Deleting Original Files

Hi all,

Newbie here. I’ve searched around the forum for an answer to my (simple) question, but found nothing. So here goes.

I’ve just completed my first backup successfully. All good. But as well as being a backup, I also bought my WD external drive so I can also relieve some space on my computer’s hard-drive. Question is:

Once I have a folder (lets call it ‘Photos’, for example) backed up on my WD, if I then go into my computer and delete that same folder so as to free up space, will my WD also eventually delete it from its own drive or will it keep a copy of it forever on there?

Thanks for your help!

I’ll give you a warning don’t trust important data to just one drive internal or external no matter who makes it. These forums are full of people who did and lost a lot of important data. A backup is 2 copies in different places.


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Thanks Joe.

I’m aware of that and have already read some bad experiences on here concerning that. I’m also backing up the most important data on a cloud, so shouldn’t (hopefully) come across many problems.

But… my original question is still unanswered: by deleting the original folder on my computer because a copy already exists on my WD, will it eventually be removed automatically on my WD in the next backup because it no longer finds it on my computer?

I’m also looking for an answer on this one. Cause about an hour I backed up my entire computer for even though i’d done it multiple times in the span of the last few days. As soon as I logged back in and updated the soft and firmware and went to the retrive tab, I found that about 95% of everything I backed up wasn’t showing up. What’s worse is that when i check the properties of the HD it still says it has 390 gigs of data on it, but i can’t see or access it ( i have show hidden files and folders enabled). Word of advice to the oriiginal poster, if you want to make sure something like this doesn’t hapen to you, don’t trust the software to backup everything for you. manually copy and paste it to the ‘My Book’ folder in your Computer folder

For the lost backups since you updated firmware try running another backup then look for it again


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You will need to look through the help file to determine exactly how the sync rules and conventions for whatever software you are using operate. There might be options to change the behavior.

The general consensus of sync programs is to make one directory look like another. If something is deleted “here”, it is usually deleted “there”.

Sync programs can be set to examine and entire disk, a few folders, or just a few files. They can also maintain multiple time-stamped copies of the same data as the backup ages and matures.

You may need to perhaps run some test scenarios to be fully confident of what transpires during a backup. As I just got through saying in another post I just made:

"The most important thing with backups is to know exactly what is getting backed up and what is not. A backup program should be clear and concise with no ambiguity as to what is happening.

Personally I use a simple strategy of imaging the main disk from time to time. This captures everything in one fell swoop. And I can restore my system immediately at a moment’s notice. When I’m working with important files I’ll save two copies periodically.

The point here is to have two copies of everything. And to also know you can restore the system successfully. This means that you’ll have already tested the solution and have complete confidence it will work as intended."

I won’t pretend to know the specifics of what you are using, or the details of your setup. I will take a guess and say the answer to your question is YES! Especially if it’s a mirror-type of operation. Each backup program is subtly different and has different options. You may be able to change settings that will affect this behavior. Why not conduct a test? But do so only after you know you have two copies of the data you’re working with. This may mean borrowing a third drive temporarily to hold a backup that you know functions correctly.