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I have a PC with multiple hard drives. One is for the Windows installation (C:), one which I would like to use to install ALL programs (D:), and the rest for data (E:, F:, G:, ...). I want to move the 'Programs' folder to the D: drive, or (alternatively) create a new Programs folder on D: which will be the default destination for new programs I install - preferably with the same security features as the original Windows default Programs folder.

My reasons for wanting to do this are as follows: 1) Speed of access to disks (they are separate physical drives - not just separate partitions on a single drive). 2) Ease of reinstallation of my Windows images (images are smaller; less time taken for backups/ restores, less space taken by images). I use imaging software to do this. 3) My Windows drive is too small for all the programs / games / etc. I want to install (it's a 300Gb Velociraptor, with 2 partitions - I have a dual-boot system, XP & Win 7).

I have 2 accounts - Admin (used only for such installations, updates, etc) and a User account (for daily use). Sometimes I will need to run programs as Admin while logged on as User.

Please give me advice on the best way to accomplish this.

Philip B.

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1 Answer 1

According to Microsoft's website this is possible

The ProgramFilesDir registry value is located in the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion You may want to use the ProgramFilesDir registry entry to change the location of the Program Files folder. Additionally, you may want to modify every reference in the registry to point to the new Program Files folder. You may also want to move the contents of the original Program Files folder to the new location. However, we do not test changes to the default location of the Program Files folder. Therefore, we do not recommend or support modifying the ProgramFilesDir registry value to change the default location of the Program Files folder.

But according to them it's also not recommended

Microsoft does not support changing the location of the Program Files folder by modifying the ProgramFilesDir registry value. If you change the location of the Program Files folder, you may experience problems with some Microsoft programs or with some software updates.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933700

See here to find out how it's done
http://en.kioskea.net/faq/1328-change-the-default-installation-folder-c-program-files
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5542100/changing-program-files-default-location-in-windows-7

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