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I'm getting ready to nuke both my desktop and laptop, and I would like to make sure all files stay consistent between the two. I want to do this by creating a partition on each computer specifically for data that I can then use whatever program I want to sync.

The biggest problem with this is that software doesn't always cooperate with the operating system and my data being on different partitions. For quite awhile, I've had many partitions across the three hard drives in my desktop to keep things separated. One of them was a partition specifically for installing software, and even though I installed all software to P:\ rather that C:\Program Files\, many programs still insist on storing data in C:\Program Files\, C:\Program Data\, %AppData%, etc.

Is there a way that I can force programs to only store data on a specific partition so I don't have to worry about a program saving files on my data drive, running the program from the program drive, and keeping miscellaneous data on the operating system drive? Perhaps through registry keys or some other method?

I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.

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I doubt there's any general way that would work for all apps, and for each one that does, it may be done differently. Perhaps this should be part of the crucial criteria you use when you choose which ones to use...it is for me. –  martineau Aug 6 '12 at 2:25
    
It is not possible to do this unless you fake out Windows with junction points (see MKLINK /?), but even then it's extremely risky, especially if your P: drive dies. –  user3463 Aug 6 '12 at 5:39

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