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Os On C:\ Drive And Data On D:\ Drive

#1 User is offline   ricardo1967 

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 05:24 PM

I’m in the process of rebuilding my trusty PC and planning to put Windows WP on the C:\ drive and data on the D:\ drive (different physical drives). I believe having a disk only containing data (My Documents and etc) easies the process of restoring the computer in case of a future failure.

My questions are:

1) What’s the proper way to do it?

2) Is it worth it?

3) Can I just install Windows in the C:\ drive like usual, then later plugging the D:\ drive and edit the path for My Documents folder?

4) Or should I have all drives installed at the moment of the Windows installation and use Windows’ Drive Management to reassign drive letters?

Thanks a lot!
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#2 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 07:02 PM

View Postricardo1967, on 26 December 2009 - 05:24 PM, said:

I’m in the process of rebuilding my trusty PC and planning to put Windows WP on the C:\ drive and data on the D:\ drive (different physical drives). I believe having a disk only containing data (My Documents and etc) easies the process of restoring the computer in case of a future failure.

My questions are:

1) What’s the proper way to do it?

2) Is it worth it?

3) Can I just install Windows in the C:\ drive like usual, then later plugging the D:\ drive and edit the path for My Documents folder?

4) Or should I have all drives installed at the moment of the Windows installation and use Windows’ Drive Management to reassign drive letters?

Thanks a lot!


Do not double post.

When installing Windows on any machine with more than one physical drive, it is best to have only that drive connected when installing the OS. Then after Windows is installed, the can re-connect the other drives. I also have always preferred my data on a separate physical drive, and actually have in the past few years with multiple machines even put that drive on the network to share with other machines.

I would not worry about My Documents, as I simply create a "Data" folder on the data drive and then categorize it from there as Worksheets, Word Processing, Downloads, Photos, etc, etc. I find this organization much more helpful than "My Documents" and you simply set the default file location with the application that is going to use it. They then no longer store the data in "My Documents", but in the folders under Data on the data drive.

This post has been edited by rgreen4: 26 December 2009 - 07:06 PM

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#3 User is offline   ricardo1967 

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 09:47 AM

Thanks a lot rgreen4! Sorry for the double posting, it was accidental.

View Postrgreen4, on 26 December 2009 - 07:02 PM, said:

View Postricardo1967, on 26 December 2009 - 05:24 PM, said:

I’m in the process of rebuilding my trusty PC and planning to put Windows WP on the C:\ drive and data on the D:\ drive (different physical drives). I believe having a disk only containing data (My Documents and etc) easies the process of restoring the computer in case of a future failure.

My questions are:

1) What’s the proper way to do it?

2) Is it worth it?

3) Can I just install Windows in the C:\ drive like usual, then later plugging the D:\ drive and edit the path for My Documents folder?

4) Or should I have all drives installed at the moment of the Windows installation and use Windows’ Drive Management to reassign drive letters?

Thanks a lot!


Do not double post.

When installing Windows on any machine with more than one physical drive, it is best to have only that drive connected when installing the OS. Then after Windows is installed, the can re-connect the other drives. I also have always preferred my data on a separate physical drive, and actually have in the past few years with multiple machines even put that drive on the network to share with other machines.

I would not worry about My Documents, as I simply create a "Data" folder on the data drive and then categorize it from there as Worksheets, Word Processing, Downloads, Photos, etc, etc. I find this organization much more helpful than "My Documents" and you simply set the default file location with the application that is going to use it. They then no longer store the data in "My Documents", but in the folders under Data on the data drive.

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#4 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 12:03 PM

View Postricardo1967, on 26 December 2009 - 05:24 PM, said:

I’m in the process of rebuilding my trusty PC and planning to put Windows WP on the C:\ drive and data on the D:\ drive (different physical drives). I believe having a disk only containing data (My Documents and etc) easies the process of restoring the computer in case of a future failure.

My questions are:

1) What’s the proper way to do it?

