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    Data mess. Heeeelp!

    Please could someone help me out here. I just don't know where to start.

    There comes a time in your computing life when if like me you have been bad at organizing your data you reach a crunch point. I have reached that point. Here's the rub.

    I have about 1.5 terabytes of files spread over 3 drives. A lot of it is duplicated (one thing I have done is back up!). I've probably only really got about 0.5 terabyte of unique files. I just can't remember where the original stuff is. What if I go delete one of the drives and find out that was were I put Chrismas 2007 photos? Now I've moved to imac things are getting worse cos I'm not entirely sure where all the physical files are kept!

    Anyone know of any 'consolidation' software which will look at the three drives and consolidate into one with just the most recent version of a file kept? Or anygood data housekeeping websites out there to advise?

    When I have consolidated then I can think about backup again...but just be more structured and systematic this time around!

    Cheers

    PS - I know this isn't about saving money....but it might just save my sanity....then I can go find the best value Firewire 800 enabled 2 tb external drive.....later.

    9 Comments

    Data management is a big problem, and one likely to get worse as we all store more and more of our data on computers.

    I have 3 PCs and 1 laptop in my house, and they are all used by 5 different members of the family, so data can be scattered all over the place, and as you say, it is hard to know if it is duplicated, or where an important set of files are.

    While there may be programs that "sort it all out for you" the danger is it will make decisions based on what IT thinks is right, and not what YOU think is right.

    The other problem is that if you have two folders that are similar (maybe the same set of photographs) but you have rotated some to look at them (so those pictures are of a different size) then the folders may BE the same, but will be of a different size so how can a program make an informed decision if they are the same.

    Personally, i feel that there is no substitute for going through all your data yourself and sorting it out.

    While this can be a long laborious job, if you do it a bit at a time then it will get done.

    more.....

    Original Poster

    Yeah I fear there is no easy way....

    .......continued (break this up into smaller chunks so it is easier to read).

    What I tend to do is split my data up into discrete TYPES.

    So I put all my digital photographs into a folder called "photos" (what a surprise).

    Search your disks for jpeg file types, then move all your digital pictures onto that one folder (with subfolders underneath to keep them grouped by event - wedding etc).

    Once all your pictures are in the one "photos" folder then sort them into a folder for each YEAR (make a folder for 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 etc). It is easy to see what date pictures were taken, just look at the pictures in detail view in windows and one of the colums will say "date picture taken".

    Once you have your pictures sub-divided into years, then it it easier to rename individiual folders as "holiday" "wedding" "picnic" or whatever.

    If you feel you have two folders containing the same photos it is easy to find out if they are the same by right clicking on the folder name, looking at properties and seeing in they are the same size.

    If they are you can delete one of the folders.

    I agree this is a long boring process, and once done for photos has to be done for music, documents, videos etc.

    But this is one of the penalties we pay for storing our lives on our computers.

    I spend hours in my house tidying up the data on our computers, making sure spare copies of everything is kept (none of my family would ever think of backing up) and making it easy to find.

    I have all my photos backed up on CD and DVD, in date order, I can find a particular set of pictures in minutes if someone asks for them (I also do two copies of each CD in case one is lost or damaged). I also keep a "copy" of the CD on one of my hard disk as well.

    You can never have too many backups.

    As I said, it is no fun, but I think it is something we are all going to have to get better at or we will never be able to find anythng.

    Banned

    install comodo system cleaner for free and then go to DISK CLEANER and then DUPLICATE FILE FINDER

    system-cleaner.comodo.com/dow…tml

    Banned

    Boogie83e;5725799

    ]PerfectDisk Vs. The Competition :thumbsup:


    thats $40 though

    I thoroughly recommend downloading a freeware program called Doublekiller. You can get it from CNET at download.cnet.com/Dou…tml

    The program is able to run an analysis of a number of drives and folders and find duplicates. It searches for file name, file size, dates and something called CRC (cyclic redundancy check) which basically does a deep analysis of the file to see if it truly is a duplicate. Then it gives you a range of options, such as keeping only the first version etc.

    It might be useful to delete all the duplicates, which will invariably create a bit of room. Then merge the remaining data in one location which you then use as your starting point for a comprehensive weeding and sorting programme.

    Hope this helps.

    Original Poster

    guilbert53;5725797

    .......continued (break this up into smaller chunks so it is easier to … .......continued (break this up into smaller chunks so it is easier to read).What I tend to do is split my data up into discrete TYPES.So I put all my digital photographs into a folder called "photos" (what a surprise).Search your disks for jpeg file types, then move all your digital pictures onto that one folder (with subfolders underneath to keep them grouped by event - wedding etc). Once all your pictures are in the one "photos" folder then sort them into a folder for each YEAR (make a folder for 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 etc). It is easy to see what date pictures were taken, just look at the pictures in detail view in windows and one of the colums will say "date picture taken". Once you have your pictures sub-divided into years, then it it easier to rename individiual folders as "holiday" "wedding" "picnic" or whatever.If you feel you have two folders containing the same photos it is easy to find out if they are the same by right clicking on the folder name, looking at properties and seeing in they are the same size.If they are you can delete one of the folders.I agree this is a long boring process, and once done for photos has to be done for music, documents, videos etc. But this is one of the penalties we pay for storing our lives on our computers.I spend hours in my house tidying up the data on our computers, making sure spare copies of everything is kept (none of my family would ever think of backing up) and making it easy to find.I have all my photos backed up on CD and DVD, in date order, I can find a particular set of pictures in minutes if someone asks for them (I also do two copies of each CD in case one is lost or damaged). I also keep a "copy" of the CD on one of my hard disk as well.You can never have too many backups.As I said, it is no fun, but I think it is something we are all going to have to get better at or we will never be able to find anythng.



    Cheers.....good advice. Got to say though if you haven't seen iPhoto for the mac in operation it's worth a look. Every thing is organised into 'events' which are really easy to organise/merge/separate etc. Just need to make sure it's all in there first I suppose....:thumbsup:

    Original Poster

    Boogie83e;5725799

    ]PerfectDisk Vs. The Competition :thumbsup:



    csiman;5725801

    install comodo system cleaner for free and then go to DISK CLEANER and … install comodo system cleaner for free and then go to DISK CLEANER and then DUPLICATE FILE FINDERhttp://system-cleaner.comodo.com/download.html



    Thanks:thumbsup: I'll take a look....
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