OS on SSD, Users on HDD: Did I break Win7?
January 13, 2012 9:28 AM Subscribe
I have a brand new Windows 7 system with a small SSD and a large HDD for data. OS is installed on the SSD. I manually moved the ProgramData, Program Files/(x86) and Users folders to the HDD. Wondering what I might have broken in the process, and how to fix it.
posted by caution live frogs to computers & internet (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
System is set up to run a microscope in my lab, needed a fast computer with a ton of RAM and a lot of drive space (all images get saved as uncompressed TIFFs, so it fills up fast). The sales rep delivered on all counts - except that all programs and user folders are on the SSD rather than the large hard drive (SSD is C: drive, large spinner is D:). There's a mostly identical microscope down the hall, also running Windows 7, but with the Users folder on a separate drive.
I know that such a setup isn't officially supported or even recommended by Microsoft, but I feel this is a stupid, backwards stance to take - small fast SSDs are becoming quite common, and not giving consumers an easy, built-in way of keeping the OS and programs/user data separated is ridiculous.
Rather than reinstall I tried to make this change manually. I booted to command prompt using the OS install CD "Repair" option, used robocopy to move the Users, Program Files, Program Files (x86) and ProgramData to D: drive. I then renamed the four original folders. Finally, I used the junction command to drop symlinks to these folders on the C: drive, with the idea that doing so would keep all links in the Registry intact without needing to do any edits with Regedit. (Also recreated the symlinks inside ProgramData folder too - I didn't forget those!).
After reboot, everything SEEMED to be OK, so I dropped back to command line and killed the (renamed) original folders from C:, recovering quite a bit of space. All programs and user folders are now on D:, but appear to the user as if they were on C:. Programs open up and run just fine, all users can log in properly. Great, right? But I feel I am missing something.
Specifically, I tried to run the Windows component setup utility to make some changes - removing some of the junk that Windows installs by default, and adding in a few things (OK, Minesweeper and solitaire, but these are ESSENTIAL right?). But this failed - got an error saying Windows couldn't complete the changes.
Any ideas? Did I break something, overlook something, or what? Hardware seems to install fine, but I haven't tried installing or uninstalling software aside from the Windows components. Can I just run a repair install to fix any issues, or will this junk my junctions and just place everything back on the C: drive? If I need to do anything, now is the time to do it - aside from adding a couple of user accounts and running software updates, the system is clean and unused, but I will need to be SURE it will be operational (and reliable!) in the near future.
Any help is appreciated. After four years of running OS X I am losing my touch with Windows I guess. (And no I can't use the microscope software with a Mac, or I would be doing so.)