Installing a program to another drive.

Posted on 2001-06-04
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
OK, this is a peculiar question, so please bear with me.
I have a normal, high-end desktop system with plenty of HD space, but, my recently acquired mini-laptop (Toshiba Libretto 50CT) does not. When I insert a 128MB compact flash card into the the PCMCIA Type II slot of the Libretto through an adapter, it recognizes the card as drive D: Fine. No problems.
I suppose it does not really matter what form the D: drive is, be it compact flash memory or another HD for this question.
It is my desire to actually install programs on drive D:
But, as a tech myself, I understand that most programs want to be installed under C: where they have ready access to Windows files.
Ok, now it gets wierd: Can I duplicate a Windows directory on the D: drive to make program install on the D: drive work? Or, is this simply impossible due to programming coding that defaults to C: .dll's and such?
Question by:pallidin
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Expert Comment

ID: 6155009
you can change the installation directory to d: during the installation. But bear in mind that when you install a certain program, the progam information will be keep in the registry as well certain dll that will be kept inside windows directory as well. To be aon the safe side you can get quaterdeck cleansweep to log all file s transfer during installation. Kepp the log file to check out what files has been install and also the registry


Author Comment

ID: 6155037
kahlean, I do indeed understand fully what you are saying. Yet, is there a potential for "hidden" install-program calls to C: that even cleansweep might not uncover?

Expert Comment

ID: 6155043
yes clena sweep will not be able to oncover certain files. But i guess this is the way to check oput what files that have benn transfer into your pc. Maybe other experts have other recommendation. But i will strongly recommend cleansweep. I have good experience with it previosly
LVL 25

Accepted Solution

dew_associates earned 50 total points
ID: 6155298
Hi Pallidin,

You really have two opposing questions here, one whether or not you can install programs on drive D, and the other whether you can duplicate the C:\Windows or C:\Programs directory on the "D" drive. Of course, as you probably already know, you can install some programs to your "D" drive, but only those that (A) rely mainly on their own files to function and (B) have ready access to shared files, which in this case would be on "C".

Now, as for duplicating either of the above Windows directories on "D", it may work initially, but if Windows detects this second directory it may take your entire system down. In addition, even if you were to be able to make it work, as time progresses and you add updates and make other changes, the system will eventually crash.

Generally most of todays program releases will allow the program files to be located on drives other than "C", however there are still some that require their files on "C", and specific files in shared directories.

As for clean sweep and other such programs, they really serve no purpose in these types of issues.

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Expert Comment

ID: 6155404
You could use the d drive for virtual memory.  It could really speed things up and would fix the amount of free space on C.  It would be like having a larger c drive and more memory all at once.

You could go even further, and put your temporary internet files and other temp directories there too.

This again would free more space from the c drive and help fix the amount of free space available.


Expert Comment

ID: 6156804
>Can I duplicate a Windows directory on the D:

Technically Yes, but why bother when you don't need to, and doing so would waste space.

> Can I duplicate a Windows Directory on the D:  driveto make program install on
the D: drive work?

Not needed.  As as been pointed out, any well written program will allow you to specify the destination location for the install, be it drive 'D' through 'Z'

>>Or, is this simply impossible due to programming coding that defaults to C: .dll's
and such?

Nope.   It should be a cakewalk if the author of the software did their job right.  

kahlean - has a good point about knowing what is installed where.   Not all software includes clean Install/Uninstall routines.  Tools like CleanSweep and Oilchange help cover those deficiencies.   Being a cheapskate, I use a freeware tool 'InCntrl5' - A free utility available from PC-Magazine:,,77424,00.html

It is essentially a 'wrapper' program that you use to launch the Software Installation.  
It tracks the changes made during the install by taking a snapshot of your system before the install,
and after the install.   Then it generates a report of :
 - Files added, where the files were added
 - any modifications to autoexec.bat, config.sys
 - any modifications to the registry, system.ini, win.ini
 - any dll's added to the Windows system directory.

I have used this information on occaision to move an installed program from Drive 'C' to Drive 'D' rather than do an un-install  re-install, by
- moving the files
- changing all INI and registry mapping references.  
Probably not a task for a novice.

Good Luck!

Author Comment

ID: 6158318
Thanks to all. I see now that this is a daunting task perhaps best left alone. And, jhawklyn's points are excellent as well.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 6162257
Thanks Pallidin!

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