• Moving user folders off C: drive

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    #468922

    I have 2 partitions, one for Windows 7 and my Program Files. My other partiton has almost all my data over there. What I would like to be able to do so as to completely separate my programs and my data is to move the “ProgramData” folder and the “Users” folder (with its sub-folders of Administrator, Default, Dick, and Public) off of C:

    Nothing I’ve tried enables me to do that. Has anyone done this, who could help me out with this task?

    Thanks in advance,
    Dick

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    • #1223960

      See if this articleexplains how to do what you are attempting to do.

      • #1224605

        See if this articleexplains how to do what you are attempting to do.

        Here’s another article that uses the same command, MLINK, but may explain it in a more straight forward fashion. http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/16226/complete-guide-to-symbolic-links-symlinks-on-windows-or-linux/

        Hope it helps. I’ve been using Win7 since it’s release, and I have an 80GB SSD as my primary (OS, plus a select few programs) and a 1.2TB RAID 0 secondary. I have over 100GB of photos alone. I could have linked only my photo directory, but ended up linking my entire individual user directory. It has worked like a charm for me. Obviously, if you plan on attempting anything, always backup your system, etc etc.

    • #1223961

      You can only move the special folders in a user profile not the whole profile or user database folder. That’s because there are system folders and files in there as well that Windows has to expect the location to be at all times. Its actually a good thing since a discontinuous connection for any system folders/files (such as that accross a drive or partition) is an extremely weak potential link in the stability of Windows.

      Conversely, the loss of data folder continuity is not a risk to the Windows operating environment itself, so just moving the special folders within the user profile that can be moved is the way to go, and you don’t even have to do that if you’re a fan of libraries in Windows 7.

      • #1223963

        You can only move the special folders in a user profile not the whole profile or user database folder. That’s because there are system folders and files in there as well that Windows has to expect the location to be at all times. Its actually a good thing since a discontinuous connection for any system folders/files (such as that accross a drive or partition) is an extremely weak potential link in the stability of Windows.

        Actually, Windows can be carved up in any number of ways and still remain stable and reliable (if not more so). The procedures do require an understanding of the underlying structures and what is actually going on, a bit of registry editing, and multiple steps are required. And Microsoft does not support such a setup.

        But it can, indeed, be done.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1223962

      I have 2 partitions, one for Windows 7 and my Program Files. My other partiton has almost all my data over there. What I would like to be able to do so as to completely separate my programs and my data is to move the “ProgramData” folder and the “Users” folder (with its sub-folders of Administrator, Default, Dick, and Public) off of C:

      Nothing I’ve tried enables me to do that. Has anyone done this, who could help me out with this task?

      Thanks in advance,
      Dick

      Have you tried Set 7 Free? If so, did you follow all the steps?

      I have Windows 7 (just the OS) on one drive, Program Files on another drive, Users (and all its subfolders), ProgramData and Winsxs on still another drive using the procedures I outlined in Set 7 Free. My Windows 7 partition is 12GB.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

      • #1245003

        Have you tried Set 7 Free? If so, did you follow all the steps?

        Just as a point of interest, when moving (say) the USERS folder, is there any difference between copying the data using robocopy, deleting/renaming the users folder, then creating a junction from C:USERS to X:USERS?

        Your site recommends robocopy, reboot, and modify all the registry values poiting to C:USERS to the new location. Wouldn’t a new junction point be easier?

        It’s possible that something catastrophic will break if I just create a junction, but that seems to be what you’re doing with the Programdata folder – I’m just not sure what the difference is between the two methods.

        • #1245056

          Just as a point of interest, when moving (say) the USERS folder, is there any difference between copying the data using robocopy, deleting/renaming the users folder, then creating a junction from C:USERS to X:USERS?

          Your site recommends robocopy, reboot, and modify all the registry values poiting to C:USERS to the new location. Wouldn’t a new junction point be easier?

          It’s possible that something catastrophic will break if I just create a junction, but that seems to be what you’re doing with the Programdata folder – I’m just not sure what the difference is between the two methods.

          It is important that the steps are followed sequentially. Doing things out of order may well take you someplace you don’t really want to go…”

          You will find yourself in a recursive loop creating nested folders within nested folders within nested folders if you don’t modify the registry settings before creating the junction point.[/font]

          Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
          We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1223964

      See if this article explains how to do what you are attempting to do.

      Interesting article, but I had to go halfway down a very long list of comments to find a post that indicated it actually worked for them correctly in all respects. It might work but it looks assuredly to be more fragile, less stable and less flexible.

    • #1223970

      Have you tried Set 7 Free? If so, did you follow all the steps?

      Also looks very interesting, like a pet project for a spare millenium or two lying around. But seriously, in-depth articles like that really help illustrate the why where and whats of Microsoft’s methodical madness. They have to try and make it work for 2 billion people without getting 1.99 billion support requests!!

      • #1223972

        Also looks very interesting, like a pet project for a spare millenium or two lying around. But seriously, in-depth articles like that really help illustrate the why where and whats of Microsoft’s methodical madness. They have to try and make it work for 2 billion people without getting 1.99 billion support requests!!

        Did you read the part where I said that Microsoft does not support the setup? I even put it in bold…

        A product designed for two billion people may not quite be setup exactly as I would like it. So, since I do know how to set it up the way I want it, and since I can support it myself without Microsoft’s help, I like to do it my way.

        For folks like Dick-Y who would also like to have things work more in keeping with his own way of looking at things, I publish some of my methods. No they aren’t simple, but they don’t quite require a millennium to setup.

        And what such articles illustrate is that not everyone wants to try to fit into the “one-size-fits-all” way of doing things.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

      • #1223974

        Also looks very interesting, like a pet project for a spare millenium or two lying around. But seriously, in-depth articles like that really help illustrate the why where and whats of Microsoft’s methodical madness. They have to try and make it work for 2 billion people without getting 1.99 billion support requests!!

        I agree, MS has to make Windows work for the masses and as such can not make it too easy to fudge with it because they would indeed be flooded with support requests. Generally the things people are trying to do in these forums are not for the masses, they are for folks that do like to fudge with their OS. These same folks make images because they do fudge with their OS to such an extent that their OS becomes unuseable and need to be rebuilt. And yes, sometimes the procudures needed are not easy and sometimes take a lot of extra fudging, but that’s what makes this fun.

        • #1224009

          I agree, MS has to make Windows work for the masses and as such can not make it too easy to fudge with it because they would indeed be flooded with support requests. Generally the things people are trying to do in these forums are not for the masses, they are for folks that do like to fudge with their OS. These same folks make images because they do fudge with their OS to such an extent that their OS becomes unuseable and need to be rebuilt. And yes, sometimes the procudures needed are not easy and sometimes take a lot of extra fudging, but that’s what makes this fun.

          For the record, I have broken Windows in as many ways as I have been able to think of, then tried every way imaginable to fix it. In earlier days, a friend once said that I had installed Windows 95 more times than the rest of the county combined.

          Quite often I have learned a little or a lot each time, and a lot of these repairs I can pass along when someone has a problem that I have dealt with before (self-inflicted though it may be). A side benefit is that I have compiled some methods over the years that can make Windows harder to break and easier to recover without suffering loss when something does break.

          Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
          We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1223971

      Actually, Windows can be carved up in any number of ways and still remain stable and reliable (if not more so).

      That I don’t believe, at least for the average user, or even for the average advanced user. You’re setting up a discontinuous superstructure that spans partitons, possibly even drives, and without meticulous care for the intricacies to enable and maintain that for which Windows was never designed to do; well your failure points are multiple and in the case of loss of system continuity, drastic (although to be fair, though it may only be a single partition that fails, it may often cause the whole drive to fail, though I do have several drives with just certain areas mapped off as “bad” that are still in use). Now I understand why you take such great care with your imaging maintenance; you can’t be lax with a system set up that way, and am I right that its only one or two or a few systems you maintain like that?

      • #1223979

        That I don’t believe, at least for the average user, or even for the average advanced user.

        Quoting from my introduction to my procedures,

        “This is not for the inexperienced, nor for the intermediate-level user. For that reason I am intentially leaving out the more basic steps in preparing your system for this setup; if you don’t know how to get there from here, you’re probably not ready for this. These procedures will break some things in Windows 7, so you will also need to be prepared to deal with that. Read through these instructions very carefully, and print them for reference. If you’re confused by any of the instructions, don’t attempt the procedures. If you’re unfamiliar with the way junctions work, don’t attempt the procedures. If you’re uncomfortable working in the system registry, don’t attempt the procedures. Don’t attempt this if you don’t fully understand what is being done, and where, and why.”

        From your posts, I would suggest that you aren’t ready for it, either. You and I may also have a difference of opinion on what constitutes an “Advanced” user.

        You’re setting up a discontinuous superstructure that spans partitons, possibly even drives, and without meticulous care for the intricacies to enable and maintain that for which Windows was never designed to do; well your failure points are multiple and in the case of loss of system continuity, drastic (although to be fair, though it may only be a single partition that fails, it may often cause the whole drive to fail, though I do have several drives with just certain areas mapped off as “bad” that are still in use).

        Like I said, you’re probably not ready, either. I’ve been carving up Windows since 95 OSR2.

        Different processes traverse Junction Points in different ways, but most Windows processes traverse them with ease and transparency. As for being meticulous about my backup regimen, I have never been satisfied with any backup software that I have ever auditioned. There is absolutely nothing that I have seen or tried that beats drive imaging for complete reliability, and that is the primary reason I use it and advocate it.

        All you need to do is count the posts that are asking for help because this or that or the other backup system has failed. It has been decades since I have relied on any backup software from any vendor. Drive imaging hits my sweet spot, I test it often, and it has never failed me.

        …am I right that its only one or two or a few systems you maintain like that?

        I maintain my own systems, and help with a few more, but judging from my email, I’m far from alone. Seems like there are a number of folks who like to chop Windows up and reassemble it to suit their own particular needs. And I’m more than happy to help anyone else who has a desire to improve their own system toward their own needs and desires.

