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Change installation directory Windows 8.1 RRS feed

  • Question

  • i've installed Windows 8.1 in my laptop and now I'm trying change the default installation Drive, but everything that i've tried didn't works.

    I already have changed the path in registry.

    If I try to install some program, Google Chrome for example, it create folders in both paths, but the installation keeps in "C:\Program Files"


    Tuesday, December 10, 2013 10:52 PM

Answers

  • It's akin to paddling upstream to try to get programs to install and run from a drive other than the system drive.

    Windows has been around enough years that if anyone seriously wanted you to have that capability they'd have made sure it was both easily configurable and that applications responded to it properly.

    Practically speaking, it's simply much better to get a large system drive (e.g., that high performance 512 GB SSD you've always secretly wanted) and just install things under the default folder on the system drive.  You'll find they'll work best that way after having been installed too.  Why?  Because most product testing is done with default installations.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013 11:36 PM

All replies

  • It's akin to paddling upstream to try to get programs to install and run from a drive other than the system drive.

    Windows has been around enough years that if anyone seriously wanted you to have that capability they'd have made sure it was both easily configurable and that applications responded to it properly.

    Practically speaking, it's simply much better to get a large system drive (e.g., that high performance 512 GB SSD you've always secretly wanted) and just install things under the default folder on the system drive.  You'll find they'll work best that way after having been installed too.  Why?  Because most product testing is done with default installations.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013 11:36 PM
  • The testing part is true, but completely reasoned from a technical perspective. Also the answer does not answer the question, ...

    In this century, people buy computers with small SSD drivers for the OS and some work in progres files. Program files can go on another drive, unless appearantly when you use windows 8.1. That is odd is is not? A new OS going back to the previous century where a PC (!) would have just one drive or diskette station?

    Friday, February 7, 2014 6:39 PM
  • Actually, no.  That time has come and gone, and practical experience has shown that my point of view wasn't only "technically reasoned" but true in practice as well.  Systems that just rely on C: always worked better in general. 

    Even with the whole world constantly crying about how they have to reinstall Windows over and over I've always managed to make stable, powerful systems that just work all the way back to NT.  Part of the reason is that I have ALWAYS built them on the largest boot volumes I could create and didn't try to do something exceptional to try work around mistakes in configuring the hardware poorly.

    Now, in the here and now and looking forward, with SSDs getting cheaper and bigger, and with the right BIOS and OS support lifting any practical limit on boot volume size, there's really no reason for "drive letters" at all.  It's not hard to imagine systems made with no "drives" at all, but just with terabytes upon terabytes of closely integrated onboard flash storage that's subdivided and organized simply by folders.

    Ultra fast I/O speed to ultra large storage is so important that it will herald the next jumps in computing technology.

       

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Saturday, February 8, 2014 2:33 PM
  • Actually, in today's world, we have no choice outside of spending more money to change the default hardware configuration back to one drive. This is a silly idea since the basic premise behind having the system boot from a SD drive speeds the whole process up!

    Many of today's laptops come with one, approx. 100 GB, SD drive. Then, the other drive is usually 1 TB and this is where we need to install everything after the OS is installed. If you have not purchased new devices in the past year, you are probably unaware of it.

    So, the question remains: what registry key must we change/create to change the default installation path to the second drive.

    If you do not know the answer, kindly just say so. Then, we will contact Microsoft for more help. There are many of us searching for an answer to what seems to be a very basic question.

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014 3:45 PM
  • Well of COURSE you're expected to spend more money.  You haven't figured out yet that that's the reason for everything you see around you?

    What we have here is a conflict:  Your desires vs. the direction the world is heading in.

    I'll lay a bet on the world being the winner.

    Good luck contacting Microsoft.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014 4:31 PM
  • I will take your reply as an "I do not know" and search elsewhere Noel. And, I will keep searching for an answer elsewhere. Sigh.

    Thursday, March 13, 2014 2:28 PM
  • Take my reply as this:

    There MAY be a way that looks like you should be able to use it to install applications on another drive - hell, you could turn Program Files into a link that points to another drive or even make it a mount point.  But the problem is that once you accomplish your "goal" you'll find many things do not work right. 

    Just as an example, ask yourself:  What does a System Image backup back up?  What would it restore if you had to restore it?

    Do you honestly think you're the first person to have a too-small boot volume and want to install your applications on another volume?  Sometimes there are actually reasons things are not done.

    I see forum posts over and over from folks who have tried it, and even have some personal experience myself with various system configurations.  You might even think you've found a combination of applications and settings that make it appear to work, but it's still a bad idea.  You don't know if the very next application you'll need has a hard-coded path built in and will just fail.  You may think you know how computers work and it seems like it should just work right, but the computing world is more complicated than you realize.

