How-To: Optimize Your Windows Profile and Media Storage with a SSD



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If so many people are experiencing failures with ssd's, why are people buying them and going through the same crappy experience as everone else? I would give SSD drives another 3- 5 years before the major issues are removed.



I created a second User on D, changed the three profile locations in the Registry from D:\Users back to C:\Users. Installed a User Folder in C and moved the Default and Public Folders from D to C:\Users. Booted into C and created two User Profiles. I then used the Microsoft "Repair a Corrupted User Profile" procedure to transfer my User Account and settings from the D drive. It was relatively easy and completed in around 2 hours.



I have been using this configuration for close to a year now with no issues and excellent performance. After moving my Downloads to my HDD backup drive, I now have enough space to move my User Profile and everything else back to a single SSD while still using a HDD for the mounted 'Games' Folder. Is there an easy way to do this or will I have to spend hours changing the Registry entries back to C:\Users?



Ok i have installed just like said in the original post.  When I log onto the account (end of step 2) I cannot. It tells me that "The Users Profile Service service has failed the login" "User Profile cannot be loaded".  What am I or have I done wrong?? 



I had the same problem what they forget to mention is you need to show hidden files when you " go to C:\Users and copy the Default and Public folders to U:\Users\Default and U:\Users\Public. You’ll likely find some *.tmp files that simply won’t copy; it’s OK to skip them.".. that will show a hidden default and  you need to copy that one also... 

On a side note this works just fine in windows 8 just set it up on my laptop with early intel SSD



Putting the OS on the SSD isn't the only way.  I like to keep the spinning disk in place as the primary, and use the SSD to accelerate the system.  There are tools to help with this.  It works well because, as you state, SSD are too small and too expensive for larger ones, and they are still too small.  SSD also suffers from wear and will fail more quickly than spinning disks.  If you put the OS on the SSD, then when it fails you will be down.  The tool I use sets up the Windows computer to use the SSD as a secondary acceleration disk.



How about the security of the registries, do you have anything to comment on that? I've been using a registry cleaner since my last windows installation and things looks nice on my computer, I wonder if the software would make the difference on SSDs too...



Vista, not XP.

What is the difference in performance between this and moving the folders (Local, LocalLow and Roaming) to the other drive via right-click, "Target" and move? That does move most of the stuff - and without mangling the registry.

It's also possible to put the dumb folders like searches in a lower-level directory, with documents and music where they're easy to reach by the same method.


Just Curious.




I just followed these instruction to Optimize my (Turn on Bragging) New i7 650 with 24GB Ram, a 160 GB Intell X25-M, and a 2TB WD HD.

I already had a user account setup, so I had a lot of registry changes to make.  The program they suggested costs $20, with no way to test the replace function, which is a little hidden.  I searched for a free alternative, and found one.


Googled "Free Registry search and replace", and found a free program called "Registry Replace", it worked just fine on my Win 7 RC 64-bit in win XP compatiablity mode.


Just my 2 cents.



Mid-level performance (100MB/sec seq write), 128GB SSD - $280 (compared to $170 for similar performing 64GB models) still not cheap, but not totally outrageous either... plenty of room for OS, Applications, & plenty of games.  Heck my gaming rig only has an 80GB 1st gen SATAII hard drive with about 1/3 of that as free space.... at least till I rebuild it with the pair of brand new 74GB Raptor's I have sitting here.  Sure Random Access Write speeds are still pathetic, but get real, exactly how often is the computer going to be performing random access writes anyway... 



If you're a big PC gamer, wouldn't it make more sense to keep the games on the SSD (for performance reasons)?



Cool article. I am in the process of building a machine (am kind of new to this) and had already bought a intel 25-m and a 300g velaciraptor with the idea of doing this kind of boot system with the SSD.

Question: If I am going to be saving pic, docs, video files to the 300gb drive anyways is there ary benefit of me setting it up this way? I tend to keep all of my emails (going back years etc) assume these go onto the user profile as well . However, even with much eamil I assume the space it takes up is very small.


If my intenet is only to put the OS and commomly used apps on the ssd while TRYING to remember to always save media and data elesewhere is there any benefit to my doing this>?




