Kilobyte Kid
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-29-2011

How do I run Win7 OS on my SSD while keeping my User files on my HHD?

[ Edited ]



I want to run my win 7 OS on my new SSD, but I want to keep all my "user" files (libraries, pics music ect ect..) on my current HHD,


Ideally I'd like to just point to my old user file stuff and say "windows this is all set up for you to use so use it"


 I'm using the same win 7 disc that I have installed on my old HHD so nothing is new.


If at the very least I would like to be able to set my User file on my HHD and then transfer all the pics and music and junk back into it but man it seems like there should be an easier way to do this.

Posts: 1,719
Registered: ‎01-26-2011

Re: How do I run Win7 OS on my SSD while keeping my User files on my HHD?

you would make an image of your hdd, then install image to the ssd. you could, to keep more free space on the ssd, try symbolically linking to the hdd re files.

clean nand and a fresh/aligned install are always best
Kilobyte Kid
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-12-2011

Re: How do I run Win7 OS on my SSD while keeping my User files on my HHD?

As m0fus said, you could go down the image route. Once you've made sure that the SSD is running fine, I think the easiest way would be to format the HDD and copy the files over from the SSD using the 'move' function in the libraries. That way you keep your files linked.


Or if you have a external HDD laying around, copy them over to that drive. A fresh install is always nicer IMHO.


From my experience of trying to access files on a drive that has another OS installed already, you have to go through a lot of 'take ownership' commands, which is why I think the format would be a easier option (and give you a clean drive to play with) Please someone correct me if I'm wrong

Posts: 109
Registered: ‎12-03-2010

Re: How do I run Win7 OS on my SSD while keeping my User files on my HHD?

All I did in your situation, was hook up the SSD to the Intel controller, install Windows 7 to it, and set my SSD to boot first rather than a harddrive, and I'm able to keep my games and other data on my four 320GB Blue Caviar harddrives, one of which is a SATA 6G drive, which is hooked up to my SATA 6G controller using the MSAHCI driver.


To answer a potential question, I did set my SSD even though it is on the SATA 6G controller, which is the U3S6 to be the first bootable drive after my DVDROM.


Kilobyte Kid
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-13-2011

Re: How do I run Win7 OS on my SSD while keeping my User files on my HHD?

If you set up the users directory so that it is on the HHD and all the files directly or indirectly under it are also on the HHD - and you can convince windows that is where they are -  achieves the result. There are various threads on the internet about doing this, it mostly involves setting the changing the location tag under properties of  the desktop, downloads, documents, My Pictures, My Videos etc areas under your user. Once set up like this then you can do things like updating the operating system without losing all your own data. I find running like this works well in all HHD systems - and better with an SSD as the system drive

Binary Boss
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎08-21-2011

Re: How do I run Win7 OS on my SSD while keeping my User files on my HHD?

[ Edited ]

Generally, the advice has been to explicitly create a symbolic link from the SSD to the HDD, or to use the move option in Win7 on the libraries or user folders, which is just another way of setting a symbolic link.


These suggestions will work very well for you, but your ability to make backup images of your SSD will be seriously constrained by storage capacity.  Even if you select the option in Windows backup to only make an image of your C:\ drive, my understanding is that Windows backup will track the symbolic links out to your HDD, giving you an image that is the size of the SSD and HDD combined rather than just the size of the SSD alone.


[note: Macrium may not have this behavior. Sorry, but I'm not familiar with it.]


Here's an alternative, but it's only useful for someone who prefers manual folder-based organization and isn't particularly fond of libraries. You would cut and paste the entire contents of your document folders out to an external hard drive, then image what's left of your HDD to the SSD. A 64 GB SSD should be enough if you're not using any virtual OSes on top of Win7; otherwise you'll need a 128 GB SSD.


The next step is to reformat the HDD and copy (or cut) and paste the document folders from the external drive back to the HDD. Programs that read and write files will need to have their options reset to point to the new HDD folders.


Once setup is completed, you will still have the default Windows generated document folders on the SSD,but they'll be empty and won't be used anymore. Navigation is simpler if you flag the empty C:\ drive document folders as hidden and choose the option for "do not show hidden files and folders" except when troubleshooting.


My desktop has two 64 GB Crucial SSDs in RAID0, plus two 2T HDDs in RAID1. A scheduled task wakes the desktop up every night at 3:00 a.m. to create an incremental image of the C:\ drive, which is stored in a partition on the RAID1 array. A second task runs at 3:15 a.m. to put the desktop back to sleep.


Because the files on the RAID0 array are fairly stable, two months of nightly incremental images only take up about 70 GB, versus the 55 GB used on the RAID0 array. I hope I'll never need to reimage the SSD array, but it's nice to know that I've always got a bare metal image from yesterday and every day.

Memory Leak Geek
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-20-2011

Re: How do I run Win7 OS on my SSD while keeping my User files on my HHD?



Here is a great guide on how to do that:


I used this guide when I installed my SSD, works great.