Solved How do I change default from c drive to d dri

November 15, 2010 at 07:58:24
Specs: Windows 7, 4 gb
Dell Inspiron 1470 Laptop-64 bit
Windows 7 Professional
C drive has 58.5 gigabits with only 5 free left
D drive has 229 gibabits with 229 free
I would like to switch My Doc, My Pictures ect over to D and make this the default drive.
How do I do this?

See More: How do I change default from c drive to d dri

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#1
November 15, 2010 at 08:18:02
✔ Best Answer
Copy the MyDocuments folder to the D: drive.

From Windows Explore right click My Documents. Select Properties > Move. Navigate to the new My Documents folder on the D; drive and select it.

Check the My Documents is now pointing to the folder on the D: drive. You can now delete the My Documents on the C; drive and in future all files for My Document will got to the D: drive.

Thats the quick and dirty way. You can also move some of the special folders using Tweak UI which is part of Microsoft Power Tools.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/...

Stuart


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#2
November 15, 2010 at 08:44:13
This is very helpful. In order to move a 'program' (not docs) over, I assume I need to uninstall the program and then install it to the D drive? I just loaded a program Dragon Naturally Speaking and I do not remember that it actually asked me where to save it? If I uninstall and then re install do programs always ask where to save it?
Can I make the 'd' drive the default drive for all future installations whether they be docs or programs?
Thank you for all your help-

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#3
November 15, 2010 at 09:13:06
You are correct, if you want to move a programe you have to Uninstall it and reinstall it in the new location.

When you install an application you often get the choice to use Default or Advanced options. If you select the Defaults it will nearly always put it into Drive C: That is the installation programme and not something you have any control over.

If you select Advanced you usually get the chance to determine which drive the application will be installed on.

Occasionally you get some applications where you have absolutely no choice as to where it is installed. It goes on C: drive without the option. I tend to avoid such applications as it is just lazy programming. If the programmer was lazy in that respect, where else have they been lazy.

Stuart


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Related Solutions

#4
November 15, 2010 at 09:48:40
Thank you for your help and knowledge. I just want to verify, moving docs etc to "d" will not harm anything? And possibly you can answer why this laptop's c drive is so much smaller than the d drive?

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#5
November 15, 2010 at 10:15:05
"And possibly you can answer why this laptop's c drive is so much smaller than the d drive?"

My guess is someone has probably either re-installed just Windows, or re-installed the original brand name software installation software. E.g. You are not allowed to install Windows on a partition if Windows has already been installed on it, unless you delete the partition data contents first, so people often delete the contents of the smaller partition on a brand name hard drive and install Windows on the smaller one. Often when they find the new Windows installation works fine, they then delete the contents of the larger partition and re-format it, or they just re-format it.

Vista and Windows 7 always see the first installation of it's Windows partition (the one that has the full \Windows folder on it) as being on C, so when the original Windows partition was deleted, then Vista or Windows7 probably sees the reamaining one Windows installation as being on C.
......

In Vista and Windows 7, you can easily change the size of the partitions on any one physical hard drive, if they were made by Vista or Windows 7, in the operating system itself, in Disk Management.

In your case...
I'm assuming there are only 2 partitions on the one physical hard drive.
(If there are more than two, you can only change the size of partitions that are beside each other)
You must have lots of free space on the larger partition.
You shrink that partition's size on the end of it next to the smaller partition such that the freed up space becomes un-allocated, leaving at least a reasonable amount of free space on that partition that was previously larger.
Then you increase the size of what was the smaller partition such that all the un-allocated space next to the prevously larger partition is used for it.

It's recommended you back up the personal data you don't want to lose before you do that (copy it to a location other than the hard drive you're fiddling with) , but that procedure usually works just fine.

It's recommended that you do not have any extra programs running at the time, and that you DISABLE any resident modules - a part that runs all the time looking for suspicious activity - of any anti-malware software you have installed on the system, BEFORE you do anything major like that.
If you don't know how to do that, tell us which anti-malware (anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-trojan, etc.) software you have installed.


