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Windows 7: An Old School Geek’s approach to Installing & Setting Up a Windows PC

24 May 2013   #41
mneal

Win7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Great tutorial, Kari - I'm going to be doing a hardware refresh on my existing computer, and plan to use your tutorial. I'll be using an SSD for system drive and a 2TB platter drive for profiles/data/programs.

With the movement of user profiles to a separate disk/partition, how do you set up the audio, video and media/download partitions? Do you set those as your music and video libraries in explorer, or are there other tweaks regarding those partitions that you do to use them?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 May 2013   #42
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Hi Mneal, welcome to the Seven Forums.

If you use the sysprep method to completely relocate all future user profiles, moving the main profile folder Users and all its subfolders to your 2TB drive, the change is made in registry level. This means that for instance the default downloads folder will automatically be X:\Users\Your_Username\Downloads instead of C:\Users\Your_Username\Downloads without any tweaks or hacks from your side. The same with Documents, Pictures, Videos and Music folders, and of course always important with AppData and its subfolders such as Temp etc.. The Public and Default user profiles will also be created on that new location, and all default Library folders will be relocated.

This is because the change is hard coded to registry, changing the default value of an internal Windows environment variable that determines the default location of user profiles. It's a "do it once and forget" procedure, all future user accounts will be created in this new location.

You might want to check these tutorials, too, before proceeding:Although still learning I am quite interested in everything related to sysprep and its usage in customizing Windows. Please feel free to post your questions and issues and we'll try to get you through the process.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2013   #43
mneal

Win7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Hi Mneal, welcome to the Seven Forums.

If you use the sysprep method to completely relocate all future user profiles, moving the main profile folder Users and all its subfolders to your 2TB drive, the change is made in registry level. This means that for instance the default downloads folder will automatically be X:\Users\Your_Username\Downloads instead of C:\Users\Your_Username\Downloads without any tweaks or hacks from your side. The same with Documents, Pictures, Videos and Music folders, and of course always important with AppData and its subfolders such as Temp etc.. The Public and Default user profiles will also be created on that new location, and all default Library folders will be relocated.

This is because the change is hard coded to registry, changing the default value of an internal Windows environment variable that determines the default location of user profiles. It's a "do it once and forget" procedure, all future user accounts will be created in this new location.
Right, I understood that part - I was referring to the audio, video and media/download partitions you created in your partitioning plan, here:



What do you do with those? Do you set those partitions to be the audio, video and download locations for the library, or do you do something else with them?

Also, I've seen recommendations to move the system temp files and browser temp/cache files off SSD drives to platter drives due to possible wear issues - do you think that's necessary?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 May 2013   #44
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mneal View Post
Right, I understood that part - I was referring to the audio, video and media/download partitions you created in your partitioning plan, here:

IMAGE

What do you do with those? Do you set those partitions to be the audio, video and download locations for the library, or do you do something else with them?
OK, sorry the misunderstanding.

Yes, I have found it very practical to create partitions for my media, separate partitions for Audio, Video and Images. I then add all root level folders on these drives to respective Libraries and change the Library default save locations from Library Properties dialog. This way I can really forget the media drives as soon as I have set them up, using Libraries without need to think where to save.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mneal View Post
Also, I've seen recommendations to move the system temp files and browser temp/cache files off SSD drives to platter drives due to possible wear issues - do you think that's necessary?
The sysprep method in relocating Users folder takes care of this as the AppData folder for each user is also relocated. AppData usually contains all temp subfolders for all applications. For instance my system temp folder is located here: E:\Users\Kari\AppData\Local\Temp

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2013   #45
mneal

Win7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Thanks for the response, that helps clear things up a bit.

Do those partitions (I, J and K) get backed up by Windows, or do you have to back them up manually, since they're only linked in the library properties?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2013   #46
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Using the default settings with Windows 7 native system imaging they will not be backed up. I use Macrium Reflect Free for my backup and imaging needs, both Windows native tools and Macrium let you select which partitions / drives to backup / image.

Imaging with free Macrium

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2013   #47
mneal

Win7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Ok - but the user profile folders, being on a separate partition, are 'system' and *do* get backed up, correct? I've been slack in doing this before, and want to get off on the right foot with the hardware refresh, although I've been pretty lucky in not having had to do a reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2013   #48
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

No, that's the point. The system backs up pointers to those folders so that when for instance an image has been restored they continue to work as before, but if you only backup the system drive the relocated user profiles will not be backed up

If you want to include user profile folders on another drive you need to add those manually to your backup or image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2013   #49
mneal

Win7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Ok, I'm a bit confused, then...because you said in the tutorial that "System Restore, system imaging and all repair and recovery actions will always find and use the new location."

So, doing a backup of the system *after* the user profiles are made wouldn't result in the moved profile partition being backed up by default? It would have to be selected manually for inclusion? I was under the impression that a full windows backup included the user folders.

Edit to add: I would have sworn I read that the user profile partition would be considered a system partition and, as such, included by default in a backup. I'll see if I can find the reference again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2013   #50
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

A hypothetical scenario to explain what I mean:

You have Windows installed on C:, Users folder located on D: and additionally folders included in your libraries on E:.

Now when you create a system image it by default only includes C: and the system reserved partition. It also includes the registry, which in its turn includes all pointers to your user profiles.

When the system image is created, you can delete the C: and system reserved partitions so your SSD is completely empty but the Users folder on D: remains intact, as well as your personal folders on E:. You can now replace the SSD with a new one or use the old SSD, restore the system image which recreates C: and system reserved and when first booted all your user folders are there; Windows finds them on their current locations because the image contained the information where they are located.

However, it is really simple to include the relocated Users in system image, all you need to do is a few mouse clicks.

Repair install, system restore and other recovery functions will always find your user profiles, wherever they are located, and will not change their location back to C:.
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 An Old School Geek’s approach to Installing & Setting Up a Windows PC




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