        I also have no doubt that you wouldn’t believe how stable and reliable my systems are.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

        • #1223982

          All you need to do is count the posts that are asking for help because this or that or the other backup system has failed. It has been decades since I have relied on any backup software from any vendor. Drive imaging hits my sweet spot, I test it often, and it has never failed me.

          Amen! I image almost monthly on our 2 main PC’s using a 1 TB Seagate Ext drive. (The desktop is almost never turned on any more so I’m not too good at imaging it.) For backups of data, I do this manually. I back up my data to the wife’s and our desktop PC. This is accomplished over the network by opening Windows Explorer in both PC’s and dragging any data to be backed up to the other 2. Same for her data. My data does not need to have continuous backups or daily back ups or such so I do it when the urge hits me, usually no longer than weekly. Our Quicken financial data is backed up each 2 times it is opened using the same procedure outlined above. This process gives me the original data plus 2 backups of everything on 3 seperate PC’s. I also do an end of year back up to all 3 PC’s and Zip disks.

          The disaster backups are the images.

    • #1223978

      Thanks for all the replies. I’m a home user, retired, whose hobbies are tweaking and finance/investing. I’m not a PC expert (although I go back to the days of wireboards at an insurance company in Boston.) However. I certainly dont see myself as lumped in with 2 billion people.

      I’m going to try to apply BBearren’s technique to my situation, for the fun of it and for the learning opportunity. I’ll report back later how I make out.

      Dick

      PS,
      For what it’s worth (2 cents), I think W7 is a major step forward; however, I also think it’s still carrying forward a serious design flaw from the early days when all we had was the C: drive. All data should be easily separated from programs, and that especially means Windows itself. I dont mean to start an argument. Some people like “plain vanilla”; some like a banana split. Also, my perspective would surely change if I were supporting multiple machines. In my mainframe days as a systems programmer, and then as a Tech. Services manager, I learned right away that “plain vanilla” was the way to go. In fact, I got my first promotion into management when the previous manager allowed some yahoo to “wing it” with a change to the OS, and brought the Gillette Safety Razor company to it’s knees for about 7 hours. But I digress . . .

      • #1224053

        I also think it’s still carrying forward a serious design flaw from the early days when all we had was the C: drive. All data should be easily separated from programs, and that especially means Windows itself.

        Actually, I think that this design flaw did not appear until Windows XP (though it has been a long time so I cannot vouch for the exact release, and I am of course ignoring the 16-bit Windows versions such as 3.x, 95 and 98). Before that, with Windows NT 3.5x and 2000, you could, during installation, specific the location of both the windows directory (named c:winnt by default) and the user’s directory (don’t recall it’s name but c:Documents and Settings was not it!). I always installed my user directory in a separate drive or partition, and never installed the OS files into c:winnt. I recall once that many of our systems at work were hit by a virus. On examining the systems that were not hit I was surprised to see the virus file at c:winnt. Apparently the virus writer hard-coded the directory location and the virus worked correctly only on systems that used the default directory for installation.

        I keep wanting to look into the process for configuring a custom installer for Windows hoping that if I do so will let me specify a location for the windows and users directories.
        http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=696DD665-9F76-4177-A811-39C26D3B3B34&displaylang=en

    • #1224004

      Many many years ago I also decided I did not want my documents in the default MS locations. I created my own data folder on a different drive or partition (depending on the system at the time) and changed all the default data locations for the programs I used such as MS Office and Eudora email. Having everything I could find or think of in my own chosen location made it much easier to backup just my data and gave me less of a problem when I had to reinstall windows and it would wipe out the old Documents and Settings folder. In that respect, at least the new user data locations are good since they do not get wiped out when reinstalling. At least that has been my experience, and as a mostly retired computer support person, I have fixed, rebuilt, and recovered a lot of systems for a variety of users.

      • #1224006

        In that respect, at least the new user data locations are good since they do not get wiped out when reinstalling.

        I much prefer not to have to reinstall.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

      • #1224552

        Many many years ago I also decided I did not want my documents in the default MS locations. I created my own data folder on a different drive or partition (depending on the system at the time) and changed all the default data locations for the programs I used such as MS Office and Eudora email. Having everything I could find or think of in my own chosen location made it much easier to backup just my data and gave me less of a problem when I had to reinstall windows and it would wipe out the old Documents and Settings folder. In that respect, at least the new user data locations are good since they do not get wiped out when reinstalling. At least that has been my experience, and as a mostly retired computer support person, I have fixed, rebuilt, and recovered a lot of systems for a variety of users.

        I agree with Jim that MS have gone some way to achieving an acceptable solution with Win 7. The past few years on XP i set up my business laptop with a D partition and placed all the files there and backed them up from there to a remote location using iDrive each evening and making local copies each week with Comodo Backup or MS Sync Toy.

        However each backup routine also had to point to outlook pst files situated in the Outlook defualt app data folders on the C drive, I did not want to mess around with changing locations for those after some prior bad experiences.

        Now i have concluded that it is not so important where my data is stored on my local system, as long as it easily accessible and searchable and is constantly backed up. As one lounger points out that if there is a hard drive failure and you have partitions then you will still need to replace the whole drive of course, but your data may be better protected if seperated. Well, with daily backups it does not give significant advantage unless you have just worked on a major document and the drive fails before the backup. But iDrive has an option for Continuous Backup as well.

        And there is always the final option of using a live linux disk running off USB or external drive to allow your machine an operating system that can copy and paste files off the affected drive to another location.

        However one area that I would appreciate advice please is this:
        When taking an image with a third party software or default system backup in Win 7. If a drive fails and you insert a new one, how do you actually get that image back onto the main disk? I know it may a stupid question but I have never actually needed to it.
        Put another way, if my laptop drive fails and i insert a new one, it cannot run since there is no OS, and I imaging that any active disk cannot copy OS files onto itself. So i guess that something like linux is run off an external drive which can access both the backup image and the desination C drive on the laptop?

        I ask because I always re-installed when necessary, but now I have a complex system with loads of programs and settings and do not want to go through all that again if it fails. I guess i need to read Win 7 backup and Comodo manual, but any light explanation or experiences much appreciated, thanks. Also appreciate any reccs on good free image software. Thanks.

        • #1224570

          However one area that I would appreciate advice please is this:
          When taking an image with a third party software or default system backup in Win 7. If a drive fails and you insert a new one, how do you actually get that image back onto the main disk? I know it may a stupid question but I have never actually needed to it.
          Put another way, if my laptop drive fails and i insert a new one, it cannot run since there is no OS, and I imaging that any active disk cannot copy OS files onto itself. So i guess that something like linux is run off an external drive which can access both the backup image and the desination C drive on the laptop?

          I use BootIt Next Generation, which will run by booting from a CD or a floppy. I can restore to a new drive quickly and painlessly. I have never favored any backup software that runs inside Windows. Over the years I have replaced failed hard drives in just this manner. After the restore, it boots right up as if nothing ever happened.

          Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
          We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1224022

      Did you read the part where I said that Microsoft does not support the setup? I even put it in bold…

      Yes, I read that and more (until it started to go into great detail), you missed the point, I was complimenting you on a very advanced method of making Windows jump through hoops for you, and I should have mentioned that the bold warning was a good thing to have front and center, because that was the main point, its very advanced and once that move is made, now you (the royal you) are the one with the elevated responsibility for future updates and future changes that will certainly impact such a system if left to defaults.

      I wished there were a better way to convey that symbolically you’re pounding the steel and 99.9% of us are driving the car. It was a heavy day for video processing here, somewhere in the 60-90 gigabytes range was processed on 3 systems (producing more than 62 gigabytes of additional temp parsing files!), 14.6 gigabytes of photos (also very heavy), a relatively light day for audio with only about 4.5 gigabytes processed, and all the other normal email and web surfing and other light application use; and in just a short bit, I’ll be going online to race open wheel cars against people from all over the world. All done delightfully ignoring that damm steel. Use and recovery redundancy should be transparent and easy, and I know how to do just that, but the exact truth is that the vast majority are not listening to you or me. I think its perfectly fine that you provide the information and techniques that you do, but I think there should be even more declaration that a lot of this stuff is for the few and super-geek, and it should be balanced with what is practical…and then we should have no sympathy for those who don’t listen to either, which unfortuneately is still the vast majority in the consumer user world.

      Now, Trackmainia, here I come!

      • #1224026

        Yes, I read that and more (until it started to go into great detail), you missed the point, I was complimenting you on a very advanced method of making Windows jump through hoops for you, and I should have mentioned that the bold warning was a good thing to have front and center, because that was the main point, its very advanced and once that move is made, now you (the royal you) are the one with the elevated responsibility for future updates and future changes that will certainly impact such a system if left to defaults.

        I wished there were a better way to convey that symbolically you’re pounding the steel and 99.9% of us are driving the car. It was a heavy day for video processing here, somewhere in the 60-90 gigabytes range was processed on 3 systems (producing more than 62 gigabytes of additional temp parsing files!), 14.6 gigabytes of photos (also very heavy), a relatively light day for audio with only about 4.5 gigabytes processed, and all the other normal email and web surfing and other light application use; and in just a short bit, I’ll be going online to race open wheel cars against people from all over the world. All done delightfully ignoring that damm steel. Use and recovery redundancy should be transparent and easy, and I know how to do just that, but the exact truth is that the vast majority are not listening to you or me. I think its perfectly fine that you provide the information and techniques that you do, but I think there should be even more declaration that a lot of this stuff is for the few and super-geek, and it should be balanced with what is practical…and then we should have no sympathy for those who don’t listen to either, which unfortuneately is still the vast majority in the consumer user world.

        I only did 12.5GB of video editing; my youngest played in the high school band spring concert Friday night (he plays trombone in the Jazz Band and euphonium in the Symphonic Band), but I processed it into two formats, so maybe that counts for 25GB? Interestingly enough, I used Windows Movie Maker to transfer the DV tape to the hard drive via firewire and do the editing, and Windows DVD maker to burn a couple of DVD’s. Windows didn’t seem get the least bit confused by traversing my junction points to put the temp files on the Users partition instead of the OS partition.

