Question about allocating user data to its own partition

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics,microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

As a soon-to-be-but-not-yet XP user, I can see advantages in having
several partitions on the hard drive, one partition being for user data.

I would want to put folders My Documents, My Pictures, My Music onto
(say) the E: drive. In fact there would be one set of such folders
there, one set per each user of XP. How can I set that up?

Is it as simple as moving the whole user profiles folder to another drive,
but if so (idiot question) how does XP know how to find the profiles folder in
its new location? How do I actually do this?

Also, does XP have some special functionality associated with folder
My Pictures that doesn't get associated with any old folder? If so,
will any special properties of My Pictures be preserved if I move it
to another partition as indicated above?

My currently planned partitions BTW (on a 200G drive) are (1) XP Operating
System, (2) Swap File - no fragmentation problems if it has a partition to
itself, (3) Application Programs, and (4) User Data. Will be using Partition
Magic to do the partitioning. 200G drive!

Any comments from the experts will be much appreciated.


MTIA...

Brian Tooby
(remove "x" from email address when replying)

Pilot's Assistant Home Page:
http://www.tooby.demon.co.uk/P_Assist_Home.html
6 answers Last reply
More about question allocating user data partition
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics,microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    "AirToob" <brian@toobxy.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:fbFFpFAwSmhBFwUY@tooby.demon.co.uk...
    > As a soon-to-be-but-not-yet XP user, I can see advantages in having
    > several partitions on the hard drive, one partition being for user data.
    >
    > I would want to put folders My Documents, My Pictures, My Music onto
    > (say) the E: drive. In fact there would be one set of such folders
    > there, one set per each user of XP. How can I set that up?
    >
    > Is it as simple as moving the whole user profiles folder to another drive,
    > but if so (idiot question) how does XP know how to find the profiles
    folder in
    > its new location? How do I actually do this?
    >
    > Also, does XP have some special functionality associated with folder
    > My Pictures that doesn't get associated with any old folder? If so,
    > will any special properties of My Pictures be preserved if I move it
    > to another partition as indicated above?
    >
    > My currently planned partitions BTW (on a 200G drive) are (1) XP Operating
    > System, (2) Swap File - no fragmentation problems if it has a partition to
    > itself, (3) Application Programs, and (4) User Data. Will be using
    Partition
    > Magic to do the partitioning. 200G drive!
    >
    > Any comments from the experts will be much appreciated.
    >
    >
    > MTIA...
    >
    > Brian Tooby

    I'm not sure what advantages you see, but it's quite possible that in the
    scenario you describe, the benefits are fewer and slimmer than you expect.

    This is because with just one physical drive there is little or no physical
    performance benefit - no matter how you partition it, it is still the same
    set of heads and platters having to go to various places on the one drive.
    Adding partitions may actually slow this process down by forcing them to
    move further.

    For backup, the documents and settings folder structure really helps confine
    backups to one area, but no matter where you place this, you still need to
    exclude all of the temporary and cache folders, unless you really want to
    back up hundreds of megabytes of temporary internet files (per user).

    HTH
    -pk
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics,microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    On Mon, 1 Nov 2004 16:30:40 +0000, AirToob wrote:

    > As a soon-to-be-but-not-yet XP user, I can see advantages in having
    > several partitions on the hard drive, one partition being for user data.
    >
    > I would want to put folders My Documents, My Pictures, My Music onto
    > (say) the E: drive. In fact there would be one set of such folders
    > there, one set per each user of XP. How can I set that up?

    I would make a folder for each user on the E: drive. Then add a subfolder
    named Docs or similar. After XP is installed, log on as one of the users.
    Then right click on My Documents for that user and select Properties. Click
    the Move button and select E:\<username>\Docs (or whatever name you used on
    the new folder). XP will then move all items over for you and update the
    registry entries. Repeat the steps for each user - log on, move folder.

    In place of using the Move button, you can right click/drag the My
    Documents folder to E:\<username>. When you release the mouse button,
    select Move Here. Again, all registry entries will update as the operating
    system moves these folders and contents for you.

    > Is it as simple as moving the whole user profiles folder to another drive,
    > but if so (idiot question) how does XP know how to find the profiles folder in
    > its new location? How do I actually do this?