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#6
November 15, 2010 at 10:53:12
Moving the My Documents folder to drive D: wont damage anything providing you do things in the right sequence.

The size of drive C: is determined at installation time and is usually down to whoever installed Windows or if an OEM disk was used, how that was set up.

Once you have moved the My Documents folder to drive D: and reinstalled any applications on drive D: you should have plenty of room on drive C: without having to re-size anything. Then only put on drive that which must go on drive C:, like Operating system files and drivers and a few other files. 58 Gbs should be enough for anyone.

Once you have done all the swapping around and are satisfied that everything is working correctly you will need to empty the Recycle Bin in order to free up the space on Drive C:

The advantage of just keeping drive C: for essential things is that if you ever need to wipe drive C: and re-install the operating system your pro grammes and data will remain intact on drive D: all though some of the programmes will need to be re-installed.

Stuart


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#7
November 15, 2010 at 11:37:12
Thank you again for all your help.

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#8
November 15, 2010 at 12:52:54
If you actually have a second partition that is empty then I suggest instead of MOVING anything you combine the two partitions. Windows 7 is capable of doing that. Look in Disk Management. Expand the C partition using all of D.

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#9
November 15, 2010 at 14:09:06
I found the Disc Management but nothing that states 'expand c using d'

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#10
November 15, 2010 at 15:14:37
To be honest I would do that. It is putting all you eggs in one basket. Something goes wrong with the partition containing the operating system and everything does during the re-install. Data, programmes, the lot.

Stuart


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#11
November 15, 2010 at 16:04:10
Read first sentence of your reply--are you saying to combind c & d or not to combine them?

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#12
November 15, 2010 at 16:18:46
I was replying to OthHill. I would not combine the partitions. Keep a separate partition for the Operating system and put your programmes and data on another partition.

Stuart


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#13
November 15, 2010 at 16:27:11
I would expand the partition, chances are it will work great for years as long as you keep backing things up.
One questin, did the PC come with 7 pre-installed or did someone upgrade or do a fresh install of 7?

Also, hope you like Dragon, I just got it and it seems to work pretty good...I got v11 premium as a gift.

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#14
November 15, 2010 at 19:51:43
"I found the Disc Management but nothing that states 'expand c using d'"

If the hard drive is already occupied by one or more partitions, you can't increase the size of a partition until you have made unallocated drive space next to it available on the hard drive - you must shrink the partition next to it first.

Apparently Vista calls it Shrink volume, and Extend volume - they are probably the same for Windows 7.

There is no specific info about this subject in Help and support in Vista - there might be in Windows 7.


What I said was...

"In your case...
I'm assuming there are only 2 partitions on the one physical hard drive.
(If there are more than two, you can only change the size of partitions that are beside each other)
You must have lots of free space on the larger partition.
You shrink that partition's size on the end of it next to the smaller partition such that the freed up space becomes un-allocated, leaving at least a reasonable amount of free space on that partition that was previously larger.
Then you increase the size of what was the smaller partition such that all the un-allocated space next to the previously larger partition is used for it."

These directions are for Vista - they are probably the same for Windows 7.
RIGHT click on an existing hard drive partition in Disk Management - in this case, the one that is larger now - D (it can be assigned a different drive letter), choose Shrink volume.
Make it the size you want it to be - if it's size is in mb, there are 1,024mb per gb.
There will then be un-allocated space on the drive - if it has data on it, leave a reasonable amount of free space on that partition - don't shrink to the minimum size.

(If the same hard drive already had more than one partition) RIGHT click on an existing hard drive partition on the same physical hard drive in Disk Management - in this case, the one that was originally smaller - C - (the drive letter for the partition Windows was booted from can't be changed in Windows itself) , next to the new unallocated space - choose Extend volume. If you want to use all the unallocated space, choose the default maximum size.

There are probably tutorials about this subject on the web.


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#15
November 16, 2010 at 02:10:50
I think all this talk about extending and shrinking partitions is getting unnecessarily complicated and has little to do with the original question.

Stuart


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#16
November 16, 2010 at 05:44:46
StuartS

The original question was posted because Kathy has a problem of not enough space. She probably wasn't aware of any other options. I just pointed out another option.

