How to split files among C: (OS) and D: (data)?


poe

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My new desktop has a 250GB SSD for the OS and a 1TB HDD for data. Currently all files are on C:.

How should I determine which files to move to D:? Just the ProgramData folder?

And what about managing any files that new apps install - won't they default to C: when I really want them to be on D:?

21H2 build 22000.483
 

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Default download location can be changed in settings or change in browser settings
Do not move ProgramData, that should always be on the same drive as Windows
C Drive should be OS, AV and any programs that will only install on C, programs and apps I put on D, there is normally an advanced option during install to select destination.
You can use partitions if needed
 

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The only thing I put on a second drive is the actual data folders. Documents, pictures etc.
There is a proper way to do that.
Is this computer going to be used for gaming? Steam and things like that?
 

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Try3

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I agree with the others and I think Perthos' question about gaming is very insightful.
- Gaming installations can be big so you'd need to consider whether to install them on your large disk.
- If you don't use gaming then you will probably install Windows & all your applications on your OS drive yet still never even use up half of it.

As for your own files, they are saved by default in subfolders of C:\Users\YourUserName but you can tell applications where to save them [even without changing any particular Windows settings]. Once you have saved them to a particular folder on your data drive, the application used will generally offer that folder the next time you save a new file. Similarly, once you've gone to a particular folder to open a file that's where Open will generally offer you when you next use it.

Don't be misled by the folder ProgramData. It does not contain your own files. It should really be called something like ProgramSettingsThatYouMereMortalsShouldNeverTamperWith. You'll hardly ever have any reason even to look in it.

All the best,
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zbook

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Please continue with:
a) problems anticipated during Windows updates / software updates / uninstalling software
a) backup data methods for each drive when they fail at different or same time
b) restoring data for each drive when they fail a different or same time
c) which programs / users issues are typically encountered
etc.
 

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abactuon

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Buy 128gb SSD for Windows, 250gb for games, 1TB - archive.
 

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poe

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Is this computer going to be used for gaming?

I do not do any gaming.
 

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I do not do any gaming.
Then keep the OS on C:\ and install your applications on C:\. Save your own files on D:\.

As mentioned in post #4, you do not have to change anything. Your applications will learn that you use particular folder locations for Open & SaveAs.
- You can choose particular default Open/Save folders in some applications
- You can "relocate" your user folders [such as C:\Users\%UserName%\Documents] to folders on the D: drive [such as D:\Docs] if you want but it's not necessary. There's guidance in Moving user library folders to different drive - NavyLCdr - ElevenForum
The Windows 10 procedure for this remains valid in Windows 11.​
In its list of Related tutorials at the end, you'll find corresponding guides for relocating many other user folders.​

All the best,
Denis
 

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hdmi

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As for storing your personal files, a lot also depends on how you use them (i.e., what programs/apps do you have that are using the files, how exactly do you use these programs/apps and what changes do you expect to frequently occur in your workflow that could have an impact on that, how do you plan these changes, or, what's the relationship between the files and the various factors that determine your workflow as a whole). The hardest part is finding the right balance between controlling the combined size of the data (to manage the available free space on each separate data volume) and considering performance optimization tactics to form a robust strategy that satisfies your need. Where are the real bottlenecks? What are the ones that are holding you back most? Those are the only questions that should factually matter.

Also keep in mind that moving lots of data back and forth can tend to be cumbersome at times when you don't have time to wait until all the copying is done. For merely copying/moving of numerous files, especially if the total size of the files in question is large, I recommend to use this free tool:
Some will recommend Robocopy and looking at exit codes to determine if something went wrong so that it will then be possible to run the same copying task again with the /L parameter after an error was found. But, FastCopy creates log files so you can see the results quicker instead of having to wait for the whole command to finish (and properly supports special characters in the filenames and the foldernames that appear in the logs...), and, I also like the flexible ability to use (and re-use) MD5 hash codes for file verification. Both Robocopy and FastCopy are suitable for scripting purposes so that you can automate some of your workload when necessary, if you have basic skills and knowledge about scripting.
 

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AdvancedSetup

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I move all my personal folders from my profile to the D:\MyData folder. I don't like keeping my personal files mixed in with the OS drive.

1645516192721.png

Then I back up the OS drive as it's own backup and D:\MyData as it's own backup.
 

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TheMystic

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My new desktop has a 250GB SSD for the OS and a 1TB HDD for data. Currently all files are on C:.

How should I determine which files to move to D:? Just the ProgramData folder?

And what about managing any files that new apps install - won't they default to C: when I really want them to be on D:?

21H2 build 22000.483
Others have pretty much answered your question. Your setup is pretty much identical to how my laptop used to be, until I upgraded the SSD to a 1 TB disk. I'll just tell you how I configured mine:

1. Create 2 partitions on your SSD (you can create more if you want). For my requirement, 60 GB for the OS partition was sufficient and I always had over 25% free. If you have large programs, then you can increase the size of the OS partition. In my experience, 120 GB for the OS and programs should be sufficient for most users, especially those who do not game on the PC.

2. Leave the other partition for some other use. If need be, you can set it up to mirror your OS partition once a week or so, so that in case of a problem, you'll be able to restore the system.

3. Map all your default libraries (Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, etc) to folders with identical names on the HDD. To do this, right click on each library, go to Properties and change the location of the destination to the corresponding folder on your HDD.

I would leave all programs and their data on the same partition as the OS.

Don't forget to take regular backups of both your system partition as well as your files.
 

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AdvancedSetup

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Be careful. The performance of an SSD drops rapidly as the disk fills according to Samsung. A new clean install took up 50GB the other day without really installing much. Best to have a lot more free space available to the OS as Microsoft has huge updates all the time.
 

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hdmi

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HDMI addressed
How should I determine which files to move to D:?
If all I had to move my files had been Robocopy, my answer would have been to move as few files as possible and as infrequently as possible because the logs are nondescript and running it once more with /L to deal with errors is the culmination of pain. Ergo, the actual tool itself plays a role in how I determine which files to move, and when to move them versus not. Of course there will always be those who don't like to have more flexible options and speed, and who don't base their opinions on what technically is possible, on what are the drawbacks and on how much added effort it takes to work around risks/problems/both.
How should I ... move to D:?
One of the first steps in logical analysis is to assess what might also be needed (or feasible) to accomplish the various goals that are possible to be envisioned. There can tend to be multifactorial dependencies like, e.g., how much data will need to be stored and how much available free space do you currently have on the SSD or how much space do you want more.
If you want guidance on that topic then please say so; I'm reluctant to go into detail without knowing if it's wanted or not.
I, too, am reluctant to go into finer detail without knowing at least half of what the actual plan might look like.
 

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Try3

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the logs are nondescript and running it once more with /L to deal with errors is the culmination of pain
And I wouldn't do that either.
I mentioned it in one thread in response to a specific request for information but I'd never dream of using it as the basis for a decision within a script.

Denis
 

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ThrashZone

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Hi,
Only issue is games so don't overly complicate moving your user folder onto a different drive.
Just install games on the larger disk.
 

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Berton

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To add, many programs will offer a Custom install but will also look for certain folders in a default location, moving them out of Users can complicate things.
 

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To add, many programs will offer a Custom install but will also look for certain folders in a default location, moving them out of Users can complicate things.
Yes, that's why the libraries should be remapped, and not moved.
 

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