Duplicating Your SD Card - backing up or Upgrading to new Card? [GUIDE]

Discussion in 'Le Pan Tablets' started by yann2, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    102
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Tablet / Device:
    Le Pan TC970, Archos 101, Palm Pre2 webOS, HP Touchpad
    [​IMG]

    Copying all the Files from an SD Card to a new location?

    This guide is intended to help anyone interested in copying the current contents of their SD card.

    We might need that for a number of reasons :
    • you want to have a full backup copy of it on your computer/laptop's hard drive.
    • you are upgrading to a new card, and can use this method to copy to hard disk, then replace the card and copy all files back into the new one.
    • you are installing some tool that requires Formatting your existing SD card, which will lose all of its contents.
    And etc, probably other uses too.

    This guide is intended to help people at various skill levels, so bear with me (if it gets too detailed for you), or skip ahead to the part that can help you.

    1. The Basic Idea, summarized.

    We will be doing these operations :
    • Mount the SD card to your computer. (This is simple, and the SD card will be mapped to a new drive letter). That can be done by using a card reader, some PCs have one built in, or by USB-connecting the tablet to the computer, to see the SD storage area.

      I use this little SD reader gizmo, purchased at a local Dollar Store:

      [​IMG]
    • Create a Folder on the hard disk, to copy the SD card contents (all files ) to.
    • Select all the files on the SD card, then copy then to hard disk folder.
    At this point, you will have a full copy of the SD card's contents.

    Backing up your Data? you are done.

    If you are Upgrading to a newer/bigger SD card :
    • disconnect the current card;
    • then install the new card on the reader or tablet.
    • connect it back, and
    • copy your files from hard disk folder to the new SD card.
    Finito. Disconnect the tablet or SD card reader, and enjoy your new card, with all the files already in it. :)

    As they say, the Devil is in the Details. :angel:


    2. How to do this on your computer ?

    If the steps outlined above make sense, you are probably on your way. But some people will probably have difficulties. Why?

    As John mentioned in another post, both of us have been using computers for a long time, since the DOS days. When you had to know your hard disk, create directories to store things, navigate around with command line instructions. :)

    The best part of that was, we got a mental view of the file system in our computers. And can organize their contents the way we like it. Similar to a filing cabinet, which is a metaphor frequently used to describe computer storage devices like hard disks.

    Depending on what version of Windows you are using, it might be easier (or not) to accomplish what is really a housekeeping task.

    The Windows Explorer program in Windows 2000 or XP was more transparent to the users - it presented a two panel view of their disks, with the left panel being the ''directory tree'' of their drive, while the right panel showed files and details like sizes and dates, etc.

    Then enter Microsoft, in their infinite Wisdom, and changes all kinds of things around for the later versions of Windows (Vista, 7, 8).

    Net result - it's a lot more difficult to do these simple operations in these newer versions, as their Windows Explorer is made to HIDE the file system contents. Supposedly easier for newer users, while guaranteed to infuriate more experienced people, imo. :p

    My recommendation - if you are using Win2000 or XP, you can use the built-in Windows Explorer. Or maybe consider this tool I am going to propose next, for the Win7/Vista users; it's really a better file manager.

    Using Windows 7 or Vista? I will NOT try to explain how to make the file copies, create forlders, etc, using their Windows Explorer for two reasons:

    - I don't use it much, so am not very familiar with it.
    - And I believe there's a better way (any decent File Manager will do better than the W7/Vista WinExplorer).

    So, what tool could you use? I have used PowerDesk for many years now, and it has a lot of followers in the Net.

    Current version is 8.5, it's a paid app ($40 retail). There are some Freeware sources for the older versions :

    - Powerdesk 6 Freeware can be downloaded HERE. This is a fully functional copy, will never expire. And sometimes asks you to consider upgrading to the PRO version - see snapshot below (click on image for LARGER size):

    [​IMG]

    - Powerdesk 7 Professional can be downloaded HERE - and the best, you can get a FREE registration Key for it HERE. Fill in the details, and when you click Send, the next screen will display a window with a Serial number, this is the key you need for version 7. Enjoy. [Found on this page]. Here's an actual screenshot after filling in a registration:

    [​IMG]

    [ continued on the next post ]
     
  2. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    102
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Tablet / Device:
    Le Pan TC970, Archos 101, Palm Pre2 webOS, HP Touchpad
    3. Copying the SD card files to your computer :

    Now that we have either decided to use windows Explore, or got a copy of PowerDesk, time to get going on this. Steps needed, illustrated.

    1. Mount the SD card to your computer.

    The SD card will be mapped to a new drive letter. It can be done by using a card reader, some PCs have one built in; or by USB-connecting the tablet to the computer, so see the SD storage area.

    Insert the SD card into your reader. Or power up the tablet (with the card in it), then connect your tablet to the computer, if you are using the tablet for the copying.

    A new Window pops up - showing a new Drive found :

    [​IMG]

    Select the Take No Action, or the Cancel button. We will deal with the files via a Proper File Manager after all. ;)

    Now, your file manager tool will be able to see the contents of the SD card (mapped as a new drive letter, in my case above it's ''N:''

    - Create a Folder on the hard disk, to copy all the files from the SD card :

    In the file manager window, select the Drive where you want to create the new folder. I used C:, you can use any drive that has enough free space to fit all the files you are copying.

    Click on the Right side panel, on a BLANK area (not in any files, maybe below them). Then Right Click, and select New, then Folder :

    [​IMG]

    Another window will popup - Type in the name you want to use for the folder (I used SD Card Files):

    [​IMG]

    - On the file manager, slide down the Left Side panel, until you see the SD card drive letter. Click on it, and the Right side panel will show it's files listing:

    [​IMG]

    - Select all the files on the SD card. This can be EASILY done - Click once in one file; then press Control-A, and ALL the files will be selected. ;)

    [​IMG]

    While ALL the files are Highlighted (selected), press the Right mouse button, a menu will pop up, and you select Copy from it, as shown :

    [​IMG]

    - All the files are now in a copy list. Navigate back the Left side panel (the Drives Tree), back to where you created the copying folder (in my case, C:\SD Card Files).

    Once you are there, select the folder on the left panel list. The right size (files list) will be Empty, as there's no files in that folder yet.

    Click anywhere in that empty space, and then Right-Click, select Paste :

    [​IMG]

    And your computer will then start copying all the files to hard disk folder. :)

    Relax, grab a coffee while the copying goes on. At this point, you will have a full copy of the SD card's contents on your hard drive.

    At this point, you will have a full copy of the SD card's contents.

    Backing up your Data? you are done.

    4. Copying the Data from your computer to a New SD card :

    If you are Upgrading to a newer/bigger SD card : (or maybe reformatting your existing one)
    • disconnect the current card;
    • then install the new card on the reader or tablet.
    • connect the reader or tablet back to the computer (now with the new card in it).
    • copy your files from hard disk folder to the new SD card :
      a. go to the folder where all the files are (C:\SD Card Files in my example)
      b. click on one of the files on the Right panel of the file manager (the files listings area).
      c. Select ALL files, by pressing Control-A.
      d. Right click, then select Copy on the pop-up menu.
      e. Go to the new drive letter assigned to the tablet or Card Reader, in my case it was N:.
      f. On the right panel (files listing area), right click, and select Paste.
    This will copy ALL the files, from the backup folder on the C: to the new SD card you just installed.

    Finito. Disconnect the tablet or SD card reader, and enjoy your new card, with all the files already in it. :)

    Like this Guide? Don't forget we have a nice Thank You button, beside every post. Click on it, will you?

    Thank you, any comments are welcome. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
    • Like Like x 4

Share This Page