For Advanced Users Only
The following pages describe my method to separate Windows 10 Special folders (Windows, Program Files, and Users) into discreet drives/partitions in an existing Windows installation to enhance the ability to backup and restore, to recover from system damage from malware, poorly written drivers, and other things that go bump in the night. In my experience it improves application load times and system response.
This method may break Windows 10 Upgrades; so far, it has not. If you want to insure that you don't break Windows 10 Upgrades, Microsoft supported methods must be used for Windows 10. On the other hand, if you are not concerned if you break Windows 10 Upgrades, this method does have the possibility to do that. It can possibly limit the Windows 10 Upgrade path to clean install only, the pushed upgrade AI from Microsoft won't make that decision for you, causing the pushed upgrade to fail and revert. On the other hand, version 1903 upgrade to version 1909 proceeded quite smoothly, without incident, as did the upgrade from 1909 to 2004.
If you are using a third-party Start Menu with Windows 10, uninstall it before you begin. Once you've completed the process, you can re-install your third-party Start Menu.
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There are other methods available on the web. The procedures I have outlined in these pages can effectively be used on a clean install of Windows as well as a newly purchased OEM installation fresh out of the box. These modifications can be made with no ill effects or changes in Windows functionality other than to make it a bit more responsive and stable, and to stop forced upgrades. Each special folder move can be treated as a completely separate process. One may choose to move the Program Files folder, for example, and leave the other special folders right where they are on the C: drive. Or one may choose to move just the Users folder, and leave the other folders in the Windows default.
These procedures are not for the inexperienced, nor for the intermediate-level user. For that reason I am intentially leaving out the more basic steps in preparing your system for this setup; if you don't know how to get there from here, you're probably not ready for this. These procedures will break the ability to perform an in-place upgrade (aka repair/reinstall). However, by using a proper regimen of routine maintenance and regular drive imaging faithfully, there isn't really a need for a repair/reinstall.
Read through these instructions very carefully, and print them for reference. These pages are printer friendly.
If you're confused by any of the instructions, dont attempt the procedures.
If you're uncomfortable working in the system registry, don't attempt the procedures.
Don't attempt this if you don't fully understand what is being done, and where, and why.
Be advised that Microsoft does not support this configuration. Also, due to the nature of Junction Points and the way different processes traverse them, I very strongly advise against relying on any backup software to preserve your system and data. System Restore will not work correctly, if at all. If you wish to rely on System Restore (I've always turned it off when I first install/upgrade Windows), then don't use these procedures. I strongly advise using only drive imaging for backup purposes, and frequent testing of those images to insure reliability. Remember, I've said that this is for advanced users only. However, if you do understand how it can be done, and you have a desire to clean up and reorganize your machine, you don't have to stay inside Microsoft's box; you can configure Windows to run the way you want it to run.
Before attempting any of these procedures, do a full-system drive(s) image(s). As I said, System Restore will not work correctly.
After you have reduced the size of your C: partition to make room on the drive for the additional partitions, I advise that you make another image of your C: partition for the reduced partition size. I have six drives, and Ive placed the Users folder folder on a partition on a second drive, and the Program Files folders on another partition on a third drive. This method is very well suited for the OS, Program Files, ProgramData and Users on separate SSD's. My daily-driver desktop has four SSD's and two SSHD's for archival storage; the setup has served me extremely well.