2) Is it worth it?

3) Can I just install Windows in the C:\ drive like usual, then later plugging the D:\ drive and edit the path for My Documents folder?

4) Or should I have all drives installed at the moment of the Windows installation and use Windows’ Drive Management to reassign drive letters?

Thanks a lot!


For more on moving your data to a new drive or partition, see Move Your Data to a Safer, Separate Partition, Part 1: XP or Part 2: Vista.

btw, I disagree with rgreen about My Documents. A central folder for all data files makes a lot of sense, and you can easily move My Documents to another drive. Putting word processing files in one folder and spreadsheets in another makes no sense to me. If I'm working on a project that contains Word files, spreadsheets, pdfs, jpgs, and whizfolder outlines, I want them all in one folder by project. And I keep those folder projects in My Documents.

Lincoln
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#5 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 01:27 PM

View PostLincolnSpector, on 27 December 2009 - 12:03 PM, said:

View Postricardo1967, on 26 December 2009 - 05:24 PM, said:

I’m in the process of rebuilding my trusty PC and planning to put Windows WP on the C:\ drive and data on the D:\ drive (different physical drives). I believe having a disk only containing data (My Documents and etc) easies the process of restoring the computer in case of a future failure.

My questions are:

1) What’s the proper way to do it?

2) Is it worth it?

3) Can I just install Windows in the C:\ drive like usual, then later plugging the D:\ drive and edit the path for My Documents folder?

4) Or should I have all drives installed at the moment of the Windows installation and use Windows’ Drive Management to reassign drive letters?

Thanks a lot!


For more on moving your data to a new drive or partition, see Move Your Data to a Safer, Separate Partition, Part 1: XP or Part 2: Vista.

btw, I disagree with rgreen about My Documents. A central folder for all data files makes a lot of sense, and you can easily move My Documents to another drive. Putting word processing files in one folder and spreadsheets in another makes no sense to me. If I'm working on a project that contains Word files, spreadsheets, pdfs, jpgs, and whizfolder outlines, I want them all in one folder by project. And I keep those folder projects in My Documents.

Lincoln


On a project, or something related, that gets a separate folder with all relevant data, be it spreadsheets, documents, photos, or access databases in that one folder. My spreadsheet folder is separated because most of my finances are just spreadsheets, my correspondence is just word processing. Of course this process goes way back for me before there was a "My Documents" to the days of DOS. When you have 168GB of data files, you need just a bit more than the simple generic "My Documents" folder or you could never find anything. Some of my folders are 5 levels down.

Also, I'm not sure how the "My Documents" folder would react on a networked drive with three or more computers pointing to it. The "data" label works just fine, and as the old saying goes, "A Rose By Any Other Name..."

This post has been edited by rgreen4: 27 December 2009 - 01:30 PM

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#6 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 09:26 AM

View Postrgreen4, on 27 December 2009 - 01:27 PM, said:

On a project, or something related, that gets a separate folder with all relevant data, be it spreadsheets, documents, photos, or access databases in that one folder. My spreadsheet folder is separated because most of my finances are just spreadsheets, my correspondence is just word processing. Of course this process goes way back for me before there was a "My Documents" to the days of DOS. When you have 168GB of data files, you need just a bit more than the simple generic "My Documents" folder or you could never find anything. Some of my folders are 5 levels down.

I keep my financial data (including a lot of spreadsheets) in a TrueCrypt vault in My Documents. I've probably got folders 5 levels deep (I haven't counted lately), but they're all within My Documents. My My Documents folder contains 21,364 files in 1,923 subfolders. When I look at that number, it seems pretty ridiculous, but I pretty much know where to find everything.

btw, I was recommending the single data folder organized by project back in the DOS days.

View Postrgreen4, on 27 December 2009 - 01:27 PM, said:

Also, I'm not sure how the "My Documents" folder would react on a networked drive with three or more computers pointing to it. The "data" label works just fine, and as the old saying goes, "A Rose By Any Other Name..."

