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Windows 7: Want to change location of My Documents and My Music to secondary HDD

06 Apr 2014   #1
Highcountryride

Window 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Want to change location of My Documents and My Music to secondary HDD

Being a procrastinator I have of course waited until the last minute to switch from my Win XP system to my Win 7 Home Premium system.

I built the Win 7 system using a 256 GB SSD as the system/program drive and a secondary 500 GB HDD for data, backups, etc. On my XP system I have a ton of documents, pictures and music, all of course in the My Documents folder. Transferring these files to the Win 7 system and putting them in the default My Documents, My Pictures and my Music folders would probably use up about 125 GB of the SSD space which has already been reduced to about 175 GB because of the system files and programs I have installed on the SSD to take advantage of it's speed.

As I understand it, an SSD drive's speed and efficiency decreases if the drive is over 3/4 full so I would like to locate these folders on the secondary HDD. I have researched considerably the best way to do this and I am still confused about the best way to do this.

Here is a link to an older topic in this forum that gives instructions on how to do this but it is also confusing. For instance, he states (in the Option 2 section): Create a New Folder by right clicking or press and hold on a empty space in the main window there, and click/tap on New and Folder. Name the new folder without spaces (ex: "Music" for My Music) for the user folder that you want to move there. BUT, his screenshot show's naming it My Music. Which is correct? In the same topic, he mentions (at the top of the article) a Tip: If you are just wanting to save HDD space, then you might consider this below to be able to access the files from your libraries with the files actually located where you like instead. This sounds like what I want to do but I'm not sure.

The tip above does seem to have the advantage of including the new Library items in a Windows Backup. Unfortunately I use Acronis and I'm not sure that would be the case for Acronis. No big deal, I can just create a separate backup for those folders.

It sounds to me that the two methods are:
  1. Physically moving the folders to the secondary HDD (per Option 2 in the linked topic).
  2. Creating symbolic links to them on the secondary HDD by adding them to the existing Libraries (have I stated this correctly?).
  3. Would I have issues with using either of the above methods because I'm using Win 7 HP and not Win 7 Pro or Ultimate?

Sorry about the length of the post and I hope it is understandable!

TIA for any replies.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Apr 2014   #2
mrdemon

Windows 7 Home Pre
 
 

To be honest the best way would to be just have them on the 2nd HD and Add them to the Library! But I have "Cut" and pasted the "My Music" and "My Pictures" into other drives and that seems to work just fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2014   #3
Highcountryride

Window 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Yeah, that was what I was thinking. Question I have is would the folders added to the library then be directly accessible from the Start Menu, you know, Start>Documents, Start>Pictures, etc. or would I have to get to them by selecting them in the Documents-Pictures-Music sub-folders?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Apr 2014   #4
BJB

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Yes, they are.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2014   #5
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrdemon View Post
To be honest the best way would to be just have them on the 2nd HD and Add them to the Library! But I have "Cut" and pasted the "My Music" and "My Pictures" into other drives and that seems to work just fine.
That's essentially what I did and it also worked just fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2014   #6
Highcountryride

Window 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrdemon View Post
To be honest the best way would to be just have them on the 2nd HD and Add them to the Library! But I have "Cut" and pasted the "My Music" and "My Pictures" into other drives and that seems to work just fine.
That's essentially what I did and it also worked just fine.
Not quite sure I understand. Are you saying I can just take the existing My Documents, My Music and My Pictures folders on the Windows 7 machine, "Cut" them and the paste them into the Data partition on my secondary HDD? I would then, of course, take all my transferred files from the XP system and put them there, right?

Sorry if I seem dense on this but is this cut and paste option in addition to the other two methods I posted - one being the symbolic links and two being using the Move process?

Remember, I still want to access the data directly from the Start Menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2014   #7
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

I've done this with my smaller 128GB SSD: Move the Users Directory in Windows 7

Looks like a lot of work but it's really not bad. Takes time if you have a lot of data though.

Boot from DVD or flash drive
Copy Users to your data drive (use robocopy)
Delete current Users folder (use rmdir - this is the scary part)
Create a link to Users on the data drive (use mklink)

Everything is accessible from Start, just as it is now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2014   #8
Highcountryride

Window 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
I've done this with my smaller 128GB SSD: Move the Users Directory in Windows 7

Looks like a lot of work but it's really not bad. Takes time if you have a lot of data though.

Boot from DVD or flash drive
Copy Users to your data drive (use robocopy)
Delete current Users folder (use rmdir - this is the scary part)
Create a link to Users on the data drive (use mklink)

Everything is accessible from Start, just as it is now.
Appreciate your reply but after reading the link you provided, it looks a bit beyond what I want to attempt! Right now I have very, very little data on the Win 7 system. The XP system has all the data, about 125 GB worth between music, pictures, documents, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2014   #9
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

I know it looks intimidating but if you look through it a few times you'll see it's a very logical set of steps.

Boot from DVD or flash drive
You need to do this so none of the files are locked or in use.

Copy \Users to your data drive (use robocopy)
The use of robocopy is by far the best way to get this done.

Delete current \Users folder (use rmdir - this is the scary part)
As an alternative, you could just rename \Users to something else like \Users-old until
you are satisfied \Users on the data drive is all there and works as you want it to. Delete
\Users-old once you are happy.

Create a link to Users on the data drive (use mklink)
This is the step that makes it all work as the link points any reference to \Users on the
boot drive the \Users on the data drive. Makes it totally transparent.

If you don't want to move the entire Users folder, you could do the same thins with \Pictures or \Music ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Want to change location of My Documents and My Music to secondary HDD




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