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  1. #1
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    Questions about installing Win7

    I am finally moving from XP to Win7 and would like some advice on the following before I move. I have a 60GHB SSD, a 1TB HDD and a 2TB HDD.

    What I want to do is put the Windows and the Programs Files folders (I will use XP terminology throughout because I don't know what the equivalent Win7 names are yet) on the SSD, the Documents and Settings folder on a partition on the 1TB HDD and move some of the default folders in the D&S folder to other locations.

    The Documents, Music, Pictures and Video folders (which tend to be large) for each user and All Users onto the 2TB HDD, the rubbish files (TIF, Temp, Cookies, Recent Files, various caches etc) for each user and All Users (where applicable) and Windows onto a separate partition on the 1TB HDD, all for ease in the way I backup my system. I have more than enough USB external HDDs (of various sizes) for this purpose and to create images.

    Can I do this during the install of Win7? And do it in such a way that when or if I create a new user all the folders go to the locations I have pre-chosen, ie, empty Documents folder etc straight onto the 2TB HDD, the empty rubbish folders onto a second partition etc. Or set up a single user this way during install and then get Windows to do this in future and in either case create a modified install disk so that if I re-install at a future time this will happen automatically?

    If so, what additional steps do I need to take, before and/or after the installation

    I will be installing Win7 Pro, 64bit.

    I am assuming the Libraries will effectively be going where the Documents and Settings folder and the Windows and Program Files folder will be going, that is the 1TB HDD and the SSD (respectively).
    Last edited by AussieGeoff; 2011-08-22 at 08:28.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Geoff, Welcome to the Lounge as a new poster. It's always nice seeing new contributors.

    Also welcome as a new Win 7 user. I have often said (since updating to Win 7) "they can have my Win 7 back when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers" In other words, I love it.

    To answer some of your questions ( I do not have answers to all of them)

    Documents and Settings is a XP term. There is still a Documents and Settings folder, but it is not a real folder, it is a junction point. These are in essence a pointer for old legacy software to the new locations in Win 7. A Google search for Junction Points in Win 7 will give a lot of info on these. These junctions points are NOT accessible from a user standdpoint. In Win 7 user data such as Favorites, Documents, Pictures, etc are at C: (What ever name you choose), Users, User Name (again whatever you choos based on the Win 7 installation) In (User Name) folder you will see all the folders you mentioned above. (i.e. Mine look like this: TedWin7 C: , Users, Ted). If I had another user the name Ted would be their name.

    Libraries: there has been many discussions of the Libraries in Win 7. A Google search again will give a lot of information. Basically the Libraries are place holders for pointers to any folder or files you have anywhere on your HD (including different HD's or partitions) The Libraries DO NOT actually contain the data, they just contain pointers to the data. In your case it sounds as though your data will be spread out. The Libraries give you easy access to that data. The Libraries DO NOT get moved as they DO NOT actually contain any data.

    My suggestion is to install whatever version of Win 7 you choose (read about the differences)(oh I see you have chosen Win 7 Pro) on the SSD (good choice), install your various apps and security apps, download the updates you feel you shoud have, and customize Win 7 to your likeing. Once you have everything working the way you like, then begin to move locations of the various data to whatever drives or partitions you wish. If you right click on a data folder (i.e. Pictures) and choose Properties, a window will open that looks like this:

    MoveMyDocuments.jpg MoveMyDocuments2.jpg Properties3.jpg

    On the Location tab, you can move the folder to whereever you wish. You have to do this for each folder you wish to move. By default there are certain folders Win 7 will not let you easily move, and these will not have a location tab. I do not believe these moves can happen during the original installation.

    I may be wrong but I believe when you move the personal data folders for one user (Favs, Pic, etc), it does not move that folder for another user. (Because these data folder are stored in C:, User, User Name locations they would have to be moved separately) App data would point to the new location for all users. This would entail moving these personal data folder individually for each user. Always use the method outlind so the pointer to the data will point to the correct new location. Since the actual method is not onerous, it should not be a big deal to move all users separately. Heck you could even set up separate partitions on the data drives for each user and point to their personal partition to store their personal data.

    I hope this somewhat long winded post helps point you in the right direction, and again, welcome
    Last edited by Medico; 2011-08-22 at 11:01.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply, it helps a lot.

    I meant Documents and Settings as the real XP folder name and was after the win7 equivalent. In essence, to create the \Users folder on a separate HDD during installation of Win7 and then break up the contents so they appeared on different partitions according to the way I work, which I could partially do when installing XP by using a winnt.sif file (rename and/or move the Documents and Settings folder during install).

