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  • which files on c: drive

    I have just got myself a 2nd drive.

    C: is 80gb and E: is 160gb.
    I want to have my os on C: and the files on E:. From what I have read this is the correct thing to do for better backups etc.

    I understand that I should move "My Documents" to E: but should the program files also be there or remain on C: given that many installs default to C:

    I suppose my question is, what is the best / correct strategy for storing files etc?

    Also, should I have a swap file on both drives?

    thanks

  • #2
    Re: which files on c: drive

    Go ahead and move My Documents to the new drive but keep Program Files on the C: drive. There's no benefit to trying to move it and if you have to rebuild the C: drive you would have to reinstall all your programs anyway.

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    • #3
      Re: which files on c: drive

      Just a try to shed some light on this issue:
      As far as I see it, by moving files from the System partition/disk (usually C: ) to another partition/disk one can achieve two purposes:
      - freeing up space on the system partition;
      - easing the re-installation process in case of OS failure or a too "dirty" OS.
      In your case, we're not talking about space problem. 80GB is a very big partition for system.
      By moving documents, other personal files and/or configuration files to another partition you can re-install XP without dealing with backing them up. As joeqwerty stated, you will need to reinstall applications, so moving the Program Files folder does not gives you any advantage.
      Last edited by sorinso; 18th February 2008, 15:32.

      Sorin Solomon


      In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
      -

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: which files on c: drive

        Wouldn't the advantage be there because of running applications off one drive, with references to System files on another drive, actually speeding up the process because you are accessing 2 different drives as opposed to the same drive moving back and forth between the Program Files directory and %System% dirs?

        That was my rationale when I used nLite to create a WinXP install disc that moved my Documents and Settings tree and Program Files tree to a separate drive - sure, in many cases I had to reinstall apps if the system partition went south, but having the separate drives on separate IDE channels (and having both 7200 RPM IDE drives) made a difference, subjectively speaking, in terms of running apps....

        Also, would there be any real benefit to extending the pagefile to both drives as well? I remember reading where a multiple drive page file acted as a 'RAID' type pagefile, thereby increasing system performance as well....

        Just my thoughts - not necessarily saying I am right, more asking if my suppositions were in fact valid....as I now use Vista, and I have to found a way to do this at install tie yet, I haven't implemented it yet....not form install anyway. I have moved most of my 'special folders' to another drive (Documents, Downloads, Contacts, etc.) to make re-installation easier if I ever need to - and I have reinstalled 3 times successfully, so....
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: which files on c: drive

          thanks everyone for your responses. I'm learning a lot already.

          I will move "My Documents" to E:
          Backing up my folders from E: should be a lot simpler.

          I will create a static pagefile x 1.5 on E:
          Should I also have a static pagefile x 1.5 on C: ?

          Now, regarding Program files, I keep a copy of programs I install and for downloaded programs I keep a copy in "My Documents/downloads".

          No problem there but when you set up programs, you create profiles of your settings etc. Are these kept in "My Documents" ?

          If I had to reinstall programs - either MS XP progs or other progs such as Photoshop - would it automatically find my personal settings or is it something that I would need to go back in and configure?

          or could I - once I have my program set up the way I want it - reburn the prog with settings onto a new cd? (is this slipstreaming?)

          So many questions, I know, but I am trying to set up a disaster recovery plan for my home office.

          Many thanks

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          • #6
            Re: which files on c: drive

            Okay, one more question.
            should I just move "My Documents" or can I go up one folder to the user folder and move that?

            Should I be moving local settings, desktop, application data etc?

            thanks.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: which files on c: drive

              Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
              I will move "My Documents" to E:
              Backing up my folders from E: should be a lot simpler.
              Why do you think so? Why is backing up E: easier than C: ?

              Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
              I will create a static pagefile x 1.5 on E: Should I also have a static pagefile x 1.5 on C: ?
              No. The theory says you should leave a paging file of 50-100MB on the C: drive, for minidump (in case the computer crashes, the memory will be written in that file and you later can analyze it). Create an additional paging file (in theory, x1.5 of the size of the physical memory, but not larger than 4GB) on the E: drive. BTW, are those two drives, or only to partitions of the same hard disk?

              Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
              No problem there but when you set up programs, you create profiles of your settings etc. Are these kept in "My Documents" ?
              Usually, no. Some of them are kept in Application Data in your user's folder. Some are kept in the application's folder.

              Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
              If I had to reinstall programs - either MS XP progs or other progs such as Photoshop - would it automatically find my personal settings or is it something that I would need to go back in and configure?
              Slim chance. Almost inexistent. But there were cases...
              Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
              or could I - once I have my program set up the way I want it - reburn the prog with settings onto a new cd?
              It doesn't work, most of the time... The settings are kept sometimes in files like INI, sometimes in the Registry, sometimes both. What you should do is go application by application and copy their settings (whenever they are available) to a location that you back up.
              Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
              (is this slipstreaming?)
              No. Look at this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slipstream_%28computing%29

              Sorin Solomon


              In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
              -

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: which files on c: drive

                Hi Sorinso,
                Why do you think so? Why is backing up E: easier than C: ?
                Well it's not really, it just seems better for me knowing that I have to back up everything from 1 drive.

