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  • Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

    I want to reduce the size of my C:\ drive drastically so that the time taken to make an Image File will be significantly reduced.

    One of the biggest Folders in this drive is the Program Folder.

    Is it possible to remove this Folder to another partition ?

    If it is , how can this be done, please?

  • #2
    Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

    Originally posted by thenoo
    Is it possible to remove this Folder to another partition ?

    If it is , how can this be done, please?
    Try Right Click & Copy. NO, DO NOT DO THAT!!

    This folder can NOT be moved unless you reinstall the applications under Program Files onto another partition. To make the image smaller, try cleaning out ALL the TMP files, Temporary Internet files and and files begining with a tilde ~ . If the C drive is too big to image, then it may be time to wipe the drive (after backing up your data of course) and reinstalling everything clean. This way you can properly design the layout to the way you want.

    When/if you reinstall, install XP on the C drive and all other application/programs/games onto the D drive (or D partition). This way you will keep the C drive at a smallish level. You could also move the My Documents folder to another partition and they could be backed up seperatly.
    1 1 was a racehorse.
    2 2 was 1 2.
    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
    2 2 1 1 2

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    • #3
      Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

      Actually, the old PowerQuest Partition software used to come with a utility that would fix most of the settings (registry and shortcut) to allow you to move your Program Files manually, so it is not *that* hard - the worst part is going to be finding / fixing the shortcuts, as they may be all over the place.

      Also, in spite of registry editing, some apps simply will not work - they were poorly coded by the authors to *only* work out of C:\Program Files - even D:\Program Files will not work.

      However, if you have the time to re=install, there is a safer alternative - using nLite you can build your own XP installation disc that will allow you to remove a lot of cruft that you do not need *and* allows you to change the placement of the System Folders to wherever you want - I rebuilt my XP install so that my Program Files and my Documents and Settings folder tree was on a separate partition - talk about making an XP re-install a *lot* easier!

      Of course, The XP utility TweakUI also allows for folder moving, but I cannot remember right off the top of my head if Program Files is included with that or not - and I don't remember also if it will 'migrate' your settings (mainly registry) to point to the new location or not. Finally, I am pretty positive it *DOES NOT* alter shortcuts.

      [OT] BTW, I am still waiting for vLite (for Vista) to include the same functionality so I can rebuild my Vista install to make things a lot easier there as well.[/OT]

      HTH
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

        Originally posted by johnlgalt View Post
        the worst part is going to be finding / fixing the shortcuts, as they may be all over the place.
        Originally posted by johnlgalt View Post
        Also, in spite of registry editing, some apps simply will not work - they were poorly coded by the authors to *only* work out of C:\Program Files - even D:\Program Files will not work.
        Originally posted by johnlgalt View Post
        However, if you have the time to re=install, there is a safer alternative
        Originally posted by johnlgalt View Post
        Of course, The XP utility TweakUI also allows for folder moving, but I cannot remember right off the top of my head if Program Files is included with that or not
        Originally posted by johnlgalt View Post
        and I don't remember also if it will 'migrate' your settings (mainly registry) to point to the new location or not. Finally, I am pretty positive it *DOES NOT* alter shortcuts.
        After all these, I wouldn't declare that moving the Program Files folder
        Originally posted by johnlgalt View Post
        it is not *that* hard
        There are things that can be done, but not always should be done. One should consider the overall influence of a step that he is thinking of.
        I'm with biggles here, Program Files is one of those folders you better not play with. After all, there's nothing a clean install cannot solve (the same like there's no woman pain a new pair of shoes cannot cure - just a parallel, not quite related to the issue).
        This is my opinion, anyway.

        Sorin Solomon


        In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
        -

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        • #5
          Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

          I never said it *should* be done - but if a user is bent upon trying it out (and I was, and am still with Vista as well) then at least provide the alternatives and give them pointers on what to expect.

          I did it myself - both methods - so I have a fair amount of experience with the processes and offered my advice.

          AFA it being "not *that* hard" - I can do Calculus pretty easily, so for me solving a differential equation is "not *that* hard" - but I should have qualified that moving %ProgramFIles% was not that hard to me either. And now, since I know it can be done and have done it successfully, I want to do it again in Vista.

          A *better* alternative may have been to also suggest simply manually installing newer apps to an 'alternate' Program files location - as in performing an advanced / custom install of an app, say Firefox, and pointing it to D:\Program Files, or even f:\{username}\Program Files, or whatever. However, that still leaves is on C: there taking up space. That's why I chose to suggest nLite instead.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

            Thanks for all the replies.

            I have intiated another recent thread here on a similar subject - i.e. moving the Folder "ServicePackFiles" away from the C:\ drive .

            I am not trying to complicate things here by attempting to discuss that thread in this present one , its just that a possible solution proposed for the removal of the "ServicePackFile" Folder was given by someone called "AskLeo" and can be found here :-

            http://ask-leo.com/can_i_remove_the_...ws_folder.html

            I wonder whether any of the contibuters here on the subject of removing the "Program Files" Folder think the suggestions given in that link - ( which suggests a change deep in the Registry) - might work for the removal of the "Program Folder" also ?

            I suppose the obvious reply here would be - " why don't you try it and let us know the result" !!

            I'd be interested in any comments though before I do !

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

              First off, I have to say that removing and moving are 2 different animals entirely, and I want to be sure I am still on the same page as you - you are desiring to move Program Files *and* the ServicePackFiles, correct?

