PPrunePop, I agree with Richard that partitioning is a very good idea. This can be very easily done in about 30 minutes without having to re-format your HDs with PowerQuest’s PartitionMagic. I’m using Version 7, which I believe is the most current version on the market. It’s a very good product.
As well as re-partitioning, an even better way of attacking your problem is to pay the princely sum of USD$15 for a truly excellent little program called FileSynch (http://www.fileware.com/
). (You can download it and use it without paying, but I’ve found it to be such a good product I felt I had to pay the guy who’d created it.) With this, I am able to leave my ‘My Documents’ directory in the Windows default location on my ‘C’ drive, but easily copy all my data to the separate partition on my main HD and
to another on a separate HD in case of a hardware failure. (You can make as many copy profiles as you like.)
As added insurance, look to the thread here of only a week or so ago that shows you how to move your email Address Book and email Storage Folder into your My Documents directory and you’re making a total backup of all your data with File Synch in one easy step. The only other thing you need to do is make a FileSynch profile to back up your Favorites directory and you’ve covered all bases.
My suggestion for a far better use for your third HD would be to get a copy of Norton’s Ghost or something similar and make a complete copy (clone) of your C Drive on it. Lock this away somewhere far away from your computer. Any time you make a significant change to your operating system, ‘ghost’ it again to your spare HD, and should you ever be unfortunate enough to have a hardware failure, (it happens!), rather than go through the nausea of completely re-installing everything, you simply drag out you spare HD, stick it on as your C drive, and you’re back up and running, quite literally within minutes – and thanks to FileSynch, you have a copy of all your data on the separate HD, so all you’ll lose is anything you’ve done since the last time you ran FileSynch. (I do a copy to my separate HD every night before I switch off, which takes about 45 seconds.)
Similarly, should you ever pick up a virus that can’t be easily cleaned out, you simply drag out your spare HD, ‘ghost’ it onto your infected HD, which wipes the virus clean, and again, you’re back up and running with a pristine OS within minutes. I used this only last week after the Blaster virus managed to sneak through.
One last hint with Norton’s Ghost that took me many frustrating hours to discover: when using it, ensure you always set it up with the target HD as the primary master and the source as the slave. If you don’t, you can run into Paging File problems and get the dreaded blue screen on startup.