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Windows 7: Need help deciding whether to move Users folder or not

27 Jun 2012   #1
Kim Ng Itsum

Win 7 Ultimate 64
Need help deciding whether to move Users folder or not

Hello everyone,

I have been scouring the net on how to move the Users folder in an SSD/HDD setup from the SSD (C:\) to the HDD (D:\) but I remain confused on whether it is truly needed or even which approach to take.

I found essentially 3 distinct approaches (and several variations on them) - from simpler to harder:

1) Move the libraries locations through the libraries properties dialog box
Sean's Windows 7 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDs (see Optimizations after setup in post #3)

2) Create junctions (symlinks) a la "ohdannyboy" / Lifehacker method
Move the Users Directory in Windows 7

3) Perform registry surgery and separate the Users folder at the system level
How to: Setup SSD boot drive with secondary Hard disc optimization

I understand that 1) is not truly moving the Users folder but rather just relocating the big space hogs within Users, while leaving untouched some of the main offenders (Temp folders, AppData and ProgramData). On the other hand it is dirt simple.

When it comes to 2) and 3), most of the advice around relocating the full Users folder seems to hinge on the idea of prolonging the life of the SSD one way or the other rather than simply circumventing its smaller size. But ther risks of engaging in these twaeks is greatly downplayed. That is, the trade-offs are not clearly explained. Sure, I don't want my SSD to die prematurely, but die it will sooner or later. When that happens, surely SSDs will be cheaper/bigger.

So, call me crazy, but I really don't care about extending the life of the SSD all that much. Having a good backup process should limit the bad taste of a catastrophic failure to investing some $$ and time into replacing the drive.

Therefore, I would like to understand whether there is a solid reason to tinker with the OS other than some vague life extension concept that may be more of a mirage than a real benefit.

In other words, if 1) above would take care of the space problem, why on earth would I bother with 2) or 3)?

Thank you so much in advance.

Intel Duo 2
Abit QuadGT AB9
6GB Ram :)
128GB Crucial M4
2TB Samsung Spinpoint
Win 7 Ultimate 64

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kim Ng Itsum View Post

In other words, if 1) above would take care of the space problem, why on earth would I bother with 2) or 3)?
I don't think you would or should.

I notice that method 2 and method 3 date from 2010, when the near-hysteria about wearing out an SSD was at its peak.

For that matter, you can pretty much avoid libraries and user folders altogether if desired.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2012   #3
Kim Ng Itsum

Win 7 Ultimate 64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
I don't think you would or should.
Ok, it seems that option 1 is then my best - don't fully understand how I can do aways with libraries and users folders, but not sure I want to either :)

Thanks a lot - I'll wait for a bit longer to see if other opinions appear, but I'm leaning strongly then to leave Users folder alone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jun 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


There are unintended consequences with moving the User profile or folders to another HDD. Best to instead copy them to the HDD, then simply rightclick each to link to the related Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums.

You may need to create a new library for Downloads and others as desired.

Now everything is shown when you click on any Documents, Music, Pictures, Desktop, etc.

You can then delete the contents of the User folders on the SSD if you ever had them there to begin with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2012   #5
Kim Ng Itsum

Win 7 Ultimate 64

Thank you for the replies - I have decided to simply move my documents, pics, music and the like to the HDD and leave the Users folder structure alone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Need help deciding whether to move Users folder or not

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