App Data Change Location to Accomodate Small SSD - Windows 7

Discussion in 'SSD and HDD storage' started by Hayden202, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Hayden202

    Hayden202 Master Guru

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    Hey everyone,

    Just installed my first SSD. I was able to set up everything up on a secondary hard disk but I am afraid that he AppData folder on my C drive will get to large and cause unnecessary wear on the SSD. I would like to have this folder on the backup platter drive; however, I hear lots of programs might get messed up if i change the shell folder target.

    Just wondering if this is safe to do.

    Also, will my backup drive, on which i have a lot of applications installed on (steam included) have an appdata folder when it needs one? right now it does not have one and i am not sure whats going to happen when steam installs a game that requires an app data folder to store save games or whatnot.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    just move the AppData folder and then do this:
    Code:
    mklink /D C:\Users\<username>\AppData D:\<folder>\AppData
    
    replace D:\ with the actual drive letter. You must do this in cmd.exe and not PowerShell.

    This will redirect all requests to the original AppData folder locations to the new location. This practice is called creating a symbolic link. It's used a lot in the UNIX world. It's one of the conveniences I can't live without when doing system administration.

    deltatux
     
  3. TruMutton_200Hz

    TruMutton_200Hz Ancient Guru

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    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  4. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    That's true, I tend not to move my AppData folder at all. This is one of the many reasons why I find Windows very poorly designed. There's too much legacy methodology still kept by the operating system.

    I think AppData should stay where it is, unless he's willing to mess with security settings to lock down the folder to the user itself which isn't hard, however, people could still circumvent the symlink to override the security settings but since this is a home computer, the chances of being attacked like that is not worth it for hackers on one guy.

    At least in UNIX, you can just move the whole /home directory to another drive and then remount it as /home lol.

    deltatux
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011

  5. TruMutton_200Hz

    TruMutton_200Hz Ancient Guru

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  6. Hayden202

    Hayden202 Master Guru

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    There is a lot to consider there. Thanks for all the information everyone. My AppData folder is pretty small so I may end up leaving it where it is as security does concern me slightly as well as overall system stability.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    I was just looking at lusrmgr.msc (only available in Windows Vista/7 Business/Professional and up ... it's also available on all Windows Server editions) and I found a "profile" tab when checking the Properties window of my own Windows account, maybe this is where you change your Home folder?

    [​IMG]

    deltatux
     
  8. hara231

    hara231 New Member

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    I found how to lower your appData size

    Your AppData folder probably got to be this heavy because of different programs, for example Adobe Premiere, You can find an explanation of how to delete those files and\or change their destination here:

    helpx.adobe.com/en/premiere-pro/using/setting-system.html#WSa41b87baf39dd9b0-4a7aee25125bce32690-8000

    under "Media Cache."
     
  9. clawhamer

    clawhamer Ancient Guru

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    Not worth the hassle of moving a Windows file such as AppData to prevent unnecessary wear on the SSD... your Downloads folder, sure.

    The fear of wearing out an SSD should have died 3-4 years ago.
     
  10. Corrupt^

    Corrupt^ Ancient Guru

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    Better to use mklink /J.

    I've moved my entire user folder to a normal HDD for storage using this.

    • cmd ----> net user Administrator /active:yes
    • Boot into safe mode with that Administrator account (safe mode: see robocopy next, I had one occasion where some files couldn't be accessed when I booted normally)
    • robocopy source newlocation /MIR /W:1 /R:1 /XJ /Z to copy over the user folder (/MIR will create a an exact mirror of the source folder, robocopy will also give you a report in the end, make sure no important files didn't copy over. If it's just some .jpg file it doesn't matter that much though.)
    • rename the source user folder to something else (backup just in case)
    • use mklink /J to set a symbolic link in the Users folder for the user towards the new location (where I've just copied everything to with robocopy)
    • Reboot and login to original account
    • If all is OK, cmd ---> net user Administrator /active:no
    • If OK you can also delete the original folder (though the first time around I was a bit paranoid and I left it on there for a week just in case I ran into issues)
    • If not OK, just log back into the Administrator account, delete the junction and rename the backup folder to its original name

    Works fine no issues but the tech site were I followed a guide to do this ages ago did mention to use mklink /J and not /D for user folders, might just be because of what you're mentioning. Though this is for an entire user folder, not just AppData so I have no idea what would happen if you moved just the AppData folder.

    Main use for me is that I can format real easily if something goes wrong and .ini files, cfg files, ... configurations of alot of programs are backed up on the other drive. I've tried restoring the junction again after a format to get the exact same user and settings back but that caused all sorts of weird stuff.

    But it has its uses for me. I've come to the point where if I have to reinstall Windows... I really don't care at all, there's absolutely NOTHING of importance on my C: drive.

    Not saying it's exactly this, but some apps from Adobe have this "scratch disk". This can be changed in the Application itself.
    http://helpx.adobe.com/en/photoshop/using/memory-performance.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014

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