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Hard Drive Partitioning


alexepascual
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I am planning to partition my hard drive more or less like this:

C: Windows XP system files

D: Swap partition

E: Temp partition, includes Internet Temporary Files

F: Program Files

G: Documents and Settings

H: Rarely used files such as backups, uninstall info, etc.

My quetions are:

(1) How do I set Partition E to hold the internet temporary files?

(2) How do I set F: to hold the Program Files folder such that it continues to be called "Program Files" and remains the default installation folder?

(3) How do I properly trnsfer documents and settings to the G: partition?

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Are you using WINNT.SIF?

http://unattended.msfn.org/global/reference.htm

[Unattended]
TargetPath=\WINDOWS
This option tells Setup the directory path that Windows should install to.

ProgramFilesDir="C:\My Program Files"
You can change the default location of Program Files using this entry. Replace the drive letter and folder name as appropriate.

CommonProgramFilesDir="C:\My Program Files\My Common Files"
You can change the default location of Common Files in Program Files using this entry. Replace the drive letter and folder names as appropriate.

[GuiUnattended]
ProfilesDir="C:\Documents and Settings\"
You can change the default location of Documents and Settings using this entry.

How to Change the Location of Temporary Internet Files

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/172949/EN-US/

BTW have you heard of Firefox? :rolleyes:

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Thanks for your info Digerati,

I don't kmow what WINNT.SIF is.

What I am trying to do is to change the location of these folders (in a way that will be recognized by the system) without re-installing windows. I'll use a partitioning tool that I downloaded from the net to re-size my C: partition and create the other partitions.

I haven't visited the links you posted yet, but i'lldo that next.

Thanks again,

-Alex-

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OK, I visited the links.

The first one has to do with nLite. This is a topic that I never understood.

Even I visited the nLite thread, I didn't see any introduction explaining the concept of unnatended installation and why you would want such a thing.

If I were an IT guy and were to install XP on 10 computers, I can see how making a special CD would help. But for one computer, I can't understand what the advantages are.

The second link (microsoft) about how to change the internet temporary files is part of what I was looking for. I read it and I'll be able to follow those steps once I have my partitions set.

So I still need to find a way to change the "Documents and settings" and "Program Files" to other partitions without reinstalling windows (if that's possible)

Thanks for your help Digerati,

-Alex-

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So I still need to find a way to change the "Documents and settings" and "Program Files" to other partitions without reinstalling windows (if that's possible)

Yes it's possible but not straight forward.

If you already have programs installed in C then you cannot simply move them to another partition without a lot of editing the registry. You'll be much better to uninstall and reinstall them to the new location.

You can redirect the default prog install path as describe below but this is not strictly required as most programs give you a choice anyway. The change only applies to new programs you install afterwards.

You can change the default paths of these shell folders by using Microsoft PowerToys TweakUI.

It can be done directly via regedit but TweakUI is easier. Note that after doing that you have to move the files in My Docuements to the new folder (leaving the original My Documents in C).

I just find it simpler to make a new folder called My Documents on another partition and manually move the files. Most applications ask you where to save your files so again it's not strictly necessary to move the default save file path.

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Frankly, having that many partitions is useless and unncessary and will slow down disk access. Any reason why you're contemplating creating 26 partitions?

As another user stated, the default paths are all contained in the registry.

You'll also need Partition Magic or other comparable software to add these partitions unless you feel like re-formatting the whole thing.

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First, you need to work on the partitions. There is no use in creating a partition for the swap file, unless it is on a diffrent Physical drive. As for doing this all without reinstalling, I wouldnt recommend it. All registries get larger of time. and not all registry entries are stored correctly, for example all references to program files should be in a REG_SZ, but someting they are an encoded binary, like some settings. To move everything you will have to search through and replace every occurance of everything that you want to move. It would literally take you longet to follow the guide to create an unattended install using winnt.sif, and then reinstall than it would to move everything. Also it would be more stable, and isnt that what you are really looking for, organization and stability?

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raskren:

I am actually thinking about creating 3 or 4 more partitions besides C:. The reason to create partitions would be to avoid fragmentation, to allow faster access to the files that are used more frequently, and for safety reasons.

I have a 60MB hard drive with a 30MB partition. Although I could create more partitions using the windows disk management tool, I will need some partitioning software to resize my first partition.

purewaveform:

I already have installed a second hard drive and setup a small partition at the beginning of the drive for the swap file. I have heard arguments in favor of having a swap partition even if it is on the same drive to avoid fragmentation. But I guess if I put it in my second drive I'll also gain in access time as that is the only partition in that drive that I'll use while running windows, so the heads won't be moving that much.

As far as moving programs, I have already uninstalled a lot of them. I am not planning on manually moving any program. I uninstall from the first partition, and then re-install to the new "programs" partition. I guess I can follow tukeshi's suggestion to use TuikUI to change the default programs folder location.

The programs I have uninstalled I am not even using at the time, so I'll re-install them when I need them. I have already reduced the disk usage on C: to 5.9GB.

With respect to unnattended install, winnt.sif, nLite, etc. as I said before, I don't understand the benefits of creating an install disk. Is not that I argue agains it, it is just that I haven't found any explanations on the web about the benefits of such procedure. Maybe you can point me to the right place.

Thanks guys for your advice.

-Alex-

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The swap file information is correct, you want to avoid fragmentation. If you defrag the second drive, and then move the file, it should come in basically defraged. Also there are third party tools that can defrag that, so I personally wouldnt worry about it.

As for uninstalling, and reinstalling. Good, glad you wernt trying to move. but after you have everything moved, then I would still run a search in the registry for c:\*** whatever so that you make sure the uninstall actually caught ererything.

As for the reinstall, this really isnt the right thread for it, and besides if we start that debate then this thread will never end. but for me personally, I just find that my machine runs better. I just like to clean it out, My work machine get a good cleanout every year. And my home computer every couple of months. (my kids LOVE shareware!!). But, if your computer is running smooth enough, "dont fix something that isnt broken."

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I agree with Purewave; I created an unattended installation disk because I erase my computer and start fresh AT LEAST every 3 months. I like to try new software and uninstall / reinstall, which will eventually build up garbage everywhere. As a sidenote, I would also strongly suggest doing more research on the advantages / disadvantages of multiple partitions; based upon my experience and most of what I have read you will take a performance hit by setting up like you described as opposed to gaining speed and avoiding defragmentation. If speed is what it is all about, and not necessarily organization, then I can't believe anyone would recommend 5 or 6 partitions on a 60GB harddrive. I would definitely like to know if anyone out there has read something contrary.....

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raskren:

I am actually thinking about creating 3 or 4 more partitions besides C:. The reason to create partitions would be to avoid fragmentation, to allow faster access to the files that are used more frequently, and for safety reasons.

I have a 60MB hard drive with a 30MB partition. Although I could create more partitions using the windows disk management tool, I will need some partitioning software to resize my first partition.

Have a look at BootIt NG - partitioning, imaging, and boot management. Free 30 day trial or $US35 to buy.

http://www.bootitng.com/

I've used it on many occasions for various partitioning procedures and image creation and restoration - and not had any problems.

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I hate to almost advertise it, but I think Acronis Disk Director is a much better deal for only $15 more USD. They also have a Free Trial. Plus You can create a Bootable CD from it, so you never need to install it again.

http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/diskdirector/

I 'try' to keep it simple.

C:Windows

D:Program Files

E:Documents & Settings

F:2nd HDD

G:3rd HDD

H:etc

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