Solved file history restore to same disk (without duplicating)

ptrss

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Hi,

I'm running Windows 10 with an SSD + HDD setup. I am using File History to backup all files from the main SSD to the HDD.

My main SSD is running out of space, so I'd like to start using the bigger HDD as the main disk for files, keeping the SSD for windows only, and another external disk for backups.

Is there a way to use File History or another tool/script to Restore the files from the file history folder directly onto the disk, without duplicating everything ? All files being already there I would feel stupid copying them a second time from the ssd or from the backup (it’s quite a big folder...)

thanks for any help !
 
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johngalt

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Wrt your SSD + HDD setup:

How much free space is on the HDD? And where is your \Users folder located? Also, have you moved any of your special folders (like Documents, Pictures, Movies, and Videos)?
 

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ptrss

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Wrt your SSD + HDD setup:

How much free space is on the HDD? And where is your \Users folder located? Also, have you moved any of your special folders (like Documents, Pictures, Movies, and Videos)?
thanks for your answer

my \users folder is on C: but all special sub folders are on a separate partition on the same SSD. I’d like to move those folders to the HDD to delete that partition, but without copying them again since they are technically already there, in the file History folder...

I have between 1 and 5 Gb left on C:
 

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johngalt

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Doesn't file history keep *older* versions, not the actual current version? (I've never actually used it, so I probably should take a look at it. So I'm actually asking the question versus telling you that you're wrong, please don't misunderstand me there.)

At any rate, I have enough different drives now that I could actually enable it for myself and try - but after a massive SNAFU last year (well, end of 2019) I started using my personal OneDrive for both Documents and Pictures, so I did not try it out at all. On my old system, I probably didn't have the space to begin with, anyway, so that was a critical factor in not using it. Now I do, but having everything in OneDrive kept me from even thinking about it.

But here is the kicker: When moving the special folders, it *specifically* asks if you want to copy the contents from the current location to the new location - you could simply say no, and they should still be in the physical location that they are locate now - just won't be readily accessible through the system shortcut for Documents / whichever folder you're moving. But the actual path, like, say, D:\Documents (or whatever you used for your second partition) should still be usable to access the files - just not going into Explorer and typing Documents, as that would point to the new location now.

What I *don't* know is how that would affect File History. It could be screwy enough that it all of a sudden detects that the files it had copies of are no longer in the location and start to purge the copies. it may be smart enough to realize that it was keeping file history from a location that actually exists and keep the histories.

TBH, even if it takes an overnight copy and paste from the SSD to the mechanical drive, I'd just do it and be done with it, if it were me. Better to be safe that your current versions actually make it to the mechanical HD intact than to find out that the above scenario where File History purges the old copies occurs - and then you're out of luck.
 

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  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro X64
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    Manufacturer/Model
    The Beast Model A (homebrew)
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
    4 * Corsair Vengeance 32 GB 3600 MHz
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    eVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0 (04G-P4-3979-KB)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
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    2 * Lenovo LT2323pwA Widescreeen @ 1920*1080
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    3x Sabrent Rocket PCIe Gen4 NVMe M.2 1 TB SSD (SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB)
    SanDisk Ultra SDSSDHII-960G-G25 960 GB SATA III SSD
    Crucial MX100 CT256MX100SSD1 256GB SATA III SSD
    2 * Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM (Old storage)
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
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    NZXT KRAKEN Z73 73.11 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler + Air (3 * 140mm fans from case)
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ptrss

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Doesn't file history keep *older* versions, not the actual current version? (I've never actually used it, so I probably should take a look at it. So I'm actually asking the question versus telling you that you're wrong, please don't misunderstand me there.)

At any rate, I have enough different drives now that I could actually enable it for myself and try - but after a massive SNAFU last year (well, end of 2019) I started using my personal OneDrive for both Documents and Pictures, so I did not try it out at all. On my old system, I probably didn't have the space to begin with, anyway, so that was a critical factor in not using it. Now I do, but having everything in OneDrive kept me from even thinking about it.

But here is the kicker: When moving the special folders, it *specifically* asks if you want to copy the contents from the current location to the new location - you could simply say no, and they should still be in the physical location that they are locate now - just won't be readily accessible through the system shortcut for Documents / whichever folder you're moving. But the actual path, like, say, D:\Documents (or whatever you used for your second partition) should still be usable to access the files - just not going into Explorer and typing Documents, as that would point to the new location now.

What I *don't* know is how that would affect File History. It could be screwy enough that it all of a sudden detects that the files it had copies of are no longer in the location and start to purge the copies. it may be smart enough to realize that it was keeping file history from a location that actually exists and keep the histories.

TBH, even if it takes an overnight copy and paste from the SSD to the mechanical drive, I'd just do it and be done with it, if it were me. Better to be safe that your current versions actually make it to the mechanical HD intact than to find out that the above scenario where File History purges the old copies occurs - and then you're out of luck.
Thanks for help.

File History keeps both actual and older copies of files. Therefore deleting source directories should not purge the file history docs.

I’ll try to figure out a way !
 

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johngalt

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Thanks for the reply - and now I completely understand why you don't want the duplicates.

Something to consider though - as soon as you modify files in the new location, they will also be duplicated. So, you'll also need to come up with a way to purge those, as well.

And, if you do come up with a viable solution (to your original problem and / or the secondary issue I just mentioned), please post back - I'm betting someone down the road will benefit from either / both of the solutions.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    The Beast Model A (homebrew)
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
    4 * Corsair Vengeance 32 GB 3600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    eVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0 (04G-P4-3979-KB)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 * Lenovo LT2323pwA Widescreeen @ 1920*1080
    Hard Drives
    3x Sabrent Rocket PCIe Gen4 NVMe M.2 1 TB SSD (SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB)
    SanDisk Ultra SDSSDHII-960G-G25 960 GB SATA III SSD
    Crucial MX100 CT256MX100SSD1 256GB SATA III SSD
    2 * Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM (Old storage)
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    NZXT KRAKEN Z73 73.11 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler + Air (3 * 140mm fans from case)
    Keyboard
    SteelSeries Apex Pro Wired Gaming Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Laser Mouse(shared)
    Internet Speed
    AT&T Lightspeed Gigabit duplex
    Browser
    Nightly|Chrome|Canary|Edge+ (Chromium) (in all 4 flavors)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender + MB 4
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