Still celebrating National IT Professionals Day with 3 months of free Premium Membership. Use Code ITDAY17

x
?
Solved

Windows 10 --Moving Program files to D drive instead of default C Drive

Posted on 2016-07-18
14
Medium Priority
?
314 Views
Last Modified: 2016-08-01
Hi

I would like to change my program files from my C: drive to my D: drive on my laptop.

Reason: I have a relatively small C: ssd drive and a big D: ssd.   (BTW the C: ssd can not be replaced, so that is not an option.)

I see several ways to do it on the net, but want the suggestions of the Experts here.

Thanks!

Rowby
0
Comment
Question by:Rowby Goren
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • +5
14 Comments
 
LVL 98

Accepted Solution

by:
John Hurst earned 1000 total points
ID: 41717995
The best way is to uninstall all the applications you wish to move, shut down, start up and the install the applications to the D: drive.

My experience is that this is a bad idea and people have had issues trying to force software to another drive. It can work, but I do not recommend it.

Since the best way is to reinstall software, you would be better off to get a bigger C: drive and use that for software.
1
 
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 41718014
I'll second John Hurst's comments.  Note, don't award any points to me, I'm just backing him up.
0
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:TS4B
ID: 41718048
I'll "Third" the comment. Reinstall as per Johns comments. All points to him.
0
Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:C. Blaise Mitsutama
ID: 41718053
Rowby,

I simply want to agree with John Hurst's recommendations, so he's earned all the points.

Based on personal experience, I've found that moving programs to a drive other than C: can create unexpected problems and administrative headaches.

For example, although it's poor programming practice, some applications have hardcoded the C: drive in areas of the code. In some cases, when an application allows you to specify installation to a different drive, only a portion of the application will be written to the specified drive, while key portions of the code must still be installed on C:

These, and similar, scenarios can create problems when you're backing up and restoring files, updating software, etc.

For that reason when I buy computers, I now only buy computers with a single C: drive. I no longer partition D: or higher drives because I never know how much software I'll install in the future or how large the file requirements will be.

I haven't personally needed to do this, but if I needed to partition a separate drive for "data" files, I would probably buy an external drive to manage that data.

I realize this answer isn't exactly what you asked for, but whichever partitioning method you use will have its own set of complications. I haven't found these trade-offs to be worth it.
0
 
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 500 total points
ID: 41718197
i would look first to other solutions :
move your data off the C: drive - much easier to do
start with pictures and video's and musicc files, they never change, so you can move them to other - even external devices to free up space
then move your documents folder

and delete all temp and tmp files and folders

btw - what size is your SSD ?
1
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 41718250
Agree with nobus's comment => it's very simple to move all of your documents, pictures, music, videos, etc. to another drive (i.e. the D: drive).     I suspect that would free up plenty of space on the C: drive [unless, of course, you've already done that and are still encountering issues => it's be a lot easier to evaluate if you provide the specific sizes of your two drives]
0
 
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:serialband
serialband earned 500 total points
ID: 41721746
Install a new, 2nd copy of Windows to D:\ and boot from that copy.Then reinstall all the programs into that copy.  Your programs will then always install onto D:\ in that installation.  This is probably the easiest and least troublesome for later installations of other software that you wish to install later.  Once done you can edit boot.ini to remove the boot into C:\ and only boot into D:\ and delete  C:\Windows and C:\Program Files.  Do not delete the boot files from C:\  They are still needed to boot from C:\ into D:\.

If you just keep Windows on C:\ and change the install points, a lot of stuff still gets installed on C:\



Here's some basic information on some other options, if you don't install Windows onto D:\ first.  Some programs won't let you install to D:\, but you can still move them.

I've done a move back in the days of XP by finding and replacing all occurrences of the the program reference to the C:\ with D:\ in the Windows Registry.  I would make a copy of the program onto D:\ and just rename the Program Files folder.  That way I could easily reverse any mistakes.  This is much more involved with some programs and can be prone to error.  Make sure you back up the registry before you make changes.  Make multiple backups so that you can Windiff.exe the text *.reg files.  Be aware, that this may also break the unistalller programs.  You'll have to find the Class code and edit the uninstaller registry keys to make them work too, otherwise you'll have to remember what the program placed and delete the corresponding registry keys along with the files and folders to fully clear the program.

You could also copy C:\ to D:\ load up the registry and blanket search and replace C:\ with D:\ in appropriate locations in the registry, except for a few system files, like the kernel and boot.ini, etc...  New installs would still end up on C:\ unless you made the correct changes.

Again, the manual registry edit is much more involved, but can be done if you're only planning on a few moves.  I would sometimes keep most of the program files on C:\ and just move the one big application to D:\.  It really depends on what you need and how much expertise you have with the registry and how much effort you wish to put into it.
0
 
LVL 9

Author Comment

by:Rowby Goren
ID: 41721753
Hi everyone I appreciate all of your feedback.

