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Is it possible to install programs onto a network drive? For example, a laptop running a SSD will have limited space, so can I install programs on an external network drive to save space?

I want to install Visual Studio 2013 on a laptop with a SSD having 20 GB free. Visual Studio is 9.64 GB, which will take up most of my space. Can I install it on a network drive?

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The short answer is: In principle yes, but it depends... So what is your specific question? What problem are you facing? With what program? – mpy Nov 9 '13 at 15:20
@mpy visual studio 2013. laptop with ssd win7 and 20GB free, and visual studio 2013 wanting 9.64GB/10GB. – barlop Nov 9 '13 at 15:30
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Credit to @Bob for this answer

You can target a network drive as the directory for most programs, if you want. You can then have a number of outcomes, depending on the program.

1) The program will not run at all.

2) The program will run, but only on the computer they were installed from.

3) The program, will run from any computer, but will have different settings depending on the computer.

4) The program is fully portable and will appear the same no matter where you run it from.

There's such a wide range that it's really impossible to give a concrete answer. Some programs will break with network drives, but work if you map it as a local drive or if you symlink a local directory to it. CHM help files fall in this category (security restrictions will work if symlinked, but not otherwise).

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No, It does not usually work, although you could install it as '\SEVER\Shared\Apps\YourApp.exe' and if you have a share network drive (S: - \SEVER\Shared), you could run the app from S:\Apps

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was that directory you gave there completely arbitrary, and after the word "although" you describe installing to a network drive but how else would you do it? The question didn't ask How do you install to a network drive. – barlop Jan 9 at 12:51

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