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Here is my thought. I have a new computer that I just built and am considering migrating to a SSD. I have Windows all setup and my Development environment configured so I want to avoid having to re-install a bunch of stuff.

My thought is to clone my OS (win7) to the SSD and then mount a HDD partion to C:\Program Files (x86)\ with C being my SSD. This way as far as the programs are concerned they still live on the C drive but in reality they are physically located on the HDD.

This seems to me like a good idea but after searching around a bit and not having found anyone else that had the same idea, I'm wondering why not. Maybe I am missing something that is obvious to everyone but me.

Why is this a good or a bad idea?

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Why would you have your applications binaries in a slower HDD? I think you would be taking more advantage if you left the application binaries (VS2010, Eclipse, NetBeans, etc) in the SSD and keep your older project files and other less frequently used files in the HDD. That's how I setup my machine, which has an 80GB Intel X-25M G2 SSD and a 1TB 7200rpm HDD. (I also leave game binaries in the HDD - they tend to be big and do not need the SSD speed -, but I don't think this is related.) – wtaniguchi Nov 24 '10 at 17:07
Since Most of my apps don't need the SSD speed, I would like to have them on the HDD. There would be a few programs like you mentioned that I would need to re-install on the SSD. My goal is to no have to re-install all of my existing software. – Icode4food Nov 24 '10 at 17:41
This doesn't make sense to me. Plus, it's also not possible to move the Program Files folder after a Windows installation. You can set its location with an unattended install though, which defeats what you're trying to do. – user3463 Nov 25 '10 at 5:22
As far as the file system is concerned, I'm not moving the Program files folder. Physically, it will be located on the HDD but I will mount my program files partition on the HDD to `c:\Program Files` with C being my SSD. So my directory structure will remain unchanged as far as the programs and high level OS is concerned. – Icode4food Nov 25 '10 at 13:28
@Brian: The OP is talking about using a volume mountpoint or junction post-install, so the old installs would see the same paths as they did before. – afrazier Jan 4 '11 at 20:32
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There should be no problem with migrating Program Files to a different drive, then creating a junction in the original location.

You'd probably want to boot into WinPE and use the Command Prompt to do it, so you don't have to deal with open files. robocopy's /copyall parameter can do all the heavy lifting.

The only caveat is that now you'll have to reinstall your favorite programs back to the SSD in a different folder, if possible. If you can't specify the location, you're looking at some more junctions and then things start getting messy.

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From the program's point of view, the location doesn't change - it's still C:\Program Files, even if it is physically on a different device. Move + mountpoint should be enough. – grawity Jan 4 '11 at 20:57
I know, that's the point. The caveat referred to if the OP wanted to reinstall an app on the SSD -- if he can't modify the install location, things can get messy by having junctions pointing all over the place. – afrazier Jan 4 '11 at 21:27

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