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Thread: Use separate partitions for the operating system and your personal files

  1. #1
    hackerman1 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Use separate partitions for the operating system and your personal files

    Having all personal files (Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Downloads etc.) separate from the O/S is a very good idea.
    Fx. if you decide to upgrade the O/S to a newer version fx. to W10 (and later decide to go back to the previous version),
    or switch to a different O/S, then all your files will be safe, and very easy to "import" to a new O/S.
    This also allows you to restore the O/S from a system-backup, without loosing any personal files.

    Since the files are on another partition,
    everything that you have created (or downloaded) after you created the system-backup are not affected by a system-restore.

    Having O/S and personal files separated also allows you to create very frequent backups of just your files,
    without having to backup the O/S every time, which of course will save you a lot of space on your backup-location.

    And if you have more then one O/S, it also makes it possible for multiple operating systems to share the same folders,
    allowing you to reduce the size of all those systempartitions, which then will save a lot of space on your harddrive.

    Create a new partition for all your files (Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Downloads etc.)

    1. If you have a mechanical harddisk, (not an SSD !),
    First defragment the disk to free up the space you need to create the new partition.

    Startmenu → Computer
    Put the mousepointer on your Windows-disk, and wait until it is "greyed out"
    Right-click and select Properties → Tools → Defragmentation
    Wait until it has finished...

    2. Use Disk Manager.
    Control Panel → Administrative Tools
    Right-click on Disk Management, select Run as Admin

    Alternative for steps 1 and 2 (simpler...)
    Open the Startmenu
    Type cmd in the command-box in the lower-left corner
    Right-click cmd, select Run as Admin

    1. Enter dfrgui.exe
    Wait until it has finished...

    2. Enter diskmgmt.msc
    Shrink your Windows-partition to get space for your new partition
    Create the new partition
    Assign a driveletter (fx. D)

    3. Copy each folder to the new partition.

    4. Change the locations of those folders.
    Open the Startmenu
    Right-click on each folder
    Put the mousepointer on the current location
    Click the button Remove ( Note: Donīt worry, this does not delete any files, just the link to them)

    Select Include a folder
    Navigate to the new location
    Click the button Include a folder (lower-right corner)
    Click OK
    Repeat this until you have "moved" all folders.

    Open your browser(s)
    Change the location of your download-folder

    When you have confirmed that everything is working you can delete the files in the original location.

    Note: if you have a mechanical harddisk (not an SSD !),
    Before you create a system-backup of your O/S, first defragment the disk to "clean up" the partition after removal of all your personal files.
    Depending on defragmentation, this can make the partition a lot smaller, which then will save time and space when you create backups...

  2. #2
    HappyAndyK's Avatar
    HappyAndyK is offline Site Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    Using separate partitions for Windows OS and personal/document files is something I always do (Y)

  3. #3
    hackerman1 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    I also have 2 other partitions, one for programs (the only programs i install on the O/S-partition are those that must be installed there).

    And the other for the pagefile...
    Startsize for the pagefile is 16 MB, but expandable up to 3.9 GB.
    This setup gives me some "extra" space that i can use temporarily if the media-partition should get full.
    I have 8GB RAM, so i normally donīt need any pagefile, but i have one just in case it might be needed.
    Last edited by hackerman1; 21st May 2016 at 14:15.

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