Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

There's nothing that says you have to use what's on that hard disk. Either ignore it or delete it and use Macrium.

I have a Free Agent Go Flex external hard drive that came with Memeo, a pre-loaded backup software. Can I erase that software and load Macrium backup software in place of the pre-loaded software that came with this device without any problems?

In this excerpt from Answercast #56, I look at using an external drive without its pre-installed backup program.

Use Macrium on my drive?

The short answer? Yes, absolutely. In fact, it's one of the first things I do whenever I get a new external hard drive.

What I recommend you do (at least the first couple of times) is, instead of simply erasing it:

  • Copy it off;

  • Back it up somewhere;

  • Save a copy of everything that's already installed on that hard disk, just in case someday later you want to go back;

  • Use it.

You can also leave it alone.

It's just a drive

There's nothing that says you have to use what's on that hard disk. Even just leaving it there, it's not going to take up a whole lot of space. That's pretty safe too.

I almost always end up deleting it, just because I know that I'm not going to use it. It's taking up a little bit of space that I'd rather use for backups.

I'd go ahead and use the drive with Macrium Reflect or whatever other backup program you might want to use.

So, short answer - yes, absolutely!

Article C5851 - September 26, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Dan Aquinas
September 28, 2012 9:46 AM

The link for "Macrium Reflect" results in a page not found for me. I found several links when I did a search of "" - this one seemed a good place to start for those unfamiliar with the product: Brief Overview of Macrium

September 28, 2012 10:45 AM

The link is fixed now. But that's a good page to read about how it works.

September 28, 2012 6:33 PM

can an external desktop drive be used as my "C" drive.

It can, but it's not recommended. Your system will likely be significantly slower.
September 28, 2012 6:50 PM

As a matter of course I format or wipe any new or used drive I get. You never know what might be hiding on it.

September 28, 2012 7:30 PM

No. The OS programming won't work from an external drive. More in this article:
Can I install programs on an external drive?

That's actually a different issue. It is possible to set up an external drive to be bootable, and then configure your system to boot from USB. It's just that you really, REALLY, won't like the result in terms of speed.

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