Relocating My Documents to another drive?

the_randomizer

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So, apparently, it's possible to tell Windows 10 to relocate the My Documents location to another hard drive. Well, the reason I want to do this is because a few games, like Oblivion and Skyrim, thought it was being useful by saving games to the C drive. Well, the issue with this is that my C drive is an SSD, where my OS is installed. And given that SSD's only have finite no. of reads and writes, I'm not a fan of games constantly saving and loading saves from there, so I tried moving My Documents (or in this case, it calls it "Documents" not sure why) to another HDD. At first glace I thought it worked, but for some reason, Documents existed in both the E and C drives, like, it was writing the save to both drives. Shouldn't Windows have moved it permanently to the E drive and no longer had it on the C drive? Did I do the relocating wrong? Maybe I'm paranoid, and maybe I should just let it be on the OS SSD and not worry so much.

Is there any way to move Documents to another drive, without it writing to the C drive SSD at the same time whenever I play games?

Like, it should be simple:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/310746/configuration-of-the-my-documents-folder

but again, for some reason, games still write to both drives when updating or making a save in Documents/My games/ and I can't figure out why. And no, changing the game's ini file save path doesn't work, I tried that too.
 
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Hayato213

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If you are worrying about your drive dying, you can make a clone of C drive with software like Acronis. I assume for games that with ini file it looks for where the game was installed, maybe you have to redirect for where the games look for those files.
 

the_randomizer

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If you are worrying about your drive dying, you can make a clone of C drive with software like Acronis. I assume for games that with ini file it looks for where the game was installed, maybe you have to redirect for where the games look for those files.

I tried to, actually, and when I loaded the game after changing the save path, it couldn't find my saves, I think it's hard-coded to the game to save in Documents/My Games/Oblivion. I mean, I know SSDs are more robust than they used to be, and only take up like what, < 1 MB per save file. The game does auto save a lot, and I use quick saving too, *sigh* I don't know if I should move it, it seems like more of a hassle than it should be, you know?

Edit: My fears regarding wear and tear are unsubstantiated
 
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Hayato213

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I tried to, actually, and when I loaded the game after changing the save path, it couldn't find my saves, I think it's hard-coded to the game to save in Documents/My Games/Oblivion. I mean, I know SSDs are more robust than they used to be, and only take up like what, < 1 MB per save file. The game does auto save a lot, and I use quick saving too, *sigh* I don't know if I should move it, it seems like more of a hassle than it should be, you know?

Then probably just gonna have to make some clone backup every once and while so if the drive with OS died you can just reclone the cloned drive on to another SSD.
 

the_randomizer

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Then probably just gonna have to make some clone backup every once and while so if the drive with OS died you can just reclone the cloned drive on to another SSD.

But how long are we talking? Like, how long can an SSD last when I play games that save to it? Granted, I typically don't play more than an hour at a time for games that save to it. I tried moving My Documents to another disk, and well, Windows still kept a copy of it on the SSD. Why? I don't know, Windows being Windows. It's just not worth my time and trouble, I'll bite the bullet and use it normally, and just keep playing games that save to that drive. Wished developers would be smart and let people choose where to save games.

In Oblivion.ini, the string that determines the save location is this:

SLocalSavePath=Saves\

and changing that to something else just causes the game to not find the saves.


Edit: Maybe the bottom of this page could be useful?

https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Oblivion:Directories
 
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Hayato213

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It depends on your brand of SSD, cheaper brand died out faster, Samsung Pro series last longer than cheaper one out there, I had a SSD that I used as C drive that I thought it died and it magically came back to life, wasn't a cheap brand either , it was one of those Crucial SSD. You should pay attention to the drive health, if it has a lot hours and a lot of TB written to it and it randomly crash on you then it is time to replace it.
 
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Tom Bombadildo

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Don't bother moving it.

