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to enhance the data safety and speed etc of my computer i have built about 8 partitons/logical drives on my 160GB hdd. now, the questions. you cannot move the My Documents folder from the boot partition { if you think u have, then u have only created a shortcut}. you can move, or delete, the folders it contains, and build another My Docs folder elsewhere, but it is not the default that xp will use. next, inside the boot drive {prob C: }, u can move Documents and Settings as a whole. is it much disadvantageous in terms of speed to do this? you can move individual folders from inside D&S, but if u leave Default User there, then it will rebuild from this a folder for any new user on C:. the idea is that D&S can get fragmented, so moving it to another partition that holds temporary data could be a help. should Application Data be close to Windows? i know that if u leave xp for 13 mins, it resorts the hdd to bring closer to the system files physically files that it uses most....Any help or ideas?

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Last Post by Catweazle
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sigh. some of that is wrong. i'm confused. u can move SOME of Docs n Setts folders, eg, My docs, which is the target of the desktop icon....{ u open the user's ie. yours, folder under D&S. click on My Docs, and MOVE it; the icon target in desktop properties changes automatically }.....one of the biggies, My Recent Docs is not moveable. a pity....Application Data is not moveable.....I'll get there.....but help n ideas would be appreciated....

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Which Windows version. You can move My Documents to another drive or partition. You can also move the default programs installation location to another drive or partition.

Right-click My Documents and choose 'Properties'. The button is there to enable you to move it.

Do it for any user you like. Create a folder for each user account on the target drive beforehand if you wish to.

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cat, it's XP SP2. and thanks for that. i am learning heaps just by trial and error. i now know that the My Docs folder on desktop is just a mirror of the My Docs folder inside the Docs & Setts folder of the current user. so i have moved all that is possible. windows certainly lets you know what is not possible, or will cause problems, but all seems reversible. does moving the program folder to another partition close by slow down windows?

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You didn't understand what I said. The instructions I gave above will move the entire 'My documents folder to another place of your choice, and also ask you if you want to transfer all the files and folders inside it. You don't need to worry yourself abut the Documents and Settings folder and moving parts of it manually. There is user information in Documents and settings that shouldn't really be moved. They take up bugger all room, and your data files are the important bit to shift!


You can't 'move' the programs you already have installed. You can only change the default install directory with the following registry tweak using Regedit:

1. Navigate to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
2. Find ProgramFilesDir whose default should be C:\Program Files
3. Change this to whatever directory you wish. I changed it to D:\Program Files for example.

Remember you have to reboot for your changes to show.

If you wish to move programs you already have installed, you will need to uninstall then reinstall them.

Neither of these changes will make Windows slower unless the drive you change them to is an old, slow drive.

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cat, thanks for that. moving the target files worked fine. so i moved the temp inet files over also. i had set up in another partition a separate applications folder for programs such as photoshop, nero and other gear that i use a lot. they all work fine, but the system complained when i tried to load up some of the driver programs into it. and vet just refused to play at all. the default pgm folder is still on c:. so i shall consider moving the default pgm folder. is it worth the work, i wonder....?
thanks again.

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Changing the default install directory and then uninstall/reinstalling programs to move them can have a number of benefits. Firstly it helps to keep your Windows partition clean and uncluttered. Secondly it makes the task of creating drive images an simplr one. Your image sets will be smaller and more organised. If you have programs and data files on separate drives or partitions, and your Windows installation gets corrupted and unusable, you need only restore the image of the system partition. Quick, easy, and fully functional again!

Whether or not it's worth the effort is up to you. It depends on the way you use your system.

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cat, i do concur. next rainy day, i'm on it. that looks like being tomorrow.....it's gonna leave the boot partition oversized, but i'm not going to repartition just to reclaim a loose gig. i don't have partition magic or expert to just resize it. no bother.
and thanks for the speedy answers......

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How big is the boot partition? It's a good thing to give Windows elbow room. 10 Gb or so is advised, and I personally am happy to leave it with 20Gb.

I keep Windows and core Microsoft products on the system partition. All data storage and other program storage is kept elsewhere.

