Putting Windows 10 on C: drive and data on another?

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  1. Posts : 37
    windows 10
       #1

    Putting Windows 10 on C: drive and data on another?


    I've only ever used one drive all my life. I am now going to be building my own computer with more than one drive (plus backup external drive).

    This may seem like a dumb question, but I was thinking of putting Windows 10 (and drivers) only on my C: drive, and then putting all my data on other drives. My question is, if my C: drive gets corrupted, does it affect any of the other drives? Or vice versa? And if I need to reinstall Windows on my C: drive, would all the data on my other drives still be intact?

    Thanks.
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  2. Posts : 13,960
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503
       #2

    And if I need to reinstall Windows on my C: drive, would all the data on my other drives still be intact?
    Yes, that's the whole point of doing so, that and making it easy to do image backups, separating data from the OS.
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  3. Posts : 7,137
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #3

    Ztruker said:
    Yes, that's the whole point of doing so, that and making it easy to do image backups, separating data from the OS.
    Another less fault tolerant approach is to partition a single disk into two partitions - one for the OS and the other for user data. You can then backup and restore the OS partition separately but disk failure would also wipe your user data.
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  4. Posts : 35,618
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #4

    There are a couple of ways of arranging this- what I've come to regard as the potentially hazardous and less desirable way, given some threads reporting problems having made mistakes when doing it, and the 'safe' way.

    a. Use the Location tab to move default library folders (Documents etc) - this is where some people make bad mistakes, and disk imaging as mentioned above -e.g. Macrium Reflect (free-paid) - is often recommended here and imaging is strongly recommended in the tutorials on using Location by way of protection.

    b. Create your own folders e.g. My Music, My Documents... on the other partition or disk.
    These are truly yours, and unlike the default ones, will not have folders added by some programs you may install- which to me makes the default Documents etc 'their' folders, rather than mine.

    You then need to consider the various other types of data which may be on C: e.g. browser-related - favourites or bookmarks. Email and related data- especially an issue if you use the Mail app.
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  5. Posts : 37
    windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Would I still put all my programs (e.g. Office, etc) on the C; Drive?
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  6. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #6

    Madrona said:
    Would I still put all my programs (e.g. Office, etc) on the C; Drive?
    Yes, assuming they will fit. You should buy an SSD large enough for the task. I use a 128 GB drive; you may be OK with that or may have to step up to 256 or 512, depending on how many programs you have installed.

    The type of SSD you would get depends on the type of sockets available on your motherboard. Newer boards can usually use "M2" SSDs, while older generations may still need ordinary 2.5 inch SSDs. The M2 drives do not require cables---they connect directly to the motherboard.

    C is actually a partition and your system drive will have several partitions.
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  7. Posts : 37
    windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    ignatzatsonic said:
    Yes, assuming they will fit. You should buy an SSD large enough for the task. I use a 128 GB drive; you may be OK with that or may have to step up to 256 or 512, depending on how many programs you have installed.

    The type of SSD you would get depends on the type of sockets available on your motherboard. Newer boards can usually use "M2" SSDs, while older generations may still need ordinary 2.5 inch SSDs. The M2 drives do not require cables---they connect directly to the motherboard.

    C is actually a partition and your system drive will have several partitions.
    Thanks. Do programs have to be on the same disk as the OS? I imagine Microsoft Office, for example, is tightly coupled to Windows 10, but I'm not sure if there is a technical reason all programs have to be on the same disk as the OS.
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  8. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #8

    They don't have to be, but you ought to have a serious reason why you would want them anywhere else.

    You say you are going to build your first PC.

    Why would you stray from established standards?

    Lack of space on the OS hard drive? Buy a bigger hard drive.

    How much space do you think you need?

    I have Office and about 50 other applications on my 128 GB system drive.

    Total occupied space right now: 31.6 GB.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 17,642
    Windows 10 Pro
       #9

    Madrona said:
    I was thinking of putting Windows 10 (and drivers) only on my C: drive, and then putting all my data on other drives. My question is, if my C: drive gets corrupted, does it affect any of the other drives?
    Since early beta days of Windows Vista, I have always relocated the whole Users folder to another disk. All my user profiles will automatically be created on that new location, not a single user data file will be on C: drive. Absolutely everything, from OneDrive, docs, pics, videos and music, to AppData like Temp files will be stored on secondary disk.

    When my system disk crashes, all my user data is safe.

    I have written a tutorial to show how to do it: Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10

    Putting Windows 10 on C: drive and data on another?-image.png

    Kari
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 37
    windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #10

    ignatzatsonic said:
    They don't have to be, but you ought to have a serious reason why you would want them anywhere else.

    You say you are going to build your first PC.

    Why would you stray from established standards?

    Lack of space on the OS hard drive? Buy a bigger hard drive.

    How much space do you think you need?

    I have Office and about 50 other applications on my 128 GB system drive.

    Total occupied space right now: 31.6 GB.
    No, it has nothing to do with space. I was just curious from a security perspective and from the view of it being a hassle reinstalling programs if something happened to Windows that couldn't be fixed by troubleshooting.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Kari said:
    Since early beta days of Windows Vista, I have always relocated the whole Users folder to another disk. All my user profiles will automatically be created on that new location, not a single user data file will be on C: drive. Absolutely everything, from OneDrive, docs, pics, videos and music, to AppData like Temp files will be stored on secondary disk.

    When my system disk crashes, all my user data is safe.

    I have written a tutorial to show how to do it: Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10

    Putting Windows 10 on C: drive and data on another?-image.png

    Kari
    Thanks. So there is no technical reason microsoft office has to mount onto Windows 10?
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