none
How to set "Program Files" to a different partition?

    Question

  • For years I have tended to install largely just the operating system on the "C:" drive with program files being installed to a seperate partition.

     

    This helps prevent OS degradation due to insufficient working space and disk fragmentation etc. Plus it makes backups and restores smaller and quicker as you can backup just the OS and not loads of rarely used applications. To aide this the default location of progam files can be changed (under previous OS) through a regisrty key:-

     

    Code Snippet
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion]
    "ProgramFilesDir"="D:\\Program Files"

     

    Tried this on Vista and I could no longer run executables, not even regedit to change it back!

     

    Windows cannot find "C:\Windows\Regedit.exe" ...

     

     (used a system restore in the end) 

     

    Anyone else encountered this or know how to alter 'Program Files' under Vista?
    Sunday, April 01, 2007 4:14 PM

Answers

  • I think it's impossible to change entire Program Files path as it's related to the operating system's installed drive, that would need to edit your Windows handles and processes to allow it access new program files path.

     

    Good luck

    Thursday, April 05, 2007 4:46 PM

All replies

  • I think it's impossible to change entire Program Files path as it's related to the operating system's installed drive, that would need to edit your Windows handles and processes to allow it access new program files path.

     

    Good luck

    Thursday, April 05, 2007 4:46 PM
  • John:

     

    I have read of what you want to do and have never been able to get it to work. I have tried to do this in Windows XP.

     

    Whatever program I install on one partition (example "D partition") is automaticaly installed on the "C partition". I have multiple partitions on each of my two drives. I have so far tried to seperate the operating system and program files into two partitions (both partitions being "logical" partitions) - but both partitions have been on the same physical drive.

     

    When I install programs in a "logical" partition seperate from the "logical" partition containing the operating system, I would expect .dll files and other system files to be installed on the partition containing the operating system and executable and application files (such as .dat) files to remain in directories and folders on my "programs installation partition". I might expect this - but this is not what happens.

     

    Using the above configuration, when I try to install an application that has system files on a partition seperate from the operating system partition, I end up with two seperate installations - one in each partition. Another strange thing occurs. Old programs that I have had for months suddenly start appearing in the partition containing the operating system. The partition that I installed the operating system on I repartitioned, FDisked, and formated just a few hours ago. How do these programs get on my brand new partition - and start filling it up? Magic?

     

    In the morning I will try installing an application on a physical drive (Drive 1) with the operating system continuing to be on a seperate physical drive (Drive 0) - in this case my Drive Zero. I bet that in some cases I still get two program installations and end up with the "C Partition" on Drive Zero full before the day is out. Some applications will not migrate to the operating system partition - but which ones will or will not?

     

    Is there any way that I can keep the partition containing the operating system free from being filled with application files belonging to a program that I installed on another partition?

    Wednesday, May 09, 2007 6:27 AM