    Using the method above, there will still be a user folder under Documents
    and Settings for each user but mostly what will be stored there is each
    user's browser cache, temp files and application data/preference settings.
    For the most part these are disposable files. User settings are not
    disposable but not as critical as personal files. User settings can be
    backed up with FAST (files and settings transfer wizard) or setup manually.
    The important part - the bulk of personal files - will be on E:

    NOTE: If you are planning on imaging the Windows drive on a regular basis,
    this arrangement is a good strategy. It keeps the size of the Windows
    partition down. On a mature XP system, I can still fit a "Windows/barebones
    Documents and Settings" image onto a single DVD.

    > Also, does XP have some special functionality associated with folder
    > My Pictures that doesn't get associated with any old folder? If so,
    > will any special properties of My Pictures be preserved if I move it
    > to another partition as indicated above?

    My Pictures is

    1) a system folder. Using the above directions it will remain as a
    subfolder to My Documents. It can also be right clicked/dragged to a
    different position if you prefer and the registry entries automatically
    updated. This part of My Pictures (system folder status), you cannot
    duplicate.

    2) customized with a template. You can customize any folder as a picture
    folder using the folder's Properties> Customize menu. There are several
    choices available in these screens: some for pictures and some for other
    types of data.

    --
    Sharon F
    MS-MVP ~ Windows XP Shell/User
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics,microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    You also need to direct the Outlook Express store folder, it
    defaults in C:/doc settings/user.


    --
    The people think the Constitution protects their rights;
    But government sees it as an obstacle to be overcome.


    "Sharon F" <sharonfDEL@ETEmvps.org> wrote in message
    news:uEyMx%23DwEHA.3808@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
    | On Mon, 1 Nov 2004 16:30:40 +0000, AirToob wrote:
    |
    | > As a soon-to-be-but-not-yet XP user, I can see
    advantages in having
    | > several partitions on the hard drive, one partition
    being for user data.
    | >
    | > I would want to put folders My Documents, My Pictures,
    My Music onto
    | > (say) the E: drive. In fact there would be one set of
    such folders
    | > there, one set per each user of XP. How can I set that
    up?
    |
    | I would make a folder for each user on the E: drive. Then
    add a subfolder
    | named Docs or similar. After XP is installed, log on as
    one of the users.
    | Then right click on My Documents for that user and select
    Properties. Click
    | the Move button and select E:\<username>\Docs (or whatever
    name you used on
    | the new folder). XP will then move all items over for you
    and update the
    | registry entries. Repeat the steps for each user - log on,
    move folder.
    |
    | In place of using the Move button, you can right
    click/drag the My
    | Documents folder to E:\<username>. When you release the
    mouse button,
    | select Move Here. Again, all registry entries will update
    as the operating
    | system moves these folders and contents for you.
    |
    | > Is it as simple as moving the whole user profiles folder
    to another drive,
    | > but if so (idiot question) how does XP know how to find
    the profiles folder in
    | > its new location? How do I actually do this?
    |
    | Using the method above, there will still be a user folder
    under Documents
    | and Settings for each user but mostly what will be stored
    there is each
    | user's browser cache, temp files and application
    data/preference settings.
    | For the most part these are disposable files. User
    settings are not
    | disposable but not as critical as personal files. User
    settings can be
    | backed up with FAST (files and settings transfer wizard)
    or setup manually.
    | The important part - the bulk of personal files - will be
    on E:
    |
    | NOTE: If you are planning on imaging the Windows drive on
    a regular basis,
    | this arrangement is a good strategy. It keeps the size of
    the Windows
    | partition down. On a mature XP system, I can still fit a
    "Windows/barebones
    | Documents and Settings" image onto a single DVD.
    |
    | > Also, does XP have some special functionality associated
    with folder
    | > My Pictures that doesn't get associated with any old
    folder? If so,
    | > will any special properties of My Pictures be preserved
    if I move it
    | > to another partition as indicated above?
    |
    | My Pictures is
    |
    | 1) a system folder. Using the above directions it will
    remain as a
    | subfolder to My Documents. It can also be right
    clicked/dragged to a
    | different position if you prefer and the registry entries
    automatically
    | updated. This part of My Pictures (system folder status),
    you cannot
    | duplicate.
    |
    | 2) customized with a template. You can customize any
    folder as a picture
    | folder using the folder's Properties> Customize menu.
    There are several
    | choices available in these screens: some for pictures and
    some for other
    | types of data.
    |
    | --
    | Sharon F
    | MS-MVP ~ Windows XP Shell/User
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics,microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    "Jim Macklin" <p51mustang[threeX12]@xxxhotmail.calm> wrote in message
    news:eIjcJMEwEHA.2012@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
    > You also need to direct the Outlook Express store folder, it
    > defaults in C:/doc settings/user.
    >

