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Windows 7: Tough Question

27 Mar 2011   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Tough Question

Hi all.

i recently bought a laptop so i though that i should keep c: drive for windows 7 system with about 40 Gb and to install everything else to d:

I have done the same in my desktop pc but after heavy use i see the c: free space running low as time pass by because almost all programs i install tend to use the windows default paths (e.g. c:\users\useraname\utilname\e.t.c.) to keep some portions like logs ,saves e.t.c

This is really annoying because i have to manually go in every program options and change the various paths of the applications to save to d: accordingly. But not only this ,there are worst like for example the pc webcam saves by default whatever i save in c without having an option to change the default save directory and in case of video you understand that it consume much space from the little 40 Gb c: partition.

Now i am thinking of possible solutions and i see the below:
1. Increase space in partition c:
Well i dont see this as a good solution cause i still have to enter each program options and change the paths to d:

2. Change User Profile - Change Default Location to d:
This seems like a good solution especially on new pc's but for already working pc's might not be so good since i will have to reinstall all programs which might not be working correctly trying to find their data in c:\ locations

3. Install windows in a d: partiton leaving all rest of the disk space to c.
I am not sure that this can be done since i have a suspicion that windows will make the default directories in d: and so i will have the same problem but with reversed the drive letters.

I will be very interested to hear your opinions about this subject and what you do.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2011   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 OEM --> RTM clean install

You're free to do as you wish, of course. In my case, I partitioned my 320Gb HD to 155Gb C: windows and all programs, the 140-odd Gigs for Data. My C drive is 50G occupied, 105G free. Data is on a seperate partition with multiple backups. I've imaged my C drive once i got it how I liked it, so should disaster strike, the last image and one or 2 updates later and I'm where I was.

I maintain my C:\users\allend66 but make copies whenever something is saved there. It serves me well, and it's low maintenance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2011   #3

Windows 7

I leave my hard-drive as one partition as it is only 500GB. Also I am used to it being that way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Mar 2011   #4

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

1) 40gb may be a trifle cramped for the OS partition particularly if you have many large programs installed. You can recover substantial hard disk space with some simple steps.

Hard Disk Space - Free Up and Recover

2) It makes sense to expand C: because it'll take care of many of your worries.

3) In many apps default save paths can be changed but where you cant you'll have to do it manually. As for videos they must be moved.

4) Perhaps symlinks (hard links) can be useful here.

Complete Guide to Symbolic Links (symlinks) on Windows or Linux - How-To Geek
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2011   #5
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theobserver View Post
Hi all.

i recently bought a laptop so i though that i should keep c: drive for windows 7 system with about 40 Gb and to install everything else to d:

This is quite a major problem with Windows, and there is not much you can do about it. I have tried most of the "work-arounds", and they often result in unstable systems.

Until Microsoft stops installing these "Default" folders, you have to live with it. Windows is a very "dirty" system, in that it constantly generates various clutter with no easy systemic way to remove all the results.

I would advise you to use at least 60 GB for the system. 40 GB is too cramped.

The only reasonable workaround is to ignore the "default" folders. ("My music", "My pictures", and use your own folders on another drive/partition ( Other drive is better). You must use something like CCleaner now and again to keep your drives free of accumulated rubbish. The system drive cleaner is also pretty good.

CCleaner - Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download

Redirecting, ( Changing the default folder locations ), is not a good idea in my experience.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2011   #6

Win 7 Ult + Starter, XP Pro +Home, 2kAS, Linux Mint 8, SuperOS

Windows 7 offers the ability to use virtual hard disks as storage volumes. These are more flexible than partitions since they can be moved, copied and deleted like files, or attached as hard disks to virtual or physical machines or attached as subfolders within folders anywhere on the system.

Say that you wanted to save your videos in a folder c:\users\user1\My Stuff

Open the disk management console:

click start and type diskmgmt.msc

Select Actions, Create VHD, and you will be asked to provide a location, size and disk format. Say that you want to keep all data on drive D, and you want to call the new VHD D:\stuff.vhd, and give it a size of 20GB, with a fixed size format.

The file is created on D:\ and in the Disk management a new disk appears, called Disk 1, if your system only has one real hard drive already, Disk 0.

The disk has no storage volume allocated, so right click Disk 1 and add a new simple volume.

The wizard asks the size, and then on the next screen where you want to assign a drive letter or path, or if you do not want either which would create a hidden volume.

Select Mount in the following empty NTFS folder' and Browse to C:\Users\User1, and make a new folder called 'My Stuff'.

On Next, and give the volume a name like MyStuff, and let it quick format the volume, enable compression if you wish, and finish the wizard. A few seconds later and it is complete. You can exit the disk management console.

If you explore c:\users\user1, you will find the My Stuff folder with a hard disk icon and a 20GB size reading, but otherwise used just like an ordinary folder.

On D:\ there will be the 20GB stuff.vhd file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 OEM --> RTM clean install

@fafhrd: I use Truecrypt to essentially do what you're saying. Can you encrypt VHD's?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2011   #8

Win 7 Ult + Starter, XP Pro +Home, 2kAS, Linux Mint 8, SuperOS

I'm stuck on my netbook at the moment, but a quick google says that Bitlocker can encrypt VHDs.

Download Confirmation

Create a Portable, Secure File Store in Windows 7 &ndash; Part III

I would imagine that other cryptos could be used too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #9

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Thank you all for your answers.

Mike Connor's opinion has covered me completely.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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