    For example have a template similar to this:

    D:\Users which contains the root folder for each user, ex D:\Users\Geoff (with the child folders Desktop, Application Data etc). D:\Users would also contain D:\Users\Common (or "All Users") which contains the common Desktop, Application Data etc folders - This folder to be created on a partition that I specify during the install.

    E:\Data which contains the "useful" folders for each user, ex E:\Data\Geoff contains the Documents, Music, Videos, Pictures etc folders for user Geoff and Data\Common for the common Documents, Music, Pictures etc folders.

    F:\Junk which contains the throw away files and folders for each user, ex F:\Junk\Geoff which contains the Cookies, TIF, Temp etc folders for user Geoff and F:\Junk\System which contains the throw away folders for Windows (spooler, temp TIF, etc).

    If I can create the \Users folder on a separate HDD/partition, I would like to also be able to tell the installer to create the template with the \Data and \Junk folders in different locations and create the individual files and folders for each user in the places specified in the template. And more over that if I create new users any time in the future the empty folders for the new user will be created in the locations according to the template. I realize that the contents of the \Data and \Junk folders would normally be in the \Users folder.

    I hope this explanation is clearer than my previous post.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Geoff,

    Allow me to welcome you also.
    From your post I gather that you are a somewhat advanced user to have considered all this. With that in mind you may be interested in this website by one of our regular contributors Bbearren.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    Thanks for the link. But I am not that advanced, I know nothing about Junction Points etc. Using XP the winnt.sif file was easy to create and use to get where I wanted to get during the installation, but there is no equivalent in win7 (that I have found).

    I basically want the template for ease of backup (that is, create a new user and all the relevant new user files are automatically included using my backup schema), file by file backup of "important" files on a regular basis and imaging of the system as necessary, all without wasting my time and resources backing up the junk.

    Thanks for the beer!

  7. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have not read or heard of anything like what you want to make these changes during installation of Win 7. How many different users are you looking at? Because of the way Win 7 lays out Users, this might be difficult if not impossible to do. Each user has their own personal folders holding their data. That is why I believe it might be easier to set Win 7 up first, then move the user folders to different drives using the layout scheme you describe.

    Using any of the 3rd party back up apps will allow you to choose what folders to back up and when to do so. If you set the PC up the way you have stated you wish to do, you could set up incremental back ups to create your backups whenever you wish. You could also use the same app to create whole system images very easily. The Win 7 Backup and Restore may actually do what you want, but I have found the 3rd party apps to be more full featured for my likes. The 2 apps mentioned most are Acronis True image Home (this is what I use) and Macrium Reflect.

    Good luck, and enjoy Win 7.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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    AussieGeoff (2011-08-23)

  9. #7
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    I am talking about 2 users plus the administrator. There will also be an additional user for approx 3 - 4 months each year (an exchange student) - sometimes they have their own laptop, sometimes they don't.

    Basically the schema I am looking at allows me to create a new user at any time (the exchange student) and have all the new folders and files to fit into the backup scheme automatically - I will forget to move the folders when I create them annually!

    Yes I also use Acronis True Image Home and the idea is to create incremental file backups of the Data folders (as per my schema) and images of the System and Users on an "as needs" basis.

    I did contact BBearren (mentioned in Post #4) and he has helped immensely, I was searching using the wrong terms for something to use to customize the install. I have found a couple of different ways to create roughly the equivalent of XP's winnt.sif file to do an unattended installation. I will be trying both to see if either and/or both of them allow me to do all or at least some of what I want.
    Last edited by AussieGeoff; 2011-08-23 at 07:18.

  10. #8
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AussieGeoff View Post
    I will be trying both to see if either and/or both of them allow me to do all or at least some of what I want.
    Please post back and let us know how it works out.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    I will do that.

    It will probably be 2-3 days - there is a lot of documentation to read and from my brief scanning of the docs they seem a little self-contradictory I suppose I could just go ahead and try but, being an accountant, I tend to hate doing things over and over and over ..... until I get it right or come to to the realization that I cant do it.

  12. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Also read as much as you can about Libraries and Junction Points. These are exclusive to Win 7 and do not operate the same as any XP folders. When Win 7 first arrived on the scene there was tremendous misinfo about these items. Libraries can be very powerful if used the way they are intended, but many thought they actually contained the data, and after adding pointers to the data, they thought they could delete the original data to avoid duplication, bad move since the data was never in the Library. Good Luck with your installation plan and I second RG, please let us know how things work, and post detailed instructions if they do work. Thanks for the thanks, much appreciated. It's a 2 mug morning here, Cheers, Ted
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  13. #11
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    Arrow New Win7 installation considerations

    Quote Originally Posted by AussieGeoff View Post
    I am finally moving from XP to Win7 and would like some advice on the following before I move. I have a 60GHB SSD, a 1TB HDD and a 2TB HDD.

