PM

At this point I'd say you have a decision to make: chuck it or try to diagnose it. Diagnosis may be tricky.

Most hard drive manufacturers provide free diagnostic utilities for their products which you can run from Windows and which can often diagnose (and sometimes correct) problems with the hardware which can't be corrected with the generic tools in Windows. Unfortunately, these diagnostics don't work over USB, only over the drive's native interface (SATA, in this case.) Laptops sometimes have spare drive bays for adding additional internal hard drives; if you laptop has such a bay you might be able to connect the wayward drive to it, assuming that the spare bay and the hard drive share a form factor.

I did find a utility on Google which purports to be able to diagnose USB-connected drives, but I can't vouche for it.

#8 RedVelvet777

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:00 PM

Chuck it, it is :rip: !! That's simply TOO much for my limited time & understanding...I was able to retrieve the files I needed which is all I really wanted. Guess it wasn't meant for me to 'have my cake and eat it too'...but I want to thank you sincerely for your time and effort.

All the best!

#9 Andrew

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:15 PM

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Take care. :)




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