I work on unix systems quite a bit and I really appreciate the filesystem based of the starting point of / (root) with no drive letters to mess with.  Starting with windows 2000 you can have your drives mounted in this fashion also instead of using a drive letter.  The only drive letter you would have to use is C.

  1. Backup data in the C:\Users location
  2. Delete the content from C:\Users
  3. Using Disk Management, Create a partition on another drive to hold this information.  Do not assign a drive letter, instead choose volume mount point and specify C:\Users.
  4. There you have it.  No registry changes neccesary.

This is also a great technique if you need more space on your C volume and don't want to mess with ghosting or imaging to a new drive.



If you want to do the same in xp search the registry for PofileImagePath, Once at the root of ProfileList select the SID of the user you just created (you can find out by the path name of profile ex. C:\documents and settings\useryoumade) then change the paths.



naww the first step is to buy the little fucking expensive thing...only thing stopping me is its price



Excellent article Will!


I have a 32 Gig SSD for my OS and the folders in the "users" folder, I moved to my 250Gig HDD on my laptop.

I love the fast boot times and like not mukking things up on the OS SSD.

However, your way is much better and it looks like I'm gonna be doing a clean install again.


Good job on the tutorial!



I have an ASUS G50 with a 320 GB hard drive and an empty bay begging for an SSD, with the goal of increasing both performance and battery life.  Since games and battery life never meet, I like developing a split like the one above, but I wonder how much of the users folder should stay on the SSD to keep the drive sun down on battery.  My thought was to keep everything on the SSD and use the libraries in Win 7 to connect to files on my hard drive.



Who keeps their media files in their user profile anymore? Not I, this article is pointless, sure you will get a nice fast boot time and save space but almost everyone keeps their media on a backup harddrive where storage is valued more then speed. Space is not of concern. People are worried about failure of the flash memory, I believe that most MLC SSD's can have 10gigs written to it each day for 5 years and still be okay.

This article kills the whole notion of speeding up applications. Sure you save space by putting your games on a mechanical harddrive, but guess what, when you load up that game, it's going to be loading from the traditional harddrive, enjoy the longer wait of the loading screen.



Actually, I keep my media files on a network shares, then I create symbolic links inside the appropriate folders on the network shares.

That said, I think you'd be surprised at the number of people who store their media in the default directories.



I think there's a bit more to SSD optimisation than this. OCZ's Forum on the subject is an excellent resource on this. Normal optimizations include:
a) Partitioning the disk to receive the OS install on a particular boundary; this can have large impacts on performance, stuttering on earlier ssds etc. I believe Vista defaults to the right boundary, but not XP.
b) Cutting out unnecessary writes: SSDs have a lifetime determined by the maximum writes that can be sustained on any part (applies, I think, only to MLC technology SSDs - the more common/cheaper variety) As a result, SSD have a write algorithm that spreads the write pattern across the disk evenly. Under this heading comes such items as switching off indexing (designed to overcome access times on normal disks, moving temporary files/folders to the non SSD drive, including Internet Explorer/Firefox web caches, /temp etc. and moving paging files to hard disk.

I dual-boot Vista and Linux(s) off a single 60GB SSD. Nice load times - once it gets past the BIOS (a bit slow because I've got a bios bug & it has to go through a RAID load) with 30 secs pretty typical to a working desktop.

Biggest bugbear ? Vista SP2's fabulous winsxs folder - taking a whopping 10GB of my precious SSD. Hhhmmmm.



Would you recommend putting the paging file on the SSD or on the hard drive? Clearly, the SSD is faster, but the paging file eats a lot of write cycles and a lot of storage space.



By moving the profiles off of the SSD, you are ensuring that no media (i.e. pictures, music, videos) are being stored there by default. The purpose of the SSD in this article was to increase performance while using Windows and any installed programs. The user profiles just take up limited space for additional software to be installed. You need to remember that the SSD used in this article is only 64GB and
only having a few videos stored on that drive could easily fill it up.


Even the smallest breeze can cause big things to turn!



Why do you want to move Profiles off the SSD?



Because they can get really big



 isn't windows embedded a better chose for ssd?

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