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Request for basic (but useful) feature


Faruk
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Hi all,

I've been using nLite for quite a while now, and I think I have a feature request that would benefit everybody.. I was searching for a place to make my request and I found these forums, so I signed up :)

Personally, when I install Windows I like to put it on a separate 1GB partition (C:), with my Documents and Settings, Program Files, Common Files, and Temporary folder on another partition (D:). I keep my OS partition as FAT32, since it is a bit faster than NTFS and so I can have easy access if I need to boot up in DOS. Now here's the problem: When Windows is first installed, it takes up around 500MB on my computer, which is a pretty good size. However, as programs are installed, the Windows folder grows because the Windows Installer directory is located in C:\Windows\Installer. This stores the .msi files of programs that are installed, which allows them to be removed/modified from the Windows control panel. For some programs, the files can get pretty big...

Is there a way to move the Windows installer folder to another partition? In my case I'd like to put it in D:\Program Files\Installer, to prevent the Windows folder from getting bloated... Is there any registry tweak, patch or anything that can do this? Could it be integrated into nLite?

What do you guys think? Good idea or bad idea?

Faruk

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I would use this feature.

I like to install windows on one partition, keep the pagefile on another partition.

I install games on another partition and only because manually changing the directory every time is annyoing, i install programs where XP defaults to.

I would love this feature, i think i would definatly put my temp files on another partition.

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in a way this feature could be fun to play with but there are some things to remember.

ill try to explain.

in a computer there is sucht a thing as a maxium partiotion count on a disk.

in an ideal situation i could be somthing like.

disk 1 - part 1 OS (windows)

this is a partion that you preferably want clean, that means that you want as little change to it as you can. - the less you change it, the less you have to defrag it (a defragged SystemDrive will save you a great deel of startup times)

to keep this as clean as possible - youd have to move any part that stores a lot of temp data, examples $Documents and settings$ $user tmp$ $downloaded program files$ and $temp internet files and coockies$ pagefile. and stuf like that...

if you did all of this you'd have one %programfiles% and %windir% left on disk 1... and the big secret, i wont matter if this total size is 5gh or 50gb in speed it doesn't realy matter a lot. anymore. -

on the 2nd disk (pref) or if you must - the 2nd partition, you want to store temp files ... like %temp% and pagefile...

of the 3rd you'd want your data like %documents and settings% and and about any think that should get in the My Documents....

this 3 disk (parttion) settup is mutch used on big companies. and many say its realy affective for your performnce...

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Mirddes, All I saw was a request for C:\Windows\Installer redirection and that would be veery rarely used indeed, how did you come up with pagefile notion?

It would be nice, I can't remember if Windows resets only the site or the location of the pagefile too at the end of the setup.

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Hey nuhi, thanks for the reply :)

At this point I actually have Program Files, Common Files, Documents and Settings, Temp, and pagefile.sys on a separate partition from Windows :)

It's the first time I actually tried doing this, and Windows feels MUCH faster, so I thought it would be worth a shot to move the Installer folder too and see what it does...

Of course it's your call if you wanna add the feature or not, since I really don't know how much time/work it would take you.. but nevertheless, thanks a bunch for all the effort you've put into nLite, I can't live without it anymore :D

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There is no technical reason why you cannot have the pagefile on a different partition of the same physical drive but there is nothing to be gained from it other than a more complicated setup with more potential points of failure.

There are no performance or other benefits and anything you might think you are seeing is an illusion. The same goes for 'Documents and Settings' etc.

Standard practice in many parts of the industry is two partitions. A system partition containing O/S (inc. pagefile), programs, volatile/temporary data etc. and a data partition containing everything else. This is the partition to which the Documents folder, and only the Documents folder, is redirected.

This simplifies backups/restores/upgrades etc. as only the system partition needs selective backups. The data partition can be backed up as a single entity.

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Just a few words on partitioning. My HD is 129GB, not real big but big enough for me. I have it divided into six (6) partitions and name them as follows :

System (Drive 1 - 10GB) - where I only have my operating system (WinXP) and program files installed.

