D is for Data!

Remember my article on Lenovo Y510 woes? The summary – Lenovo makes excellent laptops and has great customer service, but the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510 (And perhaps some other laptops of theirs) come pre-configured with a tiny, easily revertible C partition for Vista and a large D partition for data. The problem is that all the windows user data.. favorites, desktop, documents, music, etc… are all also configured by default to sit on that tiny C partition. As is the swap file. So you end up crashing Vista fairly quickly.

Well, a few people have written in wondering how on earth they should move their default user data locations to D. Here’s my how-to…

*disclaimer* While I am pretty good with computers, and while this information should work for you, I can’t be held responsible if this doesn’t work for you. If you have important data, back it up first, just in case.

  1. Find your current user data folders — Open Explorer by right-clicking your start button and choosing Explore. Use the scroll area on the left to scroll up to the top; you should see your user name just under Desktop. Click on your user name. You will see a list of folders you want to move over to D, but you can’t just drag and drop them. So…
  2. Leaving the first window open for reference, right-click on Start again and open a new explorer window. Scroll up and click on Computer, then click on D to open it.
  3. Right-click in the empty space. Choose new then folder to create a new folder. Call it Users. Double click Users to open it.
  4. Right-click in the new empty space to create a new folder. Call this one by your username exactly as it’s listed in the other Explorer window, then double click it.
  5. Now you’re going to create several new folders. Use the same folder names you’ve got listed in the other window. Go ahead and make all of them. The icons will look like regular folder icons, but the names should be the same. You can now close the window with the new folders, and go back to the original folder list.
  6. Right-click one folder (any of them except application data), and choose properties. Click on the Location tab. Click on Move, and then browse for your new D-drive folder. It’ll ask you if you’re sure you want to do this. You decide 😉 But it should move those files over to D, and then you’d simply go on to the next item on the list.
  7. OH! And for Moving the Swap File:

    • From the explorer window, right click on Computer and click Properties.
    • Click “Advanced System Settings” and you should end up in a dialog box with the Advanced tab selected
    • Click on Settings under Performance.
    • Click on the Advanced tab again. Yes, this is double advanced. Again, I’m not responsible if you take my free tips and you misunderstand them or don’t like the results.
    • Click Change under Virtual Memory
    • Un-check the “automatically manage” option if it is checked.
    • Select C, choose “No paging file” and click Set. You’ll get a warning. Consider yourself warned; but this worked OK for me.
    • Then select D, and either choose System Managed Size or Custom Size. I’ve selected Custom Size and put the same number in the minimum and maximum to help keep disk fragmentation in check. My number is 6000 MB, which is just under twice my physical ram size.
    • When you click set again, and try to click out, it’ll ask you to restart your computer. You can go for it.

    This works well for me. Let me know how it works for you.