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Advanced Topic: How do I Tweak WUTemp, MSDOWNLD.TMP, and "Windows Update Setup Files" folder locations?

DarkShadows asked
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
In using certain Microsoft update software, such as the command below, I noticed something that truly upsets me.

Command:     Ie6setup.exe /c:"ie6wzd.exe /d /s:""#e"""

This command allows one to govern which OS version of Internet Explorer 6 one downloads and keeps the files so one can burn them CD-ROM.  When this command executes, and you get to the dialog I noticed that Windows Update automatically wants to create a folder for the download files...

     D:\Windows Update Setup Files

...on a volume that it has no business being on (my data partition in this instance).  Now, I know that I have an EASY option to change the location of this download, because there is a [Browse] button and a blank to specify a path, which is nice.  But if this software install were NOT run with the command line switches, I would never have had the chance to re-rout the download files.

My question is, how can I tweak the Windows XP registry to FORCE things like Windows Update, Windows Auto Update, Office Update, and Internet Explorer Update to BY DEFAULT place their download folders on my TEMP volume?  My Temp volume is a partition (T:) on a separate physical hard drive, that I've created for things like %TEMP%, %TMP%, IE Temporary Internet Files, Windows printer spool files, IE Cookies, IE History, temp files and spools form my other applications, etc. (all of which I've successfully tweaked so far to relocate them.)

In particular, I want to be able to configure the following folders to DEFAULT away from my system volume C: and to NOT end up on any of my other volumes which all have their own designated uses.  (Sometimes these things seem to take on a mind of their own as I've seen WUTemp folders on ALL 7 of my hard drive partitions, and msdownld.tmp on 3 of them.)

     \Windows Update Setup Files

BTW if there are any OTHER such temporary folders that you know of that can also be moved, please include them as well.  My goal is to configure Windows XP and all my applications to use temporary space on a separate volume, reserved for just that purpose.

Why, some of you may ask? A few reasons:

1. System performance--my Temp volume is on a separate physical hard drive.   Since Temp is on a separate Physical drive, two drives are working in tandem, while I'm running some of my more temp file laden applications.  (I also use a separate swap partition on a different physical drive.)

2. Maintenance--Moving temporary files away from C: greatly reduces volume fragmentation and thus the frequency in which one needs to defragment the system volume. As well, de-frag now takes less time, because the system volume has less junk files that look like Swiss cheese when viewed on the drive fragmentation map.

3. Disaster Recovery--Norton Ghost images of my System volume are considerably smaller without a bunch of temporary files on them that have absolutely nothing to do with recovering my system (since they get recreated when needed or used.)

I'm quite comfortable editing the Windows Registry, I know all the rules and disclaimers, take backups, etc. and I can also interpret .reg files. So don't be afraid to get medieval on this one and paste some entries in your reply.

Things I've tried/Trying so far:

In trying to move MSDOWNLD.TMP:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Active Setup Temp Folders]

I'm not sure if this setting is working or will work, or what the text “|?:\msdownld.tmp” is for.  (I’m guessing it’s in case Windows can’t find the first path, that it will pick another volume and try to create the folder there.)

As to the other folders, I have no idea how to move them, and I've found nothing in the registry that seems to STICK OUT as a possible suspect setting.  I’ve already scoured the Internet, and the M$ Knowledge Base articles for months.  So this could be a stumper.
Thanks in advance for your time and efforts.

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