• WSGadgetgrl



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    • in reply to: Moving user folders off C: drive #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.

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