              Secondly, the ServicePackFiles folder is a much easier move - it is not associated with any *programs* you have installed on your system, so the move of that folder is relatively easy compared to moving Program Files. Remember that Program Files contains all your programs - so, in effect, if you move it , and even if you only have Office Office, IE, and 2 other programs installed, (along with the usual stuff that is installed by default from Windows) you'll have to find each and every instance of a program path pointing to "C:\Program Files" in the Registry and change it, as well as change the Registry settings for the system to point to the new location, as well as find all your shortcuts and change them as well.

              Program Files and ServicePackFiles are two completely different animals.

              So, in effect, no, you cannot just move PF like Leo says you can with SPF.
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

                Originally posted by johnlgalt View Post
                First off, I have to say that removing and moving are 2 different animals entirely, and I want to be sure I am still on the same page as you - you are desiring to move Program Files *and* the ServicePackFiles, correct?

                Yes that is correct - I would like to MOVE these files not REMOVE them - apologies for the loose phraeseology in my last post.

                Secondly, the ServicePackFiles folder is a much easier move - it is not associated with any *programs* you have installed on your system, so the move of that folder is relatively easy compared to moving Program Files. Remember that Program Files contains all your programs - so, in effect, if you move it , and even if you only have Office Office, IE, and 2 other programs installed, (along with the usual stuff that is installed by default from Windows) you'll have to find each and every instance of a program path pointing to "C:\Program Files" in the Registry and change it, as well as change the Registry settings for the system to point to the new location, as well as find all your shortcuts and change them as well.

                Program Files and ServicePackFiles are two completely different animals.

                So, in effect, no, you cannot just move PF like Leo says you can with SPF.
                Thank you - that explains the difference between the two proposed operations.

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                • #9
                  Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

                  Hi - maybe I'm barging in where no further comment is needed. But be it known to all that I have divided my program files between C:\Program Files and D:\Program Fles (note the missing i). All programs work equally well and all show up on Start>Programs. My present computer runs XP pro with SP2. -Amos

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                  • #10
                    Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

                    Of course not - it helps for the process.

                    however, I am wagering that you have been manually installing program to D:\Program Fles, as opposed to having the *system* recognize that %ProgramFiles% is actually D:\Program Fles, correct?

                    that is done on a per-program basis - the OP would like to physically move the PF folder and have the system recognize the change, so that program will by default install to the new location.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

                      Originally posted by thenoo View Post
                      I want to reduce the size of my C:\ drive drastically so that the time taken to make an Image File will be significantly reduced.

                      One of the biggest Folders in this drive is the Program Folder.

                      Is it possible to remove this Folder to another partition ?

                      If it is , how can this be done, please?
                      Here is an idea. Although I have never tried this, but it has a good chance of working. I have gotten this work for other purposes, just never tried it on the Program Files (or ServicePackFiles) or any other OS Folder. Since these folders are part of the OS, boot the system to safe mode.

                      First backup your system, at least the folder you want to move to another partition.

                      Rename your orginal folder. Mount your partition as a folder (mount point) rather than a Drive letter.

                      Copy your files in to you new mount point. Maybe consider using NTBackup or your favorate backup utility so that the correct permissions and attributes are copied.

                      Like I said, I've never tried this on a OS folder, but has a good chance of working.

                      Cheers

                      Andre

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                      • #12
                        Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

                        The system not only recognizes the D:\Program Fles but most downloads go there automatically. Some ask where to go and a few rigidly insist on being installed on C:\. But C:\Program Files is sparsely populated now, after the addition, and the root partition is light-weighed because of it. So IMHO it definitely is worth a try - Amos.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

                          For those interested in building a custom XP disc with Program Files pre-moved to a different partition / drive, check out nlite:

                          http://www.nliteos.com/

                          I used it successfully to slipstream my SP1 and SP2 into my original XP disc, then later built a new XP disc with %ProgramFiles% moved to my 2nd partition on the HD. Worked like a charm, and this happened for *every single item that is pre-installed on my system.

                          I only ran into *1* program which installed itself to C:\Program Files, which the installer then proceeded to create - but as Amos said, with this method also all programs show up regardless of where they are installed.
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

                            Sorry for the late reply, have been away. Nothing manual anymore. Any new program that comes in is automatically switched to D:\Program Fles, UNLESS the program itself has a mandatory C:\ directive built in. Compressed programs usually go to C:/ but then on extracting them they are installed on D:/, so that after removing the compressed folders C:\ remains clean. I do not remember how I did that since it has been so for more than four years, but I do not believe that I changed the registry. It must have been some other device. Anyway, if you need to reduce the volume on your C:\ program files, take the ones that you have on disk, and the ones you can easily download, uninstall them from C:\ and install them on a new folder on D:\. The most voluminous first, the small fry later. Just make sure that the new folder on D:\ has a designation whose first name is Programs. It should work. - Amos.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Moving C:\Program Files - is it possible?

                              Or you can run the attached REG file before you start installing apps.

                              Please Note: This is a USE AT YOUR OWN RISK FILE. NO RESPONSIBILITY IS ACCEPTED IF RUNNING THIS FILE CORRUPTS THE REGISTRY AND MAKES THE SYSTEM UNUSABLE.

                              Always backup your Registry before making ANY modifications.

                              default-install-path-to-d.zip
                              1 1 was a racehorse.
                              2 2 was 1 2.
                              1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                              2 2 1 1 2

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