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Let me stop you before the "you shouldn't do that" and "you will corrupt your file paths". I know what I'm doing, but I'll give you the story to convince you.

Basically, my hard drive is failing to the point where programs installed on it are not responding consistently. So, in preparation for my replacement, I'm moving as many files as possible to my secondary because the new drive will be smaller (it's an emergency I can't buy a fancy expensive new drive) and so I can actually use my computer until the new drive comes in.

The basic idea behind what I'm doing is I've copied the contents of the Program Files x86 folder to another spot on my other drive, and I want to replace the original folder in the C drive with a symbolic link that points to the other drive, so the programs can run from that drive and be fine but it will save space on my C drive and simplify the moving process when the new one comes in. To do that, I need to rename the program files folder, make the symbolic link, hopefully delete the program files folder, then restart my computer so all the programs are running properly and I can confirm it works.

Now that I've told you why, can anyone help me out?

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marked as duplicate by and31415, Tog, RedGrittyBrick, Kevin Panko, Excellll May 28 '14 at 21:25

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Something like this:

  1. Boot from Windows install DVD
  2. English
  3. Repair
  4. command prompt
  5. ren "c:\program files (x86)\" "c:\stuff"
  6. mklink /j "c:\program files (x86)" d:\whatever
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No need for the detour, just fire up a command prompt using Shift-F10. – Daniel B May 26 '14 at 22:09
Is it particularly important that it's a directory junction as opposed to a symbolic link, or just personal preference? – Madrauk May 26 '14 at 22:10
Creating a junction point is not enough: the old folder content need to be copied to the new destination (e.g. d:\whatever) Also, the Windows drive/partition isn't always C:. | @Madrauk Symbolic links weren't available until Windows Vista, and can point to remote shares too. By default you need administrator rights to create them, unlike directory junctions. – and31415 May 27 '14 at 8:52

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