    You'd also need to redirect the Windows Address book folder, which is in a
    differnt place.
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;156828

    HTH
    -pk

    >
    > --
    > The people think the Constitution protects their rights;
    > But government sees it as an obstacle to be overcome.
    >
    >
    > "Sharon F" <sharonfDEL@ETEmvps.org> wrote in message
    > news:uEyMx%23DwEHA.3808@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
    > | On Mon, 1 Nov 2004 16:30:40 +0000, AirToob wrote:
    > |
    > | > As a soon-to-be-but-not-yet XP user, I can see
    > advantages in having
    > | > several partitions on the hard drive, one partition
    > being for user data.
    > | >
    > | > I would want to put folders My Documents, My Pictures,
    > My Music onto
    > | > (say) the E: drive. In fact there would be one set of
    > such folders
    > | > there, one set per each user of XP. How can I set that
    > up?
    > |
    > | I would make a folder for each user on the E: drive. Then
    > add a subfolder
    > | named Docs or similar. After XP is installed, log on as
    > one of the users.
    > | Then right click on My Documents for that user and select
    > Properties. Click
    > | the Move button and select E:\<username>\Docs (or whatever
    > name you used on
    > | the new folder). XP will then move all items over for you
    > and update the
    > | registry entries. Repeat the steps for each user - log on,
    > move folder.
    > |
    > | In place of using the Move button, you can right
    > click/drag the My
    > | Documents folder to E:\<username>. When you release the
    > mouse button,
    > | select Move Here. Again, all registry entries will update
    > as the operating
    > | system moves these folders and contents for you.
    > |
    > | > Is it as simple as moving the whole user profiles folder
    > to another drive,
    > | > but if so (idiot question) how does XP know how to find
    > the profiles folder in
    > | > its new location? How do I actually do this?
    > |
    > | Using the method above, there will still be a user folder
    > under Documents
    > | and Settings for each user but mostly what will be stored
    > there is each
    > | user's browser cache, temp files and application
    > data/preference settings.
    > | For the most part these are disposable files. User
    > settings are not
    > | disposable but not as critical as personal files. User
    > settings can be
    > | backed up with FAST (files and settings transfer wizard)
    > or setup manually.
    > | The important part - the bulk of personal files - will be
    > on E:
    > |
    > | NOTE: If you are planning on imaging the Windows drive on
    > a regular basis,
    > | this arrangement is a good strategy. It keeps the size of
    > the Windows
    > | partition down. On a mature XP system, I can still fit a
    > "Windows/barebones
    > | Documents and Settings" image onto a single DVD.
    > |
    > | > Also, does XP have some special functionality associated
    > with folder
    > | > My Pictures that doesn't get associated with any old
    > folder? If so,
    > | > will any special properties of My Pictures be preserved
    > if I move it
    > | > to another partition as indicated above?
    > |
    > | My Pictures is
    > |
    > | 1) a system folder. Using the above directions it will
    > remain as a
    > | subfolder to My Documents. It can also be right
    > clicked/dragged to a
    > | different position if you prefer and the registry entries
    > automatically
    > | updated. This part of My Pictures (system folder status),
    > you cannot
    > | duplicate.
    > |
    > | 2) customized with a template. You can customize any
    > folder as a picture
    > | folder using the folder's Properties> Customize menu.
    > There are several
    > | choices available in these screens: some for pictures and
    > some for other
    > | types of data.
    > |
    > | --
    > | Sharon F
    > | MS-MVP ~ Windows XP Shell/User
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics,microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    What appears logical to the mind could in fact reduce performance for the
    hard drive. I agree with the above reply that partitioning as you suggest
    will probably cause the read/write heads to have to move much greater
    distances and will cause your read/write operations to take longer.

    The idea of partitioning hard drives derives in part from an earlier period
    when the physical capacity of hard drives grew beyond the capability of the
    operating system to address them, so users made partitions that the
    operating system could use. When Windows could only address a 32GB hard
    drive, users with 40GB drives usually overcame the limitation with two 20GB
    partitions. Your new operating system will not have this problem.

    If you want smoother performance out of your hard drive, simply maintain it
    with periodic defragmentation and backups. The problem with backing up your
    documents from one partition of the hard drive to another is that both
    partitions, being on the same hard drive, are lost if the physical hard
    drive fails.

    Please consider a second hard drive for backups and archived files such as
    pictures and music files. Either an internal or external drive is OK. An
    advantage of a second drive is that your hard drive controller can read and
    write to both drives at the same time.

