This article is about moving your Program Files directory to another drive using junction points. Read on to find out how, or try your search again
A note on the title: I can verify this works on Windows 7 and 8, rumor has it that it will also work on Vista. Rumor also has it that you’re a moron if you are on Vista, and I certainly can’t verify this because I only used Vista for a month before switching to Windows 7 Beta back in the day!
Alright, here’s the situation. You bought an SSD hard drive. Being an intern making just enough to cover the living expenses, it isn’t exactly easy to shell out $500 for a 512GB SSD, besides your Steam library will exceed even 512GB pretty quickly. Hey, here’s an idea! How about Windows goes on the SSD, and Program Files goes on the 2TB SATA III drive?
Well it isn’t exactly intuitive. I mean if I was on linux, there’s a number of ways to do it: partition the drive and mount it at /home or /usr, etc. (separating directories to various partitions, heard of it?) Or I guess you could also make a symbolic link which isn’t quite as effective. Well partitioning in Windows is actually a bit of a bust. It’s such a hassle to get to the partitioning tool, and half the time you feel like something is bound to go wrong.
Well the guys at Tested (it seems to be a MythBusters website.. but your computer won’t explode, I promise) wrote about a solution. Here’s the link to it: http://www.tested.com/news/feature/2341-how-to-move-your-apps-and-user-files-to-a-secondary-drive/. At the top they show you how to accomplish the same thing on a Mac, then they dive into how to do it on Windows.
Here’s some tips I figured out along the way:
- You really ought to use a recovery console to do it, or risk running into numerous problems
- Doing it on a Windows install you’ve had for 2 years won’t work as well as you think. So many things will break.
- Doing it on a CLEAN Windows install you’ve had for 2 minutes is the most effective. Installing programs after won’t be a problem, it’s the programs that were already there that cause problems
- Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese are freaking delicious!
- Crap I got cream cheese on my keyboard…
- Okay I’m bored, copying Program Files took a long time
- When you make the junction point, the drive letter of the target should be exactly what it normally is in Windows
- In the recovery console, C: might be D: and E: might be C: or something like that. When using mklink, the second option should use the drive letter you normally see in Windows
- More about that here: http://serverfault.com/questions/8187/whats-the-best-way-to-move-c-users-to-d-users-under-vista-w7
That will be all.