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I am about to re-install my system with a fresh copy of Windows 7. I have an SSD, and I want to make the most of the 64GB that it has available under this fresh install, so I will be keeping a secondary data drive (500GB HDD).

Does anyone know if there is a full list somewhere of Windows directories that can be re-assigned between drives?

Additionally, is there any comprehensive advice on which directories are best off on SSD vs. HDD?

From what I have read so far, the most likely (configurable) candidates are the 'Temp' folder and possible the users directory tree. Applications I am less worried about, because at install-time I can individually decide whether they'd be best on 'C:' or 'D:' for my purposes.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Generally speaking, as you have said, you won't get all that much trouble shifting user directories off your SSD to your secondary (data) drive.

In addition, you can (but I do not advise this) shift a significant portion of the Program Files hierarchy off your SSD as well. You will need to hack your Registry if you went this route (much easier with a clean, minimal install).

Anything under the Windows directory should remain on the SSD, as this is more or less the reason you have an SSD.

If you got a Raptor 10k drive, I doubt you will notice a massive slowdown from the porting of the user directories.

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You could disable hibernation to help save a few gigabytes of space. Open a command prompt as administrator and type:

powercfg -h off

You may also want to limit or stop System Restore on that drive. Depending (mainly) on how much memory the machine has, you could consider disabling the page file, which is discussed here and here.

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Thanks... there seem to be plenty of articles floating around, but very little concrete about what directories can move onto another drive, and how much performance you'd end up sacrificing. –  jerryjvl Oct 26 '09 at 2:25

I had the same scenario as you (64 GB SSD + 750 GB HDD) and I was doing a clean install.

First I moved my old data files from the previous OS drive user profile to similarly named folders on the second drive. For example, I copied C:\Users\Me\Documents to D:\Documents.

Then I used the library feature in Windows 7 to add the data folders to the appropriate libraries. This is easy to do. After booting up the Windows 7 system, I just used Windows Explorer to find the D:\Documents folder. Then I right-clicked D:\Documents and chose "Include In Library" > "Documents".

You can also configure the default save location per library so that programs which access the library will automatically save their files to the second drive. Right click on the library and choose "Properties". When the properties window appears you will see a list of all location included in the library. By default, Windows 7 includes the folder from your profile (C:\Users\Me\Documents) and a folder from the default profile (C:\Users\Public\Documents). You should also see the folder you just added (D:\Documents). Click on D:\Documents and then click the "Set Save Location" button, then click OK.

You can do the same for the "Music", "Pictures" and "Video" libraries. And if you want to really go nuts you can create your own libraries too. For example, I created one called "Software" where I save all my Setup, Installer and ISO files.

Works great for me. My files are on the other drive and they are still easy to find. Here's an article with more information: Windows 7 Feature Focus: Libraries

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I do this trick all the time in windows 7. use the console and the diskpart tool.

I sometimes have to do it in three parts.

create the partitions install win7 onto c: then move the program files contents onto another partition (you have to do this by booting frmo win7 disk) mount using diskpart

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