Spare Drive Guide

Relocating System and User Temporary Files

The purpose of this article is to provide the computer user with a methodology to move and combine temporary trash files to the spare drive.


Problem 1:  System and User temporary files, e.g. trash files are not easily assessiable to clear out by the user.

Problem 2:  Trash files, e.g. clutter the drive, consume disk space and add to the disk fragmentation.

Solution:  Relocate and Merge the temporary files on a spare drive.


Step 1:

  • Create a folder on the spare drive called Trash 


Step 2:

  • Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl in the Open box, and then press ENTER.
  • Click the Advanced tab.
  • Click Environment Variables button.

Step 3: 

  • Mouse over the User Variable pane, Click / Highlight Temp
  • Click Edit Button
  • Copy / jot down the path for the current temp folder and temporarily paste into notepad.
  • Change the Variable Value with the path to the Trash folder.
    • For example: E:\Trash
    • Replace the letter E in the path with your spare drive letter
  • Click OK

Step 4

  • Click / Highlight Tmp
  • Repeat above Step 3 

Step 5 and 6

  • Mouse over the System Variable pane
  • Repeat above Steps 3 and Step 4

Tip 1:  Create a new shortcut on the desktop to E:\Trash and it will give you quick access to the folder. 

Tip 2: Go to the locations you jotted down and open explorer.  Then manually delete the residual temporary files located in the original folders.  However, only delete the files and the folders in place.

Note: Remember that executing a system restore point or reinstalling the o.s. will re-set the locations to the temps and tmps to their default locations on Disk C.  Therefore, you will need to repeat the above steps to reinstate the locations on the spare drive.



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