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Windows 7: New W7 install; OS on SSD, user files on HD. How do I do this?

24 Sep 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
New W7 install; OS on SSD, user files on HD. How do I do this?


I'm creating a new machine. I want to install Windows 7 on the SSD. I want my User Files on a hard-drive.

My goal is to keep the 256Gb SSD "clean", so that any future OS issues can be addressed by loading or reinstalling on that SSD. Also, I don't want to accidentally fill my SSD with pictures and game saves, etc.

My HDD (1TB) will be for my user profile. (I only use the one "User". It's a home computer.) I want all my data to end up on the HDD.

(I'd -like- to be able to place a favored game or two on the SSD for fast loading. But that's for later.)

Now, I've read Kari's excellent tutorial, here: An Old School Geek’s approach to Installing & Setting Up a Windows PC

But, that seems more focused on a single drive install. I'd hate to have the SSD and the HDD in the box when I first install Windows 7. Yes, I've had the MBR install on the wrong drive in the past (different build).

So, how do I keep all the OS/system files on the SSD with no accidental loading onto the HDD? How do I put all the user files on the HDD during the install so that my SSD doesn't get filled with data during use?

Thank you -so- much!

(And all this is because I don't want to try an upgrade from Vista Ultimate! It's easier IMHO to start from scratch.)

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Sep 2013   #2

Win8/8.1,Win7-U64, Vista U64, uncounted Linux distor's

This well show you the light. Set the BIOS to show the ssd as the primary drive and install Windows. Then follow the tutorial to move the "user" folder. This fold can become very large after a period of time, 10Gb or more.

Set your spinner as the "D:\" drive and and make two folders "Program Filles" and "Program Files(x86)" When you install new programs you just redirect them to the "D" drive, you can normally just change the drive letter in the default install directory listed by the installer program.

This is how I set my boxes up. You really don't need a big ssd. I recently moved my pagefiles back to the ssd for a minor speed increase. I had so much unused ssd space I figured I should use it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64


What's the benefit/drawback to manually moving the files you listed (as well as all "Library" links, right?), versus Kari's method? I'm not a total newb, but he makes his method sound, even though more complex at install, as being simpler in operation. Yet, your method sounds like a "click it and forget it" method, as well.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Sep 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1

You want to put the OS and all program files on the SSD. This will make the programs open as fast as possible. With the size of SSD that you have, it will not fill up fast. Put all of your Docs, pictures, that type of thing on the HDD. Large games can be put on the HDD. A game will open faster on a SSD, but the playing will not be changed so you might as well put it on the HDD. == I believe the reason they are mentioning moving the files is that when you install MS Office on the SSD, it will put the document files on the SSD by default. You will want to move them to the HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64


Well, like I stated, I'll put a favored game or two on the SSD. Otherwise, I don't ever want to have to manually select the "save" location for -any- action: I want all the saves to go to the HDD. I'll move what I want to the SSD when I want speed, then toss it back onto the spinner when I'm done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP


You can move the whole User Profile - Change Default Location

The only problem with moving the User profile or folders is that it will force including them in a Windows 7 backup image, so you'd need to either use another imaging app like free Macrium - Image your system,
or instead of moving the system files just copy the active User folders to the HDD, then rightclick to add each to their related Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums and set the folder as the default location for that library.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 New W7 install; OS on SSD, user files on HD. How do I do this?

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