        I also did some preliminary work on a web site project for a client, porting the html from a two-column to a three-column style sheet. I write the code myself, but I use FrontPage 2000 to keep track of the folder and link structure for me. I still use the Office 2000 suite. I didn’t see enough in the upgrades to justify the cost (the file converters from MS let me keep up with the big boys), and I’m pretty used to the way O2K looks and feels. O2K doesn’t have any problem with the junction points, either. The ftp client publishes to the web in spite of thinking that it’s grabbing files from the OS partition instead of the Users partition.

        The thing is, after the steel has been symbolically pounded (which doesn’t really take that long, honestly), there’s not much left to do but drive the car. When I carve up Windows and put it back together the way I want it to fit, I don’t have to re-do it every time I logon. Once it’s done, it’s done. From there on out, it’s just a matter of using it, just like other folks use it. The main thing is that the defaults are not all Windows defaults. Some of them are my defaults, edited into the registry. I do what I do to make Windows more stable and reliable, not less. Evidently that’s the part that you have difficulty believing.

        The reality is that I spend very little time in fiddling with Windows problems of my own; I don’t really have any. I may be a little more involved in the routine maintenance than most, but I certainly don’t consider it a bad thing to toss temp files, defrag, backup (drive imaging in my case), and run chkdsk from time to time. Symbolically checking the oil, airing the tires, cleaning the windshied, that sort of thing. But I don’t have blue screens or freeze-ups, application hangs, performance drop-off, etc. Practicality is my driving force, so to speak.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1224051

      The main thing is that the defaults are not all Windows defaults. Some of them are my defaults, edited into the registry. I do what I do to make Windows more stable and reliable, not less. Evidently that’s the part that you have difficulty believing.

      No, its just the opposite, I believe everything you say (pretty much) but you take everything too personally, you never illustrate the good points of some other practical techniques;

      I much prefer not to have to reinstall.

      Who does right? but Jim made a great practical point on preperation for such a possible eventuality and you just flat-panned it. There doesn’t seem to be any humor or generous nature in your prose and when you say practical, again, I believe you specifically 100%, but its your definition of practicality, meaning its very individualized.

      I’ll give you an example of what I mean if it so be accepted and not too thunderously boring. Temp files are a good one, and I’ll include parsing and indices, especially temporary parsing files since they can grow and take up enormous amounts of real estate very quickly and because I think a very good number of people are into video production these days. Beyond window temp files, applications generally toss thier temp files in three location, either directly into the user documents profile, like Adobe does (grrrr!) or into the hidden AppData or Local Settings part of the user profile, or in the All users or Public profile.

      Adobe loading up my documents folder with parsing files forces me to take action and move the taget for those files elsewhere because I move the moveable data folders off to another disk (preferable) or partition. Where automated backup is a breeze, there’s nothing to exclude, just include the entire drive partition and its done. If one moves more than the data folders there then more work is required, specific exclusions to prevent non-pertinent data from being backed up and writing both temp files and data files and later deleting the temp files periodically is going to cause quite a bit of disk fragmentation so there’s even more upkeep there, unless one makes even more provisions and moves the the temp files target location yet again (or in the first place–in both cases more specificity and more isolated to just one person knowing what the heck is going on in a system) to a scratch disk, which if it had been left back in the user profile to begin with would have created a natural scratch disk relationship, and since defragmentation is periodically automated now on Windows 7, one doesn’t even have to worry about that becoming a problem if ignored for too long (but I think its always a good idea to clean up those files fairly often).

      On your system however the small system partition would nescessitate you moving all kinds of stuff off to other locales, especially parsing files from all quarters, and probably the Picasa index if you work with a lot of photos and employ Picasa of course, and its always a good idea to trim restore, temp internet and recycle info but you would have to be especally diligent or offload them as well.

      Forgive me if I haven’t structured what you have to do to make your setup practical to you correctly. I can only surmise what you have to do to make it flexible enough to work handling massive amounts of data. I have one 8.3 gig drive on one system that XP has been mostly happily residing on since 2002, but the amount of compromises I’ve had to make to keep it mostly happy all this time does not make it a practical system for normal everyday use.

      I knew you would take the last post too literally and why I said I wished there were a better way I could think of. You seem to construe things said to you backwards much of the time and that’s possibly because you think of it applying only personally and if that doesn’t fit the image then its wrong and therefore backwards so I’ll state once more that I believe you completely, but I also believe your modus operrendi is definitely not practical at large. The latter part of that staement you can most certainly take issue with but force yourself to do it from a “for all” perspective and not from a “for me” perspective and there won’t be an ounce of objection from me. The whole purose is to make it easier to accomplish and therefore more likely to be implemented, not more specific and more difficult to understand the mehodology behind it all.

      P.S. Only 36 gigabytes of video today but all just straight conversions without editing so no parsing. Wednesday is going to clear 100 gigs easy though, maybe even 200! Its truely amazing what one can do with just a few cheap ordinary mid-level refurbished computerrs these days!

      • #1224093

        …its your definition of practicality, meaning its very individualized.

        My definition of practicality is a Windows setup that runs year in and year out without BSOD’s, hangups, spontaneous reboots, performance deterioration, or any other such negative impact. That’s what I have. Are you saying no one else wants a system with those qualities?

        Jim made a great practical point on preperation for such a possible eventuality and you just flat-panned it.

        My point being that the right setup and maintenance negates such an eventuality. The preparation I use eliminates the need for a reinstall. In the event of a total mechanical system failure, I can completely retore to bare metal with no losses.

        Also, I am aware of temp files, and how to deal with them. Not a problem.

        On your system however the small system partition would nescessitate you moving all kinds of stuff off to other locales.

        That’s already been taken care of. Editing the registry and creating junction points handle that quite nicely. Did you not read that part?

        Forgive me if I haven’t structured what you have to do to make your setup practical to you correctly. I can only surmise what you have to do to make it flexible enough to work handling massive amounts of data.

        You’re forgiven, but apparently a bit confused. As I said, that has already been done. It is flexible, it is stable, it is reliable. Once it’s setup, the only thing left is to use it. My OS partition doesn’t grow except for Windows updates, and I know how to get rid of the setup files. You really don’t understand my setup, do you?

        If I need to handle massive amounts of data, all I need to do is swap out for larger capacity drives.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1224236

      I have struggled with the issues discussed in this thread as well. I stumbled onto the article mentioned at the beginning of the thread about creating junction points. I did that and it has worked marvelously for me. I wish I had the time to complete the task and edit my registry to separate the rest of the “garbage” from my OS.

    • #1224549

      People are making some excellent points.

      The point I want to make is that, keeping your documents on a different partition from your applications is not just smart, it can be a lifesaver!

      Last week, a rogue “for” loop started to delete my D: drive, and managed to remove all my research documents before I stopped it. I was able to recover *every* deleted file mainly because I could confidently install undelete software (I recommend Recuva, since it restores file dates and folder structure) on C: without overwriting the data I wanted to recover on D:

      If I’d only had one partition, the new program files (or even new temporary files from all the background stuff Windows runs) would probably have overwritten something I wanted, and I’d have been hunting through old backups.

      However, moving the entire Users/Documents and Settings directory to a different partition can actually undermine this benefit, since Windows is designed to store lots of things in this directory tree (eg: the user registry).

      It’s actually really easy to move My Documents to somewhere else (though some programs won’t honour the change). My advice is to use TweakUI (available from Microsoft), and examine the “My Computer | Special Folders” section. Once you’ve moved the location, then copy all the files from the old location. Don’t forget to point Word, Excel and Powerpoint to the new location (if necessary).

      Safe, smart and easy.

      • #1224572

        People are making some excellent points.

        The point I want to make is that, keeping your documents on a different partition from your applications is not just smart, it can be a lifesaver!

        Last week, a rogue “for” loop started to delete my D: drive, and managed to remove all my research documents before I stopped it. I was able to recover *every* deleted file mainly because I could confidently install undelete software (I recommend Recuva, since it restores file dates and folder structure) on C: without overwriting the data I wanted to recover on D:

        However, moving the entire Users/Documents and Settings directory to a different partition can actually undermine this benefit, since Windows is designed to store lots of things in this directory tree (eg: the user registry).

        I make a full image of my Users partition regularly, whenever I make an image of my OS partition. That way I get a seamless restoration (all settings, full registry, etc.) in case of some unrecoverable malfuntion.

        It’s actually really easy to move My Documents to somewhere else (though some programs won’t honour the change). My advice is to use TweakUI (available from Microsoft), and examine the “My Computer | Special Folders” section. Once you’ve moved the location, then copy all the files from the old location. Don’t forget to point Word, Excel and Powerpoint to the new location (if necessary).

        Safe, smart and easy.

        I prefer to make the changes “by hand”, so to speak, because that gives me full control and understanding of where everything is going and how it’s getting there.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1224550

      With TweakUI, I long ago move My Documents in XP to Drive D, where it lives happily with all my data.

      But going through my Application Data, I’ve found that a lot of it is useless or generic anyway, except Mozilla profiles, which give you a location choice when you install the programs. For instance, Yahoo Messenger doesn’t store your profile there, but on their own servers, as I found when my preferences keep getting corrupted. Some Application Data consists of useless icons, some are temp files, some folders are empty, some are logs that I don’t need to preserve. Of all the folders there, I’ve backed up only the one for Irfanview, and once is enough.

      Because data changes faster than the C drive, I keep the backups separate. I make 1 image of C (system+programs) with a Seagate tool, and I back up the data with Karen’s Replicator on a schedule. And it works very well.

      Is this all very different in Win 7?

      • #1224569

        With TweakUI, I long ago move My Documents in XP to Drive D, where it lives happily with all my data.

