Are there any upgrades or new Windows (W8 + ) that allows easy movement of where programs and user data is installed? With SSD getting cheaper, this has to be a priority of MS, right? I understand it can be done presently but can be a monster to accomplish successfully.
Most games (and applications) will prompt you for an installation directory. I've had no issues over the last few years installing programs 'off' OS drives with Win7 or Vista. It's not advisable to attempt to relocate once installed ... a new re-installation off the OS drive is the way to go.
Programs remember their last-saved data directories OR allow you to designate one in 'options' or 'preferences'. I also remove the 'My Documents' folder from the desktop and replace it with a short-cut to an off-OS drive called 'Hot Files' where I have my standard 'directory tree' that I have used for years (and years and years ... lol). Follow your own 'rules' for saving data in your directory tree, and you will eventually acclimate yourself to your file system. That makes finding something, even 5 or 10 years after the fact, much easier.
I have been building Windows PC's since the early 1990's and never experienced a "monster" of a problem . During Program Installs, one simply changes the Install directory though some programs intentionally obfuscate the process and some will install "common files" on C:\ProgramFiles no matter what you do. I'd call it an "inconvenience rather than a monster problem in these instances.
I have had some experiences (I.e. Adobe Reader) where I had to install on old version off a MoBo Driver CD and then upgrade via the web site. In similar cases you can do a yahoo / google search for ways around it.....Java and iTunes are other culprits.
As for saved files. I simply chnage it each time the Save As window opens.
Here's a nice tutorial on changing the location of User Files.
Of course I am not just referring to programs, but the also the \users or such. That can become a 'monster' of a problem. Following a straight install is not whnat I was referring to. I think ya'll missed the point of the thread. The point was to be able to determine in advance where any and all programs. \users or any directory can be told to live. All of these enhancements or capabilities would be great for a mature OS, right? Since SSD arrival, Google'ing will cough up dozens of tales of what to do and not do when attempting to move \users to D:\users. I do understand that W7 offers a way after install to charge the 'link' or 'target' to another location, and I am using that feature now. I'm sure many Windows users would enjoy having this ability in a cleaner method. Also, you can bet MS will be bringing more and more of these type features into the Windows OS.