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Windows 7: Program Files directory renamed itself, among other related issues

27 Feb 2013   #1
icefall5

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, SP1
 
 
Program Files directory renamed itself, among other related issues

I'm having several issues; I've thoroughly messed up my computer in the span of the past hour. I'll try to explain as quickly as possible. I'm on Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, and I have an SSD boot device with all of my files on a HDD. I edited the registry keys forever ago to move my program files directory to the HDD (both 64-bit and 32-bit to the same directory, and yes, I edited both the 64-bit and 32-bit registries), and it's worked just fine.
  • Installed final version of IE 10, had the same issue I had with the release preview (doesn't run--crashes a few seconds after the window opens)
  • Some programs run from the SSD even though I changed the Program Files directory to the HDD, so I copied the new Internet Explorer files from the HDD to the appropriate locations on the SSD, including overwriting ieproxy.dll (lots of fun to do, believe me). Didn't work, so I uninstalled IE 10 (which causes it to revert to IE 9), and rebooted as part of that process.
  • After rebooting, IE did absolutely nothing, but now all folders in Windows Explorer open in a new window when double-clicked. I have done everything I could find to fix this (including checking the registry entries at HKCR\Folder\shell and others). Nothing has worked.
  • Ran sfc /scannow, and it found and fixed errors. Rebooted but the problem persists and my program files directory (previously H:\Program Files) has renamed itself to H:\Program Files (x86), but the old directory can still be navigated to directly, and the old directory is still given in both versions of the registry.
I'm sorry, I know this is a TON to read, but I don't know how badly I've messed up my computer, and I don't know specifically what could have contributed to my problems. (I wasn't sure what category to post in either, sorry!) System Restore is disabled because of my SSD, so that's not an option.

Thank you in advance!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Feb 2013   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Having the 2 folders is totally normal. So what other problems are you having ?

Why are you changing the program files to the hdd, it defeats the purpose of using a ssd for it`s speed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2013   #3
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

On a 64 bit Windows 7 install "Program Files" is where 64 bit programs get installed and "Program Files (x86)" is where 32 bit programs reside. Putting everything into one folder was probably not a good move. On my system there is an Internet Explorer subfolder in each of those folders. Also Windows 7 originally came with a 32 bit and 64 bit version of Internet explorer. So I'll say it again, putting everything into one Program Files folder was probably not a good move. My recommendation is to reinstall and leave the Program Files folders alone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Feb 2013   #4
VistaKing

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
 
 

I'd leave the Program Files and Program Files(x86) folders inside C:\ which is your SSD drive where Windows is. Move the DATA ( ie Music,Documents, Video , Photos ...etc ) to the HDD .

BUT if you want to add Program Files and Program (x86) folders to your HDD. Just create the folders yourself . When you want to install software instead of choosing typical choose custom and make sure you change the Directory where the software will install to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #5
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
The trouble is ...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by VistaKing View Post
BUT if you want to add Program Files and Program (x86) folders to your HDD. Just create the folders yourself . When you want to install software instead of choosing typical choose custom and make sure you change the Directory where the software will install to.
I used to do that myself (I now regret not doing it, when I reinstalled my operating systems last September).

The trouble is that some software companies (e.g. those "software savants" at Adobe ) automatically install stuff to the default MS location (e.g. Flash).

It's also Microsoft's fault for not providing the choice to do it, when you are installing the OS in the first place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #6
VistaKing

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
 
 

Most software do like Office . I have office installed on my 2nd partition ( D:\ )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #7
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by VistaKing View Post
Most software do like Office . I have office installed on my 2nd partition ( D:\ )
Sure.
I used to have 90%+ of my programs installed on a separate partition (Office 2007 was one of them).
There were a few (like Flash and AVG), which just automatically installed themselves to the operating system partition.

It would have been nicer if Windows automatically offered the "correct" location, instead of having to manually choose it every time you installed an update or new program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #8
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
It would have been nicer if Windows automatically offered the "correct" location, instead of having to manually choose it every time you installed an update or new program.
Future versions of Windows may have that option, if there is enough demand for it. SSD's are coming down in price so larger drives are becoming more affordable. That should reduce the need to move things to a secondary drive. Reliability has gone up too so SSD drives should last longer. Something else that I would think would negate the need to move things to a secondary drive. Moving your program files to a spinner is just going to negate the benefits of the faster SSD drive anyway. Just my 2 cents, I'm not meaning to spam the thread or insult anyone. What works for one person doesn't always work for someone else. If you need the space then move the folder(s). I'd keep the Programs Files separate from the Program Files (x86) though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #9
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

I found that my OS partition suffers more fragmentation, if the Program and User files are included on it.
Obviously that isn't supposed to be an issue with SSDs.

More puzzling is that data blocks seem to move around, even if I haven't used or updated the program associated with them.

An advantage (and potential disadvantage) of a separate programs partition is that old programs work "correctly", because Windows doesn't consider it a protected location (i.e. ini and dat files will update without being blocked).

Additional
Some programs remember the last folder used (or have a path set in their options).
When you start those programs, they will create the folder path if it is missing.

I have had folders appear in weird locations, when I have moved partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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