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I want to keep everything.

I should be able to just highlight all, drag it onto an external drive and feel safe.

How can I verify that all my files are safely copied to the external drive?

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Most of my question has been deleted. This is not my question. Its only part of it. Great. The only place I thought I could get a proper answer and I've been censored. Please try to guess the rest of my question. Thanks. – Paul James Nicholson Aug 19 '12 at 9:15
what is missing from the question you asked? You could have put it in your comment above. – Everett Aug 19 '12 at 9:29
What I removed is plainly visible for anyone that clicks the revision link. And it was quite a rant I removed. I see no additional questions in that part, and even if there where, you are only supposed to ask one question at time. – Nifle Aug 19 '12 at 9:34
Yup, that was quite a rant. – Everett Aug 19 '12 at 9:36
Do you agree with it? The four questions in my actual header question should be able to be reworded so its only one question, including the deleted questions about trackpad interface still working etc, but I don't know how to rephrase it so that someone knows to give me the full details. – Paul James Nicholson Aug 19 '12 at 9:40

You could use a program like Carbon Copy Cloner (to duplicate the drive) then use the command

cmp /dev/hda /dev/hdb

it will stop at the first differing byte, writing out its offset, or on EOF on the shorter drive.

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Thanks. Can you please say that in English? – Paul James Nicholson Aug 19 '12 at 9:37
After you have run Carbon Copy Cloner (link provided), and have copied everything over to your backup location (hard drive), you need to compare the original data to the backup data (to be sure you got it all). Go to terminal (since your using a Mac it's easy, command space drops down Spotlight, type terminal). Once terminal opens you will type the command cmp /this/is/the/location/of/the/source /this/is/the/location/of/the/destination – Everett Aug 19 '12 at 9:44
Is there a reason you don't do this the easy way and install Windows in Bootcamp and not remove OS X so that you 1) know you have everything 2) Have OS X to go back to when you are ready to give up on Windows? 3) Don't have to worry about loosing any data files whatsoever? – Everett Aug 19 '12 at 9:51
Thanks so much. I still need to know more steps in the answer. What format should the hard drive be? Can I do that from the Macbook onto a 1 TB USB3 external drive if the macbook contains 750 GB of data? Will windows be able to read it? After I format the internal Macbook drive (dont know how), how can I install windows? Will trackpad and other controls work properly? If windows cant make them work, can another program? Have you heard of running a windows operating system exclusively from a macbook before? Is there any difference in Mac hardware that will cause problems at any point? – Paul James Nicholson Aug 19 '12 at 9:51
@PaulJamesNicholson Just a friendly warning, if you think windows will give you more "control over your file system", you will be sadly disappointed... And no, I do not like mac either, still prefer it to windows though. – terdon Aug 19 '12 at 12:42

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