Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 03, 2016, 01:40:57 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Strategies for using user-data folders in Windows 7?  (Read 12958 times)

phillfri

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2006
  • *
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 41
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Strategies for using user-data folders in Windows 7?
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2010, 09:12:31 AM »
I'm strictly a home network guy - so my experience runs win31, Win98, WinMe, WinXP, WinVista, Win7. There are some not so great versions in this string that caused me partition troubles through the years :>) - albeit its gotten better since the latter versions of WinXP.

Being a home network guy, I do my setups manually. I just haven't found it worth the effort to write and test setup scripts.

 

widgewunner

  • Member
  • Joined in 2009
  • **
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Strategies for using user-data folders in Windows 7?
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2010, 05:59:46 PM »
Quote
I haven't done imaging for years, but I've been contemplating getting into it again... also, when I do a clean reinstall, I do want the format to get rid of any leftover junk and have a fragmentation-free clean slate.
I'm not really sure what you mean by leftover junk...anything on the drive that is unwanted is delete-able (I assume I'm missing something).
System Volume Information :)
...Which contains one metric boat load of system recovery snapshots and etc.

Hm... For some reason I ws thinking that the install cleaned that out. *Shrug* but it can be deleted if need be. I don't do it frequently enough to quip off the top of me head, but I'll play with it this weekend if I have time.

System Volume Information == System Restore data storage
To clean it out, simply turn off system restore, then (optionally) turn it back on. (Right click My Computer->Properties->System Restore->Turn off System Restore on all drives)

This does bring up another justification for partitioning - system restore works on a partition by partition basis. I turn it on for the WIN_XP_SYS system partition only, and turn it off for all other drives (TEMP, HOME, MM, etc). It is quite useful when trying out a new application - here's my work flow...
  • Set a new restore point: "Pre-ApplicationX"
  • Install and try out the software
  • If I don't like it, uninstall and do a restore
  • If I do like it, leave it installed.
  • Turn System Restore off then back on again.

I've found that System Restore works great for very recent modifications, but is not reliable for restoring a long-ago system state. As you all know, one cannot depend upon a program's uninstall process alone, to restore the system back to where it was before you started. Very few programs actually clean out *everything* they messed up - that's where System Restore comes in handy and it does work wonders for this purpose.

Regarding Windows' choice of where to put stuff and what to name it, don't get me started! IMHO everything started going to hell when they added the ability to put spaces in file names back with Win95 - they couldn't help themselves. They just had to name a bunch of directories using multiple words so that they could put the spaces in there: "Look everybody, you can now put spaces in your file names - Just look at all these cool human readable directory names!"

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,294
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: Strategies for using user-data folders in Windows 7?
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2010, 12:11:36 PM »
Quote
I haven't done imaging for years, but I've been contemplating getting into it again... also, when I do a clean reinstall, I do want the format to get rid of any leftover junk and have a fragmentation-free clean slate.
I'm not really sure what you mean by leftover junk...anything on the drive that is unwanted is delete-able (I assume I'm missing something).
System Volume Information :)
...Which contains one metric boat load of system recovery snapshots and etc.

Hm... For some reason I ws thinking that the install cleaned that out. *Shrug* but it can be deleted if need be. I don't do it frequently enough to quip off the top of me head, but I'll play with it this weekend if I have time.

System Volume Information == System Restore data storage
To clean it out, simply turn off system restore, then (optionally) turn it back on. (Right click My Computer->Properties->System Restore->Turn off System Restore on all drives)

While true, that scenario assumes that the install in question is still bootable (I wasn't). :)


superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Strategies for using user-data folders in Windows 7?
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2010, 09:10:57 AM »
tranglos, you always bring up good discussions!
As you and many here do, I've also had to come up with a way to avoid using the default file storage that has been in Windows for the past many versions.  To make a long story short, I'll summarize what I do:

--I keep all my files on a separate hard drive.  The OS and program files are on the C drive, nothing else.  That being said, I don't remap anything.  I did that once, but when you make it "official" like that, programs start creating their own directories and adding files you don't want.  I don't like that.  I let the programs make their directories in the default My Documents location and I just don't care, because I don't use that folder.  To make up for the fact that I have to switch to my own folders for every "open" or "save as" dialog, I use a program like Direct Folders that makes that a breeze.

There have been a couple of threads here about this in the past, I'll try to find them:
How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder

That's where I first read about how mouser's system of storing files.  When I built my computer last January (see this thread) I had a very extensive off-line discussion with mouser where I grilled him on his whole method, which I really like and adopted.  I even made a chart or something out of it, but I don't know where it is.  If I find it, I'll post it.  The things to consider here is to make sure all your files and settings are in a place where you have easy control over them.  Also, how you backup affects this.  There's a lot of thought that goes into this that people don't normally think about.

But I just want to emphasize that I don't do any actual remapping because, well, I just don't want Windows or any programs knowing where I keep my files and messing around with them.  Yeah, just like the media libraries you mentioned...there are a lot of programs that have ideas of what to do with your meticulously organized files.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Strategies for using user-data folders in Windows 7?
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2010, 11:22:01 PM »
This is pretty closely related to this thread, so I'll post here.  I found the diagram I made last year based on mouser's folder structure.  So, as far as strategies, this is pretty much what I use.  Yes, mouser, I was taking notes when we were chatting!
Computer Folder Structure.png

What's great about this is that it completely ignores whatever Windows or other programs try to force you to do.  None of these folders are formally mapped through Windows, so nobody knows where they are (nobody personifying the applications, not that they are secret).  I also want to heavily emphasize how critical it is to have a third-party program like Direct Folders to easily jump around all these folders, as they have many subdirectories, and you do not want to be going up/down all day long.  Of course, the other great thing about this strategy is that it takes into consideration backing up.  You don't want to make backing up more difficult than it should be, so it's good to have a good root system, separate hard drive, etc.  The diagram shows how backups are done three different ways:
  • image (for OS, programs)
  • File Syncing (for all your files)
  • Versioned backups (for documents specifically)

Actually, my current setup is slightly different.  I show in the diagram that i don't backup the MyDownloads directory, but I do.  My hard drive is huge.  I also don't show where my versioned backups are.  But they are simply located on my backup drives in the MyBak folder.

I also don't keep ALL my files in the MyDocs folder, i think i misunderstood mouser there.  So, the root has  MyDocs, MyMedia, MyData, etc.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 11:28:40 PM by superboyac »