    But hey, what I've posted is based on PAST experience, and things can change or you could just get lucky - it's software after all.  I encourage you to try all these things for yourself, and I'd especially like it if you'd post back here with your findings, including both near term and long term system stability.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options


    Thursday, March 13, 2014 3:23 PM
  • Since Noel seems to be more interested in ideological arguments...I think this might be what you're looking for. 

    http://www.thewindowsclub.com/change-default-program-files-directory-windows
    • Proposed as answer by talexblack Thursday, February 12, 2015 5:30 PM
    Thursday, March 20, 2014 9:02 PM
  • Thank you.  I started reading this thread and facepalmed.  I came here looking for an answer.  I have done it in the past and I know what I want, instead I read the thread and see "Well, you shouldn't do that" from a poweruser that probably bores people to death with his ideologies rather than give a simple yes or no answer.  

    I've been building my own computers for about 20 years (which I consider impressive for a 36 year old who didn't have access to his own computer prior to 1996).  But OMG, experience!  "Try this instead!" No, thanks.  I and the OP are looking for this answer to the question asked for a reason.
    Thursday, February 12, 2015 5:19 PM
  • No problem, just be sure and let us know here how it ends up working for you.

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Thursday, February 12, 2015 9:48 PM
  • I would say depending on what is installed depends on where it can be installed. things that run with windows should always be on the c drive,  the only things that can and I do install to other drives are games, and stand alone programs.

    anything that boots up with windows should always be on c drive.

    in basic terminology its like having a superfast car and having your fuel tank on a trailer. can come unhitched at anytime. hence strange things happen. things don't work correctly, things slow, hang, latency errors etc.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2015 11:20 PM
  • Noel, like many in the delivery (as opposed to the consumer) end of the field has a "let them eat cake" attitude that, I suppose, comes from thinking beyond the present into the future. As such, those types are nearly worthless when it comes to assisting with current day problems. What he has suggested requires a hardware modification to fix what should easily be a software solution. Those of us without his elevated understanding of the systems involved would like to have a cure for what is obviously an annoying problem, that being a default installation to the "C" drive rather than another larger drive or partition with a capacity large enough to accommodate multiple programs and files. As has been stated, many (if not most) laptops come with a fast SSD drive of limited capacity as the location for the operating system. Standard storage as of September 2015 remains, to Noel's regret, a standard "obsolete" disk drive. Poor us!

    The bottom line is this (Listen up, Noel):

    HOW CAN WE CHANGE THE DEFAULT INSTALLATION DRIVE TO SOMETHING OTHER THAN "C"?

    If it can't be done, please tell us, otherwise why lecture all of us ignorant dunderheads on why your perspective is so much better. While that might be true for the future, most of us don't want to spend our money to fix a problem of this magnitude. You elite folks need to step down a peg or two to understand what your customers want. Ever wonder why a lot of people come to hate Microsoft?

    Friday, September 4, 2015 7:15 PM
  • First, I'm not with Microsoft.

    Secondly, you might well be able to do what's asked in this thread by tweaking and whatnot.  But - and this is from experience:  It won't just work as well as if you make the better choice.  I don't know how to say it more plainly.

    No, I can't define "won't work as well" accurately, because computing is complex beyond anyone's ability to comprehend.  Some things will never work right, some things will work some of the time, and others may work perfectly.  Who knows, you could get very lucky and have a system where all the software is coded to handle installation on an alternate volume.  Then one day you'll buy a new application and boom, nothing but trouble.

    What you'd be banking on is that every programmer hasn't taken shortcuts - out of laziness or lack of knowledge - and hard coded something to work the way it does on HIS computer and 99% of the rest.  Hey, it's more work to ask the system for the proper interpretation of the known folder ID.

    This is why System Testing is employed.  Because programmers aren't perfect.

    Do you REALLY want your computer to fail to work right when you need it?  Do you REALLY want to lose your data?  Do you really want to be frustrated over and over and over?

    I didn't think so.

    I have enough experience to know that trading what may seem like a more difficult or expensive path doing something right is in the long term MUCH BETTER than doing something half baked and dealing with ongoing hassles.  *I* can afford to spend time here because my systems just keep working.  I'm running the same OS I installed in late 2013, and it runs for as long as it takes to get a Windows Update that requires a reboot.  I think the longest stretch to date on that score was a little over a month.

    As I've said before in this thread, give it a whirl, then let us know how it works for you - and be honest.

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    P.S., you can get a 512 GB SSD now for well under $200.  Find something to sell on eBay - e.g., an old smart phone or something - or just save your pennies for a little longer.  Anyone who'd buy an electromechanical drive today is out of touch with what really works.


    • Edited by Noel Carboni Thursday, September 10, 2015 2:58 PM
    Wednesday, September 9, 2015 4:20 AM