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How to make program files folder on secondary hard drive default?

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  • Default
  • How To
  • Storage
  • Hard Drives
Last response: in Storage
August 17, 2013 12:32:38 PM

I have a 250GB SSD for system etc.
I have a 1TB HDD for everything else. How do I change the default program files folders (x86 and regular) so that when I am installing a program the first choice is on this second drive instead of C? As of right now my secondary drive has nothing on it.

More about : make program files folder secondary hard drive default

a c 2059 G Storage
August 17, 2013 12:47:38 PM

From Microsoft:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/window...

1. Start Registry Editor by entering “Regedit” in the search All programs.
2. Locate the following:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
3. Right click on the value named ProgramFilesDir & change the default value C:\Program Files to the path you want to install all your programs in.
4. Click OK and Exit.

---------------------------
I much prefer to not force it, and just be cognizant of where I am installing things.



Update 23 OCT 2015:
For anyone that comes across this
....DO NOT DO THIS
There are much better, easier, ways to do this.
Just ask me if you need more info
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a c 2059 G Storage
August 17, 2013 12:49:05 PM

But a 250SSD should be large enough for a LOT of applications.

Move your default Documents/Movies/Pictures elsewhere. That involves no Registry settings.
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September 13, 2014 1:33:09 AM

I have the same issue, and this seems like a straightforward cure. But will it affect already installed programs? Thanks!
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October 23, 2015 7:13:51 PM

USAFRet said:
From Microsoft:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/window...

1. Start Registry Editor by entering “Regedit” in the search All programs.
2. Locate the following:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
3. Right click on the value named ProgramFilesDir & change the default value C:\Program Files to the path you want to install all your programs in.
4. Click OK and Exit.

---------------------------
I much prefer to not force it, and just be cognizant of where I am installing things.


Uh Oh. I tried this to redirect future installs from my SSD (C) to my HDD (D) and it broke windows 10. None of the windows system tools including regedit.exe or CMD will work. Looks like file path association is messed up. Any ideas?

Thanks

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a c 2059 G Storage
October 23, 2015 7:19:22 PM

merlinj79 said:
USAFRet said:
From Microsoft:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/window...

1. Start Registry Editor by entering “Regedit” in the search All programs.
2. Locate the following:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
3. Right click on the value named ProgramFilesDir & change the default value C:\Program Files to the path you want to install all your programs in.
4. Click OK and Exit.

---------------------------
I much prefer to not force it, and just be cognizant of where I am installing things.


Uh Oh. I tried this to redirect future installs from my SSD (C) to my HDD (D) and it broke windows 10. None of the windows system tools including regedit.exe or CMD will work. Looks like file path association is messed up. Any ideas?

Thanks



When this was written almost 3 years ago, it may have been a good idea, if you did it perfectly
Now...since your current install is hosed up, look to a previous Restore Point. Or, the back up copy of the Registry you made before you messed with the Registry.
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a b G Storage
October 23, 2015 7:26:09 PM

Ya, Windows 10 doesn't like it when it can't find Program Files in C:

Go non-standard, u pay the price.
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October 23, 2015 7:40:58 PM

I can't get to any of the system tools via Run or CMD, nothing runs but my browsers.

Looked simple so I didn't save a copy, I know what I need to change back, the problem is running regedit....can anyone think of a way to run regedit from another location? I created a mirror-image file path on my D: drive (D:\Windows\regedit.exe) in hopes that it would run in the file path I changed too but it did not.

Any other way to access the registry, perhaps with a browser? Thanks!
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a c 2059 G Storage
October 23, 2015 7:54:01 PM

merlinj79 said:
I can't get to any of the system tools via Run or CMD, nothing runs but my browsers.

Looked simple so I didn't save a copy, I know what I need to change back, the problem is running regedit....can anyone think of a way to run regedit from another location? I created a mirror-image file path on my D: drive (D:\Windows\regedit.exe) in hopes that it would run in the file path I changed too but it did not.

Any other way to access the registry, perhaps with a browser? Thanks!


What happens if you try to boot into Safe mode?
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October 23, 2015 8:36:26 PM

OK, fixed it.

I created dummy folders on my D:\

D:\Program Files
D:\Program Files (x86)
D:\Windows

I pasted a copy of regedit.exe into each of these folders, and also added a copy to the C:\Program Files & C:\Program Files (x86) directories.

Then I tried running regedit from various places and eventually it ran. I think it needed to be run from C:\Windows (where it normally lives) but had to be present on the D:\ drive in one of the new paths.

Once I got it to run, quick fix to undo the previous registry edits.

MY MISTAKE: This thread was two years old; I googled with "Windows 10" in the search field and didn't notice this info was older than Win 10...the MS link is for Win 7, and I didn't notice the note added later. Ooops.


**** I WOULD NOT TRY THE REGISTRY HACK IN THE EARLIER POST ON WINDOWS 10

But if anyone knows a safe way to redirect default program installs away from my SSD C:\ I'm all ears...

I went install a big game tonight and would have filled up the SSD, and this is on brand-new clean laptop.
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a c 2059 G Storage
October 23, 2015 8:41:57 PM

That 'note' was just added today, by me.

