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Stop programs from installing onto SSD

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September 23, 2010 11:30:55 PM

Hey guys;

I just built a new computer and it's my first time with an SSD.

I'm having a problem though. I don't have a lot of space on my SSD and some programs I download like Microsoft Security Essentials or Google Chrome don't allow me to choose the directory or hard drive that I wish to install it on.

Now those 2 have just auto installed onto my SSD.

Is there a way to change the directory of ALL MY INSTALLATIONS so that they go onto my second and normal big hard drive?

Thank you
a c 415 G Storage
September 24, 2010 2:38:47 AM

There's no way to change the default installation path - you have to use "custom install" for each piece of software and specify an alternate path.

This shouldn't be all that big a deal since you only have to install each piece of software once.
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a b G Storage
September 24, 2010 4:48:46 AM

The easiest option would be to move your entire Program Files (and/or Program files (x86)) folder to another drive and then open up a command prompt as Administrator and enter the following:

cd C:\
mklink /d "Program Files (x86)" "X:\Path\To\Moved\Folder"

This will create a symbolic link (basically a shortcut that is transparent to other applications) on C:\ and all programs installed to C:\Program Files will in fact be stored somewhere else. Note that this will not affect things added to the Windows Registry or files added in other locations. The second directory path and folder name can be anything, but the first thing after the /d must be named exactly the same as the original folder.

You may find that Windows doesn't think you have permission to move that folder. You may have to mess with permissions to get it moved.
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Related resources
September 24, 2010 5:23:47 AM

randomizer said:
The easiest option would be to move your entire Program Files (and/or Program files (x86)) folder to another drive and then open up a command prompt as Administrator and enter the following:

cd C:\
mklink /d "Program Files (x86)" "X:\Path\To\Moved\Folder"

This will create a symbolic link (basically a shortcut that is transparent to other applications) on C:\ and all programs installed to C:\Program Files will in fact be stored somewhere else. Note that this will not affect things added to the Windows Registry or files added in other locations. The second directory path and folder name can be anything, but the first thing after the /d must be named exactly the same as the original folder.

You may find that Windows doesn't think you have permission to move that folder. You may have to mess with permissions to get it moved.



So for example; (Assuming the other hard drive is named "D" and I create a folder named "Programs" for it.

I copy and paste both the Program Files and the Programs Files (x86) from my SSD and paste in onto my other hard drive.

Then I open command and type in

step1) cd C:\ (then I press enter?)
step2) mklink /d "Program Files" "D:\Programs" (then press enter?)
step3) exit ?

and do it all over again but this time for "Program Files (x86)"?

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a b G Storage
September 24, 2010 5:41:52 AM

Yes, providing Windows doesn't whinge and moan about you using your computer how you want to rather than how it wants you to. Obviously you lose all the performance benefits of the SSD doing this.
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January 13, 2012 4:23:42 AM

I know this discussion finished quite a while ago but I have a question.

After inputting the mklink command is it permanent ie: do it once and all future installs will follow the symbolic link? Is it possible to revers it?
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a b G Storage
January 13, 2012 7:12:40 AM

When you format your disk you will lose the symlink and will need to recreate it. If you're creating a link between non-system drives then this won't be an issue much, but it will be for anything on C:. Also no, it's not permanent. You can delete it whenever you want and simply move the original file/directory back (or do nothing). Deleting the symlink doesn't delete its target.
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January 13, 2012 12:50:21 PM

How do you delete an symlink? Oh and could you randomizer check my thread about nearly the same matter?
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a b G Storage
January 13, 2012 10:15:24 PM

You can delete it like any other file or directory.
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April 9, 2012 9:06:22 AM

If you want an easier way of making Symlinks, you can use Link Shell Extension, which allows you to make Symlinks through the right-click menu. This way instead of moving the entire program files folder to the hard drive, you can keep the programs you use the most on the SSD, and quickly make Symlinks from those programs that you use less often that are stored on the hard drive to the SSD.
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August 25, 2012 2:18:20 AM

Seeker14491,

This looks great, but the link you provided to the Link Shell Extensions article started to get quite complicated about 5 or 6 pages down. Could I ask for some clarification?

What I want to do is install a new SSD and keep my HD. I don't know if this can be done. I have a bunch of data on the HD, but many, many installed programs installed there too.

Can I create Symlinks (or LSE's) on my SSD that point to many of the programs on the HD so they don't all have to be reinstalled? I would want to install most them on the HD anyway. A few that I want on the SSD I will reinstall on the SSD.

Thanks in advance.
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August 25, 2012 3:20:43 AM

schuckb said:
Seeker14491,

This looks great, but the link you provided to the Link Shell Extensions article started to get quite complicated about 5 or 6 pages down. Could I ask for some clarification?

What I want to do is install a new SSD and keep my HD. I don't know if this can be done. I have a bunch of data on the HD, but many, many installed programs installed there too.

Can I create Symlinks (or LSE's) on my SSD that point to many of the programs on the HD so they don't all have to be reinstalled? I would want to install most them on the HD anyway. A few that I want on the SSD I will reinstall on the SSD.

Thanks in advance.


If you want to keep Windows on the hard drive, then all you have to do when you get your SSD is (after installing Link Shell Extension):

1. Move the program you want from the hard drive (usually Program Files or Program Files(x86)) to the SSD
2. Right-click-drag this folder back to the original place where it was on the hard drive, and select Drop Here...>Symbolic Link
3. Done

But I don't recommend this. You should put Windows on the SSD, to get the awesome boot time. This is a guide on how to move Windows from the hard drive to the SSD: http://lifehacker.com/5837543/how-to-migrate-to-a-solid...

I have a 128GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive. I have Windows on the SSD. When I install a program, I let it install in the default location on the SSD (Program Files or Program Files(x86)). If it's a small program, or a program I use often, I leave it on the SSD. But if it's like a 12GB game, then I:

1. Move the program from the SSD to the hard drive
2. Right-click-drag this folder back to the original place where it was on the SSD, and select Drop Here...>Symbolic Link
3. Done

Feel free to ask if you have more questions.
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December 5, 2012 2:42:53 AM

Quote:
So for example; (Assuming the other hard drive is named "D" and I create a folder named "Programs" for it.

I copy and paste both the Program Files and the Programs Files (x86) from my SSD and paste in onto my other hard drive.

Then I open command and type in

step1) cd C:\ (then I press enter?)
step2) mklink /d "Program Files" "D:\Programs" (then press enter?)
step3) exit ?

and do it all over again but this time for "Program Files (x86)"?


So I am trying to do this and I am a little confused, so please help me out.

I have a SSD (C:\) running Win7 64bit, I have a 2xHDD Raid 0 (E:\). I want to pick and choose some program files / x86 files, from C:\ and move them to E:\ to free space. I don't want to move the whole Programs Files to the E:\ ;just the stuff that I don't care if it runs super fast, or that I don't ever use. I want Firefox on the C:\ and some other driver software. But say for example I want to move Internet Explorer from C:\ to E:\.

Thanks, and sorry I am getting use to using Windows again, I had Mac's for a few years but I wanted a Beast of a computer for games.

1. Copy C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer and paste to E:\Program Files\Internet Explorer
2. Open Command Prompt.
a. Type "cd C:\" enter
b. Type " mklink /d "Internet Explorer" "E:\Program Files\Internet Explorer" " enter
c. Type "exit"

Is this right? And how does that free up the space on my C:\? Once I do it will everything update and data wise that has to do with Internet Explorer go right to the E:\ and stop wasting space on my C:\
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