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Windows 7: Can I move applications from C: to D: & change default install to D:?

14 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Can I move applications from C: to D: & change default install to D:?

Hi there

New member here and sadly not as 'tech savvy' as I'd like to be, so this may be a dumb question or one that's been asked before - apologies if either is the case and more than happy to be directed elsewhere if appropriate.

My PC runing Win 7 has two physical hard drives - C: and D:. For some reason the manufacturers decided that 55GB was sufficient for the default drive and as a result it keeps filling up, despite me trying my hardest to keep stuff from downloading / installing on C: whenever possible. Meanwhile my D: is a 1.36TB drive that's largely untroubled by anything other than what I've been able to re-direct there. From a little online detective work, I worked out how to point certain files and folders away from C: to another drive but I still keep getting warning messages that my C: drive is completely full.

So I have three questions:

1. Is it possible to move anything installed on C: across to D: without uninstalling and reinstalling and all the hassle that would entail? I'm guessing not, but don't really have a clue so decided to ask.

2. Is it possible to actually change the default download / install location, particularly to stop those programs that don't give me the option of choosing the destination folder from automatically installing to my always nearly full C: drive?

3. Is there anything in particular I should look for in terms of files that might be taking up space on my C: drive that I don't actually need (other than the obvious 'Add/Remove Programs' option, which I've done so many times that I don't actually have anything left that I could remove!).

Hoping these questions aren't too daft and that someone can help me. Every time I start trying to think about it, my head hurts and I give up!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate Retail Box (64-bit installed) + Service Pack 1


First of all, sounds like you have only 1 actual hard drive split into 2 partitions.

Do this for me, Start button then in the run box type (at least part of) Computer Management then select it from the search results, once it appears under the Storage subheading on the left column, select Disk Management, there it will show you how many hard drives you have and how they are divided + any other storage drives.

Question #1 YES! You can point Windows to D: for temp files and browser cache also, I would make a D:\TEMP for this purpose.
Plus lots of games and applications can be copied over to say D:\Games and D:\Apps directories and tried, for the ones that work make new icons and delete the old ones on C:
*Note, before testing on D: move the original ones to another directory also (on C:), to avoid having false positives of it working on D: [Registry related...]

Question #2. Yes

Question #3. Yes, besides temp files and browser cache, Virtual Memory (pagefile.sys) and a Hibernation mode file can eat a lot of space.

More details will be forthcoming, wanted to get your quick answer out first. 8)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate Retail Box (64-bit installed) + Service Pack 1

For temporary Windows Files:
In that Search box off START, put in Environment Variables and select it... System Properties will pop up select the last box for E.V.

In the top and bottom change TEMP and TMP to D:\TEMP (assuming you made that folder already) and that's it for there, OK out.

Here's an article on system temps and browser cache.

How to change the install location default in 7 and Vista:

Download location change info:

Hibernation info: Including disabling (recommended)

Adjusting Virtual Memory in 7 & 8 (remove it from C: & put it on D: I suggest 2048 min 2048 max, but I'd completely remove it first and defrag your D:, then add it back on D: drive, reboot after disabling or enabling virtual memory, also.)

I think that covered what you asked about, if not ask.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Apr 2013   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Post the shot of disk management for us.

Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums

If you do indeed only have 1 hard drive you can easily take space from D and add it to C. The easiest way for you, would be to install partition wizard.

Best Free Partition Manager Freeware and free partition magic for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista and Windows XP 32 bit & 64 bit. MiniTool Free Partition Manager Software Home Edition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate Retail Box (64-bit installed) + Service Pack 1

Well, a 55GIG C: should be plenty, I am using less than half that for my OS on my 128GIG SSD.

I'm for cleaning house on C: so it doesn't bother them again, vs. partition size switching game, that could have something go wrong and be a disaster.

If OP had said 20GIG C: I'd feel totally different, I was using 40-50gig for C: for a long long time, I have a Y: drive on a different HD now set up to eat all the cache/temp business, and yet another for virtual memory.

Plus different partition for games, different partition for apps; makes wiping C: less painful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Your opinion is noted, but a 55 GB partition for windows is insanely small if you have a 1.5 TB harddrive. Let`s help the OP get what he/she wants done, the easiest way possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP


Post the Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image - Windows 7 Help Forums

While you wait take a look at this video for how the coolest tool we use here can resize C into any available space even if it's not adjacent: How to extend partition easily with Partition Wizard - video help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #8

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Thank You, Greg :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

You may also use CCleaner to clean up junk on your C: CCleaner - CNET

Also, press Win+R and type "temp", hit Enter, delete everything and then again launch run box, this time type "%temp%" and delete everything. This is just to make sure all junk is gone, ccleaner already does this job.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Guys thank you so much for all the info this far - I'm so appreciative, if a little overwhelmed by it all.

Just heading off to work now but I'll attend to this when I get home tonight and send through the Comp Mgmt screen shot and whatever else you guys have asked me for.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can I move applications from C: to D: & change default install to D:?

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