    What I want to do is put the Windows and the Programs Files folders (I will use XP terminology throughout because I don't know what the equivalent Win7 names are yet) on the SSD, the Documents and Settings folder on a partition on the 1TB HDD and move some of the default folders in the D&S folder to other locations.

    The Documents, Music, Pictures and Video folders (which tend to be large) for each user and All Users onto the 2TB HDD, the rubbish files (TIF, Temp, Cookies, Recent Files, various caches etc) for each user and All Users (where applicable) and Windows onto a separate partition on the 1TB HDD, all for ease in the way I backup my system. I have more than enough USB external HDDs (of various sizes) for this purpose and to create images.
    Sounds like a basically good plan to me. If you'd like, for comparison purposes, you can read about my similar partitioning strategy in this Lounge post (just in case it gives you an idea for a refinement).

    One thing you should do differently than I do: Leave your Windows swap file on the SSD (for best performance). I'd still recommend putting it in its own partition, however, and assigning a high drive letter to that partition (to keep it from affecting your external HDD drive letter assignments).

    Quote Originally Posted by AussieGeoff View Post
    Can I do this during the install of Win7?
    There's not any way of doing that that I'm aware of.

    There is a decision that you'll need to make during installation, however: Whether to allow Windows 7 to set up a "system partition" on the SSD (which it will do automatically if you let it). See this Lounge post for an explanation of the "system partition" (it's not where Windows 7 is installed, BTW--that's called the "boot partition" in Win7 lingo).

    Quote Originally Posted by AussieGeoff View Post
    And do it in such a way that when or if I create a new user all the folders go to the locations I have pre-chosen, ie, empty Documents folder etc straight onto the 2TB HDD, the empty rubbish folders onto a second partition etc. Or set up a single user this way during install and then get Windows to do this in future and in either case create a modified install disk so that if I re-install at a future time this will happen automatically?
    I'm not sure whether it's possible to have Windows 7 do any of this reorganization automatically, but there is a software tool that can make moving the User folders a painless process--just search LifeHacker.com for "Profile Relocator."

    Quote Originally Posted by AussieGeoff View Post
    I am assuming the Libraries will effectively be going where the Documents and Settings folder and the Windows and Program Files folder will be going, that is the 1TB HDD and the SSD (respectively).
    Libraries are virtual folders--they don't have a physical location, per se.

    For more on Libraries, read Fred Langa's article on the topic at http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/...-7s-libraries/.

    You may also find that this Lounge post provides an example of using Libraries that illustrates their usefulness.
    Last edited by bethel95; 2011-08-26 at 12:49.

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bethel95 View Post
    Sounds like a basically good plan to me. If you'd like, for comparison purposes, you can read about my similar partitioning strategy in this Lounge post (just in case it gives you an idea for a refinement).
    Your link leads me to partition.com, which as far as I can tell, lists and categorizes tools for different partitioning tasks.

    Thanks for the tips.

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    Exclamation Link to Lounge article on partition strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by AussieGeoff View Post
    Your link leads me to partition.com, which as far as I can tell, lists and categorizes tools for different partitioning tasks.
    Hmm...I just tested the link in my last post in this thread, and it does go to partition.com. I must have pasted in my search term rather than the link to the post I was searching for. My bad!

    I'm not at all familiar with partition.com, and am concerned that it has a poor WOT rating--be careful with anything you find there, and please know that I do not recommended it.

    I've corrected the link in my last post; here it is also.
    Last edited by bethel95; 2011-08-26 at 12:52.

  16. #14
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    G'Day

    I hate to say this but the link in my post to you and the link I see in your post are the same link (for me).

    All the other links are of the form http://windowssecrets.com/etc. It is only that one link that is different?

  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bethel95 View Post
    Hmm...I just tested the link in my last post in this thread, and it does go to partition.com. I must have pasted in my search term rather than the link to the post I was searching for. My bad!

    I'm not at all familiar with partition.com, and am concerned that it has a poor WOT rating--be careful with anything you find there, and please know that I do not recommended it.

    I've corrected the link in my last post; here it is also.
    The new link works fine!

    I am planning on doing something similar with an additional 1TB HDD after the install - connect the drive and partition it into a small partition for the swap file and a large partition for disk images of the system, I use external USB 3 and USB 2 drives for backing up user data.

    I will be putting the swap file on the new partition because I doubt it will get much use, I have 8GB of memory installed.

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