So I am running Windows 7 as my only OS. I have two hard drives on my computer. The first one is a 74GB Western Digital 10K RPM Raptor. The second one is a 1TB Seagate Barracuda (couldn't remember if it was a 7200.12 or some other decimal after the 7200). The OS in installed to the Raptor and I am just using the Barracuda for storage. With this setup, in case you couldn't guess already, the Raptor fills up quick and I am constantly having to maintain file locations. And although it is nice to have that quicker boot time and program loading, the time spent maintaining the drive makes me waste more time overall. So I am looking for a way to try to keep it clear while still keeping up system loading speeds. A performance hit on games and such is easily acceptable and as long as I can guarantee a 5GB space on the Raptor, I can always just temporarily move the disc image there.
So I am figuring that having games installed like Boarderlands and Mass Effect, as well as having large files such as linux distro DVD disc images in My Documents, I probably should be moving my personal files and Program Files directories to the Barracuda. I currently have folders on the Barracuda for this, but this means routinely copying files over and I can't really do anything with the Program Files folder that already exists. The best I can do is remember to designate the install directory of any program installation to the alternative install directory, which I can't seem to get to ever work right with Steam.
With that in mind, is there a way that is not too drastic to let me just change some folders and system settings once and everything works fine afterwards for my setup? I have considered just reinstalling Windows 7 to the Barracuda but that would defeat the purpose of the Raptor except for running disc images off of. I am also heard a bit about being able to use symlinks to fix this, but I have also heard that symlinks in Windows are not necessarily the same and not as well supported on Windows. An example a friend mentioned was something about how if you have a symlink in Windows on a small hard drive to a large hard drive and the contents the symlink points to is larger than the small hard drive's capacity, then Windows will think the smaller hard drive is full. So is there a fix/workaround that will let me use symlinks across hard drives without the issues or is there a better solution I am not being told about, not mentioning, or not thinking of?