Copy files from one drive to another

So, as many others have suffered over the past few weeks, my PP drive (1 TB) has been acting very unstable, to the point where it, this morning, all of a sudden did not even become recognizable on my laptop. I was transferring files from my desktop, when all of a sudden the transfer stalled, and the drive was not even ‘there’ any longer. I dis/reconnected, whereupon it was only regcognized as a drive, not “Passport X” as usual. This lead me to this question:

As I have another drive, how can I copy all the files from the possibly corrupt drive to the new one? For some reason, my laptop doesn’t seem to be able to run both drives at the same time. What am I doing wrong?

Pls assisst.

Kind regards: Mattias Madcap Nilsson

Update: My laptop could briefly access the drive, and I tried open a few files, but I only got a message saying the file is either damaged or no longer accessible at that location. When I later tried the same, the entire drive was “empty”. If I open the drive via my laptop’s /computer/drives/ route, it says the drive is empty, but if I right-click, it says the drive has some 600+ GB of files. How can this be?

Try the drive on a different computer. With the drive connected delete the driver in Device Manager disconnect the drive then reboot system. Then reconnect drive it will load a new driver sometimes that works. It sounds like something got corrupt. Maybe TestDisk can fix it.


So, for some unknown reason, the broken drive is, for now?, available on my laptop. So now for my original question:

What must I do to have both Passports connected at the same time, allowing me to transfer files from one to the other? Whenever I try to connect them both, the latter one I connect doesn’t show up as a drive on ‘my computer’. Why is this? The first drive is named J:, so by default, shouldn’t drive 2 be named K:, then, and be available for use?

If the drives are the same size they frequently get confused. Look in Disk Management and make sure that the drives have different drive letters and that they are both online. Change things if necessary.


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So, how do I change the drive letters. Both drives show up as J: when I plug them in, but when one drive is connected, and I plug in the other one, my laptop only recognizes the Virtual drive partition of it, not the “data” partition. One would think it would name the data partition on the 2nd drive to K:, but it doesn’t.

This is soooo bothersome!

plug the unstable to your PC, right click your ‘my computer’ and select manage drives. go to disk mgt and rename the drive to something like X or Z. that will hardwire that drive letter to it so it wont conflict with your other drive.

disconnect and reconnect both drives and see what happens

Sounds like a real easy solution, other than the fact that I’m dead scared of disconnecting the damaged
drive now that it’s finally connected again. I guess I’ll rename the other drive, since I understand it would yield
the same outcome, right?
If this works, I owe you a dinner ‘n’ a movie. :wink:

It shouldn’t matter which drive you change the letter on.


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Right! Changed the ‘good’ drive, now named X:, but when I plugged it in to my laptop, it still didn’t show the data partition, only the virtual drive showed up. Is this because I still need to un/re-plug the drive I’m copying files from now?

I really hope not, as it’s the first time since the ‘crash’ that I’ve gained access to all the files. I’m now in the process of copying the entire drive to my server, but it’s taking ages… Oh well…

Thx a ton for the help!



Windows uses a unique identifier called a disk signature to tell one drive from another.

If both drives are the same make, size and type, chances are they will have the same disk signature. 

I was unable to connect two My Book Essential drives to my PC at the same time for this reason.

How to Fix the Disk Signature Collision Problem in Windows 7
Windows 7 comes with a command line utility called diskpart that can let you view and change the disk signature.

Open a command prompt as administrator. To do this in Windows 7, click the Windows start menu (the round Windows icon on the left bottom corner), type “cmd” (without the quotes), right click the “cmd.exe” item that appears at the top of your menu, and click the line “Run as administrator”. Do this even if you are already logged in as administrator, since on Windows 7, administrators run with reduced rights by default.

A black command prompt window will open. In Windows 7, the title bar of the window will tell you that you are running it as Administrator. If it does not, it means you did not do what I just said above. Return and follow the first step, or you will not be able to successfully carry out the rest of this tutorial.

Type “diskpart” (without the quotes) into the window. (Note: for this and the other commands described here, you’ll have to hit the ENTER key after you finish typing your commands for them to take effect.)

Microsoft DiskPart will start. When it is ready, it will issue a “DISKPART>” prompt, allowing you to enter your commands.

Type “list disk” (without the quotes). This will list all the disks that are currently mounted (connected to the system). The disk will not have the usual names and labels that you’re accustomed to from the Windows Explorer interface, so you will have to recognize them by their sizes.

Note that “list disk” actually lists the physical disks, and not the partitions that you may have assigned drive letters. This means that if you have 2 physical disks, with 3 partitions on each, so that you have drives C:, D:, E:, F:, G: and H:, “list disk” will only show “Disk 0” and “Disk 1”.

To view the signature of a disk, you must first select it. To select a disk, type “select disk x” (without the quotes) where x is the number of the disk from your “list disk” display. When you type (say) “select disk 1”, DiskPart will respond by telling you “Disk 1 is now the selected disk”.

Now type “uniqueid disk” (again, without the quotes). DiskPart will respond with the disk’s signature, a series of hexadecimal digits (or at least I think it’s hexadecimal).

To change the signature to some other number, type “uniqueid disk ID=[NEW SIGNATURE]” (without the quotes) where “[NEW SIGNATURE]” stands for the new identifier you want for the disk (without the square brackets and without the quotes). However, before you do that, you may want to type “help uniqueid disk”, which will give you more information on how the command works. You may also want to find out the disk signatures of your other disks on your system before you modify your current one so that you don’t cause a new signature collision in trying to solve your current problem. In addition, if you’re really not sure how many digits you should give your disk, perhaps try changing only one digit of the current signature (eg, increasing or decreasing it by 1). Remember my disclaimer above: I really don’t know what I’m talking about here: do it at your own risk.

To quit DiskPart, type “exit”. Incidentally, in case you get lost while running DiskPart, when you are at the “DISKPART>” prompt, you can type “help” to get a list of commands. Typing “help” followed by the command typically gives you more info about that command.

Once you’ve quit DiskPart, type “exit” again to quit the Administrator Command Prompt.

Hope this helps.



Thanks for sharing.