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  1. #1
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    Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    I am completely new to partitions. I've been reading the posts here, and also browsed a bit more widely on the web. I have a few questions which seem a little more basic than most of what I'm finding to read.
    I have a brand new computer. It has a single hard drive that was set up with four partitions: two for Linux which is not yet installed, and two for Windows. The Windows partitions are C: (20 Gig) and E: (50 Gig). These were set up by someone else, so I don't know much beyond the info here.

    The computer originally had WinME on it, but that seemed to be a major headache, so yesterday we wiped it and installed WinXP (Home). There is nothing else yet installed on the computer except a modem driver, and a few files leftover on E (all of which were just experimental anyway - all MS Office documents from the ME installation).

    Here are my questions:

    1) We have two users set up on the XP OS. I'm still a little baffled by the folder displays on this system. How do I get the default "Save As" location, as well as the "My Documents" in Explorer and similar dialogs to go to the E drive instead of C? I did it on ME, but the two user option here on XP is confusing me. I noticed in one post something about telling it to put documents and settings on the other drive during the OS install - We can reinstall the OS if that is necessary, since we haven't got any time into installing anything else in here yet and no data or anything on the computer other than a dial-up connection. Any tips here?

    2) When installing programs, if we decide to install them on E instead of C, should I change locations of everything that it gives me the option to change over to E? I am thinking specifically of things like MS Outlook, which I know will ask me where I want to store my email. (I confess, since the default location for that is in the "Windows/Application Data" folder, I was too intimidated to move it when I installed it on ME - I get a little spooked when I start changing much beyond the Programs, and My Documents folders sometimes - though once I get this computer to behave I'll be an expert at all kinds of things I never thought I'd venture into!).

    3) If I decide to keep the programs themselves on C, can I store the settings etc on E - so that everything on C is stuff that can be reinstalled using a disk?

    4) The person who set up the partitions for us recommended that we put the OS on C, and everything else on E (it was actually D at the time, but XP changed it). I've read enough now to know that opinions about what should be where vary widely, but I have been intrigued about the idea of keeping email and temp files on its own partition. Would that be as simple as adding another partition and then telling Outlook to put the email there? And then are there basic preferences somewhere one can set in browsers and Outlook Express that define where the temp files go? (I use IE, Netscape, and Opera, OE, Outlook, and occasionally Pegasus for email).

    Thanks in advance for help. Feel free to refer me to earlier posts - but my own digging wasn't finding me these answers.
    -cynthia

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    Re: Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    Hi cynthia, 1.) You can right click on the 'My Documents' folder for each user and select properties. Then use the 'Target' tab to change the location of the folder. If you wish to change the location of the 'Documents and Settings' folder doing that a OS install time would be best.
    2.) IMO, if you have two partitions then keep you rOS and programs on C: and your data on E:. You could put your temp files on E: also. That may be more of a try it and see how you think the system reacts as compared to having the temp files on C:. You'll probably not really notice a big difference.
    3.) What do you mean by settings? Preferences & options? Those are usually kept in the registry for newer programs and would be restored with the rest of the system should the need arise.
    4.) The biggest reason to have multiple partitions is for organizational reasons. When the day comes you need to reload the system you'll spend less time doing it because your data will be separate from the programs. All that said, you need to document the changes else you forget and misconfigure when you do reload. Also, a regular backup regimen for both partitions is a must. And last but not least remember that you have one HD and if it goes everything is gone no matter how many partitions you have.

    hth,
    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    Well as Joe pointed out when you have only one Hard Drive more then one Partition is basically used for organizational purposes. Putting your Temp files on a different partition will help keep the partition that you have your OS on cleaner because it will defrag better. Also keeping graphic files on a different partition will help. Any freeware are programs kept on a different partition should also keep your OS partition less clutered.
    With that said, there are things that can be done for a performance boost, BUT not without a second Hard Drive. As Joe pointed out if that Hard Drive takes a dive for any reason "OUCH" thats gonna hurt. Because the only form of back you can use without a second Hard Drive is with CD's and that could take alot of CD's as you get more and more stuff to back up. So without sounding to forward, I might suggest the first chance you get some extra cash you might want to consider a second Hard Drive that you can use for backup. With a second Hard Drive you can also make an exact copy ( OS & ALL ) of your Main Disk and if one goes down your back in action in no time. I have three Hard Drives. Two in the computer that are exact copies of each other on separate IDE Channels ( Duel Boot ) and one exact copy put up just in case something causes both Hard Drives in the computer to bite the Big one. I do weekly backups of Word & Excel Documents, Freeware, Quickens And E.T.C on CD-RW's because those things can be updated to the other Hard Drives very quickly from the CD'S if I need them for any reason.

