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Is it possible to install the Windows system files on a small SSD and have all important folders (C:\Program Files, C:\Users) on a 2TB data drive? I assume this is how one would use an SSD to achieve higher performance

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See:… – EKW May 2 '12 at 0:06

As far as C:\Users is concerned,

  1. Create a new folder on your HDD, (assuming name= X )
  2. Go to C:\Users\<Profile>
  3. Right click on Desktop
  4. Select properties
  5. Click on location tab
  6. Set location to X
  7. Repeat the same for all the folders in C:\Users\<Profile>

For Program Files, let the main Program files folder exist on C: , and create another folder manually on your HDD

Then, when installing programs, select the manually created folder as the installation path

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Yes, you could - though I am not sure if you can do it at installation initially. You can map partitions to system file paths in Windows 7, which means you can have a path like c:\program files\ actually go to another partition or drive entirely.

I don't believe it would be the best idea for performance however, as many applications are stored in paths such as that, especially the users path (boot times would be slow as it loads your profile). Speaking as someone running on an SSD, best performance is when your whole OS is on the SSD and then just store data like music or what have you on a non-SSD drive that doesn't require high transfer rates (though it could be argued that music would benefit from it :P).

You can use diskpart to mount partitions to a path apparently, so it should theoretically be possible to do this for installation - you'd have to make the paths ahead of time though and I'm not sure what your success would be since I don't know the details of how Windows 7 installs.

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Unfortunately, this won't work. Windows will blue-(or black-)screen shortly after configuring it this way. – EKW May 2 '12 at 0:01
@EKW are you talking from experience or speculation? I've successfully mapped my pagefile to its own partition which is then mapped to a folder in c:\windows and Windows works just fine. – Eli Sand May 2 '12 at 18:44
I should have been more specific - this will work properly right up until you map a folder which contains a file needed on-boot, since Windows does not load the drivers needed to parse mount-points until rather late in the boot process. Windows doesn't require the pagefile on boot, and will compensate for not locating it. (I'm also not sure what benefit you're seeing from this, there are easier ways to relocate a pagefile.) – EKW May 23 '12 at 22:21
If you're referring to having the pagefile on a mapped folder, you're completely wrong; I said I am currently doing this in Windows 7 and it boots/runs fine and has been for a few years. The benefit is that the pagefile is now stored in its own partition and has no drive letter associated with it (this is what the whole point was - to have no drive letter) - the only access possible is via the mapped path which is "nicer on the eyes" than seeing a drive letter in Explorer that "you shouldn't touch". – Eli Sand May 24 '12 at 2:05
I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying this will work perfectly fine for a pagefile. It will not work for Program Files or many other system folders. – EKW May 25 '12 at 3:24

Using sysprep is the easiest way to create user profiles in a different location. All the other, unofficial ways, such as messing around with junctions and copying or moving files around, gave me "The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded." profile error.

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