Want Windows 7 on SSD and Program Files on HDD--how do I proceed?


I’m setting up a new computer that will have a 250 GB Samsung EVO 850 SSD and two 1 TB Seagate Barracuda hard drives. I want the SSD to be the boot drive and have the Windows folder with the operating system (Windows 7 Professional 64 bit). I also want to have a few programs on the SSD: browsers, email, and VLC Player. I prefer to have a lot of software programs. (That’s just me. I have my reasons; don’t waste your time trying to talk me out of it.) I don’t want to overcrowd the SSD. I want to keep the great majority of programs and of the application data folders on one of the Seagate drives. I guess you could say I basically want a big Program Files folder on a Seagate drive and a mini-Program Files folder on the SSD.

What’s the proper way to proceed? Install the whole system drive package, with Program Files and user profiles/accounts as well as the actual OS (which I assume is synonymous with or subsumed in the Windows folder) on one of the HDDs, and then migrate just the Windows folder to the heretofore blank SSD and set the SSD as boot drive in the BIOS?

Or should I install Windows 7 to the SSD and then create parallel Program Files and application data folders on the Seagate hard drive? Or maybe move Program Files to the Seagate if possible, and just have my small number of programs on the SSD in their own folders there?


One strategy…

  1. Look for “portable” versions of your fav Win apps. These don’t need to be installed and they can reside in any drive/directory. Portableapps.com (and many other sources). HD.

  2. Of the remaining apps you want that require installations, many (most?) allow you to designate destination drive/directory. You’ll want to avoid ‘express’ or ‘standard’ installation and opt for ‘custom’ or ‘advanced’. HD.

  3. Install remaining in your ‘C’ (SSD) drive. Optional, but you might want to split your SSD into two different partitions, to separate OS and apps.


Thank you very much.

you might want to split your SSD into two different partitions, to separate OS and apps.

What would be the advantage of this?


My recommendation:

Windows 7 with all programs installed on the SSD.

All data on the HDD.

I run a 240GB (actual 223.7GB) SSD with 4 OSes with a 15GB partition available for occasional use with Linux Mint.

Re pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys; these are not run on all systems as the computer has 26GB of RAM

(P1-240MB) System

(P2-50GB) WinXpProSP3 (38% used…no pagefile.sys no hiberfil.sys)

(P3-50GB) Win7Ultimate 64 OLD (84% used…no pagefile.sys no hiberfil.sys)

(P4-50GB) Win7Ultimate 64 NEW (68% used…has pagefile.sys )

(P5-50GB) Win10 Pro (63% used…has pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys)

(P6-15GB) for Linux Mint

(P7-8.3GB) for Linux Swap



Placing OS vs. apps in separate partitions makes it easier to reinstall one without affecting the other. Say you want to do a clean OS install. You can do that anytime, without affecting any of your apps or their customizations, if they reside in a separate partition (say D: drive on your SSD or your HD). After reinstalling your OS (C:\ drive) – you just need to ‘repopulate’ (or copy over from your backup) the app shortcuts and you’re good to go.