I like to compress the videos I take to save space in my hard drive. The compressed videos are generated in a separate folder. Then I delete the original larger videos and then move the compressed ones from the destination folder to the original one.

Of course, generating the compressed videos and — correct me if I'm mistaken (I might be — deleting the original ones counts towards the read/write that affects the hdd life cycle.

But what about just moving the files between folders? Sometimes this action is instantaneous, sometimes it takes a few seconds (5 seconds tops usually, depending on how many files I'm moving at once).

  • 2
  • Hi, and welcome to SuperUser.com! Your question looks very similar to the one I linked - please check whether this answers your question. If not, please edit your question to point out what you want to know that is not answered by the other Q and A.
    – sleske
    Aug 7 '20 at 8:39
  • 2
    @sleske I wrote the accepted answer for that linked question (thank you!) , and it is only marginally relevant.
    – davidgo
    Aug 7 '20 at 9:17
  • @slekse Not really, but thanks. It is mainly regarding moving files within the same hdd or partition (from one folder to another), but davidgo did answer in this post though. Thanks a bunch!
    – pintopix
    Aug 7 '20 at 13:06
  • While there is an answer already posted and a duplicate question referenced, you are greatly overthinking things. Hard drive wear and tear for a basic consumer machine is not going to be prolonged or shortened by worry about data in this way. It is the year 2020. Drives are tons better than they used to be 20 to 30 years ago when wear and tear was a real concern. Unless you are recompressing thousands of videos daily, this is of no concern. Transcode videos into smaller files without fear or concern; it’s no big deal. Aug 9 '20 at 21:59

Moving large files around on the same partition (i.e. drive letter in Windows), which is indicated by the fast times, does not actually move the file location on disk.

Filesystems have (generally near the beginning of the disk/partition) an index of where files are and often how they appear in a tree. When you move a file within the same volume it simply updates that table. Similarly, deleting a file does not actually remove the file contents [normally], it simply forgets where the contents are located and allows other stuff to be written on that space (which is a cause of fragmentation).

The wear and tear is thus very small, and equivalent to writing a small file.

  • 7
    +1. Note that this is accurate for a single partition. Moving between partitions will actually rewrite moved file.
    – gronostaj
    Aug 7 '20 at 11:23
  • @davidgo thank you . That answered my question.
    – pintopix
    Aug 7 '20 at 13:07
  • 3
    This has nothing to do with partitions. The relevant question is whether the source and destination are on the same filesystem. Aug 7 '20 at 18:28
  • 1
    @jorgwmittag Well said and more technically correct then my answer. Generally at the level of the poster on a Windows PC, filesystems don't span partitions, and it may not be obvious to them exactly what a filesystem actually is/isn't.
    – davidgo
    Aug 7 '20 at 20:09
  • 3
    Nitpick: Based on current usage, it's only on Windows that most filesystems store file metadata all in one place at the start of the volume. On most other operating systems, the preferred filesystems dynamically allocate space for this throughout the disk as they need to (NTFS actually does this too, it just preferentially extends the existing MFT if possible). Aug 7 '20 at 20:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.