Windows 10: Windows 10 Apps not starting anymore after moving Programs folders

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  1.    28 May 2018 #1

    Windows 10 Apps not starting anymore after moving Programs folders


    Hello,

    to free up space on my 128GB SSD C: drive I moved the "Program Files", "Program Files (x86)" and "ProgramsData" folders to another disk. Mainly using a Registry Search & Replace tool in Safe Mode (seach for "C:\Program" -> replace by "D:\Program") and then the Advanced Startup Troubleshooting Command Prompt and RoboCopy. After copy was finished, I created symbolic links with "MkLink" of the old folders to point to the folders on the new drive.

    After restarting, everthing seemed to work fine at first. No problems with any programs installed, no error messages, etc. However, no Windows App is running anymore, like Calculator, Skype Desktop App, etc. Also left clicking on the date / time in the Taskbar to show the calendar is doing nothing. And right click on any icons of the Taskbar is not working anymore either. It just happens nothing.

    I already reverted all the file and registry changes I made, but the problem still exists.

    Going to "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsCalculator_10.1804.911.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe" and starting the "Calculator.exe", it throws error messages about missing DLL files like "vccorlib140_app.DLL", "VCRUNTIME140_APP.dll", "MSVCP140_APP.dll", etc.

    Same if I got to "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.SkypeApp_12.1815.209.0_x64__kzf8qxf38zg5c" and starting "SkypeApp.exe". Missing "mrt100_app.dll", "SharedLibrary.dll", etc.

    However, if I do a file search for these missing DLLs, they are all being found in several folders like "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.VCLibs.140.00_14.0.25426.0_x86__8wekyb3d8bbwe", "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.NET.Native.Framework.1.7_1.7.25531.0_x86__8wekyb3d8bbwe", etc.

    I'm trying to fix the problem since two days already and tried several troubleshooting tools like "wsreset", "sfc / scannow", "DSIM", the Windows Store Apps troubleshooter, etc. Nothing helped. It seems like Windows somehow lost the component registration information for those DLLs. I already tried to re-register some of the DLLs using RegSvr32, but with no success either. It is only throwing more error messages about other DLLs missing.

    Do you have any ideas what I can do else? My last option is to reinstall Windows 10, but I'd like to avoid that if possible.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    28 May 2018 #2

    All the DLL may need to be reregisted as it may have lost there location. Did you make any changes to the path as that would also do it
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    28 May 2018 #3

    Yes, thats what I also thought. But how? Using RegSvr32 was no success.

    I didn't make any changes to any subfolders. I only copied the folders as a whole. And I reverted all the changes already again and everything is back at its original place. Thats why I'm wondering it still isn't working.

    What owner does your "C:\Program Files\WindowsApp" folder have? For me it is "SYSTEM."
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,275
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       28 May 2018 #4

    And I reverted all the changes already again and everything is back at its original place. Thats why I'm wondering it still isn't working.
    Once the 'path' is broken it is hard to restore it automatically, probably easiest and maybe quickest to reinstall programs that were in C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86). Something found by Search should speak to the issue/s.
    Windows 10 Help Forums - Search Results
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    28 May 2018 #5

    Programs work fine. Only problem are Windows Apps. Already tried to use the troubleshooting tools in Settings -> Apps & Features. For instance tried to reset Skype, but didn't work. And without being able to open the Windows Store, I can't reinstall anything.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    29 May 2018 #6

    Well, after some more attempts to fix it, I finally ended up buying a bigger system SSD and reinstalling Windows 10. Lesson learned: Don't fiddle around with the Programs folders in Windows 10.

    Too bad that in 2018 Microsoft still puts so much bricks in the user's ways. I remember in Windows 7 and below, tweaks like this worked without any problems.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    29 May 2018 #7

    Always maintain a current set of disk images. Had you done so, you could have restored one created before you started down that route, then transferred everything to your new SSD without reinstalling.

    To save space on your SSD, you could choose to install non-critical large programs on your HDD (e.g. games). Not ideal, as of course files and registry entries will exist for that on C: too. But that only helps if the majority of that program and data is then not on C: of course.

    Keep all personal data off C: as a matter of course.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    29 May 2018 #8

    dalchina said: View Post
    Always maintain a current set of disk images. Had you done so, you could have restored one created before you started down that route, then transferred everything to your new SSD without reinstalling.
    Yes, you are right. I will do that now.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    29 May 2018 #9

    - we recommend Macrium Reflect (free) .. there are others of course, including AOMEI Backupper with a simpler GUI. MR is the best supported and most generally reliable.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    29 May 2018 #10

    I have a 128GB SSD. The actual space available for files seems to be about 105GB.

    The hard disk originally had about 900GB of actual file space. This drive was E: (I didn't choose that letter)

    Here's what I did:

    - Using standard windows tools, move the "Data" folder to the E drive.
    - Using the free Macrium, shrink E by 100GB
    - Then create a new partition called "D" (I didn't choose that letter) in the free space to the right.
    - The D partition was 100GB, and named "ProgramsOverflow"
    - Uninstall progs on C that were the least used. Reinstall those programs on D. (AFAIK, you can install progs on any drive you want as an install option.)

    Any future progs will be installed on D.

    If I need to install a new useful prog, I'll install that on C. But first I might need to move some progs to D, as above.

    The total time for all the above was mainly the uninstall/reinstall time. The actual moving of the Data folder, and repartitioning was less than 15 minutes.

    And after all that, I used Macrium again to image the non-data drives. (I use simple copy for the Data drive")

    BTW: If you think I've given incorrect drive letters, let me know. It's confusing that the drives were C and E at the start, so a new drive became D. If I ever do all this again, I'll try to name the Data drive as D.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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