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Windows 7: Changing Default Installation Folder To Separate Drive


04 Sep 2011   #1

 
Changing Default Installation Folder To Separate Drive

Hey all. I spent some time looking for a tutorial that I found a while back but it has apparently vanished. Luckily I had doe it enough and actually remembered what needed to be done so I decided to share with you all.


Is this tutorial for you? Let's see if your scenario matches up....

If you have a small but fast (or maybe not so fast) drive that you would like to ONLY run Windows off of and a larger separate HDD that you want to use as the install drive for all programs.

In my case I have a 50GB SSD and a RAID0 array of 2TB. With space being limited on the SSD the best option for me is to install everything to the RAID array and leave the OS on the SSD. Mind you, you don't have to be running a RAID array to do this. That's just how my system is set up. You'll probably be better off just using a larger single HDD for stability reasons. But to each their own...


So the first big thing to note is that this is best done on a fresh installation. While it can be done on an already set up system you may run into some issues.

DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!

And if you are doing a fresh install you should give this tutorial a look:

User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation


So the first step is to open REGEDIT. Simply click the Start Menu, type REGEDIT in the search bar and hit ENTER.

Next look for the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE"




Once opened go to "SOFTWARE". There are two folder in this directory we will be editing. Note that the second folder "WOW64" is only for 64-bit users.



If you are running 32-bit then the "WINDOWS" folder is all you will need to make changes to.



Now from the "WINDOWS" folder you want to select "CURRENTVERSION". Simply click the folder itself not the arrow next to it. This is what you should see in the main window to the right of the directories. Now my registry settings have already been changed. Note that my secondary drive is "D:\". Originaly everything here was set to "C:\".




Once this is finished the 32-bit users are finished and can restart their systems. 64-bit users have one more step. Now you want to go to your "WOW64" folder. While I just realized I forgot to cut a snippet for this step it's fairly simple. Once in the "WOW64" folder you once again want to click the "CURRENTUSER" folder and observe the main window to the right.

Just like in the "WINDOWS" registry you will make the same changes. Once you have implemented your drive your registry should look like this.




Now restart your system. Though there is a chance you are completely finished I highly suggest running a command prompt session and typing "sfc /scannow". This will allow your system to scan for any conflicts in the internal settings and fix them.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

04 Sep 2011   #2

 

I apologize for the randomness of the tutorial. Just got back form a wedding and am extremely tired. Just wanted to get this up before I forgot. If you have any suggestions feel free to post. Good luck all!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2013   #3

7-64 bit
 
 
Please Help

I tried following your tutorial and now I can seem to access almost any program, including regedit and system recovery, which were my only idea's on how to fix this. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as my computer is almost useless at the moment and I'm not sure how to fix it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


26 Dec 2013   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

A much simpler way is to simply change the drive letter in the install path, after that windows will install to that drive/partition by default.

@Ineedhelpwith, If you have restore points saved, you can insert a windows 7 install dvd and use that to restore your pc to an earlier time, ( if you don`t have a dvd, you can download the iso and burn to dvd on a working pc with a dvd burner.

All the steps will be in Greg`s tutorial.

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

System Recovery Options
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2014   #5

Windows 8.1 64 bit
 
 
I fix that. Do what i did

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ineedhelpwith View Post
I tried following your tutorial and now I can seem to access almost any program, including regedit and system recovery, which were my only idea's on how to fix this. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as my computer is almost useless at the moment and I'm not sure how to fix it
Hey Ineedhelpwith,
I fixed this exact problem after a day of stress, you will not lose anything nor need to buy/download anything.
1. Go to settings in the bottom when you swipe up.
2. Go to change PC settings
3. Go to update and recovery, then go to the next recovery tab.(General tab at bottom for plain Win8)
4. Go to Advanced Start up and click restart.
5. Based on what i remember there should be a trouble shoot tab.
6. After clicking on the trouble shoot tab, click advanced options.
7. After that, click startup settings.(Change Windows startup behavior)
8. Then click Restart.
9. Then hit Number 4, Enable safe mode.
10. There you go, you now will be able to open Registry and all other programs.
Have fun!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2014   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

It defeats the purpose of having an SSD to not have Programs benefit by its speed too.

I would not move Programs off, or at least not the most used programs. I also would buy an SSD large enough to have the System-Managed page file and modern perfected Hibernation feature's Hiberfil onboard.

It's data which can afford to be on the HDD, with User folders copied there and then linked via Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums with each User folder from the HD then set as Library - Set Save Folder - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Changing Default Installation Folder To Separate Drive




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