Anyway....there is no good way to default EVERY installation to be on a different drive.
Nor do you want to.

Whenever you install something, select Custom or Advanced, and YOU choose where it goes.
Some things you DO want on the SSD.
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October 23, 2015 8:45:13 PM

I've already installed my performance critical software on the SSD...everything from here on out is mostly games, so I'd rather they default to the HDD so I don't accidentally overfill the SSD. Oh Well. Didn't realize SSD would be this much of a nuisance.
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a c 2059 G Storage
October 23, 2015 8:47:24 PM

merlinj79 said:
I've already installed my performance critical software on the SSD...everything from here on out is mostly games, so I'd rather they default to the HDD so I don't accidentally overfill the SSD. Oh Well. Didn't realize SSD would be this much of a nuisance.


It's not 'SSD', but rather multiple drives.
250GB SSD or 250GB HDD...same thing.
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January 10, 2016 4:11:30 PM

merlinj79 said:
OK, fixed it.

I created dummy folders on my D:\

D:\Program Files
D:\Program Files (x86)
D:\Windows

I pasted a copy of regedit.exe into each of these folders, and also added a copy to the C:\Program Files & C:\Program Files (x86) directories.

Then I tried running regedit from various places and eventually it ran. I think it needed to be run from C:\Windows (where it normally lives) but had to be present on the D:\ drive in one of the new paths.

Once I got it to run, quick fix to undo the previous registry edits.

MY MISTAKE: This thread was two years old; I googled with "Windows 10" in the search field and didn't notice this info was older than Win 10...the MS link is for Win 7, and I didn't notice the note added later. Ooops.


**** I WOULD NOT TRY THE REGISTRY HACK IN THE EARLIER POST ON WINDOWS 10

But if anyone knows a safe way to redirect default program installs away from my SSD C:\ I'm all ears...

I went install a big game tonight and would have filled up the SSD, and this is on brand-new clean laptop.


You actually can do the regedit suggestion. Also, you need to look for the WOW6432Node and do the same in that subfolder. As long as you change all of the C:/ data to the D:/ or whatever drive the hdd is, you just have to copy/move over the program files from the ssd to the hdd manually or just download a program called symmover. If you have problems trying to use windows software, open up the properties, and just find where the location of each exe is in the c:/ and then open it up and copy it over to the d:/ and then it will run. It takes time, but a simple way of doing it. There's also just some software which won't allow you to change the install location which is crap, so even though if you have changed all the save locations in the "settings/system/storage" windows 10. It'll still just install to the c:/. Microsoft's logic is quite stupid. Windows 10 and 8 are the easiest and most user friendly operating systems we have. Yet we have so many problems and you as a user can't do shit all to your computer. We control it and watch your every move.
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January 24, 2016 3:21:08 AM

In short -
0) adjust registry* to point another folder; reboot
1) make** junction point \ hard link from C:\ProgramFiles to desired permanent drive with use of ntfs (Sysinternals or FAR may help)
2) copy stuff, google for moving with attributes... FAR roulez!
3) re-adjust registry to junction point

now you have junction on C: transparent for progrms and Windows, but NTFS knows to use another drive (physical or partition) for the stuff

* http://superuser.com/questions/214573/migrate-to-ssd-nt... or like this
** http://superuser.com/questions/752538/mklink-vs-junctio... and dig dipper
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May 1, 2016 8:36:48 AM

Simple... http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/redirect-fol...

I moved my Windows 10 documents & pictures to my D: drive in under 5 minutes. You don't need to modify the Registry. Windows will do it for you. :) 

To redirect a folder to a new location

Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then click your user name.
Right-click the folder that you want to redirect, and then click Properties.

Click the Location tab, and then click Move.

Browse to the location where you want to redirect this folder. You can select another location on this computer, another drive attached to this computer, or another computer on the network. To find a network location, type two backslashes (\\) into the address bar followed by the name of the location where you want to redirect the folder (for example, \\mylaptop), and then press Enter.

Click the folder where you want to store the files, click Select Folder, and then click OK.

In the dialog that appears, click Yes to move all the files to the new location.

To restore a folder to its original location

Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then click your user name.
Right-click the folder that you previously redirected and want to restore to its original location, and then click Properties.

Click the Location tab, click Restore Default, and then click OK.

Click Yes to recreate the original folder, and then click Yes again to move all the files back to the original folder.
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September 24, 2016 1:09:58 AM

merlinj79 said:
USAFRet said:
From Microsoft:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/window...

1. Start Registry Editor by entering “Regedit” in the search All programs.
2. Locate the following:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
3. Right click on the value named ProgramFilesDir & change the default value C:\Program Files to the path you want to install all your programs in.
4. Click OK and Exit.

---------------------------
I much prefer to not force it, and just be cognizant of where I am installing things.


Uh Oh. I tried this to redirect future installs from my SSD (C) to my HDD (D) and it broke windows 10. None of the windows system tools including regedit.exe or CMD will work. Looks like file path association is messed up. Any ideas?

Thanks



You need to make a new administrator account then go to > Settings > System > Recovery and use the second one.

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