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Thread: [HOW TO] Using Symbolic Links to Prevent C: Drive from filling up?

  1. #11
    Shockwave
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    Quote Originally Posted by azazel1024 View Post
    Correct, but if you are mostly talking the user and program files folders being symlinked, that can save a lot of space.

    It is impossible to symlink out EVERYTHING, but you can do a fair amount if you really want.
    Exactly, what I'm trying to do. My thought also is that many programs use that User Data folder to store program specific settings but you can't move this for most programs.
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  2. #12
    Shockwave
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPz1100 View Post
    I suppose it is possible to boot into winPE, move the /users and /program files folders to the sd, then create sym links. That would be a sort of brute force attempt at relocation. As pointed out above, the question remains if the hard coded dependencies will honor the redirection.

    So long as you have a good backup image, it worth a shot. If it fails just restore and try a less aggressive approach.
    That's the part I think I was missing in actually moving the original folders. I've used symbolic links on Linux systems before but I've had to put the links into a start-up file and those links were soft links and mainly created because there was some type of unwriteable storage which contained readable/non-write files and basically told the system, "Hey, instead of looking at this location for these files, look at this other location instead."

    My thought is I would need to go through these steps to "Move" those folders:
    1. Boot into WinPE environment
    2. Copy C:\Users and C:\Program Files folders to the D: Drive.
    3. Boot into Windows
    4. Execute symlinks
    5. Boot into WinPE environment
    6. Delete C:\Users and C:\Program Files folders

    Sounds like I should make a more recent backup image and do some experimenting and see what happens.

    So once a symbolic link is run in CMD prompt, it stays? So I don't need to create some batch file that gets executed during start-up?

    How to undo a symlink then? I read an easy way of just deleting the new link folder, but that doesn't seem quite right to me.
    Last edited by Rednroll; 12-08-2014 at 06:36 PM.
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  3. #13
    Jazz
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    I think your step #3 is unnecessary.

    0) make some sort of recovery image of C drive (or entire emmc)
    1) Boot into winPE
    2) create your target folders on sd card, d:\users, "d:\program files"
    3) rename c:\users to users1, "c:\program files" to "c:\program files1"
    3) execute your cmd lines from post 1
    4) verify proper symlink creation
    5) use xcopy with the hidden/system flags to copy everything from source to its respective target (probably easier with some sort of file explorer program)
    6) go back to your C drive and confirm everything 'appears' to be in the right place.
    7) delete c:\users1 and "c:\program files1"
    7) Reboot and cross fingers


    MKLINK – Create and Use Links in Windows - Windows 7 Help Forums

  4. #14
    Soundwave
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    Timely thread as I was just looking up info on this earlier today. Please do let us know how your experience went. I was able to use symbolic links to change the download destination folder of my vudu to go program so that downloaded UV movies would save to my microSD card and the method seems to have worked well so far. I was wondering what else I could symbolically link to my micro card, and you seem to be the first case study I've run into.

    Best of luck!

  5. #15
    Shockwave
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    I haven't had a chance to experiment much with this lately. I decided I would try doing this on one of my $60 WinBook TW700 tablets which also has Win 8.1 to see how it goes 1st.

    The problems I'm working around there is that the WinBook doesn't have a separate keyboard which makes a few things difficult, such as creating a C: Drive image for backup purposes and being able to copy the folders from C: to my D: Drive. I can boot up into WinPE from a USB stick, but then touch screen doesn't work, so I can't navigate around to perform any actions. I'm gonna go purchase a cheap USB keyboard/mouse combo and see if this lets me navigate around while booted in the WinPE environment.

    Since, I couldn't navigate around outside of Windows, I decided to just try and copy the folders from the C: drive to the D: drive while in Windows, to see what would happen. There were 2 things I noticed.

    Observation 1: ("Program Files" Folder copy while in Windows). This folder showed it was 650MB on my C: drive, but when performing the copy to the D: drive, the size of this same folder on the D: Drive is now 1.4GB in size. So it more than doubled in size. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing in what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm thinking that it might be possible that the "Program Files" folder on C: might already have Sym Links associated with it, and when the Copy is performed it might be copying the files with those associated Sym Links, thus the increase in size when copied to the D: drive.

    So what I think I'll do is copy a Program Files folder to the D: Drive while in Windows and from a WinPE boot and see which one gives me the better results once I create the Sym Links.

    Observation 2: ("Users" Folder copy while in Windows). When trying to copy the "Users" folder to the D: Drive, I got 2 errors that I couldn't copy a couple of "NTuser" files over. The good thing is that the Users folder size didn't increase in size when copied. I kind of expected this error, since I'm sure the files that wouldn't copy over were in use and Windows wouldn't allow me to copy those files. So, I'll definitely need to copy the "Users" folder over to the D: drive while in a WinPE boot.

    Off to MicroCenter to purchase a small/cheap USB keyboard.
    Last edited by Rednroll; 12-20-2014 at 08:46 AM.
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  6. #16
    Shockwave
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    I found this tool was available, which might help simplify things with using symbolic links:
    Junction
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  7. #17
    Soundwave
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    so what is the best way to free up some space in drive c:? my T100 free right now is around 3GB only out of 32GB

  8. #18
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