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Q: Storing program files on Drive 'D' ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Storing program files on Drive 'D'
Category: Computers > Operating Systems
Asked by: civitas-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 26 Jul 2006 12:02 PDT
Expires: 25 Aug 2006 12:02 PDT
Question ID: 749797
I have been told conflicting information on whether it is okay or not
to load programs on my 'D' drive.  I am running out of space on my 'C'
drive.  Does anyone have any solid information on whether it is okay
to load programs on the 'D' drive?
Subject: Re: Storing program files on Drive 'D'
Answered By: keystroke-ga on 26 Jul 2006 12:56 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
I have a personal experience answer for you to think about but my
short answer is there should be NO problem at all in installing
software to your D drive. (Provided of course it is NOT a CD ROM but
is in fact a spare disk or disk partition).

Just to let you know, I am a Microsoft Certified Professional on
Windows XP (along with many other Microsoft qualifications) so this
information you are getting is NOT from a bad source. I also have many
years of personal experience.

The first short sharp answer, from what I have experienced is YES it
is a good idea to install software to your D drive, let me tell you

I do a lot of server installations and when I install servers I always
create a D drive (either through a second hard drive or through disk
partitioning). The reason for this is that over time software will be
installed, data will be created and added to your server. If you have
a single drive where all this information is being added eventually a
single drive will fill up. If you have two drives, a C drive that
contains nothing but your Windows installation files and a D drive
that holds your data and software installations (this is exactly how I
run my system) it will not matter how much data you add to your D
drive you will NEVER fill the C drive. If you experience a ?disk full?
error message on the D drive you can delete data and be ALMOST
guaranteed that the data you are going to delete or remove WILL NOT
affect your Windows installation. You can format your D drive any time
you like without affect your Windows installation as the C drive will
not rely on the D drive (the D drive may rely on the C drive). Over
time systems become fragmented. A fragmented C drive will affect your
system performance so much you will notice it in everyday usage, a
fragmented D drive where your data and programs are installed will not
be noticed until data is accessed on your D drive. Imagine installing
and uninstalling information from the C drive, this will fragment your
C drive a lot quicker than normal every day usage. If you have a lot
of data stored on the C drive this can make it hard to delete items
and also to defragment it.

I have this exact issue with a server of a client of mine, they have
everything installed on the C drive and I am finding it almost
impossible to defragment their server because everything is on their C
drive and their D data drive is empty. If they had installed
everything to the D drive I would be having no trouble and their bill
would be a lot less than what it currently is.

Secondly, your paging file by default is stored on your C drive, if
you fill your C drive with data and you have a stop error or some
other fatal problem windows will find it hard to recover and log this
issue without hard drive space. Ensuring you have ample space for
windows to access at all times is imperative, this again reinforces
the point of having the C/D drive. The paging file is something that
is access many times per day even when the PC is not being used. To
have your data and software installed on the same drive as the paging
file will slow paging operations and also slow down access to your
data, splitting both of these items up onto separate disks will
increase system performance.

Another issue to consider relating to ease of maintenance is this,
imagine you have a PC with only a C drive and you have some critical
software that you cannot get again and your hard drive fails, if you
only have a C drive you have lost everything.

Now imagine if you had two drives, a C and a D drive, system files on
the C drive Data and software on the D drive and the C drive crashes
you will only lose one the system files and a reinstall is the order
of the day. If your D drive crashes a quick and easy restore from your
backups to your D drive is all that is required and you can be working
again in a few hours. This is a win/win situation for anyone to be in.

If you have a partitioned drive (single drive split into two) and
windows goes wrong, you can safely FORMAT the windows installation (c
drive) without affecting the software and data you have on your D
drive, without having this split a format of the C drive wipes your
data and software too.

I know this is not the exact tangible evidence I am sure you were
hoping, however I do not feel that actual tangible evidence is
available for this, when it comes down to it, it is personal
preference, however, I can safely say from experience that for the
work I do and from what I have seen keeping your C drive for your
critical system files and your D drive for your data and software is a
much more sensible and easier thing to manage than having it all on
one disk. This is a view from about 12 years of personal experience.

When I install servers or home computers for people I ALWAYS without
fail create a C drive for the purpose of storing WINDOWS only and a D
drive for software and data. It makes your life and the technical
support technician's life so much easier when problems happen.

I hope this helps and if you have any comments don't hesitate to leave
me a comment.

Clarification of Answer by keystroke-ga on 26 Jul 2006 13:19 PDT
I thought I would just leave you a little summary of what I was saying.

Basically, as a technical support person I would strongly advise you
to do this as a standard strategy for all your computing from now on.

Also i decided to get a second opinion from a fellow associate, he too
has basically given me a run down of everything i have said and
finished it off with the words

"It's something I've done before, it's something on this system, it's
a great idea."

civitas-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $15.00
Thanks so very much.  You have given me vital new information and
spared me from purchasing a new computer with a much larger 'C' drive
that I don't need.  Thanks again!

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