I'm a firm believer in adding more drive storage rather than squeezing things into a cramped space :D

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hello, cat. k, it rained, and this is what i have now; remember, i have only one 160GB hd.
c: 5 GB; xp system, active. no other programs or data that was possible to move.
d: 5; ephemera: temps, temp inet, downloads, webpage copies, stuff being immed worked on from deep in disk eg a group of photos....
e: 5; applications: default pgm folder. programs installed, nothing else...
p: 1.5; paging vol...microsoft do recommend this even if u only have the one disk; the orig paging file is still on c:; this is a supplementary one.
f: 5; letters, office generated stuff, accounts...
g: 5; games...the current games pgms and their files....
h: 10; ASX data..company data for stockmarket...my passion is trading...
i: 10; music...downloads, uploads, what i'm listening to....
j: 10; photographs....just the dump file from where i can edit and sort them pre burning them off to catalogue cds.
k: 5; installers....pgms in zips or whatever...downloads, updates, just the stuff i have installed or am considering using...in a folder of their own.
That's it. and it all works! oh!...and S: is the dvd-rw drive...s is for sony, and A: is the floppy...they just won't let them go away, will they?
the partitions are shown in disk order btw. so i have 89GB free for a primary backup file, and i think i shall invest in a small usb external hd for secondary backup. removable, hideable......it seems like a lot of partitions, but it is v easy to navigate like this.....i would appreciate your thoughts and ideas, comments etc. if you have the time. Regards...

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Overkill, and you've obviously needed to go beyond the basic disk, primary partition structure to get that. You can have four primary partitions and I can't really see a need to go beyond that.

Let's look at what you have:

C: D: P:

Should not be any problem if they're all on the system partition. Nice setup you have, of course, but if you clean out temporary files and defrag the partition on a monthly basis, not really necessary. your structure will most likely be getting a performance boost, but I doubt it would be detectable to anything but benchmark testing. Microsoft's comments about moving the pagefile were made BEFORE the era of large, fast, modern hard drives such as your 160Gb one.

E: G: K:

No reason why these can't be folders on the same partition rather than separate partitions.

F: H: I: J:

No reason why these can't be folders on the same partition rather than separate partitions.


Don't get the impression that I'm condemning your partition structure. I'm not. In fact, you're possibly getting a tad more performance from that structure than you would otherwise. But going to the extent that you have is not an activity I'd recommend as necessary.

I'd have a system partition of 10Gb to 20 Gb. On a 160Gb drive you should find that allocating up to 20Gb is no sacrifice at all. Another partition for programs, and split the data partition up if you want.

I would most certainly NOT put backups on the same drive. That seems like a waste of time to me ;)


Edit: P.S. If you REALLY want to move the pagefile, having it on a separate partition on the same drive as your system partition defeats the purpose ;)

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cat, i really appreciate that feedback - this is the first chance i've really had to play around with partitioning, cos of my new, much larger and faster system. i did not expect to get it right first time; now i'll get on with my second review. yes, the structure is 3 primary plus logical drives. [ A small point...because i have not loaded up all my old files yet i was able to rearrange my partitions by the process of copy, shuffle, delete ptn and create; i have read the panic posts courtesy of partition magic usage!.]**

one reason for my structure is that all web-derived information is isolated from critical folders up until the point that i adopt it.....along the same thread, if something fouls a partition then repair is simpler.... but i can cancel p: and boost c: to 10GB . I have found that some games, eg Half-life 2 which i since have considered getting, want up to 5GB, so i'm feeling a little heat right there right now. Already then, it is obvious that i have been too miserly on space [ i've looked backwards, and not forward ]; space is my new luxury. But games come and go also, and i thought it would be convenient to keep their data files right alongside the pgm. Less havoc when i unload, and possibly faster.
Ps... notice how one must use the word “backwards and not “backward? cf “forward? It's not the plural; a mistake there could imply that one is a dill....:)
okay, i'll do a final sortout, use up some more of that embarassing free space....but because i think that i understand enough of this now i shan't need to repost on our private thread.
Thanks again for the advice.

** a good reason for multiple partitions: apart from the one(s) containing installed programs, a reinstall of an op sys should not create the havoc amongst files that i have been reading of...there is some heartache out there...So if anyone else has been following this you might consider it wise to separate the op system, installed programs, and data, Why? Read some of the related threads!
Thanks, cat.

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Placing the temporary and internet files on a separate partiton will not keep nasties 'isolated' from your OS installation. Windows acesses and uses temp file storage no matter where you relocate it to, so if you let in 'nasties' they'll have their way regardless.

Best approach is to use antivirus and anti spyware software tools, and to regularly clean the system. If something fouls the system it's because you weren't careful enough ;)

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