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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009
    Beverly, MA
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    Red face What does it mean to separate Windows OS and Data

    This may sound trivial to some folks because I know it's been written many times that the OS and Data should be kept separate from each other. But what does this really mean? I'm building a new system and I want to do just that with a new Windows 7 install. I have separate physical drives and I'd like to install Windows 7 on one and data on the other. That being said what are the OS components and what makes up the data? I know that I should install Windows 7 on one drive and data such as pictures, music and documents on the other drive. What if I install Turbo Tax or other applications that have both an application and data component. Do I install the application on the same drive as the operating system and point the data storage to the other drive or do I install Turbo Tax totally on the separate drive? I guess this is my basic question. How do I install an application if I want to keep data separate from the OS. Would this also hold true for Utility Applications such as Nero or Photoshop Elemements. Is it possible to totally keep data separate from the OS? Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Thanked 937 Times in 856 Posts
    The biggest advantage for me in separating my data is that when I have to restore my OS from an Image, my data is not touched one bit. Remains just the way it was. I would strongly urge you to investigate Imaging as well.

    A couple of articles may help. Lifehacker is one such. Many different Windows folders can be moved to the Data Drive or Partition. PC World outlines the accepted prosedure for moving Windows system data folders.

    Most apps will allow you to place your data whereever you wish to put it. My Turbo Tax data files are located on my D Drive even though the actual Turbo Tax app is on the C Drive. If a folder is not allowed to be moved, the move option will not present itself.

    edit: My laptop is partitioned as follows: C Drive - 75 GB, holds OS and all apps; D Drive - remainder of 320 GB HD, holds all data. Since it's more difficult to have separate HD's in a laptop (not impossible for some) partitioning worked for me. Fred's example below also discusses partitioning and Imaging. Both good things to investigate. You can search either Imaging or Partitioning in the Lounge to see many discussions of both.
    Last edited by Medico; 2011-07-21 at 09:29. Reason: added info
    Have a Great Day! Ted

    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)

    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  3. #3
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Thanked 215 Times in 202 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphf View Post
    But what does this really mean? I'm building a new system and I want to do just that with a new Windows 7 install. I have separate physical drives and I'd like to install Windows 7 on one and data on the other.

    Hello.... Not a trivial question at all. You say that you have at least two Hard Drives..This being the case this is how i would set things up.

    1. Partition one HD @ 100GB (you didn't mention the size) for the sake of example ..say they are both 500GB each. Place your OS (Windows 7 ) on it..With all "Apps" (100 GB) The remainder (approx 400GB) use for your "Data" and label it something like "DATA D:" or whatever you like ... just make sure that you place a unique label on it so it can be easily identified if your running a 3rd party Imaging software ... They generally mix up HD lables when recovering EX: B:, D:, F: etc.

    2. The next Drive (500GB) Use to Place your "Images" and other stuff ... This way you can backup your "DATA" and "OS" (with Apps) and save them to the 2nd HD...

    There are as many "schemes" as there are PC users.. Pick one that suits you as there is no "one size fits none" Hope this is of some help Regards Fred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Just Plain Fred For This Useful Post:

    Pierre50 (2011-07-31)

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