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Thread: Best Way to Transfer Music Between USB Harddrives

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    Question Best Way to Transfer Music Between USB Harddrives

    No doubt a common issue here, I have music on a few USB drives.
    I just brought up an enclosure with 4 large NAS drives as 2 drives in RAID 1.
    Now what is the best way to combine/move music from several USB drives into the new drives without errors in the files?
    FTP client?
    Thanks.

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    The simplest method would be to plug in the USBs into your PC and then access the NAS through your PC. You can set up your NAS to show up like a drive in windows. You can then drag and drop the files from your USBs to your NAS

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark2114 View Post
    No doubt a common issue here, I have music on a few USB drives.
    I just brought up an enclosure with 4 large NAS drives as 2 drives in RAID 1.
    Now what is the best way to combine/move music from several USB drives into the new drives without errors in the files?
    FTP client?
    Thanks.
    What platform(s) are you on? I'm on macOS plus also fairly technical, so I'll often just rsync files around. I'm also fairly naively trusting so tend not to verify the copies. Though sometimes later on, I will do bulk file compares. My personal favourite bulk file comparison tool is Beyond Compare. It was originally a Windows app but has since gone cross-platform. Note also that Beyond Compare also includes support for copying to and comparing on remote volumes, though possibly less efficiently than if the NAS was mounted as a network share.

    I don't recall ever having encountered errors on file copies. Drive failures are a different matter; I've had plenty of those. I'd also strongly recommend not moving the files. Even if the aim is to consolidate the collection, keep the copies on the smaller drives. I try to keep at least two copies of all my media. But if you are really concerned about copy errors, you can always do the bulk copy then a separate bulk compare (presumably overnight or something like that).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notelu View Post
    The simplest method would be to plug in the USBs into your PC and then access the NAS through your PC. You can set up your NAS to show up like a drive in windows. You can then drag and drop the files from your USBs to your NAS
    Yes it shows up as 2 drives, but the concern with that or cut/copy and paste is potential errors in the transfer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snagu View Post
    What platform(s) are you on? I'm on macOS plus also fairly technical, so I'll often just rsync files around. I'm also fairly naively trusting so tend not to verify the copies. Though sometimes later on, I will do bulk file compares. My personal favourite bulk file comparison tool is Beyond Compare. It was originally a Windows app but has since gone cross-platform. Note also that Beyond Compare also includes support for copying to and comparing on remote volumes, though possibly less efficiently than if the NAS was mounted as a network share.

    I don't recall ever having encountered errors on file copies. Drive failures are a different matter; I've had plenty of those. I'd also strongly recommend not moving the files. Even if the aim is to consolidate the collection, keep the copies on the smaller drives. I try to keep at least two copies of all my media. But if you are really concerned about copy errors, you can always do the bulk copy then a separate bulk compare (presumably overnight or something like that).
    I use win 10 for most things, but I do have a Linux box. Indeed, the copies on the smaller dives will be retained.
    I will check out Beyond Compare, thanks.

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    +1 for Beyond Compare

    I would COPY the files to the new drive, then verify they are accurate before deleting off of the old hard drive(s). If any fail I'd double check the original fileset. If they check out then re-copy them. Rinse and repeat until everything checks out and then delete off of the origin drives.

    I have a NAS and and also have everything on my NAS backed up on standard HDD's. I use Synology Drive to sync and haven't had an issue with files failing checksums. I also double check all of this with Beyond Compare.
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    It's certainly not a bade idea to verify the integrity of the copies of your files once moved, but I'll just say that you would need unusually crappy hardware hardware to corrupt a single file out of multiple gigabytes transferred over USB.
    It's not like the old days of floppy drives that would corrupt files on brand new high quality disks.
    One thing that I did with all of my recordings was to put all of them in individual ZIP files.
    It's then a very easy process to test all of them in one fell swoop (assuming you do this with the file folder/directory where all the ZIP files reside and that you're using Windows:
    FOR %s IN (*.zip) DO ZIP -t "%s"
    Watch the output as ZIP verifies the integrity of each file with the "-t" (test) parameter run in this way.
    Of course, you'll need the command line version of the ZIP/UNZIP utilities, but those are easily obtainable for free download all over the place.
    You can even introduce a fixed pause of any value in seconds that you prefer (specified in by the numeric value after the "/T" flag below) by making a small CMD batch file that will do that nicely for you that you can use with the below text pasted into a plain text CMD batch file using notepad.

    @ECHO OFF
    FOR %%s IN (*.zip) DO (
    UNZIP -t "%%s"
    TIMEOUT /T 10
    )
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    A common estimate of the visible bit error rate on modern hard disks (i.e. errors that make it past all the error detection and correction they do internally) is 1 bit in every 1013, so you should expect to see about one bit error for every 1.25 TB of data you copy. This matches my experience with transferring data between big RAID arrays pretty well. So it's definitely worth checking the data has been copied correctly; ideally you should power-cycle the array before running the check, to make sure you're actually reading back from disk and not from cache.

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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the replies, I was looking for options other than copy/cut and paste or drag and drop since they don't verify they data after they are moved.

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    I'll give another vote for BeyondCompare - it's a great program for copying and syncing files/directories. It has the added benefit of being faster than regular copy/past sometimes.

    You could create a checksum (MD5 or similar) for the set(s) of files if you want extra reassurance. Would just take extra time to create and perform the check, depending on the amount of data.
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