        But going through my Application Data, I’ve found that a lot of it is useless or generic anyway, except Mozilla profiles, which give you a location choice when you install the programs. For instance, Yahoo Messenger doesn’t store your profile there, but on their own servers, as I found when my preferences keep getting corrupted. Some Application Data consists of useless icons, some are temp files, some folders are empty, some are logs that I don’t need to preserve. Of all the folders there, I’ve backed up only the one for Irfanview, and once is enough.

        Because data changes faster than the C drive, I keep the backups separate. I make 1 image of C (system+programs) with a Seagate tool, and I back up the data with Karen’s Replicator on a schedule. And it works very well.

        Is this all very different in Win 7?

        Actually, a lot of that is still applicable in Windows 7. I always run a disk cleanup, then a defrag before I make a drive image. That way I’m not backing up temp files and the like.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1224554

      Years ago I abandoned Outlook/Outlook Express in favour of a mail program called Pegasus, because it really simplified e mail backups. Nowadays I keep the Pegasus program files and all my e mails on a USB flash drive, which I’ve given the drive letter “Q”. What this allows me to do is to deal with e mail using any machine and backing up is simply a matter of copying the entire contents of the “Q” drive to another location.. All I have to do is use administrative tools to have the foreign machine recognise my USB stick as “Q”. Once I’d made these changes keeping all my own files away from the C drive was simple. I’ve refined what I do by addition of NDAS drives onto my network and I use a combination of internal hard drives and USB drives to store data. USB drives are really useful to take to a client. I back up using a scheduled task which is a DOS batch file, which creates multipe generations automatically. I’m not going to go on, but what I’ve learnt is that what suits others may not suit me exactly, but I can always learn from what others do.

    • #1224591

      To address some of the points brought out by these most recent posts, my methods that I have described in this thread are designed for reliability and simplicity. The partitioning scheme is due primarily to the simple fact that there are many parts of a system that rarely need to be backed up, since they change infrequently. Those parts of the system that require frequent backup can be separated and made smaller, resulting in quicker and easier backups with a smaller media footprint. And the partitioning need only be done once.

      By using drive images that can be made outside the Windows environment, restoration is greatly simplified. In the event of a drive failure, I don’t have to first reinstall Windows, then start restoring incremental backups or whatever. I simply restore drive images, and I have everything back up and running after step #1. Further, the drive images can be mounted to look just like a hard drive to Windows. If I have inadvertently deleted a file or folder, I can pluck just that single object from the drive image.

      I have the flexibility of a multi-pronged backup approach, but with the simplicity of a single medium, and the reliablility of DVD storage. In addition, I have multiple copies of many files across my home network. If my appoach is examined in fine-grained detail, I already utilize most of the alternatives proposed in this thread, just in a slightly different fashion.

      As for email, my ISP has a free email client with much of the functionality of Outlook and with unlimited storage that resides on the ISP’s servers. I can access it from any computer that has internet access. I can occaisionally download copies to Outlook while leaving my email on the server, which gives me a personal backup, as well as the ISP’s redundancy backup.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1224600

      I have to say that using the junction points to redirect the users folder seems to be the easiest and most fool-proof way to get it done. You just have to do it in the command prompt in the Windows RE (not booted in Windows) using the install DVD and it didn’t involve hacking throught the registry at all. Full instructions are here:

      http://lifehacker.com/5467758/move-the-users-directory-in-windows-7

      I would suggest relabeling your drives before doing this to make it easier to find the correct one while at the command prompt since the Windows RE shuffles some of the drive letters around when it makes the virtual HDD (usually X:).

      Hopefully another lounger here can help me with a related problem I had with this setup.

      The only problem I encountered (which may or maynot be related to the change) is when I used system restore, it swallowed the user profile and would only allow me to log in using the “Temp” profile. I tried to enable the admin profile using “net user administrator /active:yes” command but it didn’t create the admin folder or allow me to log in as such. I tried to reverse the junction point action I did (at the command prompt) by deleting the junction point and copying back the user profile folder to it’s original location. It didn’t seem to work right so I had to wipe the C: drive and refresh it from a clone copy I did (when Win7 install was clean) using Aconis TIH 2010.

      That fixed the booting/ user profile problem but it created another which is that I don’t have access to the Windows RE anymore. If I try to boot into it via the DVD, it says that that it can’t do so and produces the stop code 0xc000000e. From there it will boot off of the C: drive unless I CRTL-ALT-DEL to reboot.

      My question is, what did I do wrong in trying to repair the user profile and why didn’t Acronis fully refresh it like is was on day one? Should I have used an image instead of a clone or…? Can you use system restore when you use junction points to redirect the Users folder? Should I have used another imaging app like Symantec Ghost?

      I’m not trying to hijack the thread. I thought some of this info is related to the OP’s problem or in general.

      TIA

      Kevin

    • #1224670

      For any experimentation that needs to be done, why not install VPC and experiment away with some of the suggestions in this post. All the benefits with no risks should something go awry. You simply exit out of VPC and say “No” to saving any changes and start all over again.

    • #1224700

      Some interesting techniques.

      As far as labeling drives and partitions, I give them all logical names to avoid problems. This one is Bear (a pun for the barebone kit I started with,) C is BearSysProg, D is BearData. On my secondary comp, C is SecSysProg, D is SecData.. My flash drives are Flash and Flash2. I keep shared folder names consistent across the network too.

    • #1224705

      Well, Dick, I think some of your responders have gotten off the beaten track a bit and moved in directions your questions never asked. So here goes my own input, direct from my own experience.

      Yes, it’s perfectly workable to set up a partition just for Data, separate from the C drive, since Windows folders do get replaced whenever Windows is reinstalled. Keeping your data on separate partitions will save it all in such an event. Programs, however, are a different story. Some programs will only install on the C partition, and while it is possible to install others in a different partition, the registry remains on the C, or system, partition, and is replaced upon reinstallation of Windows. Consequently, you would lose your connection between the registry and any programs on a separate partition. After years of struggling to overcome this, with relatively little success, I finally moved to using a third party clone program to preserve a clone image of the C drive on a different partition. I have found this to be very useful and efficient in the event of a system crash.

      Having said all that, it’s important to keep in mind that some procedures just have no shortcuts. In upgrading from XP to Win 7, it’s necessary to do a clean install of the C drive, hence wiping out everything on it. In such a case, I simply accept the fact that I have to reinstall all my applications from scratch. However, my data, which I actually have spread over three other partitions in my computer, remains comfortably safe, and can be transferred to my new computer with Win 7 on it whenever I want.

      Bottom line….everything needs maintenance, repair, and correction…and computer organization is no different. I hope this helps.

      • #1224722

        Programs, however, are a different story. Some programs will only install on the C partition, and while it is possible to install others in a different partition, the registry remains on the C, or system, partition, and is replaced upon reinstallation of Windows.

        I have yet to encounter a program or application that I could not get installed wherever I wanted it. To properly separate the Program Files folder into a different partition, editing the registry takes care of that, and nearly all future installations will default to the new location. For those few installers that are hard-coded for “C:/Program Files”, one simply moves the program after the initial installation. From there on out, they work just fine.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1224707

      Also one needs to remember that if a drive is partitioned and there is a hardware failure in one partition, then the others MAY not be accessible.
      If one is going to split off their data, they are much better off in using a second drive. This way it can still be accessed when the other drive is clobbered.

      I have done away with using partitions since the original reason has gone away, and have this second drive and/or networked storage in use. I do NOT direct the users folder there, I just elect to control where I save things by selecting the drive and/or folders as needed.

      DaveA I am so far behind, I think I am First
      Genealogy....confusing the dead and annoying the living

    • #1224717

      Just follow the 2nd post (Ted Meyers).

      I have been using Windows since 3.1.1 and separating what you need to save (Documents, Photo’s, Etc.) from your OS is a must and very easy. This has saved my friends and family unneeded grief when disaster struck. Also think of purchasing an external drive as an extra backup for these items.

      However, I must agree with those who caution against installing Programs separate from your operating system drive. Although you will probably not run into any problems with MOST applications: There are too many variables and the possibility of disaster is always present. Why do it?

      • #1224727

        However, I must agree with those who caution against installing Programs separate from your operating system drive. Although you will probably not run into any problems with MOST applications: There are too many variables and the possibility of disaster is always present. Why do it?

        There is no reason for anything other than the operating system to be on the same partition with the operating system, except that it makes it easier for Microsoft to keep everyone in the same box.

        I’ve kept my Program Files folder on a separate partition since Windows 95 OSR2. See XP Unleashed and Set 7 Free for further details. Microsoft does not support these configurations, but that doesn’t keep the configurations from working great (in my case, for years). YMMV.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1224718

      @DOS-equis

      I’ve never used System Restore, and have always disabled it in all my systems. I have seen far too many cries for help regarding System Restore not working on forums such as these. Anything that unreliable is just useless for my needs.

      As far as separating Windows into its various components, Set 7 Free, the methods I use, works very well indeed. It does involve registry editing, though.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

      • #1224870

        @DOS-equis

        I’ve never used System Restore, and have always disabled it in all my systems. I have seen far too many cries for help regarding System Restore not working on forums such as these. Anything that unreliable is just useless for my needs.

        As far as separating Windows into its various components, Set 7 Free, the methods I use, works very well indeed. It does involve registry editing, though.

        Thanks bbearren. I personally have never had any issues with system restore until this incident happened (mostly on XP) but then again I only had to rely on it a handful of times. I thought that the sys rest. failure was due to the junction point setup I had although, I couldn’t find a forum post on it anywhere saying not to do it with the junction points.

        Since it seems that you are very knowledgeable at system backups, could you clarify the main difference or advantages of disk cloning vs imaging for disk restoration purposes? I tried to use Acronis home 2010 to restore the disk back to the “fresh install” state after the system restore issue using a clone of the C: drive. It booted up fine and worked but it apparently has messed up my access to the recovery console via the install DVD. Before I had to hit F8 during boot to get to it. I can still do that but it returns the 0xc000000e stop code when I select the “repair you computer” option. Googling didn’t seem to return any concrete info which is why I’m turning to the experts here. πŸ™‚

        This PC also has an older “1st gen” sata controller on a Pent4 MSI mobo, which I found out has problems booting from a Vista/ Win7 DVD due to a driver or controller issue. I had to use the “all-in-one” GRUB bootloader floppy for it to boot from the DVD and install. I don’t know if the problems are related or not or if Acronis is flakey?

