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Windows 7: Installing boot SSD: AppData? Win7 libraries vs. special folders?

13 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Installing boot SSD: AppData? Win7 libraries vs. special folders?

Hello everyone,

I'm planning how to make use of my spiffy new 80GB SSD. My current system came preinstalled with a 1TB drive containing a single C partition storing everything (plus a couple of hidden partitions for Dell Restore etc.), which died and was replaced with a 2TB drive, and the former drive image restored to the new HDD. (This leaves me with 1TB currently unallocated.) My plan is to:
  1. Create a D partition from the free 1TB
  2. Move my data to D (e.g. from C:\Users\Charles\My Videos to D:\Charles\My Real Videos)
  3. Add each new D folder to the appropriate library (e.g. Add D:\Charles\My Real Videos to the Videos library, and set it as the default save location)
  4. Defrag and image my C drive (now only containing OS + programs + app data + remnants of my old, empty user folders) to the SSD
  5. Delete the C partition from my HDD
  6. Expand the D partition to the full 2TB on my HDD
  7. Install the SSD as the new C boot drive
  • I'm using Win7 libraries instead of the old technique of moving user folders' location. Is this the preferred method nowadays?
  • I'm leaving AppData on the system drive — too many users have had serious trouble, even when making no mistake in the process. (e.g. can't update from Win8 to 8.1) Do you agree that it's an acceptable compromise to leave AppData alone? I really wanted complete separation between static OS/programs and dynamic data/settings, but the problems seem like a dealbreaker. Is there anything wrong with leaving AppData on the C drive? (It just means I have to back it up daily and, if I ever reimage the system drive, to remember to take one last current backup of AppData.)
Thanks for your guidance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

There's many ways to skin a cat. Here's my variation:

My 80 GB SSD contains C, all applications, and appdata

My 1 TB HDD is D and contains all personal data.

I don't use libraries. I don't use C:\users at all personally, although Windows sticks some stuff there. My appdata is under C:\Users\myusername. I almost never look at C:\users. I image the C partition monthly.

I save directly to the D drive and back it up daily.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

AppData likely contains quite a bit of data you created yourself even though you didn't save anything there yourself. Programs do it for you, and you need to be backing it up daily along with your D drive. I wrote about it in more detail in this message:

User Profiles - Relocate to another Partition or Disk - Page 49

To the OP, I would definitely leave AppData and Users on the system drive. I wrote a little more about SSD usage here, the main point being, don't be afraid to use the thing:

Small SSD, Big Hard Drive

Like ignatz, I don't use libraries, but I do move my data folders out of my profile folder to a secondary drive, and I use the feature in the Windows Explorer UI for that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 May 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP


For that small of an SSD you want a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 with only the OS and programs, maybe the Hibernate file if you like that modern feature.

Since you've tried Libraries you should know if they work well enough for you. I personally move my User folders to the data partition on my SSD, but I also do this to Sync, Backup and Store your Files to the Cloud with Skydrive - Windows 7 Forums s so the same data partition is on all my PC's and in the cloud.

I'd just drag your data partition User folders to the new data drive and rightclick them to add to the respective Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums then set it as your default: Library - Set Save Folder - Windows 7 Help Forums.

I would want an SSD large enough for all my programs, Hibernate file and a System Managed paging file (both the size of RAM), all to benefit from the speeds. This works so well for me I can't fathom changing it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2014   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

ig, craw, greg, thanks for your help. In the end, I realized my 80G drive wouldn't be large enough to hold Windows, programs, appdata and sundries. I wound up buying a 250G SSD onto which I'll have no problem fitting everything in!

So the C: SSD will hold:
  • Ubuntu
  • Windows
  • Program files
  • App data
  • Users folder
  • Page file
  • …and a folder into which I'll drag files that temporarily need high-speed access. (e.g. video files, when I'm about to edit video.) Does that make sense?

And the 2TB D: HDD will hold:
  • My user folders (My Documents, etc.) movbed here, using the standard Windows "Set location" method.

Gregrocker, you put your pagefile on the SSD? I thought we were supposed to stay away from constantly-rewritten files? (I sure would love to put my VirtualBox images on there…)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2014   #6
Microsoft MVP


Yes but with plenty of RAM the page file isn't referenced much. You want everything that can benefit from the speed on HDD
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Installing boot SSD: AppData? Win7 libraries vs. special folders?

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