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SSD Folder Linking to save Huge amount of SSD space!!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I wanted to get something up on OCN showing this way to free up 10 - 40 gb of space on your SSD. The hidden appdata folder inside your user account folder gets huge as you install more games. you will need a 2nd hard drive in the system to use this.

This setup not only frees up space on SSD it also makes new Windows installs very easy because all my documents never get formatted over. Programs still install onto your SSD but the appdata folder and game saves is on another drive.


Obviously HDD are not as fast as SSD so it is possible that this costs some performance versus pure SSD setup. I will never go back to appdata on SSD until they are much cheaper because no programs I run seem to slow down whatsoever. but to be correct YMMV.

This can also work with any other folder you want to move and have windows still think it is in original location.

it is possible to buy a small SSD and use it for the User data folder so that when you reinstall windows you do not format your user files and this would not cost any performance hit as long as the you buy SSD as good as the one the OS is on.

1. create a 2nd account and allow admin privileges

2. reboot into safe mode and log into the new admin account

3. Copy and paste the C:\Users\YourPCname and place it onto your storage hard drive. let this finish the full copy. make a 2nd copy if your are worried.

4. delete the c:\users\YourPCname folder. Do not worry. you just copied it. windows cannot link the folder unless the original is deleted.

5. now open cmd promt and enter the script below. The part after the /J needs to match where you copied the user folder. Also include your own user name account where I put YourPCname biggrin.gif

mklink C:\users\YourPCname /J D:\users\YourPCname




6. reboot and log into your main account take a look at the freed up SSD Space

7. delete the new created user account

The C: drive will now have linked user folders.


This Guide is mainly for people running out of SSD space or only can afford a small SSD.

If your games and most of your programs are on a standard HDD anyway its not going to make a difference.

here is how the linked folders look when your done

Edited by Wirerat - 4/6/14 at 5:44pm
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post #2 of 26
Good guide, but a couple things to pick:

- No need for safe mode, and a single folder move can skip the copy/paste/delete step.
- /J should come before both paths in the command (even though it may work, it is not contractual, whereas the proper syntax is, and anything else may break in the future). The syntax of the command is MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target
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post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

Good guide, but a couple things to pick:

- No need for safe mode, and a single folder move can skip the copy/paste/delete step.
- /J should come before both paths in the command (even though it may work, it is not contractual, whereas the proper syntax is, and anything else may break in the future). The syntax of the command is MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target

I have had issues in the past if not in safe mode with deleting the folder after after the copy.
Edited by Wirerat - 4/6/14 at 3:43am
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post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirerat View Post

I have had issues in the past if not in safe mode with deleting the folder after after the copy.

If you reboot (into normal mode) rather than just a log off then it won't be a problem. Sometimes files stay locked in the user's AppData directory even after a log off, usually its because applications don't close their registry handles under HCKU so Windows can't unload it at log off.
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post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

If you reboot (into normal mode) rather than just a log off then it won't be a problem. Sometimes files stay locked in the user's AppData directory even after a log off, usually its because applications don't close their registry handles under HCKU so Windows can't unload it at log off.

Safe resolved the issues for me. I have also had media serving apps continue to run inside the folder if I only reboot. you may be correct but I could not get it to work everytime with just a reboot.

besides safe modes takes like an extra 20 secs.
Edited by Wirerat - 4/6/14 at 3:55am
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post #6 of 26
Wouldn't moving such a critical folder to a dramatically slower drive defeat much of the purpose of owning an SSD...?
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GridIroN View Post

Wouldn't moving such a critical folder to a dramatically slower drive defeat much of the purpose of owning an SSD...?
no not at all. its only a config file. The programs are still on the SSD. I explained this in the OP.

If you have tons of extra SSD space then don't do it. you have not got a reason to. I only have a 120gb ssd and this makes a huge difference for me. I think some others would like to free up SSD space as well.
Edited by Wirerat - 4/6/14 at 8:34am
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post #8 of 26
This is a BAD idea.

Your \AppData\ directory is stuff your Apps actually USE.

Loading up a save game? It's probably in AppData
Loading up any app with config files? those files are probably in AppData

That's NOT stuff I want on my platter disks.

Now if there's 1 or 2 specific applications that have gigantic files in AppData (Eg, bitcoin will store 20 GB of crap), it might not be a bad idea to move just those (and take the performance hit). But otherwise, AppData contains files you want quick access to.
Edited by demoship - 4/6/14 at 4:13pm
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by demoship View Post

This is a BAD idea.

Your \AppData\ directory is stuff your Apps actually USE.

Loading up a save game? It's probably in AppData
Loading up any app with config files? those files are probably in AppData

That's NOT stuff I want on my platter disks.

Now if there's 1 or 2 specific applications that have gigantic files in AppData (Eg, bitcoin will store 20 GB of crap), it might not be a bad idea to move just those (and take the performance hit). But otherwise, AppData contains files you want quick access to.

to each his own.

. I have tested this on 4 different builds. it has no negative impact whatsoever on performance. benchmarks will prove this. I do not stor the actual games on my ssd anyway only programs. I dnt want the app data folder there when the game is on another drive.

this setup will allow someone to use a 30GB SSD for his OS. are you telling me this wont help that person ?
Edited by Wirerat - 4/6/14 at 4:23pm
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4790K 4.8ghz @ 1.245v Asus Maximus Hero VI 4GB Asus Strix GTX 980 Gskil Trident 2400 CL10 
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128GB sandisk extreme SSD 2 tb Western digital media intel 530 128 gb SSD External LG BD RW 
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EK Coolstream 360mm PE Rad  Gentle typhoon AP-15 X 3 Fractal Design 140mm 1000RPM X3 Fractal Design Venturi High Flow Series 140mm F... 
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Bitspower DDC Heatsink Black EK Coolstream XTC 140mm Rad EK Supremecy MX  EK FC980 Strix Water Block 
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swiftech MCP-35X EK XRES 140 DDC Top WIN 7 ULTIMATE smk link 
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Swiftech MCR-320 XP 360mm rad Swiftech MCR-320 XP 120mm rad EK Supreme LTX Cpu block Biitspower ACX GTX 970 Water block 
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post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirerat View Post



to each his own.

. I have tested this on 4 different builds. it has no negative impact whatsoever on performance. benchmarks will prove this. I do not stor the actual games on my ssd anyway only programs. I dnt want the app data folder there when the game is on another drive.

Benchmarks aren't loading files from AppData.

You could point your whole windows directory to a platter disk. Your windows load time will suck, but the benchmarks will show the same great SSD numbers.

Please don't give advice when you have no idea what you're talking about.

Don't believe me? Try it on a game with large save files in AppData.

Loading/Saving your game will take longer if you point it to a platter disk.
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