True, the name doesn't have to be My Documents. Have you tried telling Windows that the data folder on another computer (or a NAS drive) is your My Documents folder. I know you can assign that label (not the same as the file name) to any local folder; I never tried it with a network one.

Lincoln

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#7 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 09:57 AM

View PostLincolnSpector, on 28 December 2009 - 09:26 AM, said:

True, the name doesn't have to be My Documents. Have you tried telling Windows that the data folder on another computer (or a NAS drive) is your My Documents folder. I know you can assign that label (not the same as the file name) to any local folder; I never tried it with a network one.

Lincoln


No, I will have to admit that my dinosaur flukes are showing as I seem to have a prejudice against anything that starts with Mac..., i... or my...

When XP came out with everything named my.. it just seemed so sophomoric to me.

I may experiment with it on my NAS when I get back home. I am currently in East Texas and home is South Georgia.
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#8 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 01:32 PM

View Postrgreen4, on 27 December 2009 - 01:27 PM, said:



Also, I'm not sure how the "My Documents" folder would react on a networked drive with three or more computers pointing to it. The "data" label works just fine, and as the old saying goes, "A Rose By Any Other Name..."


My Documents is pure a "link" to an actual directory/folder on some drive some where. It is NOT a set thing or an actual folder on any drive that is labeled as "My Documents". You can have My Documents point to ANY folder you want and the folder will behave the same as any older folder will...you can just get to it by another means...i.e. using the My Documents folder/link.

I have a NAS drive with RAID 1 where I store my data files. It gets mapped as a lettered drive in XP and have have a folder on that drive that contains all my various documents stored in various folders that go down various levels...basically the same idea as your "data" folder except that I do not call the folder "data". I then set the My Documents to "point" to that folder. It does not effect any other computer. It does not prevent me from going into My Computer and selecting that drive and going to that folder by "manual" means. It purely makes the My Documents folder/link another (rather quick) way to access that data folder. I can access that same data folder on my NAS drive from my Vista boot (have not gotten around to assigning the Document folder/link to point to it) and from my Mac laptop...all without either knowing a thing about XP linking My Documents to that data folder or screwing up that link.

In other words, you can have My Documents point to such a data folder on your NAS drive and still have EVERYTHING exactly as you have it setup now and you could continue to work as you have it now with little to no change that you would notice if you never used the My Documents folder to get to that data folder.

This post has been edited by smax013: 29 December 2009 - 01:32 PM

Good riddance PCWorld.
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#9 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 01:37 PM

View Postricardo1967, on 26 December 2009 - 05:24 PM, said:

I’m in the process of rebuilding my trusty PC and planning to put Windows WP on the C:\ drive and data on the D:\ drive (different physical drives). I believe having a disk only containing data (My Documents and etc) easies the process of restoring the computer in case of a future failure.

My questions are:

1) What’s the proper way to do it?


As noted, I would advise disconnecting the data drive during the install otherwise thing could get a little screwy sometimes.

Quote

2) Is it worth it?


That is a matter of personal opinion, but in my personal opinion, yes, it is worth it. While I personally do not use a local hard drive to store my data, I do use the same basic concept (i.e. a separate data drive), but rather I use a NAS drive instead of an internal, local drive.

Quote

3) Can I just install Windows in the C:\ drive like usual, then later plugging the D:\ drive and edit the path for My Documents folder?


Yes.

Quote

4) Or should I have all drives installed at the moment of the Windows installation and use Windows’ Drive Management to reassign drive letters?



This is where it can get messy sometimes if you have the data drive actually plugged in. After installing Windows in such a fashion, sometimes for some weird reason the data drive will be the C: drive and the boot drive will be assigned some other letter...and you cannot get it to change (at least I could figure out a way to do it the one time it happened to me...admittedly I just re-installed the OS with the data drive disconnected and did not try to hard to see if I could change the drive letters).
Good riddance PCWorld.
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