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Windows 7: Install personal programs to a partition separate from OS partition?

27 Mar 2012   #11

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64

in my system, all the big games go on D: and my data on E:. however there are still some games - even mega huge-budget games based on the unreal engine (yes i'm looking at you, mass effect 3) - that won't work properly in this scenario and need to be tweaked in order for them to properly save games etc.
WOW - you got me on that one
Another good reason i quit gaming

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #12
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1

that particular problem with me3 arises because my documents are on E:, and not because the game is on D:

i mentioned it to show that poorly written software doesn't always work if you don't use C: for everything, but i fear that i didn't make that clear.

i'm all for separating data from OS, but not all developers check that their creations still work in that scenario , not even the big boys like bioware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #13

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64

Thanks for the clarification, but you certainly do raise a valid point i would never have thought of.

Knowing this may help others in their "Partition Strategy", and anyone having issues with such scenarios.

ty, david
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Mar 2012   #14

7 Ultimate x64/7 Home Premium x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mickey megabyte View Post
i'm all for separating data from OS, but not all developers check that their creations still work in that scenario , not even the big boys like bioware.
It takes some registry editing and setting a couple of Junction Points on C: but even the most recalcitrant installations can be made to work properly from a partition/drive other than C:

Microsoft Office 2010 insisted on placing a number of files on C:\Program Files, and created the folder (I had previously moved it to another drive) on C: in order to do that. I had not created a Junction Point on C: to point to my Program Files on U: prior to installing Office 2010 (but I had reset the default path to Program Files in the registry), and had installed a number of programs to U: by default previously.

So I copied Office's files to my location, created the Junction Point on C: pointing to my location, and Office runs just fine. My C: drive looks like this:

Attached Images
Install personal programs to a partition separate from OS partition?-c-drive.png 
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27 Mar 2012   #15

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Partition and Backup strategy

Thanks to everyone who has replied above, for all that most helpful data.

From all that everyone has said I think my "partition strategy" is going to be:

The c:\ drive for OS and all programs.

A d:\ drive for saving all data to.

And rely on 3 image backups:

1. Image of a fresh/clean install plus all basic customizations. (That is, an image of everything on c:\ prior to the installation of programs.)

2. Image of the c:\ drive after all programs have been installed.

3. Image of the d:\ (data) drive.

Repeat full image backups of 2 & 3 after any changes to either.


Lastly, "DeaconFrost", would you mind telling me what you mean by Win7 never becoming sluggish, over time, as can happen with XP? What is Win7's magical ingredient? Can you point me to where I can read all about it?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #16

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

There is no magical ingredient. XP never really slowed down either, unless it wasn't properly maintained. With Windows 7, much of the background processes are automated, so it will defrag itself, etc. Just keep the OS updated, keep your drivers updated, and don't mess with it, in terms of tweaking. The point is, you can achieve the same results now without having to do as much or run as many steps and processes to get the OS running lean and fast.

I'm sure you could find plenty of information to read about, bit that isn't a new concept. It's one of the primary reasons so many enthusiasts switched to Windows 7 when it was first available a few years ago.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #17
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64

I'm like mickey in installing all games to a separate drive/partition (drive in my case), if for no other reason that if Windows or the drive it is on decides to take a dump for any reason I don't have to re-install close to 200 GB of games. Most don't require being re-installed and will work with just making a shortcut and placing it on the desktop or in the Windows Games folder. For the few I have that won't work without being re-installed I managed to find what registry entries are needed and have a couple of .reg files saved and just add them to the registry and they work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #18

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64


I build my own PC's and for a new build I Backup and Restore an image before even registering the OS or any programs.
With MS OS and MS programs i have 30 days to test everything before committing to the install.
So, I am testing the install AND the backup/restore from day 1...
I also have a current PC with "my data" while testing a new PC, and that becomes my Backup machine.

If I bought a Pre-built, i would test it's restore capability immediately, while i can return it without losing any data.
If a new Pre-built can't restore to factory conditions on day 1, I wouldn't trust it.

I want to know up front i can depend on a restore, rather than find out years later it doesn't work and i'm screwed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #19

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Just keep the OS updated, keep your drivers updated, and don't mess with it, in terms of tweaking.
Thanks, DeaconFrost.

I'm a very cautious user (having been through probably six long "computer-hells" over the past 25 years) so I plan to switch off all Windows updates once the current crop of about 100mbs' worth of Windows updates are installed, immediately following my factory default installation of Win7. I've always done this with previous versions of Windows because otherwise the stream of updates is never-ending, interfering, and a nuisance. What do you think to this?

Re. keeping drivers up-to-date, I've just checked each one in Device Manager and been told something like "Windows confirms your driver is up-to-date". So unless I change a piece of hardware in the computer at some point in the future, shouldn't the current set of drivers be satisfactory for as long as this new computer lives? One of the reasons for my feeling this way is that I went to the Dell website and typed in my model number and they bring up a dozen or so drivers recommending that they be installed but warning that if they are installed in the wrong order then problems will be created. Yet they offer no sure and clear-cut guidance on the exact order in which the drivers must be installed! So, given that everything is functioning well with the current set, I'm thinking it's best to leave well alone and not meddle or mess, as you say. What do you think?

Many thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #20

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

1. That's one of the worst things you can do, in terms of the long-term use of your computer (shutting off updates). If you don't want the updates to install on their own, set it to notify you only. I set mine this way, so I install when I am ready to do so, usually when I am going to step away for a few minutes, like when I grab lunch. Those updates fix issues, patch security holes, and bring in driver updates. There's no reason to turn them off. They are hardly interfering, and aren't a nuisance at all, once you think about the purpose.

2.That's more of a matter of personal preference. I don't update drivers (aside form video drivers) unless there's a reason. If my NIC is working fine, then I don't bother looking for drivers, as an example. When you do a clean install, you should always use the latest ones available. I've never encountered that warning on Dell's website, and I'm a corporate customer of theirs. You should always install the chipset drivers first, but after that, it shouldn't really matter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Install personal programs to a partition separate from OS partition?

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