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I have installed my software on D: drive(non-system drive). Due to some reason have to reinstall windows so C: drive is formatted. Now I want my previously installed s/w on D: drive to work. How can I achieve this?

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migrated from Dec 29 '10 at 15:20

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Reinstall your software.

Unfortunately, there's no working way to get your new Windows installation to recognize the old software installations. Your data and everything you might want is still there, but Windows applications often install DLLs and other dependencies into the system folders and add information to your Registry. The only way to get that back exactly as the application would expect is by reinstalling it.

There's no benefit to installing application software on a separate drive/partition. There is every benefit to isolating your documents and other user data on a separate drive/partition.

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+1, great answer. – Shinrai Dec 29 '10 at 15:27
There is a benefit in putting your software on a separate partition. Problem is, the registry remains on the C: drive and cripples this benefit. If you run self-contained software (from PortableApps or PortableFreeware) then this benefit of surviving reinstalls is maintained. – digitxp Dec 29 '10 at 15:34
+1 for portable apps that'll save you a lot of time for the software it covers. Unfortunately, because installing all your software in windows usually means wasting hours babysitting various installers, there's no quick-and-easy solution for most software. – Evan Plaice Dec 29 '10 at 16:42
I'm all for portable apps, but I consider them more of a special case than the standard. And most of the applications that are portable are small and light enough that I don't see the benefit of placing them on a separate partition on one physical drive. The time it takes to reinstall them is nothing compared to something like Visual Studio or Microsoft Office, where this trick won't work. – Cody Gray Dec 29 '10 at 20:38

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