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I mostly go with OS/Installer defaults. It's less painful than trying to fight the system.
The only major exception is that about two years ago at work I created C:\Program Fails\ as a cesspit to keep penguin droppings from fouling my root folder any more.
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, waging all things in the balance of reason?
Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies.
-- Sarah Hoyt
Data on mirrored HDDs, partitioned as: D: Data; includes "My Documents" (location moved) and data like Quicken, spreadsheets, dev stuff, etc. E: Download; legacy, but I've kept it. Drivers, software updates, useful apps M: Media; My Pictures/Music/Videos. Largest of the partitions, naturally
Backup for D: is twice/day (incremental), D/E/M each week. Use both external USB and NAS (with mirrored 2TB drives). Replace the HDDs at least every 3 years.
As for organization of folders, definitely a personal preference, BUT I tend to organize with major folders such that location + file name generate meaning. Example: file named "Minutes 1-1-16" in subfolder "Team Meetings" in folder "Dev Project X".
OCD: (acronym) "Organized Character Development" The slobs and careless persons of the world became so distressed by the presence of normal people that they infiltrated the psychology textbooks, found the 0.001 percent of society who took things too far, and now assign the exact same acronym as a mental disorder in an attempt to ameliorate their severe shame and deflect attention away from their disorganized life, habits, living quarters, and hard drives.
I install games in X:\Games
Compiler stuff in X:\Compiler
Code projects in X:\Compiler\Projects\<arrange by language or toolset>
Music in X:\Music\Midi (look up Timbres of Heaven 3!), X:\Music\MP3, X:\Music\Videos, etc
I keep misc files (utilities, patches, etc) in X:\Misc\Util, X:\Misc\Patches, etc
I manually organize my start menu (by dragging stuff around, creating new folders, etc) in:
Hardware // (burning programs, gfx or audio drivers, etc)<br/>
Maintenance // (virus scanner, system tools, ccleaner, etc)<br/>
Office & Media<br/>
Utilities // (classic shell, archive programs, etc)<br/>
(plus the standard windows entries)<br/>
I never allow rogue shortcuts to stay around without moving them into the appropriate place.
Also use Windows Classic Shell, which allows me to have the expanding start menu. Can't stand the all-in-one column approach that has been the norm for so long.
I: Installation software (ISO's etc.)
M: Music (FLAC)
N: Music (iTunes)
T: The Wifes Drive... You gotta do it...
S: System Backups etc.
The important bit for C: D: and E: in my case is the RAID, One of my C:'s failed the other day... but I was able to continue working with no problems...just replaced the disk and that was it. Also OK for performance.
I also have a couple of BitLocker Drives on S: for stuff that is more secure, license codes, copies of important documents etc...