HoodyOfficial
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Is it safe to use DATA (D:) to store files, etc?

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I have a brand new Dell G7 15 laptop. OS (C: ) 104 GB | DATA (D: ) 931 GB

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8 Krypton

Re: Is it safe to use DATA (D:) to store files, etc?

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Of course.  You didn't think Dell would give you a 1TB hard drive that wasn't any good for storing files on it, did you? 🙂  In fact storing your files on a separate physical disk like that (or technically even a separate partition of the same disk) can make things much easier if you ever want to perform a clean install of Windows, since now you can wipe and reinstall the OS partition while keeping your Data partition and all of your files intact.

That said, using the Data partition isn't necessarily any MORE reliable either, so you should of course still back up your data on a regular basis.  Also keep in mind that since the C drive is a much faster SSD and the D drive is a regular spinning hard drive where capacity is cheaper, you should still install applications on the C drive, at least applications where performance is important to you.  But slower spinning storage is perfect for things like "bulk data" where capacity is a greater priority than performance, such as music/photo/video libraries, etc.

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8 Krypton

Re: Is it safe to use DATA (D:) to store files, etc?

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That is how it is supposed to be used especially when you have a tiny boot drive. You must change the automatic selection for downloads and programs. Windows wants to store everything on the boot drive. Change the default drive for everything to D drive. The small boot drive can get filled quickly if you don't. Watch where every download and program installs to make sure D is being used. Move all your music and photos and files to D.

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8 Replies
8 Krypton

Re: Is it safe to use DATA (D:) to store files, etc?

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Of course.  You didn't think Dell would give you a 1TB hard drive that wasn't any good for storing files on it, did you? 🙂  In fact storing your files on a separate physical disk like that (or technically even a separate partition of the same disk) can make things much easier if you ever want to perform a clean install of Windows, since now you can wipe and reinstall the OS partition while keeping your Data partition and all of your files intact.

That said, using the Data partition isn't necessarily any MORE reliable either, so you should of course still back up your data on a regular basis.  Also keep in mind that since the C drive is a much faster SSD and the D drive is a regular spinning hard drive where capacity is cheaper, you should still install applications on the C drive, at least applications where performance is important to you.  But slower spinning storage is perfect for things like "bulk data" where capacity is a greater priority than performance, such as music/photo/video libraries, etc.

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8 Krypton

Re: Is it safe to use DATA (D:) to store files, etc?

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That is how it is supposed to be used especially when you have a tiny boot drive. You must change the automatic selection for downloads and programs. Windows wants to store everything on the boot drive. Change the default drive for everything to D drive. The small boot drive can get filled quickly if you don't. Watch where every download and program installs to make sure D is being used. Move all your music and photos and files to D.

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HoodyOfficial
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Re: Is it safe to use DATA (D:) to store files, etc?

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Thanks a bunch! I was getting frustrated, you answer was of much help!

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HoodyOfficial
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Re: Is it safe to use DATA (D:) to store files, etc?

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Thank you! You were also of much help! Your answer is quite re-assuring.

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8 Krypton

Re: Is it safe to use DATA (D:) to store files, etc?

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To be clear, you don't "have to" change your default profile directories, download targets, or installation path as @Mary G said above. I personally use a D drive and deliberately do NOT do any of that because a) I still want my applications installing on my SSD, b) I don't want my OS environment to "depend on" anything existing on D, or even D being available at all.  If you start mapping your regular Windows profile folders (Desktop, Documents, etc.) to your D drive and/or install applications on D, and your D drive fails later, your OS won't work properly anymore.

So instead, I move whatever data I want to keep on D over there manually.  Yes it's a bit more effort, but it also means that if my D drive fails, my OS will continue to run properly.  And if my C drive fails, then I'll still have all of the data that was important to me.  That said, if you only have a 128GB SSD, you may be forced to install certain applications onto D just to manage C drive consumption (unless you want to buy a larger SSD), but in that case, try not to install anything critical over there.  If you're a gamer, installing games onto D would be smart choice because games aren't critical to your OS and they can be quite large.  You won't get the benefit of reduced load times that you would if the game was installed on an SSD, but that's simply a constraint of having a relatively small SSD.  And fyi if you ever find yourself wondering where your disk space has gone, I use an application called TreeSize Free to sort that out.  Make sure you run it with elevated privileges so it can map everything out, but it will quickly scan an entire drive and sort the top-level folders by largest to smallest, and then you can drill into each folder and all of its contents will also be sorted from largest to smallest, and so on.  It reveals very quickly what's taking up space on your drive.

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RichardC2019
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Re: Is it safe to use DATA (D:) to store files, etc?

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Thanks. I'm a self taught soon to be 70 year old and have no idea how to change the default from C to D. I'd be most grateful for your help. TIA

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8 Krypton

Re: Is it safe to use DATA (D:) to store files, etc?

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Welcome to the Dell Community  @RichardC2019 

Go to "Settings"

Then click on "System"

Then click on the "Storage" tab.

Then click on "Change where new content is saved"

There you can set what you want to be stored on the (D:) drive.

DefaultDrive.PNG

Make sure to create new files on the (D:) drive for Pics, Music, Data etc.

Then start saving to those newly created files.

Best regards,

U2


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RichardC2019
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Re: Is it safe to use DATA (D:) to store files, etc?

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Thanks for your reply. I will attempt this, but before I do, I use Micrsoft one-drive to store/backup all my data etc.. To ensure that this continues with D drive files are there any other settings I should modify? TIA. RichardC2019

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