        Kevin

        • #1224976

          Since it seems that you are very knowledgeable at system backups, could you clarify the main difference or advantages of disk cloning vs imaging for disk restoration purposes? I tried to use Acronis home 2010 to restore the disk back to the “fresh install” state after the system restore issue using a clone of the C: drive. It booted up fine and worked but it apparently has messed up my access to the recovery console via the install DVD. Before I had to hit F8 during boot to get to it. I can still do that but it returns the 0xc000000e stop code when I select the “repair you computer” option. Googling didn’t seem to return any concrete info which is why I’m turning to the experts here. πŸ™‚

          I am not at all familiar with Acronis in any of its forms. I have been using BootIt Next Generation for many years. It has a multitude of capabilites (I have yet to use all of them), I am quite familiar with it, and it does what I want it to do easily and simply. It is OS independent, and can run from a single floppy (or a CD). Perhaps someone else can answer your Acronis question.

          No doubt you can get many different answers to your question on cloning vs imaging. Basically, cloning refers to replicating the entire contents of one hard drive to another hard drive. Cloning is accomplished by making a drive image of a source drive and restoring that image to a target drive. Cloning is quite useful in creating many identical PC’s with the same setup of OS and software, as in a work environment, by using the hard drive of each of the identical PC’s as the target for restoring the drive image, creating another clone of the source drive.

          Drive imaging in its most useful form creates a bit-for-bit copy of a source drive, uses a compression algorithm (on the fly) to reduce the size of that copy, and writes that compressed copy as an image file to some media (hard drive, tape, DVD, etc.). Depending on the amount of data on the source drive, the resulting image file may be quite large, and divided into segments. The imaging software is able to rejoin these segments and decompress them (again, on the fly) and write the image file back as a bit-for-bit copy to a hard drive (if it is large enough to contain all the data). BootIt NG has a free addon that can mount that image file as a drive in Windows, enabling the extraction of a single file or folder (or several) from the image file.

          Drive imaging used for backup simply inserts a delay between the image creation and the image restoration. For example, if my hard drive were to become seriously corrupted by some form of malware, the easiest repair is to simply restore a recent drive image (before the malware infection) to the drive. Technically this is not “cloning”, since only the original source drive is involved. On the other hand, if one of my hard drives should go belly up (as happened recently), I can replace the bad drive with a new drive, and restore a recent image of that now-failed drive to the newly installed drive. The new drive is now a clone of the old drive as far as the contents are concerned. The new drive could be the same size as the failed drive, or larger. It could even be smaller, so long as it is not too small to contain all the data from the drive image.

          This PC also has an older “1st gen” sata controller on a Pent4 MSI mobo, which I found out has problems booting from a Vista/ Win7 DVD due to a driver or controller issue. I had to use the “all-in-one” GRUB bootloader floppy for it to boot from the DVD and install. I don’t know if the problems are related or not or if Acronis is flakey?

          Over the years I have migrated to using Intel boards and processors exclusively, so I’m not familiar with MSI or how closely they stick to the standards. However, the Intel board I’m using on two machines (D875PBZ) is also first generation SATA. The SATA driver designed for this board won’t work in Windows 7, but a later driver for later generation boards just happens to include a SATA driver for the 82801ER controller built into this board. That SATA driver (now called Matrix Storage Manager) works just fine in Windows 7.

          Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
          We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

          • #1225117

            I am not at all familiar with Acronis in any of its forms. I have been using BootIt Next Generation for many years. It has a multitude of capabilites (I have yet to use all of them), I am quite familiar with it, and it does what I want it to do easily and simply. It is OS independent, and can run from a single floppy (or a CD). Perhaps someone else can answer your Acronis question.

            No doubt you can get many different answers to your question on cloning vs imaging. Basically, cloning refers to replicating the entire contents of one hard drive to another hard drive. Cloning is accomplished by making a drive image of a source drive and restoring that image to a target drive. Cloning is quite useful in creating many identical PC’s with the same setup of OS and software, as in a work environment, by using the hard drive of each of the identical PC’s as the target for restoring the drive image, creating another clone of the source drive.

            Drive imaging in its most useful form creates a bit-for-bit copy of a source drive, uses a compression algorithm (on the fly) to reduce the size of that copy, and writes that compressed copy as an image file to some media (hard drive, tape, DVD, etc.). Depending on the amount of data on the source drive, the resulting image file may be quite large, and divided into segments. The imaging software is able to rejoin these segments and decompress them (again, on the fly) and write the image file back as a bit-for-bit copy to a hard drive (if it is large enough to contain all the data). BootIt NG has a free addon that can mount that image file as a drive in Windows, enabling the extraction of a single file or folder (or several) from the image file.

            Drive imaging used for backup simply inserts a delay between the image creation and the image restoration. For example, if my hard drive were to become seriously corrupted by some form of malware, the easiest repair is to simply restore a recent drive image (before the malware infection) to the drive. Technically this is not “cloning”, since only the original source drive is involved. On the other hand, if one of my hard drives should go belly up (as happened recently), I can replace the bad drive with a new drive, and restore a recent image of that now-failed drive to the newly installed drive. The new drive is now a clone of the old drive as far as the contents are concerned. The new drive could be the same size as the failed drive, or larger. It could even be smaller, so long as it is not too small to contain all the data from the drive image.

            I see. It seems that I probably would’ve been better off using the “image” method. It would of saved me from having to dedicate an old HDD to save the clone on. I wish I knew what caused the windows RE corruption during the restoration process of my boot drive. I could boot into the RE using the DVD and tapping F8 during POST. If I just let it boot from the DVD it would skip it and boot into regular windows, which I think is related to the SATA controller issue. Now it gives me the error I described earlier. I wonder if it has something to do with the “system reserved” partition that win7 ultimate makes for bitlocker. I’m not using bitlocker and only have the ultimate version because I have one of the partypacks that Microsoft was handing out before launch.

            I guess I could “zero fill” the drive with DBAN and do another clean install, image the drive right after the install is complete, then format over the new install and try to recover and test the RE access again. A lot of work to test especially since DBAN will take approx. 10-11hrs to wipe a 60GB SSD. πŸ™

            Over the years I have migrated to using Intel boards and processors exclusively, so I’m not familiar with MSI or how closely they stick to the standards. However, the Intel board I’m using on two machines (D875PBZ) is also first generation SATA. The SATA driver designed for this board won’t work in Windows 7, but a later driver for later generation boards just happens to include a SATA driver for the 82801ER controller built into this board. That SATA driver (now called Matrix Storage Manager) works just fine in Windows 7.

            For what this board is, (http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=proddesc&prod_no=150&maincat_no=1&cat2_no=170&cat3_no=4) it’s run pretty good and I can’t really complain, especially since I bought it from fleabay from some Korean outfit about 3 years ago. It’s very old (2005) and showing it’s age too much as technology marches on. This board has the Intel ICH5 SATA controller on it and if I try to boot from the Win7 DVD like normal, it will retur a “code5” error. This seems to be characteristic of the MSI (and I think Gigabyte) boards from that era. The all-in-one bootdisc is the ticket to getting it to play nice. I will be building another rig very soon (EVGA x58 classified w/ Xeon w3540) so most of this headache should go away, hopefully. πŸ™‚

            Thanks for all the help.

    • #1224738

      Agreeing with the general sense of the thread, yes, user data should be completely separate from OS and other vendor data.

      Years ago I formed the habit of putting anything I want to keep on the home server, where I know it will get reliably backed up in a way that I understand and I don’t have to worry about it. Before I had a home server I used a second hard drive for that purpose. Before I had a second hard drive I used a C drive partition for that. Before partitioning I had my own user folder and tree for that. We’re going back nearly 20 years here

      I never did understand the “documents and settings” tree. It was a baby step over the wild and wooly days before Win 95. The Vista and Win7 “users” tree is a toddler’s step in the right direction, but it’s still impenetrable, largely undocumented, and contaminated with junk that has nothing to do with personal data. I don’t trust what I don’t understand. I need to trust and understand my own personal data that has nothing whatever to do with OS and other vendors. So I put it where I know where it is, what it is, and how safe it is.

      I’m not saying not to make drive images or recovery mechanisms or partitions or whatever. Those things are useful and make disaster recovery (or a clean OS install) much less of a chore. I just don’t want my important stuff buried in an impenetrable terabyte tree of thousands of folders I don’t care about, all mixed up with OS stuff and application program stuff. I want it where I know where it is and how safe it is. If push comes to shove and I have to reinstall the whole world from scratch, the stuff I really care about is happily backed up and ready for whenever I get a working system back.

      Unfortunately, Microsoft never did “get” that people think this way. The application vendors aren’t any better. They’d be quick enough to agree that my financial data, my word processing documents, my spreadsheets, etc. are mine and have nothing to do with them, but they still consider my browser bookmarks and settings, my emails and settings, my personal application settings, and the like not “mine” but “theirs.” They still bury that stuff down in that huge, impenetrable, thousand folder, undocumented tree, where it’s hard to find and harder to manage.

      Maybe they’ll “get” it some day. It would make their lives, and ours too, much easier.

    • #1224775

      Having read all these different ways to store os and data files, I still like mine. I have partitioned my drive into at least 3 partitions ever since Partition Magic came out, which I think is 10 or more years ago. I have os and program files on c and a partition for data files and another one for pictures and video. I also have another partition that I can do a c backup on for whatever reason. That way I can back up a partition separately whenever I want.

    • #1224777

      I like to keep my OS and my data on separate partitions, a habit acquired form the days when Window require frequent restores because of OS corruption. I kept this routine because it also makes it easier to do data and OS backups and when working on multi boot computers having my data in one place means having it in only one place.

