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I have a 50gb SSD harddisk with windows 7 installed on it. I did this for performance for my windows installation and the related applications (Visual Studio, etc). In a projects folder I also store my solution files.

I also have a 2TB normal hard disk for storage and backup purposes.

However, I faced a lot of disk usage. I decided to move parts of my windows installation to the 2TB disk. This is data of which I think is used rarely.

However, Windows does not support changing paths to some common folders. Therefore I have used the following techniques to move rarely used data to the storage disk:

  • C:\Installer Symbolic Link to E:\Windows\Installer: Moved 10GB
  • C:\pagefile.sys configured to be stored at E:\ disk: Moved 6GB
  • C:\MSOCache\ Symbolic link to E:\MSOCache: Moved 2GB

Does anyone know any more parts of the windows installation that are rarely used but cannot be deleted, that can be safely moved to another disk (possibly by using Symbolic Links)?

Does anyone know of any risks I take by moving this data to another disk?

Note that I have already moved my pagefile and disabled the hibernation file.

Possibly related but unanswered:

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You should use junctions, not symbolic links. Symbolic links can break functionality such as the recycle bin and system restore (because Windows cannot assume it is going from one local NTFS filesystem to another). – David Schwartz Apr 11 '12 at 9:42
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Follow pcunit's suggestion to disable hibernate. Also check your temp folder (C:\Users\You\AppData\Local\Temp -- not that AppData is hidden) and delete any leftovers. A junction point (mklink /d) to move AppData entirely should work well if you have lots of stuff in there.

Try reinstalling some large applications and games on another drive, or create junction points for them if you prefer.

I would avoid moving Users or My documents folders entirely - there are risks that things will fail - one reason being that your custom junction point may not provide all security permissions and ownerships that windows will expect. Opt to move the larger non-default folders within instead (iTunes, etc..)

I recommend you use an utility such as TreeSize to navigate your User and Program Files folders and find what takes the most space.

Finally, I would avoid moving or deleting anything within the \Windows folders as some low-level windows components, libraries and drivers might not enjoy stumbling on a junction point.

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Thank you for your answer. I indeed used TreeSize to find the biggest parts of my filesystem. I was aware of potential problems with the security permissions etc. I was hoping that someone could confirm this. I decided not to completely move the users or my documents folder entirely. Please note that i have created a junction for the Windows\Installer folder without any problems for over 3 months now. – Aphelion May 7 '12 at 7:03
@Aphelion Good to know! I might try it myself... I have 6GB in there. – mtone May 8 '12 at 0:23

The quickest way to free up space is to disable hibernation and the page file.

Disabling the page file:

  1. Right-click "My Computer" and click "Properties"
  2. Go to the "Advanced System Settings" tab
  3. Click Settings for "Performance", then go to the Advanced tab
  4. Click Change for "Virtual memory"
  5. Click on your SSD drive, select "No paging file" and click "Set"

Turn off hibernation:

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt
  2. Type powercfg -h off
  3. Press enter then reboot
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+1 For the Hibernation trick – Aphelion May 7 '12 at 7:00

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