    Probably the safest for backups is an external drive. Such drives are now
    very inexpensive and use a usb port to transfer data. Just be sure you have
    usb2 (usb1.1 is too slow).

    "AirToob" <brian@toobxy.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:fbFFpFAwSmhBFwUY@tooby.demon.co.uk...
    > As a soon-to-be-but-not-yet XP user, I can see advantages in having
    > several partitions on the hard drive, one partition being for user data.
    >
    > I would want to put folders My Documents, My Pictures, My Music onto
    > (say) the E: drive. In fact there would be one set of such folders
    > there, one set per each user of XP. How can I set that up?
    >
    > Is it as simple as moving the whole user profiles folder to another drive,
    > but if so (idiot question) how does XP know how to find the profiles
    > folder in
    > its new location? How do I actually do this?
    >
    > Also, does XP have some special functionality associated with folder
    > My Pictures that doesn't get associated with any old folder? If so,
    > will any special properties of My Pictures be preserved if I move it
    > to another partition as indicated above?
    >
    > My currently planned partitions BTW (on a 200G drive) are (1) XP Operating
    > System, (2) Swap File - no fragmentation problems if it has a partition to
    > itself, (3) Application Programs, and (4) User Data. Will be using
    > Partition
    > Magic to do the partitioning. 200G drive!
    >
    > Any comments from the experts will be much appreciated.
    >
    >
    > MTIA...
    >
    > Brian Tooby
    > (remove "x" from email address when replying)
    >
    > Pilot's Assistant Home Page:
    > http://www.tooby.demon.co.uk/P_Assist_Home.html
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics,microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    In article <uEyMx#DwEHA.3808@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl>, Sharon F
    <sharonfDEL@ETEmvps.org> writes
    >On Mon, 1 Nov 2004 16:30:40 +0000, AirToob wrote:
    >
    >> As a soon-to-be-but-not-yet XP user, I can see advantages in having
    >> several partitions on the hard drive, one partition being for user data.
    >>
    >> I would want to put folders My Documents, My Pictures, My Music onto
    >> (say) the E: drive. In fact there would be one set of such folders
    >> there, one set per each user of XP. How can I set that up?
    >
    >I would make a folder for each user on the E: drive. Then add a subfolder
    >named Docs or similar. After XP is installed, log on as one of the users.
    >Then right click on My Documents for that user and select Properties. Click
    >the Move button and select E:\<username>\Docs (or whatever name you used on
    >the new folder). XP will then move all items over for you and update the
    >registry entries. Repeat the steps for each user - log on, move folder.
    >
    >In place of using the Move button, you can right click/drag the My
    >Documents folder to E:\<username>. When you release the mouse button,
    >select Move Here. Again, all registry entries will update as the operating
    >system moves these folders and contents for you.
    >
    >> Is it as simple as moving the whole user profiles folder to another drive,
    >> but if so (idiot question) how does XP know how to find the profiles folder in
    >> its new location? How do I actually do this?
    >
    >Using the method above, there will still be a user folder under Documents
    >and Settings for each user but mostly what will be stored there is each
    >user's browser cache, temp files and application data/preference settings.
    >For the most part these are disposable files. User settings are not
    >disposable but not as critical as personal files. User settings can be
    >backed up with FAST (files and settings transfer wizard) or setup manually.
    >The important part - the bulk of personal files - will be on E:
    >
    >NOTE: If you are planning on imaging the Windows drive on a regular basis,
    >this arrangement is a good strategy. It keeps the size of the Windows
    >partition down. On a mature XP system, I can still fit a "Windows/barebones
    >Documents and Settings" image onto a single DVD.
    >
    >> Also, does XP have some special functionality associated with folder
    >> My Pictures that doesn't get associated with any old folder? If so,
    >> will any special properties of My Pictures be preserved if I move it
    >> to another partition as indicated above?
    >
    >My Pictures is
    >
    >1) a system folder. Using the above directions it will remain as a
    >subfolder to My Documents. It can also be right clicked/dragged to a
    >different position if you prefer and the registry entries automatically
    >updated. This part of My Pictures (system folder status), you cannot
    >duplicate.
    >
    >2) customized with a template. You can customize any folder as a picture
    >folder using the folder's Properties> Customize menu. There are several
    >choices available in these screens: some for pictures and some for other
    >types of data.
    >


    Thanks, Sharon, that was really helpful!

    Best regards,


    Brian Tooby
    (remove "x" from email address when replying)

    Pilot's Assistant Home Page:
    http://www.tooby.demon.co.uk/P_Assist_Home.html
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