You would have to write hundreds of gigabytes every single day for multiple years at a time to hit the write limit on any SSD made in the last decade. Seeing how Skyrim and Oblivion don't write hundreds of gigabytes to your SSD a day, it's not even remotely worth moving your documents folder over.
 

astrodraco

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An SSD lasts a ton longer than a normal HDD. There's ultimately no reason to worry about this - by the time your drive fails, I doubt you'll care about any of those saves, honestly.
 
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the_randomizer

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Don't bother moving it.

You would have to write hundreds of gigabytes every single day for multiple years at a time to hit the write limit on any SSD made in the last decade. Seeing how Skyrim and Oblivion don't write hundreds of gigabytes to your SSD a day, it's not even remotely worth moving your documents folder over.

Lesson learned, I tried it and it didn't work right, so I moved it back with nothing worse for wear. Good to know that SSDs are that robust, and it's an EVO 850 250 GB drive, which is also good. That puts my heart at ease actually, thank you.

An SSD lasts a ton longer than a normal HDD. There's ultimately no reason to worry about this - by the time your drive fails, I doubt you'll care about any of those saves, honestly.

Fair enough, sorry to bother ya guys with my weird paranoid feelings about SSDs. I won't move Documents, I'll keep it where it should be. Thank you.

It depends on your brand of SSD, cheaper brand died out faster, Samsung Pro series last longer than cheaper one out there, I had a SSD that I used as C drive that I thought it died and it magically came back to life, wasn't a cheap brand either , it was one of those Crucial SSD. You should pay attention to the drive health, if it has a lot hours and a lot of TB written to it and it randomly crash on you then it is time to replace it.


Samsung EVO 850 I believe.
 
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The Real Jdbye

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But how long are we talking? Like, how long can an SSD last when I play games that save to it? Granted, I typically don't play more than an hour at a time for games that save to it. I tried moving My Documents to another disk, and well, Windows still kept a copy of it on the SSD. Why? I don't know, Windows being Windows. It's just not worth my time and trouble, I'll bite the bullet and use it normally, and just keep playing games that save to that drive. Wished developers would be smart and let people choose where to save games.

In Oblivion.ini, the string that determines the save location is this:

SLocalSavePath=Saves\

and changing that to something else just causes the game to not find the saves.


Edit: Maybe the bottom of this page could be useful?

https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Oblivion:Directories
Typically flash memory can last around 10000 write cycles. SSDs use wear leveling and caching though so it's not as simple as that, and varies a lot between brands.
The rated lifetime is usually in the hundreds of TBW (TB writes) range, but many SSDs last much longer than the rated lifetime, in a test done one of the Samsung Evos lasted like 2 PB before it started getting numerous write errors and could be considered failed (but, it still, worked), but all the other ones lasted longer than rated as well.
When flash memory eventually wears out, it should just go read only, so there shouldn't be data loss, but, if this happens in the middle of writing a file, that file could be partially written and end up corrupted.
 
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the_randomizer

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Typically flash memory can last around 10000 write cycles. SSDs use wear leveling and caching though so it's not as simple as that, and varies a lot between brands.
The rated lifetime is usually in the hundreds of TBW (TB writes) range, but many SSDs last much longer than the rated lifetime, in a test done one of the Samsung Evos lasted like 2 PB before it started getting numerous write errors and could be considered failed (but, it still, worked), but all the other ones lasted longer than rated as well.
When flash memory eventually wears out, it should just go read only, so there shouldn't be data loss, but, if this happens in the middle of writing a file, that file could be partially written and end up corrupted.

Okay, good, I was worried over nothing, as usual :P Windows 10 on SSD is nice, only takes about 12 seconds for a full boot.
 

The Real Jdbye

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Okay, good, I was worried over nothing, as usual :P Windows 10 on SSD is nice, only takes about 12 seconds for a full boot.
You can check the current TBW with CrystalDiskInfo and check the rated lifetime online and that'll give you an idea of how long it'll last.
My laptop that I've had for like 7 years only has 20 something TBW on it, that's it. I don't use a pagefile on it though. But it has a hiberfil.sys that Windows 10 needs for fast startup. Most of my data and games are on D: anyway so that drive sees far more writes.