If Kathy is not backing up her personal data she is already at risk. The only valid reason to use multiple partitions, (which I do) is to make backup/ imaging/ reinstalling faster and easier. Without backups/ images it won't make much difference to Kathy where her files are. In the meantime moving folders that normally reside in the Documents folder could cause a system restore to fail to backup those folders, which could result in data loss anyway.

Kathy

If you don't already do this I would suggest you buy an external hard drive and start backing up your hard drive to it.


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#17
November 16, 2010 at 06:58:13
In the meantime moving folders that normally reside in the Documents folder could cause a system restore to fail to backup those folders, which could result in data loss anyway.

System Restore not backup or restore documents files at any time, regardless of where they are stored. If it did it would take up a huge amount of space every time a restore point is created, probably more than the 10% of space usually allocated for System Restore.. System restore is not a substitute for a backup. Besides, System Restore operates and a drive by drive basis, not as a system as a whole. When you use Tweak UI to change the location of special folders the new location is stored in the registry so if there are any files there that are needed by system restore, the Operating System can find them. We are talking about My Documents here, not Document and Settings which does contain some folders which cannot be moved.

All System Restore does is restore the computer to a working condition and that usually just means the registry and drivers and other essential files.

Stuart


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#18
November 16, 2010 at 07:07:21
Boy, looks like a huge mess now, a simple question turned into a nightmare. Too many variables I guess.

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#19
November 16, 2010 at 07:37:30
System Restore rolls back the computer to the selected point in time. It does NOT, however, do that for the Documents folder. It leaves the Documents folder in the current state. I am not sure one way or the other if moving the Documents folder would change that behavior.

As you have already pointed out good computing practices dictate using 2 or more partitions. This drive was set up with that in mind, however it obviously has not been followed.

This is evident by the fact the D partition is totally empty. At this time I think it is unrealistic to expect Kathy to basically re-install her programs.

Keep in mind this may well include programs that can't be moved due to their default locations that came from the OEM maker of the computer.

I think that if Kathy indicates she is willing and able to follow your advice I would be 100% on board.


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#20
November 16, 2010 at 08:19:20
It leaves the Documents folder in the current state. I am not sure one way or the other if moving the Documents folder would change that behavior.

It wont. Whenever I install Windows, either for myself or somebody else, the first thing I do is move the My Documents folder to another drive. I nor any one else I have ever set up a computer for has ever lost data because they had to reformat drive C: The My Documents folder is the only one that has facilities within the OS to move it without resorting to Tweak UI.

As you have already pointed out good computing practices dictate using 2 or more partitions. This drive was set up with that in mind, however it obviously has not been followed.

It very rarely is when you get someone who is not familiar with the inner workings of a computer. I have seen numerous computers that have been set up by an OEM with the OS on one partition and that rest of the disk free and never used. Simply because the user does not know how to use it and accepts defaults when they are offered. It is not until drive C: gets full that they start wondering how they can use all that space on Drive D: It happens all the time.

Stuart


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#21
November 16, 2010 at 09:09:54
I know that if the My Documents folder is moved to a different partition than the OS that it will remain intact after formatting C. That is not my point. My point is that should you need to restore the system to a previous state and the My documents folder is not located in the default location will the latest items be lost in the My Document folder if you perform a system restore.

"t very rarely is when you get someone who is not familiar with the inner workings of a computer".

Not to demean the OP but if the original question needs asking then they are not very proficient in Windows workings.

You didn't touch on the issue of OEM versions of the OS and the included programs.

It is fine to install Microsoft Office to the D partition if you have a full version.

How does one move MS Works that came bundled with the computer?

In this particular instance I assume the OS and some additional programs came from Dell. They were all installed to the C partition. Someone shrunk the C partition and there are now two partitions. How do you easily, if at all, move the OEM programs that came on the computer.

The restore disks form Dell would point to installing them on C, would they not?


