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How can I delete one copy of 2 identical folders?

  griffon56 16:28 23 Aug 2019

Hi All, Following a revival of my computer from a failure to start following an MS update, I found two instances of my back-up USB HDD, a 1 TB Western Digital ‘My Passport’, listed under the C drive. One was in direct line of descent and the other was in partition D:DATA folder which came with the computer. They are identical in every respect, as shown by their Properties.

Will it be OK to delete one of them, say, the one in the second partition D:DATA, or will this delete both, something I want to avoid?

The same thing has happened with respect to a second back-up USB HDD, but it’s one which has no proprietary software with it, to which you just copy things as required.

  Govan1x 19:53 23 Aug 2019

Wild guess would be you probably need Both.

  griffon56 23:22 23 Aug 2019

The thing is Govan1x, there was only one copy of both before the temporary break down of the computer and now there are two out of nowhere. I've checked the contents of each and they are identical. My machine is cluttered up enough as it is so I do want to get rid of the duplicates, but a long time ago I had a nasty experience with deleting a duplicate of the file 'himem.sys' and windows stopped working. I'll bet each duplicate instance leads to the same folder because only one of each shows under the highest level of 'Computer' where all the main storage facilities show, (I don't know the correct name for the page I'm referring to!), and they are back-ups I want to keep. At 564GB they're too big to go in the Recycle Bin and I don't want to take the only option offered which is to permanently delete, unless I'm sure I'm only getting rid of a duplicate. You see my quandary.

  wee eddie 23:49 23 Aug 2019

Assuming that you're not going to need the backup in the next 24 hours.

It's often advised that, as well as your PC's Hard Drive, you have 2 other separate Backups. One of which is kept off the premises, somewhere else. Well, mine's actually kept in a Fire Proof Case, on the ground floor.

Take the External Drive to another Computer and reformat it. Then start your backup Cycle all over again

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:06 24 Aug 2019

Is D: drive on a separate hard drive or is it a partition of the same drive c: is on?

Failure of the physical drive would render both backups mute if on the same physical drive.

What did you use to back up the drive? the program should show you where it is saving back ups to therefore delete the other one.

  mrgrumpy 18:28 25 Aug 2019

unless you are getting short of memory I would not recommend deleting anything.

DO NOT use any software to get rid of duplicate files , I once used one by a firm called toniarts , I only mention the name as it is no longer available , anyway , the program found literally 100's of so called duplicate files , even games files.

The program completely trashed my pc as it did not stop to show what it found and give me the chance to say yes or no , it just did it.

  griffon56 16:17 26 Aug 2019

Thanks everyone for your help. To answer specific questions in order - wee eddie, if two separate back-ups is two external USB HDD's, then yes, I have them, but they're 'permanently' plugged in and an incremental back-up takes place to the larger one every day - Fruit Bat, the D:drive is a partition of the C drive and came with the computer, an idiosyncracy of Packard-Bell and intended by them to contain all my data. Also, forgive me, I made a mistake, the drives are NOT in the D: drive but listed under it in the C: drive! - GOM, I had a similar experience with another duplicate finder, but, at least, it gave me a controllable choice.

I've plugged the two drives into alternative USB locations and done restarts to see if there was any change but it seems that what the machine does is show the drives in both the folder structure under 'Computer' and in the one under the C: drive, where they appear below the D: drive partition.

It's clear that both folder duplicates lead to the back-ups they contain and deleting either one will get rid of what I want to retain, so I'll just have to get used to the nuisance of having them listed twice. I think they've always been there but until the machine wouldn't start after a Win 10 update in June, there's been no attention paid to them. In the drama after that I did a great computer clear up and they got noticed. Thank you for your helpful attention.

  griffon56 16:26 26 Aug 2019

Further to Fruit Bat, the two back-ups are far apart in time and one contains stuff from past history which the more up to date backup does not have, so I want to keep both. It's actually a relief to find stuff I thought I'd lost, like 100's of photos, still lurking in the earlier backup, the one which is an ordinary manual copy and not a software controlled one. I'm going to click your 'Is the Answer' but all of you should receive the credit.

  wee eddie 16:50 26 Aug 2019

I think that I should point out that if a Ransomware Attack gets through your protection. Neither of your Backups will be of any use as they will have been encrypted by the attacker

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