View Full Version : Noob messing with files = fail.

20-06-2012, 03:44 PM
Hi, RPS.

I know that this is predominantly a place for gaming, but I've run into some trouble and know I can trust the people here. If my query belongs elsewhere, please let me know.

I'm using Windows 7. When I bought/built my new gaming PC, I partitioned my 500GB harddrive, keeping Windows etc on the C: and planning to use the D: for everything else. After a while I realised that, as I'm new to this whole scene and a bit of an idiot, I had been forgetting to install things on the D: drive, so the smaller partition, meant only for Windows and things, was basically full.

I had no trouble moving most of My Documents and all that over to the D: drive once I'd realised, but now I've hit some trouble. The tutorial I found tried to talk me through moving the "AppData" folder, which I have since heard isn't always a good idea, and almost definitely not a good idea for someone with my level of ability. Okay, fine, that can stay where it is.

However, I must have failed to undo some of my attempts to move it, because now my PC takes much longer to boot up. Before, it was booting up as new: once I could see my desktop, I could open Steam and Firefox and whatever else all at once, and it wouldn't mind. Now, when I do eventually see the desktop, I still have to wait before I can touch anything.

I don't know if this is something linked to the AppData folder or not, really, but it started happening the first time I booted up after (foolishly) messing about, so I can't see that it's anything else. I was going to System Restore it, but the oldest restore point is too new.

Is there any way of restoring AppData to how it's supposed to be? If not, is there any way of identifying exactly what is causing the slow boot, and fixing it that way?

Thanks in advance,

20-06-2012, 04:33 PM
Yeah your app data folder really needs to stay where it is. Did you actually end up moving it and reboot or did you only end up moving bits of it. Did you get all the data back to the original place?

As for moving programs over to the other partition then you are really best off uninstalling them and reinstalling in the new location. For moving your Steam games check out this: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7418-YUBN-8129

As for the slow boot, that's a tougher one. I don't know with Win7 but you used to be able to start up windows with the command prompt showing, so you could see what was being loaded up as it went. However as you are not all that familiar with all things PC, then you probably wouldn't be able to make sense of what you were looking at anyway.

Depends how noticably slow you think it has got since you had a fiddle. Do remember that windows will get a little bit slower to boot up after you've chucked on a virus scanner and dumped a few other programs on there etc.

If you think you've made a real hash of things then, depending on how much you have already installed, you might just be better off saving any needed data over to your secondary partion, then doing a format and clean install of your windows partion. If you have a reasoanbly fast PC it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours at the very most to get everything back and running the way it was again. Do you run an email client as well, such as Outlook? If so, don't forget to backup your mail.

However I do have to say, that frankly I wouldn't have bothered with the second partition in the first instance. May I ask why you did so?

20-06-2012, 05:00 PM
Thanks Chaz

I had quite a lot of help with the making of my PC from a friend, and he's convinced that partitioning is a good idea because he regularly re-installs Windows (yearly, I think), just so his harddrive doesn't get full of stuff he gathers over time. He partitions so that he doesn't have to re-install everything else (games, etc). Being as clueless as I am, I didn't really have anything to say no about, it all sounded fine, but this is turning out to be rather a lot of hassle!

I've managed to move everything else fine, including my Steam games. I'm sure I undid everything I tried with moving the AppData folder, but the slowness didn't go away. Maybe I should just bite the bullet - format the harddrive and start again with the whole lot as one 500GB space.


20-06-2012, 05:32 PM
because he regularly re-installs Windows (yearly, I think), just so his harddrive doesn't get full of stuff he gathers over time.

That's an advice/habit from the days of windows 95/98 and maybe XP. With Windows 7 that is completely unnecessary, if you don't want the bloat just deinstall what you don't need and defrag from time to time.

The only good reason to keep your system on a separate partition is to save you the hassle of reinstalling programs and other things in case Windows 7 decides to break entirely; something which only happened to me so far, because I tried messing with more advanced stuff.

20-06-2012, 05:52 PM
Thanks Wolfenswan

It sounds like I should just start over. It seems annoying, but the longer I leave it, the worse it will be. I can't see my messing with advanced stuff, so one space will be better.

Thank you for swift responses.

20-06-2012, 09:54 PM
Yeah, if you've only just set things up, then I'm afraid a complete reformat and removing the partion is probably for the best.

For a home user a second partion would only really be of any use to back up data to in case you wanted to wipe and reinstall your windows partion. Kind of ironic considering. However a far better solution to that is to get a second hard drive, either internally or an external unit.

The only thing I use secondary drives for is as storage space for movies, mp3s, downloaded files etc. Even if you installed all your games and programs to the secondary drive/partion you would still probably end up having to reinstall them anyway, should your windows need a clean reinstall. Because even if you reinstalled and the data for your programs was still intact on your secondary partion, the fresh install of windows would be missing all the registry entries for all those programs.

Again I really can't see the point in installing your programs on a separate drive anyway, not when you can get a 1Tb drive for less than 40, space is hardly a problem. Well unless you go for one of those SSD's, but personally at the moment I think the cost of them still outweighs the benefits you get. In another year or two though, they should start to become much more mainstream, with decent size drives for reasonable prices. Much in the same way that nearly all previous types of storage devices have eventually plummeted in price and become more capacious, but right now they're still very much for enthusiasts with plenty of cash.

As for needing to reinstall on a regular basis, as Wolfenswan has said, that's sort of pretty much a thing of the past from the days of 95/98. I think I reinstalled my XP machine once in about 7 years. Win7 should be even more resilient than that. Put it this way, provided you don't do anything silly and keep a clean house, by the time you need a reinstall you'll probably be thinking of getting a new computer anyway. Or do what I do and keep your old machine as a seperate email/office PC and the new one as a pure gaming rig/entertainment center.