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Several questions about having multiple computers and external hard drives
November 13, 2010
9:17 am

Hello Everyone,


I have a few questions that I am hoping to get some guidance on. They are:


1) If you have a desk top and a laptop, there may be times you want to have them share information. For instance, I have many pictures on my desk top. I now have a laptop which is quickly becoming my primary computer because no one else uses it. I would like to hook my laptop to my desktop and down load all of my Picasa pictures to the laptop (hopefully in the order they are in now). Can you provide the steps I would take to do that?


2)How would I attach a flash drive and down load say 6 different folders off of Picasa from different years?


3) I have decided to take my 500 gig external hard drive from my desktop and replace it with a 1 TB. I want to save video and give the external to my college student who is using a Mac.

Should I :

  a) reformat the 500 GB to erase everything and start new? If I do that, will the set up guide be gone also? Plug the new one in and start again?

  b) Is there a free program to automatically back your computer to your external hard drive? I also have carbonite.

  c) Is there a section on the the Geeks on tour website that addresses those types of questions?

Sorry for so many questions at once. I am trying to make the switch and I don't want to do something out of order.


Thanks so much for your input,



November 13, 2010
10:18 am
Forum Posts: 3314
Member Since:
July 2, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline


Here's my take on your questions – hopefully more will also respond.

#1: The best way to use Picasa to get pictures from one computer to another is to use Picasa's backup and restore.  You can backup to an external hard drive (or USB thumb drive) and then restore *to same location* on the new computer.  This is a one time procedure – you can't keep them in Sync with Picasa.  

#2: As mentioned in #1 – just plug in the Flash drive, then use it as the destination for a Disk to Disk backup.  See video #15 in the Picasa Series.

   a: Well – 6 of one, half dozen of the other.  Format would probably be easiest – if your college student doesn' t care about the software that comes with the drive – that's probably what I would do.  Check out the website for the drive and see if the setup software is available there.  Or, do they even have Mac version software?  If you don't want to lose the original setup stuff, then just Delete each top level folder – deleteing all the subfolders as well.

  b: Most hard drives come with backup software but I've never used it.  Our friends at sell a small cable that connects your hard drive to the computer and provides a completely automated backup … it's called Click Free.  A good free software for scheduling backups is Karens Replicator – we wrote about it in this past newsletter

  c: Your Picasa questions would be addressed in the Picasa video series, or in our separate website dedicated to picasa tips: The general computer issues would be found in the video series on Safe Computing, or Boot Camp.  You did the right thing by posting your questions to the forum where we can direct you best.

Note – since you say you have Carbonite … I beleive that is the very best way to keep your computer backed up … AND … to transfer to a new computer.  Read the sections in Carbonite on 'Restore'

November 13, 2010
12:22 pm

“I would like to hook my laptop to my desktop and down load
all of my Picasa pictures to the laptop (hopefully in the order they are in


You don’t mention if you are Mac or PC.  I have a PC desktop and laptop both running Win 7.  When I transfer large numbers of photos from
my laptop to desktop I use a Belkin Easy Transfer Cable and the included
software called Laplink pc sync.  I've used
this with Vista.  Haven’t needed it with
Win 7 yet.

 Now that I have Win 7 I can use either the Windows”
HomeGroup” or “Windows Live Mesh” to keep selected files in sync.  I use it with some photo files, Word and
Excel files and my Streets & Trips files.  So my laptop and desktop stay in sync. 

If you use a flash drive just select the folders in Windows Exploree you want
to transfer and drag them to the thumb drive listed. 
Then attach it to the second computer and drag the files
there.  Very easy to do.

I’m not sure about swapping the external drive and with a
college student. 

I recently added a 1 TB external drive for automatic
backups.  I bought it from at the Redmond  FMCA rally. 
He has a good price and you can email him for help.  Which I did when I had to do a restore.  The drive is set to automatically backup all three of our computers on our home
network every night.  It is called Click Free and is
very easy to use.  I’ve had a HD
crash and all my files were available on my external ClickFree backup. They are now on my new desktop.  I'm also thinking of doing an online backup to Carbonite.  I'm worried that the first backup will take forever.


Good luck,


November 14, 2010
12:23 pm
Forum Posts: 3314
Member Since:
July 2, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The first backup to Carbonite *does* take forever.  I think it was a couple weeks in my case.  Don't do it on a cellular – 5GB maximum – connection!!

November 19, 2010
8:47 pm

I did mine on a land line> Sorry I am not sure how cellular works except I have heard a little slow. I do know mine works silently with no interruption. I think it is a great product for back-up.

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