1.    19 Feb 2017 #1
    Join Date : Feb 2017
    Posts : 2
    Windows 10

    Changed locations of my Program Files folders. Can't undo it.


    I recently got my computer, a gaming desktop, but I didn't quite understand how the drives work. So, unknowingly, I installed games and such to my C: Drive. I didn't realize it didn't have as much space as my last computer, only 111 GB, and I didn't realize I had a D: Drive, 2TB. So, trying to get some space on my C: Drive for things that need to be there, I looked up ways to do it. I found something that says if you go into regedit.exe and change C: to D: on Program Files, the files would go to there. So I tried it, I thought it worked, I restarted my computer, and basically everything was broken. I could open some stuff, some I couldn't. Some things like Settings and Windows made stuff, and not things I've downloaded, opened but didn't work. I even tried reversing it, going to regedit.exe, changing D: to C: again, but regedit.exe wouldn't open too. I even tried doing a clean install of Windows 10 again, and once I click the button, nothing happens. I can't open cmd.exe as an administrator, as I found you need to do to fix it. I don't know what to do. Someone please help me. This is making me extremely upset.

    thanks in advance,
    corben
    Last edited by corben; 19 Feb 2017 at 15:34. Reason: (Title wasn't true, sorry)
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    19 Feb 2017 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 10,959
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    Hi, a clean install would mean you would need to delete the partitions on C:/
    That it fails suggests you went about it the wrong way.

    I recommend given your symptoms you do a clean install.

    Here's a guide from the extensive Tutorial section here, which anyone is free to use and search:
    Windows 10 - Clean Install

    What you did moving the Program Files location wouldn't cause files to be copied and would create major inconsistencies, as you've discovered. However, I would have expected it to be possible to reverse that change. As you can't successfully and now can't open regedit, I suspect the simplest way forward is to clean install.

    I can't tell what your attempt to clean install before may have done, otherwise there may have been more (rather technically advanced) things you might have tried. I think it better not to attempt that.

    Now, this time, the first time you get your system running again after clean installing, the first program you should install is Macrium Reflect (free).

    This will let you create disk images (stored on a large external drive - which you will need). These images will let you recover your PC to a previous working state when things go badly wrong - even if your disk fails. You need to update your disk images periodically.

    There is a Tutorial and a video on using this program on this site.

    Here's why this is such a good idea:
    Creating disk images lets you restore Windows and all your disks and partitions to a previous working state, quickly and probably without technical help.

    You can recover from:
    - a failed disk drive (restore to a new one)
    - ransomware (which encrypts your disk)
    - user error
    - unrecoverable problems from failed updates to problem programs
    - unbootable PC (hardware faults aside)

    Images also act as a full backup- you can extract files too.

    You can even use images to help you move more easily and quickly to a new PC.
    Can be used with Laplink software to transfer your build automatically to another PC

    Imaging can even help you sleep at night knowing you have a second chance.

    Many here recommend Macrium Reflect (free) as a good robust solution and more reliable than some others. It’s
    - more feature rich
    - more flexible
    - more reliable
    than Windows Backup and Restore system images.

    It's well supported with videos, help and a responsive forum.

    There are other such programs, free/commercial, some with simpler interfaces, but Macrium R is one of the most robust and reliable.

    How long does it take?
    SSD+ USB3 - maybe 15 mins for the first system image, less thereafter
    HDD + USB2 - maybe 40-50 mins
    That’s with little personal data, few programs installed.
    - of course, depends how much you have on C:
    (You can and should image all your partitions and disks)

    Once you've created your first image, keep it updated with e.g. differential imaging- which images just changes from the first image, more quickly, and creates a smaller image file.

    You need a backup medium - say- twice as large as the total amount of data you are imaging to keep a reasonable number of differential images. This will vary dependent on the number of images you keep, so is only a rough practical guide.

    Some comment that system restore isn't always reliable; if it works and solves the problem, great. But sometimes restores won't work or fail. And of course a restore point only covers a limited number of aspects of the system. That’s where disk imaging comes in.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    19 Feb 2017 #3
    Join Date : Feb 2017
    Posts : 2
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by dalchina View Post
    Hi, a clean install would mean you would need to delete the partitions on C:/
    That it fails suggests you went about it the wrong way.

    I recommend given your symptoms you do a clean install.

    Here's a guide from the extensive Tutorial section here, which anyone is free to use and search:
    Windows 10 - Clean Install

    What you did moving the Program Files location wouldn't cause files to be copied and would create major inconsistencies, as you've discovered. However, I would have expected it to be possible to reverse that change. As you can't successfully and now can't open regedit, I suspect the simplest way forward is to clean install.

    I can't tell what your attempt to clean install before may have done, otherwise there may have been more (rather technically advanced) things you might have tried. I think it better not to attempt that.

    Now, this time, the first time you get your system running again after clean installing, the first program you should install is Macrium Reflect (free).

    This will let you create disk images (stored on a large external drive - which you will need). These images will let you recover your PC to a previous working state when things go badly wrong - even if your disk fails. You need to update your disk images periodically.

    There is a Tutorial and a video on using this program on this site.

    Here's why this is such a good idea:
    Creating disk images lets you restore Windows and all your disks and partitions to a previous working state, quickly and probably without technical help.

    You can recover from:
    - a failed disk drive (restore to a new one)
    - ransomware (which encrypts your disk)
    - user error
    - unrecoverable problems from failed updates to problem programs
    - unbootable PC (hardware faults aside)

    Images also act as a full backup- you can extract files too.

    You can even use images to help you move more easily and quickly to a new PC.
    Can be used with Laplink software to transfer your build automatically to another PC

    Imaging can even help you sleep at night knowing you have a second chance.

    Many here recommend Macrium Reflect (free) as a good robust solution and more reliable than some others. It’s
    - more feature rich
    - more flexible
    - more reliable
    than Windows Backup and Restore system images.

    It's well supported with videos, help and a responsive forum.

    There are other such programs, free/commercial, some with simpler interfaces, but Macrium R is one of the most robust and reliable.

    How long does it take?
    SSD+ USB3 - maybe 15 mins for the first system image, less thereafter
    HDD + USB2 - maybe 40-50 mins
    That’s with little personal data, few programs installed.
    - of course, depends how much you have on C:
    (You can and should image all your partitions and disks)

    Once you've created your first image, keep it updated with e.g. differential imaging- which images just changes from the first image, more quickly, and creates a smaller image file.

    You need a backup medium - say- twice as large as the total amount of data you are imaging to keep a reasonable number of differential images. This will vary dependent on the number of images you keep, so is only a rough practical guide.

    Some comment that system restore isn't always reliable; if it works and solves the problem, great. But sometimes restores won't work or fail. And of course a restore point only covers a limited number of aspects of the system. That’s where disk imaging comes in.
    Thank you for the quick response!! I will try to do what you said and I will look more into Macrium Reflect
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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