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Windows 7: Moving installed software

07 Jul 2012   #1

windows 7 x64
Moving installed software

I just got a new hdd and my system C disk is now getting in the "red zone" i have software like eclipse and visual studio and a couple of more "big programs" i was wondering is there any software or utility or maybe a way of moving those files from my C disk to any other partition. I know the best way is just to reinstall them to a another partition but it will take me a couple of days to reinstall them since eclipse and visual studio have like tons of plugins and updates that will need redownloading and reinstalling.

Thank you for your help in advance

P.S. Im using windows 7 pro x64

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 7 x64 Professional SP1

There is a rather roundabout way of moving those programs to another directory in a separate drive without reinstalling them.. but it'll require some commandline usage with the command mklink which involves junctioning.

I often do this myself with certain space consuming folders in the C drive that have been unceremoniously dumped there by a program often designed to save settings and files in the hidden ProgramData folder.

The procedure is as follows.

For this example, we will consider a hypothetical program called Microsoft Bob which is installed in a folder called C:\Programs\BOB.

1. Copy the folder and all it's contents into your destination drive and directory (say D:\Programs\BOB). It has to be a 1:1 copy, all hidden files included.

2. Next open an elevated command prompt (Start|cmd|right click on cmd.exe|run as administrator|)

Moving installed software-capture1.png

3. With the command prompt open, you need to DELETE (yes delete) the folder called BOB in the original location you installed it from (just BOB). (Don't worry I'll explain why later, you have that backup in D:\ remember?)

4. Go back to the command prompt and type in mklink /j "C:\Programs\BOB" "D:\Programs\BOB" and press enter.

(the first folder the one you want to create the virtual folder to fool windows at, the the second one is where you want the virtual folder to point to, i.e. the real location of the files in the folder)

Moving installed software-capture3.png

6. If all goes well, in the folder Programs on your C drive you would actually see the folder BOB appear magically now with a shortcut on it, try clicking on it and you'll find all the contents you copied to the D:\Programs\BOB.

This "folder" is now a junction of the contents you copied to D:\Programs\BOB and consumes no space whatsoever !

Moving installed software-capture2.png

7. Try running the program like usual, you'll find that everything should work, the system thinks that the program Microsoft BOB is still in the C: drive!

Hope that helps you out!

EDIT:- If you're worried about anything breaking, please try what i've written above using a dummy folder and files 1st

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #3
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1

Very detailed solarmystic DarkFilip may also want to look at the two programs mentioned in this thread:

Moving game files?

A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 7 x64 Professional SP1

As an addendum to my post above (which admittedly has to be repeated as many times as the number of applications you have), there is an alteration to the procedure you can perform for multiple programs.

At step one, instead of just copying one program installed in the subfolder of the main folder 'Programs', if your 'Programs' folder theoretically contained every single Program you've got installed on C drive, you could just make a 1:1 copy of the entire folder (which would of course include all your subfolders containing all the programs), making sure that none of the applications are in use or in the background tasks of course.

Following that you'd just have to delete the entire 'Programs' folder from C Drive, and then at the admin command prompt you opened earlier you'd just type in:-

mklink /j "C:\Programs" "D:\Programs"

and hit enter...

The virtual folder/junction 'Programs' will now appear on the root of C:, and every single application that was installed in subfolders in the main folder called 'Programs' would be considered by system to still reside in C: , but is now actually in 'D:\Programs'

Just wanted to add on that little bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #5

windows 7 x64

Thank you all for the great responses
I love the way to make a junction but the only problem is that some programs like visual studio and eclipse have like a couple of folders in the program files folder and I'm scared to move them because I don't know if thats all of them because they tend to create a couple so I looked in the other post and the aplication symMover looks great it shows your aplications right away I'm doing it right now so thank you for your help I'll post back the results
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 x64 Professional SP1

Whatever method you picked, make sure it works best for the relevant application that you're using it for.

Juctioning works best if the program has no file dependencies present in any preset system made folder like Program Files <x86>.

Although I will say for the record, I've moved applications successfully using the juctioning method for Programs installed in the native Program Files folder in Windows...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #7
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1

Let us know how it works out

A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Moving installed software

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