      My current machine has the OS installed as C: and the Data stored on D:

      I’ve accomplished this in the following method. Changed the default location of my documents to my D: drive. I’ve also change the default location for Libraries (Music.Library, Pictures.Library and Video.Library) to the corresponding directory under My documents on the D: drive. Directions on how to do this are readily available on the internet.

      Now for programs that like their data in specific locations and balk when you try and change that locations or when I just don’t want to fight reconfiguring the default data location I use the symbolic link feature in the NTFS file system.

      For those not familiar with this run over to PCMag website and search for a utility called DiskJunction. The short description is symbolic links allow you to create a folder that is actually a link to another folder in a different location. Programs cannot tell the difference between symbolic linked folder and regular folder so from the software’s point of view you still have a default installation with the data in the default location when in actuality the data is on my data drive.
      I’ve used this feature for lots of programs but two easy examples are:
      Outlook: My data files are actually located on my D: drive but as far as Outlook knows it’s still on my C: drive under the default directory because I created a Symlink from the default folder to my data drive directory.

      Microsoft Street & Trips 2010: I moved the map data files in the same manner but in this case I placed them in a folder separate from my data. My reasoning is simple this is static data and doesn’t truly need to be backup repeated when I backup my OS via partition imaging. I end up with a smaller partition image, faster backup times. etc. So I only backup this static data once not repeated with my incremental backups.

      As for Data backup it a snap just backup “My Documents” folder to another drive and I have everything including my email and another other data that would normally be buried deep within the OS file folder structures. So this data which really need frequent backups is easily done without have to backup the OS at the same time.

      So using SymLinks I can do standard installations on software but still have my data where I want it.

    • #1224778

      Here’s my strategy for separating Windows core files and data:

      First, I leave C:Program Files just where it is. I don’t fool around with deep registry settings on this because when I get Windows updates I want them to go to their expected location. Changing this can result in unexpected and undesired snafu’s. Permanent ones.

      Whenever I install an app I direct it to the second partition, we’ll call it: EProgram Files.

      Everything installable goes there. I just change the C: to an E: and it goes there, leaving the C: partition alone. Also on E: go my Documents.

      Another partition is F: There go the music files and some of the larger picture folders.

      The last partition is G: There goes anything that doesn’t obviously fit in on the other partitions.

      This makes it much, much quicker and easier for defragging, also for backups and restores. (If you have to restore your C: drive to yesterday you don’t lose personal data.)

      RECAP:
      C: is the Windows original installation folder. Leave it alone.
      E:Program Files is the personal app folder. Anything I install goes there.
      F: is for music and large folders
      G: is for miscellaneous.

      That’s my $0.02.

    • #1224794

      Just to add some additional info. I have add corrupted OSes, bad hard drives, user error and many other issues both personally and professionally. Even though I have separated my data and OS on different partitions, I also back up daily to one of two external hard drives. I use two because I keep one in my car and I swap the drives every Sunday. I have been keeping the extra one in my car ever since a good friend had their house hit by lightning and effectively burn to the ground losing everything.. (And I have not had any problems with environmental issues) There is a lot more that could be talked about relative to backing up and using external hard drives, but I don’t want to hijack this thread which has had some good discussion.

      • #1224887

        I have been keeping the extra one in my car ever since a good friend had their house hit by lightning and effectively burn to the ground losing everything..

        But suppose the lightning hits a tree, and it falls on your car?

    • #1224819

      Post #56 from “Partitioning Windows 7” follows:

      Here’s a quick (or not) exercise for anyone; if you have only one hard drive in your PC, remove it, replace it with a new drive and completely restore your system. Time yourself. If you have two drives, remove your OS drive, replace it with a new drive and completely restore your system. Again, time yourself.

      If you rely on an external drive for backup, pronounce it dead for purposes of this exercise, and perform the above.

      My point is that you will never know how well your backup regimen works or what flaws it hides until you are forced to depend on it. I have used mine from time to time over the years, I also test it from time to time, and it has evolved into the scheme I use now.

      From that same thread, this is post #58

      As you can see from the original post, it’s not off topic at all; in fact, it’s dead-on.

      Your statement about inefficiency is really at the heart of the matter for me. I’ve been doing this stuff in one form or another since before there was a Windows. No matter what use one may have for a PC, sooner or later there is more than likely going to be something on the hard drive that the user does not want to lose.

      During the short lifetime of this thread, I lost another hard drive. It was on my main desktop that the whole family uses, and it was the drive with the Windows 7 OS on it. At first I thought it was the motherboard (multiple beeps and boops from the system speaker on a startup and failure to POST) and replaced it with what turned out to be a DOA new motherboard. It wouldn’t POST even with nothing but RAM and the graphics card. After the second motherboard arrived (and a whole bunch of step-by-step troubleshooting) I found that it would POST with only one SATA drive plugged in, and I could boot into XP. The Windows 7 SATA drive would stop the POST dead in its tracks. It would spin up on startup and the head would move, but there was something wrong in a major way. The freezer trick didn’t work, either.

      New drive installed, I split it up into the same number of partitions as the old drive, formatted them, and restored my Windows 7 image from 4 DVD’s into a 36GB partition. My main Program Files folder for Windows 7 is on the other SATA drive, the one with the XP OS installation (I’m still in the middle of what I referrenced in my posts #7, #12 and #14).

      As for the other partitions on the dead drive, one held the Program Files folder for XP. The contents of that partition hadn’t changed since I installed Windows 7; I haven’t installed any new programs in XP since that time. The latest drive image for that partition is from last year, but is still up to date, on 14 DVD’s. I restored that one. Another partition is one I use for video editing, and that is one that I don’t backup, since I burn the final product of the video editing to DVD anyway. Another partition is a file archive, and that one is backed up on DVD’s. I can restore it whenever I have time.

      My point in this long-winded story is that other than the time wasted because of the DOA “new” motherboard (my son used my laptop for his schoolwork in the interval), I was basically back in business with Windows 7 in the time it takes to diagnose and replace a dead hard drive and for the DVD drive to read 4 DVD’s. I didn’t lose any programs or settings, no data files, nothing of any significance.

      Having multiple partitions spread across a couple of drives and frequently used files copied and spread across PC’s in a home network decreases the potential and severity of loss, lowers the frequency of backing up and the volume of backup media. And it enhances the ability to get back up and running quickly after a major failure. I’m posting this from that PC.

      From that thread, mercyh spun off the thread, “Backup best practices for Win7[/url]“. I feel that all three of these threads are like a bowl of spagetti, because to me they are intricately interrelated.
      [/font]
      My reasons for moving the Users folders off C: is the same as my reasons for moving Program Files off C: and also moving Windowswinsxs off of C: and all the other partitioning and carving up Windows that I do. It has to do with stability, reliability, and recovery. As far as backup, my level of comfort is one that will allow me to restore a system (to the condition it was in today or yesterday) to bare metal. In other words, I want to be able to go from a pile of various hardware parts to a system that boots, runs and operates just like my system ran yesterday, with all my files, photos, etc. right where I expect them to be.

      I am not by any means saying that my way is the best way for any and everyone. I’m saying that it works for me, and it meets the standards that I have set for myself and my own systems, and has for a number of years, now. I dig into the registry and edit it to make Windows work the way I want it to, and, it just works. Windows Update works. Updates for all my other apps work. My systems are stable, and I have no performance degradation over time.

      But, Microsoft does not support the configuration. For me, that’s not a problem. Your mileage may vary.

      The two threads I linked also have some interesting information.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1224845

      Hi bbearen,

      I’ve been reading through your “Set 7 Free” procedure. I’m still on Vista, but, obviously the same principles apply.

      I notice that you don’t mention the recursive links that Microsoft had in Vista, i.e.

      Directory of C:UsersEdAppDataLocal
      Application Data [C:UsersEdAppDataLocal]

      and

      Directory of C:ProgramData
      Application Data [C:ProgramData]

      Do these not exist in Windows 7?

      Did Microsoft finally do some testing before issuing a new version?

      Ed

      • #1224964

        Hi bbearen,

        I’ve been reading through your “Set 7 Free” procedure. I’m still on Vista, but, obviously the same principles apply.

        I notice that you don’t mention the recursive links that Microsoft had in Vista, i.e.

        Directory of C:UsersEdAppDataLocal
        Application Data [C:UsersEdAppDataLocal]

        and

        Directory of C:ProgramData
        Application Data [C:ProgramData]

        Do these not exist in Windows 7?

        Did Microsoft finally do some testing before issuing a new version?

        Ed

        Recursive links do exist in Windows 7. However, in using Juntion Points to relocate the folders, it becomes necessary to eliminate the recursive Junction Points. Otherwise, they will build enormous self-referrencing folder structures on the target drive(s). The simplest way to prevent this behavior was to eliminate the recursive Juntion Points on C: drive entirely.

        As a side note, it was quite interesting to observe the behavior of these self-referrencing structures; in Windows Explorer, each time one of these folders was selected in the left pane, as the contents were displayed in the right pane, another subfolder set to the selected folder would appear in the left pane. In toying with this behavior, I built a 17-layer deep structure, all containing exact daughter copies of the initial structure.

        It was obvious that this behavior was not beneficial, and the easiest way to eliminate the behavior was to eliminate the recursive Junction Points on the C: drive. Since my replacement Junction Points all pointed to a different drive, the recursive nature was unnecessary. And that eliminated the ever-expanding self-referrencing folder structure on the target drive.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

        • #1225038

          Recursive links do exist in Windows 7. However, in using Juntion Points to relocate the folders, it becomes necessary to eliminate the recursive Junction Points. Otherwise, they will build enormous self-referrencing folder structures on the target drive(s). The simplest way to prevent this behavior was to eliminate the recursive Juntion Points on C: drive entirely.

          As a side note, it was quite interesting to observe the behavior of these self-referrencing structures; in Windows Explorer, each time one of these folders was selected in the left pane, as the contents were displayed in the right pane, another subfolder set to the selected folder would appear in the left pane. In toying with this behavior, I built a 17-layer deep structure, all containing exact daughter copies of the initial structure.