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#22
November 16, 2010 at 09:40:59
My documents folder is not located in the default location will the latest items be lost in the My Document folder if you perform a system restore

Are we talking about System Restore built into the OS or System Restore via and OEM disk. Either way, System Restore will no effect any user files stored on any drive other than the one the OS is stored on. After System Install you would have to go through the process outline in post one to point to the My Documents on Drive D: with the exception of copy the files. They are already there.

How does one move MS Works that came bundled with the computer?

You don't, you are stuck with it. But that doesn't preclude moving files and folders that can be moved.

Stuart


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#23
November 16, 2010 at 09:47:52
I am referring to Windows System Restore from the Start orb.

Anyway, until we hear back the Kathy We aren't settling anything.

"System Restore will no effect any user files stored on any drive other than the one the OS is stored on".

I don't believe that statement is correct. If you install a program under the OS and then restore to an earlier time I believe that program will no longer be available, no matter where it has been installed. That is the whole intent of System restore.


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#24
November 16, 2010 at 10:09:53
The application will still be there but the restore may have destroyed any registry entries that relate to the programme which will mean it need to be reinstalled. But data relating to that application, if stored in My Documents, will still be there. However, if a programme is installed using MSI then a restore point is created automatically when the application is installed which should eliminate that problem.

Here is Microsoft's take on moving My Documents. Similar to the way I described but automating the moving of files from one drive to another. I prefer to do it manually then I know that files have been moved correctly/

http://support.microsoft.com/?id=31...

It can be seen the moving My Documents is designed into the system right from the outset. It is the only folder that can be moved in this way. It has to go onto drive C: to initially because at installation time there is a very good chance that drive C: is the only drive that exists. Even Microsoft realised that storing user data on the same drive as the OS is not a good idea.

Here is another interesting take on the subject:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/how...

Quote:

Nope, leaving your My Documents folder on the C: drive is like storing your washing powder with your vegetables. Quite possible, but not a great idea.

Stuart


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#25
November 16, 2010 at 10:33:31
StuartS

OK that clears up the issue of the Documents folder location. I learn something new almost daily.

The second link by Richard Gizmo is not something I agree with.

I advise anyone that will listen to backup their personal files frequently. I disagree with his analysis that Windows doesn't change much. If using Windows auto updater it changes weekly at least.

Of all the data on your computer the data in the Documents folder should be the most important. I show folks I help how to back up those documents continuously.

Moving the documents folder doesn't really solve anything. Even if Windows were to go South the folder should still be available using multiple methods. If the hard drive were to die all data not backed up is gone. Same for theft, fire, etc.

In the scheme of things the only sure method of protection is backing up in multiple places. I do just that.

Going back to what started this exchange Kathy still needs to put forward some effort. Right now she can't even defrag and the data on C is more at risk due to possible corruption. Without knowing what all is on her drive I can't really advise what would be the best course of action.

To argue about which method is better is moot if there are no back ups in place.

There is no right or wrong method when it come to partitioning strategies.

What does matter is to not overfill a partition and to maintain at least two copies of any data you wish to keep. I think you will agree with that.

Meanwhile, we may have scared off the OP. I hope not.


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#26
November 16, 2010 at 10:46:03
"This is evident by the fact the D partition is totally empty."

I missed that - I see she says:

"D drive has 229 gibabits with 229 free."

In that case, if she uses Disk Management to shrink that D partition (Shrink volume) , then increase the size of the C partition (Extend volume) , she doesn't need to move her My Documents folder (and subfolders if that applies).
Or she could delete the D partition and increase the size of the C partition to fill the drive (not recommended), since she wasn't using it.

Kathy888

You DO NOT have to install everything that did not come with Windows itself on the C drive. In most cases, if you do NOT choose the Express install or similar for a program and use a Custom or similar install instead, or if you change the location of where it is installed to a different drive letter for a partition (e.g. change just the drive letter at the beginning), usually you are allowed to install the software on another partition, the vast majority of that program's data will be on that other partition, and only a relatively small amount of data for the program is installed on or stored on C.
Files that are not programs - e.g. music, movies, videos, pictures, documents, can be on any hard drive partition, even when your My Documents folder and subfolders is on C..


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#27
November 16, 2010 at 11:26:42
kathy, are you lost in the shuffle yet?

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