Spare Drive Guide


Relocating the Personal Folder

 

The purpose of this article is to provide the computer user with the method to have the O.S. move the personal documents folder to a spare drive, e.g. Drive E or Drive F, etc…

Why 

Problem 1:  If the o.s. needs to be reinstalled or the partition needs to be reformatted, then everything inside of My Documents will be forfeited, unless you have a backup copy.  

Problem 2:  If free space on Drive C is running low, then system performance will be adversely affected and My Documents will also be deprived of space for storing additional files.

Solution:  Relocate My Documents to a drive with more space.

Before you begin – Read the steps first then proceed to “Additional Information” section before executing the steps in this article.

How To for XP

Step 1 – Create a new folder on the spare drive that will contain your personal files.

  • Note – If there is more than one user for your windows, see Tip 1 below for an alternative plan
  • Click My Computer, then click Folders on the tool bar
  • Next double click on the spare drive, open it and create a new folder.  For example if your spare drive is E and you create a mater folder called My Files  then the path for it is:  E:\My Files. 

 

Step 2 – Move the personal files to the new folder on the spare drive.

  • Click on the desktop Start Button > Run > My Documents, then click OK
  • After the Explorer opens, click Folders on the tool bar.
  • In the left pane, Right-click My Documents, and then click Properties.
  • Next click the Target tab.
  • In the Target box replace the path with E:\My Files.  You can either type in the path or you can click on the move button and browse to it.
  • Afterwards, click Apply Button, close Explorer.  Log-off and then log-in back into windows or Reboot to see the new change.
  • Make a system restore point and call it something like, Customized My Files Folders

 –

How To for Vista & Win7

Step 1 – Create a new folder on the spare drive that will contain your personal files.

  • Note – If there is more than one user for your windows, see Tip 1 below for an alternative plan.
  • Click on the desktop Start Button > Run > Explorer.exe, then click OK
  • Next double click on the spare drive and open then create a new folder.  For example if your spare drive is E and you create a master folder called My Files  then the path for it is: E:\My Files. 

  

Step 2 – Move the personal files to the new folder on the spare drive.

  • Right-click My Documents, and then click Properties. (Note: In Vista look under the “user account” at the top of the left hand pane.  In Win7, look inside the “Libraries”)
  • Next click the Location tab.
  • In the Location box replace the path with the path of your new folder. For example: E:\My Files
  • Click Ok or Apply Button and reboot to ensure the registry settings are effective.
  • Make a system restore point and call it something like, Customized My Files Folders

 

Additional Information

Note :  A re-installatin of the O.S. or the execution of old system restore points will re-instate the folder’s default location to Drive C.    However, you can update the registry with the paths to the spare drive.  See article: Spare Drive Guide – Registry Settings

.

 –

Tip 1: If there are several user accounts and or additional spare drives it is beneificial to develop a naming convention plan for the folders.  The idea is to have a folder for each user before proceeding to Step 2.

Example 1 – If Billy, Bob and Mary have seperate user accounts then create a new folder for each of them on the spare drive(s) like, E:\MyFile4Bob, E:\My Files4Billy and E:\My Files 4 Mary.

Example 2 – If Billy, Bob and Mary have seperate user accounts and you have additional spare drives then create their folders like,  E:\MyFile4Bob, F:\My Files4Billy and G:\My Files 4 Mary.

Tip 2: After you relocate My Documents, you should be able to move the My Pictures and My Music subfolder’s into the master folder My Files.

FYI: Did you know that copies of your personal files can be uploaded and stored for free on the internet at Microsoft’s Skydrive?

 

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