Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Move IMPORTANT System Folders To Another Partition(s)

  1. #1

    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts : 182
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows Server 2012 R2 x64

    Move IMPORTANT System Folders To Another Partition(s)

    OK, first i'd like to say that i would have made the topic title longer and hence more descriptive, but the forums' built-in limitations wont let me.

    And to the mods: if you feel a need to relocate this topic or rename it to something more relevant then feel free, i simply ask that you leave this initial post in its entirety and unedited.

    The folders i am attempting to move are Users, Program Files, Program Files (x86), and ProgramData (at the root of C drive). I want to move the 2 Program Files folders to another partition on same HDD, and Users/ProgramData will go to yet another partition on same HDD.

    I would like to do this for ease in regards to backing up my system (so i can make mirror images of entire partitions), also to increase performance, as well as to make it easier to reinstall Windows w/o losing important program and user info. My intention is to leave Windows itself, and ONLY Windows, on the C drive.

    But to make things even more complex, and hence why i feel the need for this kind of non-standard setup arrangement, is because i plan to buy a bigger HDD and an SSD in the next few months, and i want to be ready before then. my intention is to install Windows on the SSD and have alot of other stuff offloaded to the secondary HDD.

    I also plan to add to the complexity even more by encrypting my system drive (C:\) with TrueCrypt, since i'm a privacy conscious person, and my processor natively supports Intel AES-NI encryption acceleration. i feel that its important to compartmentalize my data, programs, users, etc into different partitions as a result of this (so that some will be encryption-protected while others will not, so as to benefit from better performance not being encrypted). i also plan to dual-boot with some form of linux once i get this right. as it stands right now i'm still having drivers issues with 8 itself but i know i will get things stabilized and worked out as time passes.

    So, getting back to my original point/questions, how can i move these directories entirely to other partitions? i have done a bit of research and messing around on this, read up on some things that involved booting into Audit Mode, robocopy-ing folders, creating NTFS junctions/symbolic links, Registry edits, as well as accomplishing this automatically by creating an autoattend file which Windows Setup processes automatically before the user isw ever booted in for the 1st time. i tried my luck this morning and now have a basic 8 install in which programs like IE fail to open, certain files cant be found/opened (even if i click on them directly), an example is Regedit. also i cant run the CMD prompt as Admin (or otherwise), cant activate the real Admin account or open any of the Administrative Tools (despite having added them to my Start Screen). the list goes on. i only tried robocopy-ing Program Files and Program Files (x86) so far, creating junction points for them, and editing the Registry in the relevant locations. this is what im left with now.

    I also read up on Kari's topic on how to move Users, etc directories here on this forum, as well as the following blog article which describes how to do this for Win 7 (which is originally where i got some of these ideas in the 1st place):

    Isolate Windows 7 in its own partition

    so, where should i go from here and where to find more info? i plan to test in VMware virtual machines from here on out until things are working correctly, while using a baseline default 8 install for daily tasks.

    Well, thanks for any help!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts : 182
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows Server 2012 R2 x64

    Seriously? Noone has any idea what I'm talking about? I've noticed that there are well over 60 views, and not a single response. i know this is not such an uncommon thing for people who have an SSD. Thanks for listening!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 354
    Windows Server 2012 Standard w/Hyper-V

    It's a terrible idea. If you're worried about space, you can reduce the size of your pagefile or disable hibernate. You can also move the library folders: just right-click, drag and choose move.
    Sent from my RM-820_nam_att_100 using Board Express
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts : 182
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows Server 2012 R2 x64

    thanks, Kebero, but i beg to differ, it's not a bad idea, others have done so, and successfully at that. I've read up enough on it but am not quite certain of the steps. if you were in my shoes then perhaps you would have a better understanding of why i wish to do this. i dont take tampering with Windows lightly and i understand that there could be unforeseen consequences, and am prepared to deal with them as the need arises. And besides that, i consider myself a knowlegeable PC user and dont make drastic decisions such as these without the prequisite planning that comes with it. In any case, life involves alot of unforeseen situations which must be dealt with on a daily basis, and so to me, this is no different.

    As far as reducing my page file, i'd rather not. i plan to keep it on its' own isolated partition. It (the pagefile and the partition) will be a fixed size to keep it from growing, and to keep fragmentation to a minumum. as far as eliminating the hibernation file, are you kidding?! have you glanced at my system specs (not that it matters, in and of itself). This is a laptop, not a desktop..........

    I'll simply keep researching and digging, until i figure this out.

    Well, if anyone else with some knowledge on this can help, please reply. It's really important that i'm able to accomplish this. Thanks!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    I don't know what you have been reading into, but if you ever get it running today, it won't run anymore tomorrow. And that in the situation you made it for. IMHO Windows upgrades (to SP1 etc.) belong to that.

    I think you approach it from the wrong angle. So ...
    The idea is good and people will know why once they need to setup the OS again without a good backup at hand. From here on, you should avoid as much as possible to be within the OS partition. Btw, I always make that another disk. But also : it is not *really* necessary to be outside of the OS partition, as long as we are confident in the disk keeping being all right forever *and* that 99 out of 100 boot failures are not hardware related (merely operator errors, bad software, viruses). So, it is enough to "know" what should be desintegrated from the OS so to speak, be that in the same partition, another partition or another disk.

    Nothing needs to be in Program Files (apart from the very rare cases which don't allow a choice).
    Nothing needs to be in your Documents or all the other default sh*t I never used in my life.
    Your emails don't need to be stored where they are stored now.

    What's left is stuff like Browser Favorites and some more "Gallery like" constructions. Well, or you can get it back from there when needed, or you backup them separately.

    With some (yes, necessary) experience you'll have your system up and running within a day, assumed no disk failure and no backups at all (not the best advice and just to the extremes). You'd be reinstalling the OS, preferrably in its isolated partition to avoid copying out your before installed programs and program data and next reinstall all the programs you still have the installers from in their own folder structure. It is true that some programs may make use of the official Program Data structure, but that too can be reused easily (or put back after initial backing up).

    This is not ideal, and far too briefly layed out otherwise. But it is about the idea and the approach the other way around - with the same purpose in mind.
    The idea springs a bit from having so much data dat logically you won't put that on the OS disk anyway (not in a separate partion either). Depending a bit on the applications, you might let loose different OSes on that same data. Today this one, tomorrow that one. Where Dual Boot is for (obviously). Next thing is that you separate the OS disks as well. Makes it easy to swap without much hassle. But also makes it dead-easy to install a new OS, obvously, once you have it all setup like this.

    Give it a thought.

    PS: But do backup your data ...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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