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I am having some trouble with Windows 7 64-bit and changing the default installation folder.

I like to have a partition only for the OS. I think it is a good practice and that's always been recommended to me by various people. So, I normally have a C:\ parition for the OS and a D: for everything else.

The problem is that when changing the default installation folder from C:\Program Files to D:\Programs it doesn't work all the time. I can't really understand why but believe me, sometimes, even though I change the folder on the installation folder to D: it will install on C:!

Furthermore, when I change in the regedit the default installation directory to D:, I automatically lose some Windows 7 functionality like Windows Sidebar, among others.

I have been digging the internet for a solution for this, but still haven't found one.

I suppose someone from has already had this problem and maybe could share his/her knowledge.


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What benefit do you have from separating the partitions on the same physical disk? This will actually hurt performance most of the time. The only time it is really beneficial is if they are on separate hard drives. – MDMarra Jul 4 '10 at 17:08
So you are suggesting to have everything on C:? OS, Apps, Documents? – nunos Jul 4 '10 at 17:11
I agree with MarkM. Also remember that installations don't only write data to program files. There is also the Program Data folder and users\username\AppData\Local LocalLow and Roaming... Leave all the OS components on the C:\ drive and place your data elsewhere. – Pulse Jul 4 '10 at 17:23
Aww, what's wrong with old advice that hasn't been updated? – surfasb Sep 15 '12 at 5:51

You could try creating a NTFS junction with name C:\Program Files pointing to D:\Programs.

Also note that Windows 7 64Bit seems to have 2 default locations (at least on my machine): "C:\Program Files" and "C:\Program Files (x86)" so you might have to do this twice.

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