          It was obvious that this behavior was not beneficial, and the easiest way to eliminate the behavior was to eliminate the recursive Junction Points on the C: drive. Since my replacement Junction Points all pointed to a different drive, the recursive nature was unnecessary. And that eliminated the ever-expanding self-referrencing folder structure on the target drive.

          “Interesting” doesn’t do justice to the screwups these cause. I’m in the process of applying your procedure, and, as I’ve never used the Easy Transfer Wizard before, I was a little leery about deleting the Users folder on C: before testing out the new setup, so I’m using Robocopy to back it up to a spare partition first. Although I’d deleted the junction point for Application Data from my C:UsersEdAppDataLocal folder previously, I’d neglected to do the same for the Administrator and All Users folders. Result: hang on “file name too long” for C:UsersAll UsersAppDataLocalApplication DataApplication DataApplication Data… etc., etc.

          I’m totally baffled as to why the junction points inside C:UsersEdAppDataLocal exist, except to confuse us. Vista (and Win7) doesn’t use them natively, they’re supposed to allow for backwards compatibility, They shouldn’t be there. Instead, C:UsersEdLocal Settings should be a normal directory instead of a junction point, and the junction points in AppDataLocal should be in that directory. By the same token, all the junction points in ProgramData should, I believe, be in the UsersAll Users directory instead, and it should also be a normal directory.

          Belatedly, I’ve deleted the junction point for Application data from the AppDataLocal directory in all other user accounts; Having said that, I now realize that wasn’t the correct thing to do, and I should have applied what I said in the previous paragraph.

          And, of course, I forgot that C:UsersAll UsersApplication Data was also screwed up because of the ProgramData recursive junction. So, another hang on “file name too long”. I’ve now rebuilt the UsersAll Users and ProgramData folders as above, using rd and mklink in Command prompt. Thank Zeus for my image files.

          Now, I just have to remember to fix things after restoring the Easy Transfer files. Still on Page 2 of the process, so we’ll just have to wait until I finish to see if I’m right.

          Anyway, it’s martini time…

          Ed

          PS: multiple occurrences (2 directories so far in All Users) of Access Denied in Recovery partition.

          • #1225112

            ”Interesting” doesn’t do justice to the screwups these cause. I’m in the process of applying your procedure, and, as I’ve never used the Easy Transfer Wizard before, I was a little leery about deleting the Users folder on C: before testing out the new setup, so I’m using Robocopy to back it up to a spare partition first. Although I’d deleted the junction point for Application Data from my C:UsersEdAppDataLocal folder previously, I’d neglected to do the same for the Administrator and All Users folders. Result: hang on “file name too long” for C:UsersAll UsersAppDataLocalApplication DataApplication DataApplication Data… etc., etc.

            I’m totally baffled as to why the junction points inside C:UsersEdAppDataLocal exist, except to confuse us. Vista (and Win7) doesn’t use them natively, they’re supposed to allow for backwards compatibility, They shouldn’t be there. Instead, C:UsersEdLocal Settings should be a normal directory instead of a junction point, and the junction points in AppDataLocal should be in that directory. By the same token, all the junction points in ProgramData should, I believe, be in the UsersAll Users directory instead, and it should also be a normal directory.

            Belatedly, I’ve deleted the junction point for Application data from the AppDataLocal directory in all other user accounts; Having said that, I now realize that wasn’t the correct thing to do, and I should have applied what I said in the previous paragraph.

            And, of course, I forgot that C:UsersAll UsersApplication Data was also screwed up because of the ProgramData recursive junction. So, another hang on “file name too long”. I’ve now rebuilt the UsersAll Users and ProgramData folders as above, using rd and mklink in Command prompt. Thank Zeus for my image files.

            Now, I just have to remember to fix things after restoring the Easy Transfer files. Still on Page 2 of the process, so we’ll just have to wait until I finish to see if I’m right.

            Anyway, it’s martini time…

            Ed

            PS: multiple occurrences (2 directories so far in All Users) of Access Denied in Recovery partition.

            If you used the robocopy switches /mir and /xj it would’ve saved you some headache. /mir tells robocopy to mirror all directories, which copies all files and permissions. /xj tells robocopy not to follow the existing junction points during the copy process. Syntax –> robocopy /mir /xj C:users D:users

            • #1225115

              If you used the robocopy switches /mir and /xj it would’ve saved you some headache. /mir tells robocopy to mirror all directories, which copies all files and permissions. /xj tells robocopy not to follow the existing junction points during the copy process. Syntax –> robocopy /mir /xj C:users D:users

              For robocopy use /E /COPYALL /XJ switches.

              /E copies folders recursively, including empty folders. /COPYALL copies all file information/attributes. /XJ excludes Junction points. Those get everything needed, and nothing unnecessary.

              There are any number of ways of carving up Windows wrong, and only a couple of ways that will actually work. Some seemingly innoccuous things will really throw a clod in the churn. Doing the steps out of order will spin it out.

              Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
              We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

            • #1225222

              For robocopy use /E /COPYALL /XJ switches.

              /E copies folders recursively, including empty folders. /COPYALL copies all file information/attributes. /XJ excludes Junction points. Those get everything needed, and nothing unnecessary.

              There are any number of ways of carving up Windows wrong, and only a couple of ways that will actually work. Some seemingly innoccuous things will really throw a clod in the churn. Doing the steps out of order will spin it out.

              I thought the /mir switch did the same thing as the /e and /copyall switches, at least by your description. I’m not an expert at most of the DOS commands so I have to look them up from time to time. I got the info from the lifehacker link I posted earlier. Thanks for the correction.

            • #1225231

              I thought the /mir switch did the same thing as the /e and /copyall switches, at least by your description. I’m not an expert at most of the DOS commands so I have to look them up from time to time. I got the info from the lifehacker link I posted earlier. Thanks for the correction.

              /mir mirrors a directory tree, equivalent to /E plus /Purge.

              /Purge deletes destination files and directories that no longer exist in the source. Not really useful for what we want to do.

              Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
              We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

            • #1225310

              /mir mirrors a directory tree, equivalent to /E plus /Purge.

              /Purge deletes destination files and directories that no longer exist in the source. Not really useful for what we want to do.

              To me, /purge won’t do anything at all since robocopy is making an exact copy of C:Users to, let’s say, D:Users on another partition or drive that doesn’t already have the Users directory on it. It might if there were some other switches used or if robocopy was used to make an incremental backup of a directory. Maybe I’m misunderstanding it. I’m not trying to be argumentative, I’m just trying to understand the switches better since you brought up another way to perform this.

              I found this site that seems to have a complete list of commands/ switches for the current command line. –> http://ss64.com/nt/robocopy.html I’ve been going through some of the stuff on there to learn it better.

              Kevin

            • #1225313

              To me, /purge won’t do anything at all since robocopy is making an exact copy of C:Users to, let’s say, D:Users on another partition or drive that doesn’t already have the Users directory on it. It might if there were some other switches used or if robocopy was used to make an incremental backup of a directory. Maybe I’m misunderstanding it. I’m not trying to be argumentative, I’m just trying to understand the switches better since you brought up another way to perform this.

              The aim is to copy the Users folder and all subfolders, including any empty folders and folder structure that are built during installation; that’s where the /E switch comes in.

              The installation of Windows 7 also creates several Users subfolders and sub-subfolders with files. We want to copy all of those files, including all the file attributes so that we don’t alter any permissions or file access for the system or for users. That’s where the /Copyall switch comes in.

              We do not want to copy any Junction Points, because we are going to create our own Junction Points. That’s where /XJ comes in. Otherwise, Junction Points are included by default.

              For our purposes, it would indeed be desirable that /Purge doesn’t do anything. Also, for our purposes, there is no need whatsoever to use the /Purge switch in the first place. If we don’t use the /Purge switch, there’s certainly no chance at all that it might do something.

              We only need /E /Copyall /XJ in order to move the entire Users folder (except for any Junction Points), all its folder, subfolders, all files in their proper stucture location with all their Data, Attributes, Timestamps, NTFS access control list (ACL), Owner information and Audit information.

              We don’t need /Purge. Less is more. Here’s another Robocopy guide.

              Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
              We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

            • #1225354

              The aim is to copy the Users folder and all subfolders, including any empty folders and folder structure that are built during installation; that’s where the /E switch comes in.

              The installation of Windows 7 also creates several Users subfolders and sub-subfolders with files. We want to copy all of those files, including all the file attributes so that we don’t alter any permissions or file access for the system or for users. That’s where the /Copyall switch comes in.

              We do not want to copy any Junction Points, because we are going to create our own Junction Points. That’s where /XJ comes in. Otherwise, Junction Points are included by default.

              For our purposes, it would indeed be desirable that /Purge doesn’t do anything. Also, for our purposes, there is no need whatsoever to use the /Purge switch in the first place. If we don’t use the /Purge switch, there’s certainly no chance at all that it might do something.

              We only need /E /Copyall /XJ in order to move the entire Users folder (except for any Junction Points), all its folder, subfolders, all files in their proper stucture location with all their Data, Attributes, Timestamps, NTFS access control list (ACL), Owner information and Audit information.

              We don’t need /Purge. Less is more. Here’s another Robocopy guide.

              I see. It makes perfect sense now. You want to use only the switches necessary to do the job with nothing left to hold your breath over after it’s done. /E /COPYALL /XJ is the ticket to sucess. Thanks again. πŸ™‚

          • #1225170

            ”Interesting” doesn’t do justice to the screwups these cause. I’m in the process of applying your procedure, and, as I’ve never used the Easy Transfer Wizard before, I was a little leery about deleting the Users folder on C: before testing out the new setup, so I’m using Robocopy to back it up to a spare partition first. Although I’d deleted the junction point for Application Data from my C:UsersEdAppDataLocal folder previously, I’d neglected to do the same for the Administrator and All Users folders. Result: hang on “file name too long” for C:UsersAll UsersAppDataLocalApplication DataApplication DataApplication Data… etc., etc.

