My windows machine is running off a bum drive and seeing as to how HDD prices are temporarily ridiculously high at the moment, I've decided to attempt a few workarounds to see if I can continue to use this erratically faulty drive for a couple of more months. The issue with the drive is in itself unknown. It just locks up suddenly with the HDD LED continuously on. Windows continues to be active for a while, but not terribly responsive. Sometimes, the issue sorts itself out after a while. Other times, the system reboots.
I'm trying this to see if this is a bad sector(s) (that's so 1990s though) issue with the drive and am trying to minimise the writes to my system (C:) partition. Consequently, I'm moving all my system and browser temporary and cache directories to a different partition (on the same drive). That said, this is usually done in order to move said directories to a different partition on a different drive in a bid to improve performance.
Here we go:
- Open up Windows explorer and navigate to the partition where you'd like to store your temporary files and browser cache(s).
- Create two folders named "temp" and "cache".
- Within the "cache" folder, create one folder for each of the browsers whose caches you want to relocate. In my case, I created three of them, namely "chrome", "ff" and "opera".
- To move the Windows temporary directory, right-click on "My Computer" in the Start Menu or elsewhere and click on properties.
- Click on the "Advanced Settings" link on the top-left.
- Click on the "Advanced" tab at the top of the resulting dialog.
- Click on the "Environment Variables" button at the bottom.
- In the ensuing window, you should see two different areas; one pertaining to "User variables" and the other to "System Variables". Both of these locations should have entries titled
TMPwhich point to the current temporary folder.
- You can double-click each of these four entries and point it to the new location at say,
G:\temp. In my case, I just deleted the TEMP and TMP user variables as I'm content with the system-wide options (seeing as to how I'm the only one who uses this machine).
- Click on OK on each of the dialogs to save our changes.
For Google Chrome:
- Right-click on the short-cut button that you use to launch the browser and click on "Properties". If your short-cut is pinned to the taskbar, you might need to right-click on the taskbar icon, right-click on the "Google Chrome" entry in the pop-up and then click "Properties".
- In the ensuing dialog, add the following to the end of the "Target" textfield:
This should set the cache to the newly created
cache\chromefolder and also set the cache size to 300MB (300 * 1024 * 1024).
- Click on OK to save our changes.
- Open Firefox and visit the address "about:config". If there's a warning about being careful, read it and accept it.
- In the resulting page, type "parent" in the "Filter" bar and look for any preferences named
browser.cache.disk.parent_directory. If you see it, double-click this entry.
- If you do not see such an entry, right click within the page and click on "New" and then "String". Enter
browser.cache.disk.parent_directoryas the "Preference name".
- For the "Value", enter the directory location, which in my case is
- Click on OK to save our changes and restart Firefox.
Finally, for Opera:
- Open Opera and visit the address "opera:config".
- In the resulting page, type "cache directory" in the "Quick find" box which should bring up two options titled
Operator Cache Directory4. We are only concerned with the first entry.
- In the textfield associated with
Cache Directory4, enter the directory location, which in my case is
- Click on "Save" to save our changes and restart Opera.
These steps did the trick for me. Hopefully, this should alleviate some of my HDD troubles. I hope that this helps somebody out there too. If it does, please leave a note - I like having halos floating above my head ;) (Please also leave a note if it doesn't!)