Solved I Screwed Up My Win 10 Machine - How Do I Fix Storage Issue?

Dell / Inspiron one 2320
February 9, 2020 at 10:40:58
Specs: Windows 10, I5-9400
I made a rookie mistake and would like to know how to fix it. Long post, so please bear with me.

I have new Dell XPS 8930. I ordered it with 2 drives: 256GB SSD (Boot) and 1TB HDD (Storage).

Never having dealt with a Boot drive (C:) and Storage drive (D:) during an install before, I made some mistakes while copying files from my Win 7 machine and need some help getting them in the right place without having to start all over again. It might be a simple fix; I just need some guidance.

Here's what I've done so far:

1 - I created 2 users on the Win10 Machine. This created a Documents folder for each user on the drive named OS (C:) e.g. C:\Users\user-name\Documents
2 - I installed Office 2019, using the default set up and letting Office install itself where it wanted to.
3 - I installed Chrome and a few other programs, again letting them install in their default locations.
4 - I customized some of the programs, e.g. Office, so it opens the way each user wants it to and Chrome, setting the users' home pages, bookmark bars, etc.

All is good up to this point.

5 - I then (mistakenly) began copying the users' documents from the Win 7 machine (single drive system) to C:\Users\user-name\Documents on the Win 10 machine.

I am now out of space on the 256Gb SSD C: drive. That is what made realize my error. I obviously should have been copying the files to the 1 TB HDD D: (Storage) drive.

So how do I fix this?

Do I simply create 2 different D:\Users\user-name\Documents folders and point all the programs to the specific user's folder? Is there anything special about the C:\Users\user-name\Documents folder or can I simply move all the files contained within those to the new D:\Users\user-name\Documents folders?

Do I need to do anything with the programs I've installed, other than point the default Open and Save locations to the D: drive? What about Chrome, so that each user only sees their own data, e.g. bookmarks, history, etc? What about Office and any custom settings I've chosen - startup screens, templates, etc.? Should the programs (and associate user settings) remain on the C: drive where they are now? Is it really just a document storage location problem or does everything except for the actual Win 10 OS belong on the D: drive?

Any assistance that you experts can provide would really be appreciated.

Thanks!

message edited by DerbyDad03


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✔ Best Answer
February 9, 2020 at 15:39:22
The SSD should be for the OS & your most important programs; everything else goes on the storage drive. Without knowing or seeing exactly what you've done, it's difficult to tell you how to fix it, but try this: Right click on the Documents folder, click Properties, then click the Location tab. See what you can do from there.

message edited by riider



#1
February 9, 2020 at 13:46:23
On your W7 install, how big was your backup drive or whatever you were using?
In other words, how much space did backups use?

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#2
February 9, 2020 at 14:20:29
The Win 7 machine has a single 916GB drive, currently with 386GB free, but that includes the OS, all programs, user data, etc. Obvioulsy, not all of that needs to come over.

I have approximately 250GB of user data (documents, images, etc) that needs to be moved to the Win 10 machine. It makes sense that I ran out of room on the 256GB SSD since the OS and the programs that I installed were already there. That 250GB contains data for 2 users.

My main question is this: Can I simply create a D:\Users\user-name\Documents folder on the 1TB HDD (D:) for each user and copy the 250GB of user data to there. Then I would point the programs that need that data to those Documents folders, instead of the C:\Users\user-name\Documents folders that they point to now. I hoping not to have to reinstall any programs, just to move files that are in the C:\Users\user-name\Documents folders now.

message edited by DerbyDad03


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#3
February 9, 2020 at 15:01:39
I prefer to have everything on my largest drive, single partition, then backup to a smaller drive, all my important stuff.
That won't work for you.

"I hoping not to have to reinstall any programs, just to move files that are in the C:\Users\user-name\Documents folders now"
Huge question, we have no way of knowing how that will go, depends on so many factors.


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Related Solutions

#4
February 9, 2020 at 15:39:22
✔ Best Answer
The SSD should be for the OS & your most important programs; everything else goes on the storage drive. Without knowing or seeing exactly what you've done, it's difficult to tell you how to fix it, but try this: Right click on the Documents folder, click Properties, then click the Location tab. See what you can do from there.

message edited by riider


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#5
February 9, 2020 at 15:56:31
This may help.

Transfer Files from Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 to Windows 10 using Windows Easy Transfer
https://www.online-tech-tips.com/wi...
https://chuckstechblog.com/tag/wind...
https://techjourney.net/windows-eas...


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#6
February 9, 2020 at 16:15:27
Riider:

It looks like the Move option on the Locations tab will do what I was going to do manually. Simply move everything already in the default C: drive Documents folder for each user over to a Documents folder on the D: drive

re: "Without knowing or seeing exactly what you've done, it's difficult to tell you how to fix it,"

In a nutshell, I've set up the system as if there was only a single 256GB SSD drive, C:, completely ignoring the 1TB hard drive, D:.

After installing a few programs, I began to copy the contents of the users' Documents folders on the Win 7 system over to the corresponding users' Documents folders on the Win 10 system. I'm talking about the default Documents folders that Windows creates when a User is created.

e.g. C:\Users\user-name\Documents

After a while I simply ran out of space on the C: drive.

I will try the Move option and see what happens. Worst case is I'll just start over. Restore the system back to how it came from Dell and install the programs again, then copy the users file to D: drive where they belong.