And serialband your suggestion sounds good.  At the moment I have set it so my programs all install on D instead of C and that is helping.

But let's keep this conversation open to help others (and me) see the issues and options.

I'll finally award points next week.

Rowby
0
 
LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41722207
Rowby, what about my post?  if you don't use that, tell us why plse
0
 
LVL 9

Author Closing Comment

by:Rowby Goren
ID: 41736822
Hi all,

So this is what I did.  

I uninstalled all of my programs and reinstalled them.  When possible I did a custom install, switching drive "C:" to drive "D".  Most of my programs, even Creative Cloud would do that.   Only the latest version of Microsoft office would not do that.  I did copy over as many other folders, such as Images etc to my d: drive.

My SSD "C" drive is not removable and could not be replaced. For whatever reason Gigabye simply has the C: "drive" somewhere embedded in the motherboard.  And its capacity was a little over 100 gb.  I know it was small but I assumed I could just "swap" it out for a bigger SSD -- which turned out to be a bit of a surprise when I unscrewed the bottom plate of my laptop and only found the "D" hard drive was replaceable.

The good news is  by reinstalling most of my programs on my "D" drive I have plenty of breathing room on my "C" drive.  

So now all seems fine. However, in case I do end up filling up my "D" drive I will keep  serialband's comment in my notes that Windows can be installed on the "D" drive.  I didn't know it was possible.  So we'll see down the road.

Thanks all!  (I didn't award points to those who implied that they didn't want points and in general supported John's suggestion.  Thanks to you too!

Rowby

Rowby
0
 
LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41736824
Thank you for the update and I was happy to assist.
0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 41736854
"... My SSD "C" drive is not removable and could not be replaced. For whatever reason Gigabye simply has the C: "drive" somewhere embedded in the motherboard. " ==>  You indicated that both C: and D: are SSDs.

Are you CERTAIN they are 2 physically separate drives?

Right-click on the Windows key (bottom left) and select Run.   Then type "diskmgmt.msc" and click OK.   This will show you whether there are 2 physically distinct drives or if you simply have an SSD that's been divided into 2 "drives"  [It will have other partitions as well, but they won't be assigned drive letters].

I suspect that's the case -- in which case you could have simply made C: larger without doing anything else ... but that's no longer necessary, since you've used a different approach.

If Disk Management shows that they are actually 2 physically distinct units, then the 2nd one is more likely an M.2 drive on the motherboard, which could have easily been replaced with a larger unit.    It's also possible that there's a unit soldered to the board, which would indeed not be replaceable; but I suspect that's the least likely of the alternatives.
1
 
LVL 9

Author Comment

by:Rowby Goren
ID: 41737545
Hi

I checked just now Disk Management and they are two different drives.  And when I opened up the computer a few weeks ago I was able to swap out the D: Hard drive and replace it with a SSD drive.  But I could not see a replaceable "C:" drive.

Looking at the Specs on Amazon this is how they refer to the "C" drive  128GB M2

There is a question answered on Amazon -- so maybe the "C" drive is upgradeable after all:

"You can upgrade the m.2 SSD and HDD to different drives as well, but there is only one slot of each and not any additional ones."

I have asked, on the Amazon product page if indeed the " m.2 SSD " is upgradeable.  

Rowby
0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 41737753
I'm not surprised => I noted above it was almost certainly an M.2 unit.

You can easily replace it ... the only thing you need to determine is whether the unit on the board is a 42mm M.2 or an 80mm M.2.   The board MAY support both, but you shoud have a look -- and the safest thing would be to buy the same size as you already have.
[There are a few other lengths available, but these are by far the most common sizes]

Here's a 240GB  80mm (2280 = 80mm) unit:  https://www.amazon.com/Kingston-HyperX-Predator-SHPM2280P2-240G/dp/B00V01C376/ref=sr_1_7?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1470071450&sr=1-7&keywords=M.2+ssd

... and here's a 256GB 42mm unit:  https://www.amazon.com/Transcend-256GB-MTS400-Solid-TS256GMTS400/dp/B00KLTPUG4/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1470071640&sr=1-4&keywords=M.2+ssd+42mm
0

Featured Post

Free Tool: SSL Checker

Scans your site and returns information about your SSL implementation and certificate. Helpful for debugging and validating your SSL configuration.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

In this post we will be converting StringData saved within a text file into a hash table. This can be further used in a PowerShell script for replacing settings that are dynamic in nature from environment to environment.
In this modest contribution, I want to share with the IT community (especially system administrators, IT Support Engineers and IT Help Desks) about Windows crashes/hangs and how to deal with these particular problems.
This Micro Tutorial will give you a basic overview of Windows DVD Burner through its features and interface. This will be demonstrated using Windows 7 operating system.
Finding and deleting duplicate (picture) files can be a time consuming task. My wife and I, our three kids and their families all share one dilemma: Managing our pictures. Between desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and cameras; over the last decadeā€¦

705 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question