After installing Windows 7 on your new Solid State Drive, its generally a good idea to get all the modifications and optimisations out of the way. One of the first ones I recommend is moving the location of the Windows User folders to your mechanical drive.

Follow these simple steps to achieve this simple yet amazingly space effective modification.

After installation don’t worry about making any modifications or customisations to the user created during the first boot process as we’re going to delete this user in the process of moving the Windows user folders onto our ‘storage’ drive.

Please note that making changes to the registry can cause problems within Windows, its reccomended to back up prior to making any changes. I would advise against using this guide in a pre existing installation of Windows and strongly advise performing the following modification after a fresh install only!

Moving Windows User Folders:

Step 1: Enabling the Administrator Account in Windows 7 (Hidden by default)

  1. Open the Start menu and in the search type lusrmgr.msc and press return
  2. In the Local Users and Groups window that has just opened.  Left click on the folder titled Users on the left hand side. This should then display a list of accounts (Administrator, Guest etc.)
  3. Right click on the administrator account and got to properties. In the Administrator Properties window, un-tick the Account is disabled check box
  4. Reboot

 

Step 2: Changing the default location of user folders on Windows 7

  1. Login on the newly visible Administrator account
  2. Open the Start menu and in the search type User accounts and hit return
  3. Click on Manage another account and delete the account and files created during Windows setup
  4. Open the Start menu and in the search type run and hit return
  5. In the Open field of the run box type regedit and hit return
  6. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  7. Double click on the entry ProfilesDirectory
  8. Change %SystemDrive% to the drive letter of your mechanical drive for example from “%SystemDrive%\Users” to “X:\Users”
  9. Close regedit
  10. Reboot

 

Step 3: Creating your new user profile on Windows 7

  1. Login on the currently active Administrator account
  2. Open the Start menu and type User accounts and hit return
  3. Create your new user account with Administrator privileges
  4. Logoff as Administrator and login using the newly created account.
  5. Confirm that your ‘storage’ drive has a folder called Users on it and within the Users folder it also has a folder with the same name as the account you created.
  6. Reboot

 

Step 4: Disabling the Administrator account on Windows 7

Leaving the default Administrator account enabled is a security risk, follow the below steps to hide the account again:

  1. Logon using the Administrator account
  2. Open the Start menu and in the search type lusrmgr.msc and press return
  3. In the Local Users and Groups window that has just opened.  Left click on the folder titled Users on the left hand side. This should then display a list of accounts (Administrator, Guest etc.)
  4. Right click on the administrator account and got to properties. In the Administrator Properties window, tick the Account is disabled check box
  5. Reboot


Your system is now running with your Users folder directory on your storage drive, this means bookmarks, application data etc. is all stored on your mechanical ‘storage’ drive as oppose to taking up unnecessary space on your SSD

 

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