Working (Drive 2 - 10GB) - for all my downloads and basically a place to unzip files and store stuff until I decide whether I want to keep it or not. I dont even download into a directory, just directly onto my working Drive and unzip everything there too. Naturally that's when the directories are created.

Programs (Drive 3 - 20GB) - for all my programs that don't have to be installed and you'ld be surprised at how many programs that have an executable file but don't really need it. I do howerver let it go through the motions and then go to my Program Files on drive © and copy the directory over to my Programs Drive. Sometimes there is a little tweaking involved and saving registry files but rarely and not much.

Media (Drive 4 - 50GB) - for mp3's, movies, pictures etc. I even keep my games here. To make life easier I make shortcuts to my Games and I forgot to mention for my Programs on Drive 3. I put these shortcuts into a directory called Games and another called Programs and just put these folders on my taskbar. Makes it easy when formatting and trying to set everything up again.

Storage (Drive 5 - 20GB) - for programs that have to be set-up (executed) Torrent Files, Drivers, Icons and mostly stuff I use rarely or when reinstalling windows.

Personal (Drive 6 - 10GB) - This drive speaks for itself. I keep Tax Returns, Serial Numbers and lots of goodies here and locked up tight with Truecrypt which is a great little free program. this Drive is not even visible until I mount it (in other words make it visible)

I Know I could have several directories on 2 or 3 Partitions which works fine and I used to do this but it is much better and more organized for me now. I even keep shortcuts for my Media and Programs Drives on my taskbar.

Just my 2 cents on Partitioning !

dhedges

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In reference to %SystemRoot%\Installer, I always apply NTFS compression to it (and some other directories as well) with a script during RunOnceEx. I know you stated that you keep the partition as FAT32 so NTFS compression doesn't apply. But I just thought I would throw it in there.

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I believe creating the pagefile on a separate partition (i.e. the same physical drive) is not recommended.

Cheers,

James

x

yup

benchmarks show this slows your machine down (and you can see why)

the say your os is at the start of partition 1, if things are paged, they'll be on the 2nd partition (if you've set it up like that), so the disk will be going back and forth to the start of the drive to the start of your 2nd partition

In reference to %SystemRoot%\Installer, I always apply NTFS compression to it (and some other directories as well) with a script during RunOnceEx. I know you stated that you keep the partition as FAT32 so NTFS compression doesn't apply. But I just thought I would throw it in there.

me too, some of the larger folders in programfiles can be compressed to save a lot of space

as long as your core files and ones you use everyday (like ff) aren't compressed, you're not going to notice the difference in speed

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the say your os is at the start of partition 1, if things are paged, they'll be on the 2nd partition (if you've set it up like that), so the disk will be going back and forth to the start of the drive to the start of your 2nd partition

+ the bigger your first partition, the slower the part of the disk for your 2nd partition.

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here's what I did (you need your system disk to be ntfs for it to work though):

1. Leave a couple of gigs unpartitioned at the end of the disk

2. as soon as install finishes, go to your windows (winnt) dir and rename the installer folder to something else (like installer2, for example)

3. go to start --> run --> type diskmgmt.msc

4. Select the unpartitioned spaced and right click --> create logical drive.

5. A Wizard will open, click next till it asks you whether you wish to assign a drive letter, select "Mount this volume at an empty folder that supports drive paths"

6. Select browse and browse to your winnt dir, select New folder and name it "Installer"; select it and click ok

7. Format the partition as ntfs

8. copy the contents of your old installer folder (now called installer2) to the new installer mounted volume

9. give the mounted volume the hidden attribute.

You will now have two gigs of space coming from another partition where the installer folder is supposed to be.

:)

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the say your os is at the start of partition 1, if things are paged, they'll be on the 2nd partition (if you've set it up like that), so the disk will be going back and forth to the start of the drive to the start of your 2nd partition

+ the bigger your first partition, the slower the part of the disk for your 2nd partition.

the quickest part of the drive is the outer part, becuase it'll spin at the same speed, but the needle will cover more area (the same reason writing cd's speeds up towards the end)

but it takes longer to actually find that part of the disc (so o/s is always put near the start of the partition)

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