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Boot drive and primary drive

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July 26, 2012 1:33:26 PM

Greetings to all:

I am a new member of Tom's Hardware so I'll apologize in advance if I'm asking something that is old hat here.

I'm building a high-end gaming rig in the next few weeks. I've decided to go with a SSD boot drive and supplementary mechanical drives to total 3TB of storage. I'm very clear on how to install the OS to the boot drive and how to later bring the mechanical drives on line by way of creating partition, etc. My questions are the following:

Once the mechanical drive is brought on-line, how do I ensure things like game saves go to the mechanical drive? I ask since besides speed, the main benefit of a boot drive is to cordon off possible viruses from the rest of your data. However, Windows installations usually designate the documents folder on the same drive as the OS, and game saves usually go to the documents folder. I'm looking for a way for all Documents Folder related items to automatically go to the mechanical drives rather than having to cut and past things all the time.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

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July 26, 2012 2:47:31 PM

I used this method to move my Users folder (and with it my music, documents, and downloads folders) to a separate drive.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/window...

I hope you have luck with it too.
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July 26, 2012 3:04:55 PM

joecole1572 said:
I used this method to move my Users folder (and with it my music, documents, and downloads folders) to a separate drive.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/window...

I hope you have luck with it too.


Thanks for that response - that is a helpful link for many reasons. If I understand correctly, the main issue is to have all apps that generate user data send that data and those files to the Documents folder, Windows 7 has to recognize the User profile as also being located on a separate drive, but Windows does not offer a chance to separate profile placement from OS installation location.

Further, if I understand correctly, the issue I am trying to resolve would not merely pertain to game save files but pretty much any app I instal. Thus, even if I install, let's say, AMD Catalyst to another drive, it will likely still generate data and files that will wind up on the boot drive (I may be wrong about Catalyst in particular, but you will get my point, I think). I supposes all of this isn't terribly concerning provided one backs up crucial files, like game saves (Game Save Manager is a real gem, in this regard).

Then this raises the question as to how large the boot drive ought to be. My understanding is that Windows 7 requires somewhere around 20GB of hard drive space. If that is right, a 90GB drive will be more than enough to also accommodate administrative files and the like. Does that sound right>
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July 26, 2012 3:21:28 PM

I think a 90 GB drive is great for an OS drive. With 90 GB you should be able to fit most programs and a handful of games. I wouldn't recommend going lower than 90 gigs, but it is also not necessary to go any higher if you have a separate data drive (in my opinion).

Edit:

Also, a good deal of program data is saved to the user folder. It usually is under hidden folders, like "appdata". If the linkage is done correctly, all of your user data should go to the secondary drive. So using your example of Catalyst profiles, they would likely reside in either the documents folder, or the hidden appdata folder, both of which will be on the secondary drive. Granted, this is true if you linked the whole users folder to the second drive, not just the documents folder. I have seen very few programs that save user data in the program folders.

Even if user data is saved on the OS drive, I doubt you will generate enough data to warrant anything bigger than 90 gigs.
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July 26, 2012 6:18:09 PM

Best answer selected by claptrap22.
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