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Can i put Program files on a different hard drive?

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  #1  
Old 22-12-2009
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Can i put Program files on a different hard drive?
  

Hey guys i have Windows XP professional installed on my computer at the moment. I am planning to make it a dual boot system soon by installing Windows Vista. Most of the files being installed in my operating system are the various games i play. In terms of file size my games are the biggest in terms of bloating the operating system. I also use some large programs like Itunes. Well my question is this, Can i install my games on a different hard drive for example - C:\XP Program Files and D:\ Vista Program Files for the 2 operating systems. Would there be any issue with this arrangement i wish to make?? Please guide me, any kind of help here in trying to put program files on a different hard drive would be appreciated largely


Last edited by Gaelic : 22-12-2009 at 09:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 22-12-2009
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Re: Can i put Program files on a different hard drive?

You can install an different OS and any drive other than the drive containing your current OS, it certainly works.

but you cant copy the program files (you can copy but it doest work )
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  #3  
Old 22-12-2009
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Re: Can i put Program files on a different hard drive?

Yes it is very much possible to do this. A few programs might not like being placed on a different drive. This all depends on the installer actually, sometimes you have the advanced installer which can be used by checking the checkbox for it. Some are as simple as replacing the C:\ with D:\ and the job is done. But there is always an exception to everything. Same way there are some software's, games which will be installed only on their native drive which will be C:\ or D:\. For this to work you will need to do some different things like make changes in the .ini file in the installer. But yes it can be done.
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Old 22-12-2009
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Re: Can i put Program files on a different hard drive?

Nope i don't think this will work. Maybe putting the programs files on another drive would work and all but it would affect the natives games and software's installed there. You should do well to remember that the games and applications will write to the registry of the operating system on which they are installed. So if you are thinking that having a dual boot and different program files on both the hard drives would mean you didn't need to avoid all the games and applications again, then you are wrong.
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  #5  
Old 22-12-2009
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Re: Can i put Program files on a different hard drive?

Program files constitutes of the data stored by Windows for installed applications and games. Storing those files or copying those files to another drive will offer no benefit at all. This is because the local registry will not have proper entries for those applications and games to run. So you need them to be there on the native drive you installed them on for them to run in the first place. If it was a stand alone program then it would be a different story. You can specify where to install the game on a particular hard drive having the partitions but moving those program files to a different hard drive is a different topic and won't work. Copying user profiles might transfer system settings for that account but not in the case of program files.
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  #6  
Old 22-12-2009
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Re: Can i put Program files on a different hard drive?

It is possible to move a folder using a Junction. For that you will need a sysinternals Junction tool. I suggest you to read upon it before you decide to take the plunge. However it is dangerous and you may need to boot from a special CD to actually move the program files folder to do it from an alternate operating system. Additionally depending on your version of operating system you can do folder redirects for documents and settings. Since you will be using Vista then you right click on the particular folder and then under target move it to a different place.
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  #7  
Old 22-12-2009
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Re: Can i put Program files on a different hard drive?

I would ask you to make a backup of your registry before you decide to indulge in such a exercise. Use Erunt to make a registry backup of your system. This will help in case your experiment goes down south. After that do as follows, navigate to :
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.
Find the program files directory whose default should be C:\Program Files.Change this directory to whatever you wish. For example i changed it to E:\Program Files. Then you have to reboot for the changes to show. You can also create a junction using the tool mentioned in one of the above posts. This is a good way to redirect folders when applications refuse to install in places you want them to.
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