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    Re: Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    Thanks to both of you for suggestions.

    Yes - I was getting that idea about the second HD from the reading I did before posting. I'm liking that idea!

    Joe - by "Documents and Settings" I assume that I meant any documents created by users (i.e. Word documents, Photoshop graphics, etc) and any settings I elected in a given program - but I was just quoting a recommendation from another post that had got my attention and I was curious about.

    How do I arrange to have the temp files go to E:? (I'm assuming "temp files" means email attachments, and internet downloads that aren't explicitly saved to disk - am I right here?).

    If I install MS Office on C:, can I tell Outlook to store my email on E:? (It asks during install, but I'm ignorant about the implications of choosing something other than the default, so I hadn't dared try it when I set it up on ME).

    Thanks again. This is a fun adventure!
    -cynthia

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    Re: Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    Right click on Internet Explorer, a box will come up, in the middle of that box you will see Temporary Internet Files, click on MOVE FOLDER, in the next box click on the place you want to move the folder to and click OK.

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    Re: Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    Thank You!!!
    I've been very timid about moving folders I don't fully understand. This will be great.
    -cynthia

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    Re: Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    cynthia,
    1 - I meant a folder named "Documents and Settings" which is created when you load the OS and contains sub-folders for each unique userid on the system (plus a couple automatically created ones). Each unique user name has a 'My Documents' folder is a sub-folder. That is where documents, pics, settings, mp3s,etc. are stored by default.
    2 - In XP by default the temp files are stored by user. So, if you tell the OS to create the 'Docs & Settings' folder on E: your temp files will go there also.
    3 - Same with your default Outlook mail storage.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    Thanks!
    I'm mulling whether to reinstall so all that stuff will migrate automatically. In the meantime, I have followed Cowboy's instructions and moved the temp files folder, and your instructions to move the My Docs while I mull whether to start over (nothing important on this computer yet - am just enjoying really learning better how it works!).
    -cynthia

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    Re: Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    Hey Cowboy - your picture of "yourself" changed!
    Anyway - thanks again for the instructions. I've successfully now moved both temp files and My Docs (for both users), and am getting a better feel for how the files are actually arranged on this system. Am mulling whether to reinstall so everything goes automatically, as you can see in my reply to Joe.
    Thanks again,
    -cynthia

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    Re: Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    Well, I didn't ask the obvious question - assuming the answer would be obvious when I did the reinstall:
    Exactly what are the steps to get the "Documents & Settings" folder to set itself up on E: instead of C:?
    I wiped and reinstalled this weekend (using the recovery disk which came with the computer, then reinstalling from the WinXP CD) . I was watching carefully for some question or choice where I would indicate that I wanted that stuff somewhere other than C:. Never noticed one. Sure enough - it was all set up on C: again.

    I was able to move the documents folder again, just like last time. But I want my temp internet files and that kind of stuff also on E: instead of C:. Can you tell me where in the install process I should have that choice? I might give it another go.

    Thanks,
    -cynthia

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    Re: Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    Since you are using OEM "Recover" CD, your choices are going to be based on what the OEM wants you to use.

    Even the Cd from MS do NOT give you a choice as to where the "Documents and Settings" folders are to be on the install. These must be done after the OS is installed.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Basic Partition Management Questions (XP Home)

    Hmmmm.....

    The computer came formatted, with no operating system. So the recovery disk, I assume, recovers it only to the formatted state. I have a Microsoft disk for the operating system, and installed from there after formatting.

    I don't have any particular investment in when I make the change - only that I make it.

    So I guess the question still is, what are the steps to get the temp internet files and other such things to store on the E: drive instead of C:? Ideally this would also go for emails and address books from Microsoft Outlook (which is installed on C,as well as emails and address books from Outlook Express (which is used by the other user of this computer) and the like.

    All my searches on the web only lead to documents about what one might want to store on the various partitions, and how to set up the partitions initially - but I can find no mention of how to accomplish this next step (or this part of the installation step - whichever it turns out to be).

    The first time we reformatted (wiping out Win ME and installing XP) we tried using a Win98 recovery disk which we created from a downloaded file on the web (per some paritioning directions I had found online - I think on the Radified site), but that didn't work at all, so we went back to using the disk that came with the computer and used that one this time as well.

    Any advice on what to try next? Thanks in advance for any additional guidance.
    -cynthia

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