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I'm working on a site that started uploading files via specific Fields appearing in Content Types, but has since moved to uploading them via admin/content/file/add for consistency.
I'd like to delete the old fields, without affecting the File Entities created by them. I mistakenly believed that File Entities were treated differently to database-only Content and would be unaffected by their field of origin being removed.

My environment doesn't allow installing any modules. It's not stock Drupal 7, so if I already have a module, I can use it, but I can't add more modules.

  1. I tried deleting the old file field, but this also deleted all file entities created via that field, so both the physical file on the server AND the database record are gone.
  2. I also tried renaming the old field, but this made no difference when deleted. The uploaded files were also removed.
  3. I also tried investigating how to break the link between a file entity and its field of origin, but got nowhere. Most posts are about how to delete the files.

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