            Using the Easy Transfer Wizard is an important step. Following the procedures step by step is also important.

            I’ve done some editing of the procedure for clarification.

            Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
            We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1234188

      As a novice, self taught not any formal training Dummy, the best advice I can get from all of this about the WinSXS folder and any other part of the O/S is, “just leave it alone and allow Windows to manage it for you.” I have been reading about that folder and what it is for or/er do for the system is not transferable or movable, leave it on C:Windows dir.

      Now read this post, that if you do make any changes or moves then you had better know what you are doing and how to do it so you do not mess with your system. Because those posting here are smarter than the average bear, er, user of these systems you can do it and get away with setting it up for your self. As Ted Myers has asked about an article in his post #2 at the begining of this thread and takes you to Keith’s webpage and gives a warning about attempting any of these actions, link is at “this article“, for you to read and understand. I am not going into that here as it will take me too long to attempt to explain. Read Keith’s “WARNING” before attempting any of these operations discussed in this thread.

      I am just attempting to pass on some info to protect anyone like myself from attempting any of these actions. I have read many threads in the Lounge even some that were on other websites that tell you this cannot be done without screwing your system into a BSOD hole. It may not happen immediately but you need to know what you are doing and HOW to do it correctly. What works for one may NOT work for any other.

      Personally I was wanting to move some of these large or gigantic files or folders that are constantly increasing in size to another drive so Windows could have that room for growth. My friend that is much more knowledgeable about these systems than I started asking me what this is all about and why is the WinSXS folder growing so fast and has surpassed the original install of Windows, on his system, only after a few days of operations. We both started reading about it and have come to the conclusion “leave it alone” unless you know what you are doing and how to do it safely.

      I am posting this for others to read that are a novice and do not fully understand what is going on with this folder and these NEW systems, Vista and Win7, mine is Win7 64bit. Do read Keith’s “WARNING” at ‘this article’ in the second paragraph of this post. He puts it very plain and to the point.

      People that have been posting in this thread about moving or changing any part of these systems are very intelligent and knowledgeable users and I enjoy reading what others are doing to see if I can do it also, this is one point that is requiring much more knowledge than I have for these systems. Just want to advise any other that may not be as knowledgeable as these people are to BEWARE!!! and “BE-WARNED!!”

      Thank you for reading my rambling post and for those of you that are SMARTER than the average bear and discussing how to do some of these things. Just think that warning should also be given.

      "Infinite CREATOR" cast "Loving Light" upon thee
      TIA, CU L8R, 'd' "LoneWanderer"
      "Only you can control your future." Dr. Seuss
      NOT a leader,
      NOT a BLIND follower,
      Join US and LIVE this LIFE as ONE!
      Original author Unknown

      • #1234558

        I am posting this for others to read that are a novice and do not fully understand what is going on with this folder and these NEW systems, Vista and Win7, mine is Win7 64bit. Do read Keith’s “WARNING” at ‘this article’ in the second paragraph of this post. He puts it very plain and to the point.

        People that have been posting in this thread about moving or changing any part of these systems are very intelligent and knowledgeable users and I enjoy reading what others are doing to see if I can do it also, this is one point that is requiring much more knowledge than I have for these systems. Just want to advise any other that may not be as knowledgeable as these people are to BEWARE!!! and “BE-WARNED!!”

        Thank you for reading my rambling post and for those of you that are SMARTER than the average bear and discussing how to do some of these things. Just think that warning should also be given.

        There are numerous warnings throughout the thread, and the links I have posted also include a number of warnings.

        FYI I have been running this system as described in the thread for months, without a single BSOD, system hang, program hang, nothing. It just works, the way I want it to work.

        I have warned in this thread and on my site that these procedure are for advanced users who understand what is happening, and why, and where.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1245382

      bbearren,
      I have not attempted any of your instructions,but; have given you a ‘thumbs up’ for your details and being very up front about not attempting this lest you are a very very very experienced user. I consider myself to be an experienced user and not afraid of editing the registry files, but; with this as involved as it is, experience is not going to do much good if you do not understand all that could go wrong or how it is all tied together.

      After learning more about this and how to do it to my advantage it may work for me, there are many things to learn yet.

      A couple of questions, if I may? Do the partitions all need be placed on the same drive or may there be another drive for some? I know Windows sees a partition as a different drive. Also could you give some ideas as to the different sizes for the different partitions?

      My system is a Dell Inspiron 531s and a 1564 laptop with Win7 64 bit and 320 gig drives. Dual core Intel processors. Also have extra drives that could be used for some of this if possible.

      "Infinite CREATOR" cast "Loving Light" upon thee
      TIA, CU L8R, 'd' "LoneWanderer"
      "Only you can control your future." Dr. Seuss
      NOT a leader,
      NOT a BLIND follower,
      Join US and LIVE this LIFE as ONE!
      Original author Unknown

      • #1245388

        bbearren,
        I have not attempted any of your instructions,but; have given you a ‘thumbs up’ for your details and being very up front about not attempting this lest you are a very very very experienced user. I consider myself to be an experienced user and not afraid of editing the registry files, but; with this as involved as it is, experience is not going to do much good if you do not understand all that could go wrong or how it is all tied together.

        After learning more about this and how to do it to my advantage it may work for me, there are many things to learn yet.

        A couple of questions, if I may? Do the partitions all need be placed on the same drive or may there be another drive for some? I know Windows sees a partition as a different drive. Also could you give some ideas as to the different sizes for the different partitions?

        My system is a Dell Inspiron 531s and a 1564 laptop with Win7 64 bit and 320 gig drives. Dual core Intel processors. Also have extra drives that could be used for some of this if possible.

        You can use multiple physical hard drives, or just multiple partitions, it doesn’t really mattter since Windows will see them as drives. You will get better performance, however, if you have two physical hard drives. On my bench machine I have a 320GB drive divided into paritions. On my main machine, I have a 320GB and a 500GB drive with a total of 13 partitions between the two. As for sizes, keep in mind the need for expansion as time goes by.

        I would recommend at least 70GB for Program Files, 30GB for Users.

        I can’t stress enough the need for drive images after each successful step. If you make a wrong move, you don’t need to start over, just go back to your last good image.

        I worked these methods out over a period of weeks, and I made a number of wrong turns along the way, but I made new drive images at every successful level of the procedures. When things went south on me, I reverted to my last good drive image, and moved on from there.

        That is the main reason I have stressed that the steps should be taken in the order I have presented. If you do the “right” thing in the “wrong” sequence, Windows will crash on you.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1245400

      bbearren,
      Thank you for this information and in my redundent post above, I know you have advised all about the “Warning!!” and also know many will only spot read some of these lengthy threads. Just wanted to reaffirm to all readers.

      "Infinite CREATOR" cast "Loving Light" upon thee
      TIA, CU L8R, 'd' "LoneWanderer"
      "Only you can control your future." Dr. Seuss
      NOT a leader,
      NOT a BLIND follower,
      Join US and LIVE this LIFE as ONE!
      Original author Unknown

    • #1275937

      I have a related question. First, let me explain my situation:

      I have 4 internal drives (C:, D:, E:, and F:), and one external (G:). I recently bought an SSD and replaced my system drive with it, and did a fresh, clean install of Windows 7 onto the SSD. During the setup process, I used Audit Mode and a small unattend.xml file to have Windows itself set up the Users folder on my F: drive.

      Now, that F: drive is throwing S.M.A.R.T. errors, and looks to be failing, so I’m trying to move my Users folder from F: To E:, preferably without reinstalling Windows again. Since F: will have to be removed and replaced (fortunately it’s still covered under WD’s 5-year warranty), symlinksjunctions won’t work. Is there a way to do this, or am I stuck reinstalling Windows?

      • #1275968

        I have a related question. First, let me explain my situation:

        I have 4 internal drives (C:, D:, E:, and F:), and one external (G:). I recently bought an SSD and replaced my system drive with it, and did a fresh, clean install of Windows 7 onto the SSD. During the setup process, I used Audit Mode and a small unattend.xml file to have Windows itself set up the Users folder on my F: drive.

        Now, that F: drive is throwing S.M.A.R.T. errors, and looks to be failing, so I’m trying to move my Users folder from F: To E:, preferably without reinstalling Windows again. Since F: will have to be removed and replaced (fortunately it’s still covered under WD’s 5-year warranty), symlinksjunctions won’t work. Is there a way to do this, or am I stuck reinstalling Windows?

        The procedures at Set 7 Free will work for you if you understand how it works and follow the instructions as written.

        Each folder move is a separate process; you don’t have to move all the folders if you don’t want to, you can just move one. In your case, you would simply be moving the folder from F: instead of moving it fr0m C:, as outlined in the instructions.

        But a much simpler method would be for you to make a drive image of your F: drive using an application that runs outside Windows, replace the drive and restore that image to the replacement drive, all outside Windows.

        Then when you booted Windows, your system would never know the difference; F: drive would still be F: drive.

        For future reference, I’ve found it to be quite useful to use drive letters farther down the alphabet for my moved special folders. That way, when a drive is removed, or a drive is added, it won’t affect the drive letters that Windows is normally looking for. On this machine, my Users folder is located on drive U:. My Program Files folder is located on drive V:. The way your drives are lettered, if you removed drive E:, drive F: would then become E: when you boot back into Windows.

        I plan to do some editing on Set 7 Free that will include that type of information as soon as I get some time.

        —I have edited the intro to Set 7 Free to clarify that each folder move is a separate process. There is more editing to be done on the site, but I felt that it would be helpful to make that particular point clear.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1413387

      I’m having the same problem with my newly-installed Win 7 64-bit setup. I have an SSD drive as C: and a hard drive as D:. I’m logged in as the sole user, an administrator. I right click on the C:Public folder and there is no location tab, so I can’t move that. Then I right click on the C:PublicPublic Documents folder (and other public type folders) and there is a location tab, with the name apparently editable. However I cannot change or delete the characters.

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