I recently replaced that SSD with a bigger one, as 120GB is just not enough for anything, not even the bare necessities on a primary PC. So it easily outlived its useful life, and I could probably stick it in my desktop or my media PC as a boot disk and it would still last me 10 more years easily. It's an older Intel drive, so the lifetime likely isn't anywhere near that of newer SSDs.

I could imagine there are certain applications that will wear out a SSD quickly such as anything that uses disk caching heavily, or general use on a PC that just doesn't have enough RAM and you have a big pagefile on the SSD to try to make up for it. But general use for me doesn't seem to actually write that much data.
 
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Pleng

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Other people have explained why it's not necessary which is great, but for the sake of completeness, the reason why you seem to end up with multiple copies of your data is that your documents folder is contained in your user profile. You can think of the user profile directory as a virtual directory. When a game wants to save a file there it doesn't tell windows "Put this file in to "c:\my documents". It says to Windows "put this file in the savegames folder wherever the_randomizer's profile is". If you move the files out of that folder, without telling Windows what you're trying to do, it's not going to work; because whatever Windows uses to keep track of the location (not sure if it's an environment variable or regisrty entry) is still pointing to the old location. So the next time the game asks for the folder Windows points to the same location, the game sees that the file doesn't exist, so recreates it.

A quick Google for something along the lines of "Change users folder location in Windows 10" should provide some results for how to achieve what you (were) trying to achieve.

As others have said, though, don't bother for your use case.
 
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the_randomizer

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The OS drive is 250 GB, with around 160 GB left of free space, and given that my games are on other drives, *sigh* yeah, I was being unnecessarily paranoid, no reason for me to tinker with the settings and move the Documents, it's just a hassle. Don't want to dive into anything that could screw something up, you know?
 

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You would have to write hundreds of gigabytes every single day for multiple years at a time to hit the write limit on any SSD made in the last decade.

To be a complete pedant I do have to note there were a series of/bit of a fad for blisteringly fast and for the time at least rather large server drives that had very low write ratings/warranties both fairly recently and extending back through most of said last decade.
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/01/19/toshibas_tweaked_endurance_wrings_out_low_write_ssd/
 
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the_randomizer

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To be a complete pedant I do have to note there were a series of/bit of a fad for blisteringly fast and for the time at least rather large server drives that had very low write ratings/warranties both fairly recently and extending back through most of said last decade.
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/01/19/toshibas_tweaked_endurance_wrings_out_low_write_ssd/

Man am I glad SSDs are as robust and long-lasting as they are, esp. compared to 2008 when they first appeared on the market lol.
 

the_randomizer

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@the_randomizer If you're still trying to just relocate it wholesale, there's an easy way to do it in Windows... Looks like the link you provided in the OP actually contains the instructions. But yeah, I have all my Windows Document stuff redirected to another drive.

I did that, it was proving too frustrating, and I did it solely based out of paranoia more than convenience :lol: (what, me, paranoid? Never x3) but yeah, it's fine where it is, if I start running into space issues, I'll look into it. As it stands, Documents is only taking up ~700 MB tops, and I've 158 GB of free space :P

As was stated, SSDs last a lot longer than I give them credit for
 

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I got a 60gb ssd can't remember the brand back in 2008 and it lasted til like 2015. I think I paid around $300 for it. Now I have a 256gb I paid $40 for. Expect all forms of storage to die, but you should get quite a few read/writes out of that samsung.
 
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smf

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But how long are we talking? Like, how long can an SSD last when I play games that save to it?

Good to know that SSDs are that robust, and it's an EVO 850 250 GB drive

https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/product/consumer/850evo/

The drive warranty is "5 Years or 75 TBW"

I use Samsung Magician to show Terrabytes Written. My 120GB EVO 850 got to 35TB in 2.5 years. My 2TB EVO 870 Pro is at 2.7TB after 7 months (and that has a 600 TBW warranty).

I was pretty reckless with the 120GB, but also having to keep uninstalling/reinstalling pushed it up. A couple of windows and visual studio version updates will soon add up.
 
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