Feature request: Make virtual folders real.

The best solution for finding and removing duplicate files.
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Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:49 am

Feature request: Make virtual folders real.

Post by wwcanoer »

I don't have enough power supplies, cables and USB hubs to connect all of my USB hard drives at once, but it would be most efficient to dedupe them all at once. (I also don't like my source and backups all plugged in at the same time for long periods.)

Use Case 1: I have 6 USB drives but only 2 USB3 ports on my computer.
[For 5 Gbps USB 3.0 (USB 3.2 Gen 1), I can easily buy a hub but soon people will have multiple external nvme drives but only one or two USB3 10 Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 2 or even 20 Gbps 2x2) ports.]

Use Case 2: I have 6 bare internal drives but only one SATA to USB converter.

Use Case 3: I have several computers, each with a 1 TB drive.

My Actual Case: 12 USB drives plus 10 internal SATA drives (but no desktop anymore) but only 2 SATA to USB converters and multiple computers, most are old i5 gen 3 computers but Duplicate Cleaner analysis done on an i7 gen 8 laptop with 2 USB3-A ports plus 2 USB3-C ports. I had two USB3-A hubs but have bought 2 USB3-C hubs to be able to connect as much as possible at once.

I would like to be able to:

1. Create a virtual folder for each of my USB drives and computers. (Create one virtual folder for each drive but ideal if can scan many drives at one time.) As now, I can create the virtual folders on any computer (ex. have several processing at once) and then import the virtual folders to one computer for analysis.
2. Run the duplicate detection on all virtual drives but with no physical drives connected.
3. Select the folders and files to delete.
4. The delete page lists which drives need to be connected. (i.e. which drives have files marked for deletion)
5. I connect one or many applicable drives.
6. When I click "Delete files", the first pop-up says "verifying drives" to confirm that all of the selected files still exist on those drives.
7. If there are files missing, then a pop-up dialog says "Files missing. Continue or re-scan?" [If I click "re-scan" it goes to the Scan Location or Scan Tab.]
8. If no files missing, then DC deletes the selected files and in the background, updates the virtual folder to delete the records of the deleted files.
9. I can export the file deletion list for another computer to a file and then import it into that computer to clean up that computer.

For reference:
WinCatalog can perform file operations based on the virtual folders in its database. It can store MD5 for all files, so for individual files or small folders, I can search for duplicates, connect the appropriate drives, and then perform the desired file operations, which will also update the virtual folders.

I have used WinCatalog as a companion tool to identify what drives have significant duplicate data. For example, I can list every folder from every drive that's over 10GB in size, sort by name, and then open each virtual folder to see if folders of similar name & size have the same subfolders or files. I then export the those folder paths to a text file enter them into Duplicate Cleaner and run a proper duplicate check. Then I update the WinCatalog virtual folder by re-scanning the drives and it identifies the changed data.

I'd love to have the two tools connected, so that I could select multiple folders in WinCatalog and right-click "Analyze in Duplicate Cleaner" which would then execute on the actual drives (or even cooler if they can both run on a common virtual folder database but that's dreaming).
I was hoping that I could do something similar with DC's virtual folders but it's currently can't select files on the virtual drives to physically delete later when the drive is connected.
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