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Windows 7: How do I set up my OS on my SSD and everything else to my HDD

28 Apr 2013   #1

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
How do I set up my OS on my SSD and everything else to my HDD


I am new to this forum and I new to trying to do this type of thing myself.

I had a custom build done. The OS was on the SSD (C drive) and the builder set-up everything (or so I thought) to go the the 2tb HDD.

Not long after start up did I began running into numerous problems. He took it back and did a re-install. That only helped for a short period.

So I wiped and re-installed the OS on the ssd and spent countless hours reading so many different ways to set up the computer to work correctly. I researched and have tried to do this. I have failed. I am truly at a loss here. I think I have to do a clean re-install again but I want to do this and I want to set it up the best, most correct way, so that my OS in on my ssd and everything else goes, by default, to my hdd.

I have read the links, I have tried everything I can find on Toms Hardware...I don't have the money to pay someone to do this for me, again. I just would greatly appreciate if someone could give me a step by step guide to do the re-install and set the computer up to finally work in the manner it was supposed to...Maybe that was all good in theory and just not possible with the build I have. Honestly this makes me regret ever building with a ssd for the os because I have had problems since day 3 and it is extremely frustrating.

I am not as computer savvy as most of you on this thread so before telling me I a idiot, just tell me I made a mistake and I won't post again. If you are willing to help me, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

His "method" of setting up the drives was to install the os on the ssd and then I quote "the best way is to press the start menu, click your name, right click each folder and change the location.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2013   #2
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit

Depending on what you define as the "OS" -- basically, you can't do what you want -- as you discovered the hard way.

Some components of Windows need to stay on the OS partition -- like the registry files and certain "system" directories; Other things (most data files) can be safely migrated to another partition. Stuff like pictures, videos, documents, etc. can be migrated without problems.

But, if you start messing around with folders like Program Data or Program Files, you are likely to run into problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2013   #3

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Basicaly I think what you mean is that you want theOS and your main programs on the SSD and everything else to go to your other normal hard drive. (In your post you refer to your 2TB hard drive but your system specs it states you have 2 x 1TB hd's)
I would srtongly suggest that you use this guide to install your OS to the SSD which incidently is plenty big enough for the job. You might need to put some programs on the other hard drive especially if you re installing a lot of big games!
Here's the guide to follow: Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
When you have finished do not install AVG Free its more trouble than it's worth. Windows Security Essentials is free and much better!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Apr 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP


In addition to the other excellent suggestions I'd like to recap that you need to keep the OS and Program Files on the SSD to benefit from the speed increase, however you can move your active User folders to the HD as shown in User Folders - Change Default Location. Or you can move the entire User profile including all of the hidden AppData folder associated with each user as shown in User Profile - Change Default Location

The only complication with that method is if you use Win7 backup imaging which will then want to include the data partition on the HD in the System image since User folders are System folders. In that case to avoid this just copy the User folders to HD and rightclick each to link to the related Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums. It also shows you how to designate these data partition folders as the default download and copy location for Documents, Downloads, Pictures, etc. in the yellow box in the first tutorial above.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I set up my OS on my SSD and everything else to my HDD

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