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Caravanfan's avatar

Can someone help me with a Windows hard drive question?

Asked by Caravanfan (13652points) August 8th, 2019
10 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

I have a desktop computer, several years old, with a 256GB SSD C drive as a boot drive and a 2 TB drive D drive as a secondary drive. They’re full. I also have backup E and F drives

The computer has 3 users. The user desktops are assigned to the C drive. Documents folders are assigned to the D drive. Also, I have archival data on the E,F drives.

I want to switch out my internal 2 TB hard drive to something bigger, like an 8 TB internal hard drive. Moving the data to the hard drive I can do, and I can organize it.

My issue is my wife’s desktop which is on the C drive (the 256ssd). Despite many years of trying, she hasn’t been able to grok the concept of folders, and she dumps everything on the desktop

What I want to do is after I switch out the D drive to the bigger drive and then reassign the users and desktops also to the D drive, leaving the SSD C drive to just the boot drive.

Is this easy to do? Or should I just build a new computer?

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elbanditoroso's avatar

You could trade in the wife for a newer model :-)

Yes, what you’re saying is not hard to do, at all. The key is to make sure that you have very good backups of C and of the <original> D. Install the new D and set up folders as you need to, and then copy from original D to new D.

It may be easier to buy a hard disk enclosure (USB-based) and put <old> D into it, and do your copying from there.

When you get ready to move your wife’s stuff from her C desktop, make a new d:\wife\desktop directory and just copy everything. Some of it will be extraneous, but at least you will have an exact 1:1 copy of what she had. Then clean out C:\ and especially make a subdirectory for her, and copy the relevant files (i.e. NOT ALL) from the d:\wife\desktop directory back to C: where you have set her up.

An enclosure is $25 and a new 8 TB disk is $150. It’ll take you some time to do the copying (correctly) but there’s no reason to replace the PC when you can upgrade for about ⅓ the cost.

Caravanfan's avatar

@elbanditoroso Thanks. I figured it would be something as easy as reassigning the desktop. I hadn’t thought of buying a hard drive enclosure and putting the old D drive in there. That would certainly save the step of copying from D drive to external, and then back to new D drive.

Also is there a way to index the picture files from both users to the same folder? She has a crap ton of pictures. I have fewer, but still significant, and they’re all over the place. I’d like to stick them all in one folder.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Caravanfan about the picture files – I think so, but it depends on what you’re using as a picture viewer.

If you use Microsoft’s internal picture viewer, then you’ll be locked into the “owner” set of files. If you use any of the dozens of third party picture software (FastStone and Irfan come to mind) they can look anywhere, and are not bound to one login or another.

Caravanfan's avatar

@elbanditoroso Okay, in regards to this bit:
“Then clean out C:\ and especially make a subdirectory for her, and copy the relevant files (i.e. NOT ALL) from the d:\wife\desktop directory back to C: where you have set her up.”

Since she’s not going to change her computer behavior, what I want to do is the desktop that she sees be on the D drive. Basically I want the C drive to be invisible as it’s just a boot drive. Is that possible? Also, when programs are installed, is it possible that I can have them install on the D drive?

Basically what I want to do is just use the C drive for booting and cacheing, and the D drive for literally everything else.

RocketGuy's avatar

I put in a Network Attached Storage drive and mapped it to all users. That way, everyone puts their stuff in their own space, but it is all on one drive. It is actually a dual drive unit with RAID 1 redundancy, so both drives have exactly the same data. That way if one drive fails, one copy of all data will still be available. I’ve had two drives fail over so many years. As soon as I put in a new drive, the NAS copies all the data from the good drive into the new drive. So far, so good.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I have never done this, so I can’t vouch for how it works. But this seems easy enough

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Windows will move folders like Desktop and Documents and Music for you. Right click for the folder’s properties, choose Location tab, choose move.

How to Move Your Desktop Folder Location in Windows 10

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Caravanfan's avatar

Thanks everybody!

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