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Windows 7: Help adding 3TB HDD to Win7 PC and making it my system drive

07 May 2016   #11
UThorn

Window 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Boot drives should be put on port 0 but usually work without problems on other ports.

Drives that are data ONLY, I say ONLY, can generally be moved around from port to port and you could then drag data from them to the 3 TB on port 0 with the mouse after the install is completed.

But--are you sure you want to keep your data and your OS on the same C partition on that 3 TB drive? It's doable, but has disadvantages.
What are the disadvantages?

As far as config, I know better but don't have backups nor a backup drive since my WD Book failed after about 2 years ago. I do have pics and music that to me are indispensable (how indispensible you might ask considering I just admitted I don't have a backup). So I'm more than willing to make the 3TB drive JUST a data drive. I know having all my stuff mostly on one drive defeats the purpose of having a backup if the drive fails. I guess I'm going to need to get another 1-2TB HDD then dedicate the 3TB to backup only.

Thoughts and suggestions on how to partition it to use as data and backup or how to set this up after I get a 3rd HDD? Should that drive be 2TB which would be 1TB + 2TB HDDs and a 3TB backup HDD?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 May 2016   #12
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UThorn View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Boot drives should be put on port 0 but usually work without problems on other ports.

Drives that are data ONLY, I say ONLY, can generally be moved around from port to port and you could then drag data from them to the 3 TB on port 0 with the mouse after the install is completed.

But--are you sure you want to keep your data and your OS on the same C partition on that 3 TB drive? It's doable, but has disadvantages.
What are the disadvantages?

Some of the disadvantages go away to the extent you are willing to live without backups of the indispensable. That's your call entirely.

But additional things to consider:

If you have to do a clean install for whatever reason and your data was on C, it would be wiped out by the clean install.

Things like drive scans and defrags take much longer on large partitions.


........I'm more than will to make the 3TB drive JUST a data drive. I know having all my stuff mostly on one drive defeats the purpose of having a backup if the drive fails. I guess I'm going to need to get another 1-2TB HDD then dedicate the 3TB to backup only.



Thoughts and suggestions on how to partition it to use as data and backup or how to set this up after I get a 3rd HDD? Should that drive be 2TB which would be 1TB + 2TB HDDs and a 3TB backup HDD?


How many GB of data do you have?

Whats the current occupied space on your current C and how much of that is DATA as opposed to Windows plus applications?

My advice will differ depending on your situation.

Windows per se is rarely over maybe 40 GB--that's barely 1 percent of your 3 TB.

Windows plus all installed applications could be 30 or could be 500 GB. You tell me.

Data could be 5 GB if you are a text file guy or could be 1 Terabyte or more if you are seriously into mp3s or video. You tell me.

Given a choice, I personally prefer to do it this way:

Windows plus applications on drive 1; preferably an SSD. In my case, that's less than 50 GB.

All data on an entirely separate drive 2, probably not SSD unless you can afford it. In my case, that's about 700 GB--mostly video.

All data backup on another separate drive 3. This is simply a replica of drive 2. If you don't want backups, eliminate drive 3.


All drives with the minimum number of partitions--so all 3 drives in my system have just one partition.

These 3 drives just show up as C, D, and E in Windows Explorer or in Windows Disk Management.

That's as simple as it can be.

I can't really offer suggestions without knowing the details you haven't provided yet, nor do I know if you have an SSD or want one. Nor anything about your budget.

Few people need a 3 TB C partition, but as I originally said, it's doable if you want to keep data on C. It would obviously be a waste of 3 TB capacity if your Windows plus your applications plus your data adds up to say 1 TB.


Your 3 TB drive will show as a maximum capacity of about 2.2 TB IF, I say IF, you format it as MBR--regardless of whether it has one partition or more and regardless of whether or not you put Windows on it.

If you want to use all of that 3 TB, you must use GPT rather than MBR, or rely on some special software possibly provided by your motherboard manufacturer that will trick Windows into thinking that 3 TB drive is actually 2 smaller drives.

That software can be shaky, so I'd avoid it and plan on GPT if I wanted to use all of the 3 TB.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2016   #13
UThorn

Window 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

You've mentioned initializing the 3TB HDD as GPT. Is it the case that my boot drive can be MBR and this 3TB HDD can be GPT?

Is there an easy way to tell my Windows system data, apps & associated data and user data from each other and how much space each occupies?

I'm considering the SSD boot device for what it's worth.

In terms of have additional drives D, E & F. Is there the ability to specify that the Windows directories like "My Music" and "My Pictures" "Downloads" reside on drives other than the C drive? This would be easy to do in Unix/Linux via symbolic links. Quite possibly Windows 7, 8 & 10 have some mapping capabilities.

Your advice is much appreciated by the way!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 May 2016   #14
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UThorn View Post
You've mentioned initializing the 3TB HDD as GPT. Is it the case that my boot drive can be MBR and this 3TB HDD can be GPT?

Is there an easy way to tell my Windows system data, apps & associated data and user data from each other and how much space each occupies?

I'm considering the SSD boot device for what it's worth.

In terms of have additional drives D, E & F. Is there the ability to specify that the Windows directories like "My Music" and "My Pictures" "Downloads" reside on drives other than the C drive? This would be easy to do in Unix/Linux via symbolic links. Quite possibly Windows 7, 8 & 10 have some mapping capabilities.

Your advice is much appreciated by the way!
You can have an MBR drive in a PC and a GPT drive in the same PC, but you CANNOT have an MBR partition and a GPT partition on the same drive.

The SSD will make more difference in day to day performance than pretty much anything you can do with the possibl exception of doubling or tripling CPU horsepower.

Yeah, there are tutorials on this site on how to get Windows to see My Music and MY Pictures, etc as being on C when in fact they are elsewhere.

I avoid that by not bothering with the whole C:\Users directory entirely. I just save files directly to D:\mp3 or D:\downloads or D:\video directly.


I'm not sure what you mean by this question:

"Is there an easy way to tell my Windows system data, apps & associated data and user data from each other and how much space each occupies?"

I assume you know where your data is?

Add up those directories and subtract that number from the total occupied on C. The remainder would be a rough approximation of Windows plus apps in a standard system. Apps generally live in Programs or Programs x86.

Oh---you can't use GPT unless you have 64 bit Windows. You likely knew that already.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2016   #15
UThorn

Window 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thanks a lot ignatzatsonic!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2016   #16
alphaniner

Windows 7 Professional x64, Arch Linux
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Oh---you can't use GPT unless you have 64 bit Windows.
MS docs indicate the only limitation re architecture is booting:
Can Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008 read, write, and boot from GPT disks?

Yes, all versions can use GPT partitioned disks for data. Booting is only supported for 64-bit editions on UEFI-based systems.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UThorn
This would be easy to do in Unix/Linux via symbolic links.
NTFS supports symlinks and junctions, but they are not necessarily the correct tool for the job. Redirecting eg. "My Documents" can be done through the Location tab of the Properties dialog.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Help adding 3TB HDD to Win7 PC and making it my system drive




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