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Windows 7: Advice & Qs re: OS on C, data/programs on D


11 Jan 2010   #1

Win 7
 
 
Advice & Qs re: OS on C, data/programs on D

I have just installed Win 7 on my Dell 1525 inspiron laptop. I was previously running 7100 and needed to install the official program (Custom Install then deleted the windows.old). After backing up all of my data, etc. I decided to go a different route this time. I deleted the factory installed Dell recovery partition and created partition C: for my OS (100gb) and parition Data (129gb) presumably for my data and programs. Both partitions are primary. My theory is that I'll keep the OS separate so that if I ever have to reinstall it, I won't have to reinstall programs or back up data.

I have a few questions however. Should I install programs in the D: drive or do they need to be installed in the drive with the OS? The only thing that I have installed so far apart from the OS is Norton Internet Security 2009 (with Win 7 updates). That defaulted to the C: drive and did not give me a choice in the matter. Is that going to happen a lot so I have a hodge podge of programs here and there? If so, should I stick with OS and programs in C and data in D? Is there a third option?

Also, my "app data" folder needs to be backed up just as data does. Would that move to the D drive??

What is the best way to move my default "My Documents" and other default data files/links to the D drive? I would prefer that the whole personal user file be stored on D.

In summary, I've got a c: drive with Win 7 and the OS in it and a clean d: drive. I want to install the remainder correctly from the get go. What are your recommendations? Also, should I burn an image of the C: drive now? Despite not knowing what to do in this situation, I am more adept at technology than most non-IT professionals so I will likely be able to follow and execute your recommendations.

Thank you for your advice and patience!

Kim

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Welcome to SF!

Those are some good questions. Unfortuanately, too many users do not do their research before going ahead.

While in theory, that is a good idea, it has one flaw. Even if the programs are on a separate partition, if you reinstall your OS, they will be useless. They will need to be reinstalled anyway.

It is still a good idea, especially because it will keep the OS partition fast.

Now, as you have seen, some programs offer you a choice of where to install it, others don't. I'd say most offer you a choice, but many won't. If you want to keep your OS partition clean, it still helps to install what you can on the separate partition.

Sorry I can't answer the rest of your questions.

~Jonathan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2010   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

The typical user does one of two things:

Everything on C, including data

Operating system and programs on C, data on D or other partitions.

If you choose one of these options, you don't have most of the issues in your post.

I am sure you can concoct reasons to vary from these 2 alternatives.

What are your reasons?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jan 2010   #4

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1 (desktop)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Operating system and programs on C, data on D.
This^^ is what I chose. Works great.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Installing Norton first is not a good start. Most tech enthusiasts consider it an infection, so insidious it requires a special removal tool.

Best to go light with no system footprint: Use Avast free home or Microsoft Security Essentials. Keep Windows 7 instantaneous with no octopi on its back.

There should be a System Restore point before Norton installation. I would use it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2010   #6

Win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Installing Norton first is not a good start. Most tech enthusiasts consider it an infection, so insidious it requires a special removal tool.

Best to go light with no system footprint: Use Avast free home or Microsoft Security Essentials. Keep Windows 7 instantaneous with no octopi on its back.

There should be a System Restore point before Norton installation. I would use it.
Wow. Good to know. Thanks. I knew it was pretty pervasive, but I thought that was because it provided very strong protection. I have installed Avast on my MIL's system so I am familar with it. I also have MES on a desktop. Our other three computers have NIS. But, the subscription is set to run out in 20 days. Okay. If no NIS, which one would you recommend? Avast or MES?
__________________

ignatzatsonic,

I think that I was remembering posts that I have read in the past re: separating data and OS. I must have gotten the programs part wrong. I will install the programs with the operating system since I will need to reinstall them anyway if I reinstall the OS.
____________________

I guess my only question now is how to sucessfully move my personal/user directory to D: drive if OS is on C: drive. Is that possible? If not, I will just manually save documents/music/pictures to D, but I would love to have favorites, app data, etc. there too.

Thank you for the responses!

Kim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

Have put Avast on 100+ machines with no issues or infections, so am hesitant to change to MSE even though it is highly recommended around here.

When you install it, accept it's offered boot scan. When it starts up, there are two blue balls in systray. The one for recovery database is unneeded add-on, rightlick to disable, then rightclick again to merge with main icon. Register via email for key and you can forget about it: nothing gets in as long as you don't turn it off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Advice & Qs re: OS on C, data/programs on D




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