                No. The theory says you should leave a paging file of 50-100MB on the C: drive, for minidump (in case the computer crashes, the memory will be written in that file and you later can analyze it). Create an additional paging file (in theory, x1.5 of the size of the physical memory, but not larger than 4GB) on the E: drive. BTW, are those two drives, or only to partitions of the same hard disk?
                from this I understand that I need a pagefile 50-100MB on the C: drive, - is that 50 min and 100 max?? for the minidump plus a static file x 1.5 on the E: drive

                These are 2 separate drives.
                C: WDC WD800JB-00CRA1 [Hard drive] (80.03 GB)
                E: HDS722516VLAT80 [Hard drive] (164.70 GB)

                What you should do is go application by application and copy their settings (whenever they are available) to a location that you back up.
                Okay, I need to set up a procedure to do this when ever I install or change profile settings.

                My last question was this,
                should I just move "My Documents" or can I go up one folder to the user folder and move that?

                Should I be moving local settings, desktop, application data etc?
                I really do appreciate all this help. Thanks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: which files on c: drive

                  IMHO, having a pagefile on the C: drive for a memory dump is overkill unless:

                  1. The machine is mission critical

                  2. The machine has a history of crashing and a memory dump will come in handy for troubleshooting

                  3. In the above event you plan on paying MS $245.00 to analyze the dump file for you

                  If the above doesn't apply than forget about creating a pagefile on the C: drive. If the machine develops a persistent crashing problem, then configure a pagefile for a memory dump at that time.

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                  • #10
                    Re: which files on c: drive

                    I wouldn't go for the whole user folder under Documents and Settings, there is a lot of junk in there you don't need.
                    It is not clear to me how are you going to backup everything and how often... Plus, it is not clear how much of the 240GB disk space you have you need backed up.
                    Regarding the paging file: the theory (and I emphasize: theory) says to define a fixed size paging file big enough. So don't define 50 min and 100 max, but choose a fixed size. You don't have to, though... You can leave it on drive C:, move it to drive E:, put it on both... Whatever.

                    @joeqwerty: I'd be much obliged if you could tell me what do you refer to by "overkill".

                    Sorin Solomon


                    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
                    -

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: which files on c: drive

                      First, I don't mean to seem argumentative so hopefully my post(s) won't be taken that way. If they sound like it, then my apologies.

                      Second, by overkill I mean:

                      What is the likelihood that the computer will have a crash that requires the collection and analysis of a memory dump at a cost of $245.00 to MS (as they are the only ones who could actually analyze the dump)? IMHO, it's not very likely so why configure things that aren't really neccessary? It may be a recommendation but is it really valid or valuable in most cases?

                      My first philosophy is "just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it".

                      My second philosophy is "just because you can make something complicated doesn't mean you should make it complicated".

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                      • #12
                        Re: which files on c: drive


                        Don't worry, I'm not defending my teritory... It's not like I'm peeing on the tree like a male cat or something...
                        I just wanted to know what do you think.
                        I should add your two laws to my first law in computers: "If it's not broken, don't fix it".
                        BTW, I managed to debug a computer or two by myself with the minidump (usually, there was a faulty driver problem). Anyway, I never payed for debugging... It's much cheaper to install the machine from scratch

                        Sorin Solomon


                        In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
                        -

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: which files on c: drive

                          I"m going to add your computer law to my list, but should it be Law #1, #2, or #3... hmmm.

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                          • #14
                            Re: which files on c: drive

                            wow, I didn't mean to open a big can of worms. I'm sure every one has opinions. I'll take them all, learn from them and make my own decision. I just want to know what I can do without screwing up the whole machine.

                            To get back on track..

                            I work for myself from home as a researcher - genealogy mostly - but other stuff too. The info I store sometimes takes a long time to gather and needs to be available should my customer need it

                            So in that respect, it is a mission critical machine but I will not pay $250.00 for a dump analysis, that is half way to buying a new machine. I will just do a restore from back up. That''s what started this whole debate.

                            If I need to rebuild or buy a new machine, I want to be up and running in the same configuration as soon as possible.

                            Now, I understand that I will need to reinstall os and all the apps that I use and my docs etc. but what about favourites? can I move that folder to E: ? or will IE7 not see it?

                            Do I need to back up C: with the os and progs ? I suppose so if some of the profile settings are in .ini files etc. Once I am set up with my profile etc., does anything change? can I just back up C: when a settings change is made?

                            I read something about making an image file??? is that an option and how often would I need to create one? or am I completely off track?

                            My docs folder will probably be backed up at the end of each day.

                            thanks for sticking with me on this.

                            btw, I agree with your philosophies.
                            I don't like to fix unless it's broke and I certainly don't like to be complicated. Hence the reason for trying to build a disaster recovery strategy that is simple and will work.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: which files on c: drive

                              Here's my suggestion. My apologies if I made anything confusing or contentious.

                              1. Move your My Documents folder to the new drive as you originally mentioned.

                              2. Leave the Program Files on the C: drive.

                              3. If you are using Windows 2000 or Windows XP get DriveImageXML to back up the C: drive to an image file on the second hard drive (it's free).

                              4. If you are using Windows Vista use the complete computer backup tool to back up the C: drive to an image file on the second hard drive.

                              If the C: drive fails or gets "gunked" up you can restore it (with all your programs, settings, favorites, etc.) from the back up image on the second hard drive.

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