I'll let you all know what happens.

message edited by DerbyDad03


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#7
February 9, 2020 at 16:28:05
Johnw:

Thanks for the links.

I quickly scanned the links you offered and I don't see how they would solve my current problem or even work if I had started with Windows Easy Transfer in the first place.

Maybe I missed it, but it didn't look like there was an option to split the programs and data between 2 drives OS C: and Storage D:. If WET is going to try and cram everything onto the C: drive, I'd run into the same problem as I have now: not enough space on C:

In addition, I'm upgrading programs also, so I don't really want all of the settings, I just want the documents. Other than the documents, I'm going for a fresh start.

Thanks anyway.

message edited by DerbyDad03


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#8
February 9, 2020 at 16:28:41
The move option when you have it should do exactly what you want it to do (I have used it before, sometimes it is not there).
Leave all of your important programs on your C drive, they will open and respond faster.
Until recently I used a set up like yours (256GB SSD and 1TB HD, though Windows 7) and with a reasonable amount of programs, I still had almost half of the drive free.
There is not reason to start over. If the Move does not work you can simply remake the folder and point all programs to them. You probably will not be able to delete the default document folders but anything that ends up there accidentally can be moved later.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#9
February 9, 2020 at 16:36:33

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#10
February 9, 2020 at 17:16:57
Thanks Fingers. It's nice to get some reassurance from someone who's tried it.

I'll give it a go.


message edited by DerbyDad03


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#11
February 10, 2020 at 03:35:12
I wish I could select 2 best answers, but I guess I'll go with riider, who was the first to point me towards the Location tab in the Properties window for the Documents folder.

A very close second - might as well call it a tie - is Fingers, who provided some first hand experience (and reassurance) regarding the Move option on the Location tab.

Most of Microsoft Office followed the moves automatically. I didn't have to tell it where the default file location was, it did that on its own. Outlook was the only slacker, being unable to find the pst files. However, it did ask me where the pst files were located, so it was basically painless.

If any other programs balk at the move, I'll deal with them as needed.

Thanks guys. You saved me a lot of work and time.


message edited by DerbyDad03


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#12
February 11, 2020 at 07:08:55
> 5 - I then (mistakenly) began copying the users' documents from
> the Win 7 machine (single drive system) to
> C:\Users\user-name\Documents on the Win 10 machine.

Was that your own idea, or did you get that somewhere from the internet ?

I would not advise anybody to replace any structures in C:\users\MyUsername
This part of the OS is pretty delicate. Win7 or Win10 ..
But, anybody may try, obviously ..

message edited by Looge


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#13
February 11, 2020 at 07:18:02
> Do I need to do anything with the programs I've installed,
> other than point the default Open and Save locations to
> the D: drive?
>
> What about Chrome, so that each user only sees their own
> data, e.g. bookmarks, history, etc? What about Office and
> any custom settings I've chosen - startup screens,
> templates, etc.? Should the programs (and associate user
> settings) remain on the C: drive where they are now? Is
> it really just a document storage location problem or does
> everything except for the actual Win 10 OS belong on the
> D: drive?

The purpose of a storage device is to store the bigger files onto that drive.
Adding another drive has no implication whatsoever for Windows, to start storing "stuff" there, on that D: drive.

Surely, you can save files, from any tool you want, onto the D: drive.
You can even tell some tools to store them by default to the D: drive, but ...

... the Users\<MyUser> section will remain on the C: drive.
That is because it is hardcoded to C:\Users

If you want to try and change that ... you can try. I don't think Windows will like it very much.

What about telling users they have a D: drive that can store big files ?

Bookmarks & history: don't bother to put that on the D drive ... these are extremely small, but more importantly: you can control where Windows, or your program puts them.
Well, in some programs you may, but what is the purpose ?

Basically, as stated above: Windows doesn't care much for any driver other than the C: drive.


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#14
February 11, 2020 at 10:41:43
Looge,

While I appreciate your responses, I'm not really sure what you are trying to say.

re: "I would not advise anybody to replace any structures in C:\users\MyUsername"

I'm not replacing any "structures" in C:\users\MyUsername. What did you see in my posts that led you to make that statement?

re: "Adding another drive has no implication whatsoever for Windows, to start storing "stuff" there, on that D: drive."

Again, not sure what you are trying to say there. Perhaps if you re-worded that, I might see what you are saying.

re: ".. the Users\<MyUser> section will remain on the C: drive.
That is because it is hardcoded to C:\Users

If you want to try and change that ... you can try. I don't think Windows will like it very much."

Again, what did I say that led you to think I was changing that?

The bottom line is that the C: drive in the Win 10 system is a 256GB SSD drive. That is not nearly big enough to hold all of my documents, images, videos, music, etc. On my Win 7 machine, with its single 1TB HDD, the C:\Users\user_name\Documents folder was more than big enough.

All that I was asking for was the best way to move the files that I had tried to stuff into the Win 10 C:\Users\user_name\Documents folder over to the Win 10 1TB D: drive so that they would all fit. There was no change to C:\Users\user_name\ structure other than the removal/move of some files that I had put into the Win 10 C:\Users\user_name\Documents folder myself.

In addition, it is perfectly acceptable to tell the programs to store their files on the D: drive, thereby saving space on the relatively small C: drive.

re: "Windows doesn't care much for any driver other than the C: drive."

Again, not sure what your point is, at least not in the context of this thread.

message edited by DerbyDad03


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