Comparing and Consolidating drives or folders

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Comparing and Consolidating drives or folders

Post by DigitalVolcano » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:04 pm

​Consolidating Drives/Folders/Backups with Duplicate Cleaner Pro 4.

A rough guide. This tutorial can evolve - all suggestions welcome!
There are different ways to do this, but this should be the method that involves the least copying.

There is a tutorial video "Finding Unique files with Duplicate Cleaner" which covers steps 4a-4d here:

1. Be sure to have backed up!

2. Pick one drive/folder to be the "base" (or master). Preferably the one with the most files in it - this will reduce the amount of copying you'll have to do later. We'll call this the base from now on.

3. It's probably best to de-duplicate your base at this stage if required using Duplicate Cleaner. Regular Mode-Same Content is always recommended for a first pass. Of course the duplicates removed are up to you - you may want to keep copies of certain files in different places.

4. Run a comparison of the base with the folder(s)/drive(s) you want to merge in. This will determine which files are missing from the base. You can achieve this with Duplicate Cleaner using the following steps:

a. Set up the criteria to find the 'Same Content' with no other restrictions
b. In the Scan Location tab, add the base folder and the other drives/folders for comparison.
c. Set 'Scan against self' to 'No' for each of the folders in the list.
d. Set 'Find Uniques' to 'Yes' for each of the comparison drives/folders *except* the base, which should have 'Find uniques' set to 'No'
e. Start the scan
d. When the scan is complete the Unique Files tab should show any files that are missing from your base. The Duplicate files tab shows files shared between the drives.

5. You can now use the 'File Removal' window to copy the files in the *Unique* tab to your base drive.
--You can quickly mark all the files in the unique tab using the Selection Assistant or right-click context menu and selecting 'Invert marked files'.
--These can be copied in. It's up to you whether to preserve the source folder structure but it's a good idea to copy them into a new subfolder.

Note 1: The merged-in files may have contained duplicates which weren't present originally in the base (See video tutorial for an explanation). You may have to de-duplicate the base again at the end.
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