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Windows 7: Should I keep My Documents on C and Videos, Music etc on D ?

18 Jan 2015   #1
adri123

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Should I keep My Documents on C and Videos, Music etc on D ?

Hello all,

Two partitions: C(OS,PROGRAMS) and D(DATA).
Reason: Backups. So i can reinstall an image of C while keeping untouched my personal files.
Question: Is it better to keep the My Documents folder on C ?
Reason: Some programs tend to save their settings and parameters in that folder. In case of crash, I want to be able to put back my OS and programs, and to have them working exactly like before and not having to reajust all of their settings!, or even worse, having some programs bug because of missing/incoherent settings.

Idea: Keeping the My Documents folder on C. Having another "RealDocuments" folder on D where I actually put my personal documents.


What are your thoughts and advises ?

Idea I don't want to implement: Moving the whole Users folder on the D partition.
Reason: It's a system folder. It's considered part of the OS. Therefore If i want to make a backup of the OS and programs I also have to backup the entire D parition which is much bigger. I won't do that.


What do you think ?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jan 2015   #2
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello Adri,

I'd say it's best to leave your user folders on C: to avoid getting them corrupted.

I find the easiest way for this would be:
  • Create a new folder on D.
  • Include the new folder in the library (ex: Videos) you want.
  • Make the included new folder the default save location for the library.
  • Repeat for any other folder you like.
This way you can access these folders in your libraries, and the folders and the files in them are actually saved on D.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2015   #3
adri123

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Hello Brink,

thank you for your reply and idea. It seems very simple and easy and indeed no corruption-related problems can occur that way.

Question: So let's say in the Music library I'll have the original "Music" folder and the "MusicOnD" folder. If I set the second one to be the default save location, do you think there is a probability that some programs will also use it as default save location for their own settings. Thus recreating the original problem of having program settings in user folders. I don't know if it's the case. I guess it depends on how each software is made right ?

Actually the computer is for someone else and I'm afraid he'll get confused with two "same" folders for everything. Two music folders, two pictures folders etc..
I understand we're going into details here and therefore it becomes relative and subjective according to each user's ability to cope with these solutions.

Personnaly I'm not a fan of libraries. I like to keep things simple.

So what do you think, making a folder the default save location also changes the default location for the programs and their own settings ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

18 Jan 2015   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

All user folders should be on a data partition. Then you don't lose them when the system goes south.

And use the method that Brink suggested. Leave the folders on C as default then the OS/Programs stuff does not get mixed up with your own stuff.

Quote:
Personally I'm not a fan of libraries. I like to keep things simple.
Libraries are the best thing since sliced bread. Nothing could be simpler. What do you do with your 'simple' approach if your user files are spread over 5 disks/partitions. Example my images library:


Attached Images
Should I keep My Documents on C and Videos, Music etc on D ?-2015-01-18_1856.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2015   #5
adri123

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Thanks whs.

Question 1: According to your experience, if separate, "real" user-folders are created on D, isn't it problematic for an average user that these folders where his stuff will be, won't have special icons? (music, videos, pictures etc). Won't that be confusing ? Because libraries do not appear in every situation and software as the default locations. Therefore he will have to chose from two music folders let's say. One with icon (the original that should be kept empty), and one without icon, where he should save his file

Question 2: What about the Desktop folder in your solution ? On my computer I have moved it to D too, so that it's backed up with the rest of the data when i back up the D partition. Average users (and not only them!) usually have folders and files on their desktop... With your solution they won't be backed up!

My goal is for the whole thing to be:
- VERY EASY for an average user
- AND easy for me to back up, therefore coherent in its design
- AND with no corruption of program settings in case of image reinstall

By "easy for the user", i mean that, for example: I don't want to give him back the laptop saying: "don't save anything on the desktop, because i haven't set up the computer that way and it won't be backed up." That's not ok. Yet it's what you advise.

I ask you guys because you have a lot of personnal experience and i guess also a lot of experience with setting up computers for others, average users and seeing how they deal with it.

So I want to see what works and what doesn't. In real life. It seems it's a compromise thing.
I don't like parial solutions but it seems it's always the case. I could do what you say, but make an exception for the desktop and move it to D.

But if i make exceptions, then why not go with my initial idea of moving everything to D, but making an exception for My Documents and keep it on C, because it's that one that seems to get all the program settings. The others not. Almost never it seems. So the corruption % is pretty low for all folders except My Documents, do you agree ?

Don't worry, i won't discuss this for ages yet it's very fruitful to see what you people advise. Get other brains on my stuff.

So please feed my mind a little more, taking into account the remarks above which i think are relevant.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2015   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Q1 - I never had this difficulty. The folders have different names like in my case My Documents and Whs documents (see picture)

Should I keep My Documents on C and Videos, Music etc on D ?-2015-01-18_1856.png


Q2 - I guess you can do that. I make an image of the C partition at least once per week. So those folders can always be found in my images. That is the #1 advice you should give your guy - image, image image. Then you are safe and can always backpaddle. Use my tutorial as guideline.

Imaging with free Macrium

And there is no problem to discuss this 'for ages'. That's all I do all day long, LOL.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2015   #7
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

The only problem about moving your user folders is that whatever partition or drive you move them to will now be considered a system drive, and would need to be included in any system image to avoid issues.

Yeah, libraries would be the simplest option to use without worrying about losing or breaking anything. Libraries are designed to be a collection center of folders from different locations that can be accessed from the one library location.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2015   #8
adri123

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post

Q2 - I guess you can do that.
What ? Leaving the desktop as it is ? and image it often together with the OS image ?

Q2B: So when i make an image of an entire drive, is it still possible to go in the archive and take out an individual file ?

Remark: Keeping the desktop where it is and backing it up with OS, is error prone in the sense that having some data on C and some on D, they'll have different backup dates and times.
I may back up C once a week and D daily (FreeFileSync, 10 seconds). So the files backed up of D won't be of the same moment than those of the Desktop. In case they are somehow linked that can be problematic. For example if you have many Word documents as part of a project, and some of them are on the dsktop (C) and some on D.
Go put that back in order in case of crash, if you have several backup wih different dates.
Having [/I]some data on C and some on D[/I] isn't good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2015   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
The only problem about moving your user folders is that whatever partition or drive you move them to will now be considered a system drive, and would need to be included in any system image to avoid issues.
That's why I always recommend to only move the user folders and not the ones that were generated by the system or by programs. And leave the folders on C as default folders. Then you do not run into that problem. And DO NOT move the folders with the location tab in properties.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2015   #10
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote:
The only problem about moving your user folders is that whatever partition or drive you move them to will now be considered a system drive, and would need to be included in any system image to avoid issues.
That's why I always recommend to only move the user folders and not the ones that were generated by the system or by programs. And leave the folders on C as default folders. Then you do not run into that problem. And DO NOT move the folders with the location tab in properties.
I'm just a libraries fan though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Should I keep My Documents on C and Videos, Music etc on D ?




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