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Can the folder "Program Files" be moved to another Partition?

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  • Can the folder "Program Files" be moved to another Partition?

    I have XP Pro SP2 installed on the C:\drive which also contains the Folder "Program Files"

    Is it possible to move Program Files to another Partition so that I can keep all Installed Apps out of the C:drive?

  • #2
    Re: Can the folder "Program Files" be moved to another Partition?

    What is behind this request? Keeping C: small (why?) or performance (what issue are you seeing?) or trying to map the program files on that 60 GB HD replacement or ???

    The biggest issue is getting all the pointers in the registry, shortcuts, unexpected INI and other config files to change to the new location. There is software out there that claims to adjust the registry but I'm guessing you'll get an 80-90% success rate if you have software that stores config info in other files / databases.

    You could move the files and "mount" them back in the original spot using Microsoft's linkd (NTFS Junction Points). Search here and elsewhere. I use this to mount our huge digital picture store for all family members as "My Pictures". It works pretty well though you will need to put some logic in a login script to ensure it stays linked as every now and then...
    Cheers,

    Rick

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

    2006-2099 R Valstar. This post is offered "as is" for discussion purposes only with no express or implied warranty of any kind including, but not limited to, correctness or fitness for use. Nothing herein shall be construed as advice. Attempting any activity based on information in this post is done at your own risk.

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    • #3
      Re: Can the folder "Program Files" be moved to another Partition?

      It is possible, but I advise against it. See http://jsifaq.com/SF/Tips/Tip.aspx?id=3236 but heed the warnings:

      Some programs do not check the registry to see where "Program Files" is.

      Also, someone found that even one or two Microsoft updates don't check properly, so in his case those security patches were not deployed correctly .

      What you can do is have 2 sets of "Program Files": one on the C: drive, so you're not changing the reg, and another on another partition. Uninstall your apps and when you reinstall, tell the installation wizard that you want to install to another folder. This will move most apps out onto the other partition, but it won't cripple anything because you're not hacking the registry.
      Best wishes,
      PaulH.
      MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

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      • #4
        Re: Can the folder "Program Files" be moved to another Partition?

        [QUOTE=rvalstar;59959]What is behind this request? Keeping C: small (why?) or performance (what issue are you seeing?)

        I take the points made in the replies to my O.P. and am seriously considering them.

        The point behind my request was merely that I would like to keep ALL Applcations in a completely separate Partition from the basic Boot OS Partition so that when I make an Image File of this OS Boot Partition , and ,subsequently , a BSD or some similar catastrophe occurs , then , by restoring this "virgin" Boot Partition , everything will return to the "status quo ante" with minimum effort .

        Presumably , if , having achieved this "Nirvana" in the shape of a separation of OS installation and Applications , this recovery will , by virtue of this fact , become that much simpler .

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        • #5
          Re: Can the folder "Program Files" be moved to another Partition?

          If you want a Nirvana state, then I would suggest you make a clean install of everything, defrag and then make your image. That way you kow you don't have a screwed up install as you would if you tried moving Program File to another partition.

          Make a checklist of everything you want to install and make it over the period of at least a week. Then once you have made your Nirvana state image, you can then lament the apps & utilities you forgot to install. It will take 3 or 4 goes before you get it right. Good luck.
          1 1 was a racehorse.
          2 2 was 1 2.
          1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
          2 2 1 1 2

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Can the folder "Program Files" be moved to another Partition?

            Originally posted by thenoo View Post
            The point behind my request was merely that I would like to keep ALL Applcations in a completely separate Partition from the basic Boot OS Partition so that when I make an Image File of this OS Boot Partition , and ,subsequently , a BSD or some similar catastrophe occurs , then , by restoring this "virgin" Boot Partition , everything will return to the "status quo ante" with minimum effort .
            Program Files must match the rest of the system at image time as so much is intertwined elsewhere (registry, etc.)

            What I do is take a Ghost after I have my first "complete" clean install and file it away.

            This includes the OS w/ desired SP / patches, current drivers, AV (so I can get to the WWW and download necessary bits), MS Office -- all activated and configured to something I'd like to go back to should I mess up later.
            Cheers,

            Rick

            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

            2006-2099 R Valstar. This post is offered "as is" for discussion purposes only with no express or implied warranty of any kind including, but not limited to, correctness or fitness for use. Nothing herein shall be construed as advice. Attempting any activity based on information in this post is done at your own risk.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Can the folder "Program Files" be moved to another Partition?

              Originally posted by rvalstar View Post
              ...

              What I do is take a Ghost after I have my first "complete" clean install and file it away.
              That's by far the best thing to do - to be honest, there's no real point in keeping apps on a separate partition, for what you want to do. As Rick says, it's all so intertwined anyway that you won't gain by moving stuff to another part.
              Best wishes,
              PaulH.
              MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Can the folder "Program Files" be moved to another Partition?

                Bit hard to make a Ghost image of a boot partition if you have 20-30GB of applications installed on it. Better to have apps installed on the D: (or other) drive and O/S on the C: drive. Data also stored on the non O/S partition.

                This is now more relevant to Vista. 2GB RAM and you have just lost 10.5GB of space. Do you really want to put bloatware apps on as well.

                If you do have a seperate partition for O/S and apps, then you have to be careful not to uninstall anything an app and then later reimage the O/S partition. Then you will have problems. You also have to keep a log of what was installed after the image was made because these apps have to be reinstalled if you reimage the O/S partition.

                Easiest solution, install all on one HDD then image to another HDD then put the image away. It means having a HDD that will never be used for anything except holding a "just in case" image.

                I have toyed with both options and now I just do a clean install and restore data. The KISS method. I don't have to remember what has been installed or uninstalled since making the image. Once the O/S is installed, I climb into my comfortable recliner, fire up the laptop, turn on the TV (get movie if TV is crap and it usually is) and use Remote Desktop to do the updates, install utilities, applications etc. Couple of movies or 5 and it is all finished and I have had a chance to relax instead of hunching over a PC and if it is a clients PC, I am getting paid to watch movies.

                Find the option that you find best suits you. My way is only best for me. (Commercial environment is of course different again)
                1 1 was a racehorse.
                2 2 was 1 2.
                1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                2 2 1 1 2

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Can the folder "Program Files" be moved to another Partition?

                  Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
                  ...install all on one HDD then image to another HDD then put the image away. It means having a HDD that will never be used for anything except holding a "just in case" image.
                  ...
                  That's what I meant - Ghost the drive to another spare drive. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.

                  Best wishes,
                  Best wishes,
                  PaulH.
                  MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

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