Moving installed programs from a non-C drive to C drive


  1. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Moving installed programs from a non-C drive to C drive


    I recently invested in a 256GB SSD to replace my old mechanical 1TB HDD. The SSD is obviously much smaller than my old HDD, so a while ago (in anticipation of this upgrade) I split my C: drive in to two (a C:\ and an S:\ drive), and symlinked a load of programs/games/etc., off to the S:\ drive.

    Great! More space, and ready to upgrade to an SSD.

    As time rolled on, I started installing most programs directly to the S:\ partition via their .msi/.exe file... I now realise that that was a mistake for a lot of programs. I actually want them installed to my C: drive. The original applications that were installed to my C: drive, and I symlinked off, I can just delete the link, replace the program folder, and it'll work as expected. The programs I've actually installed to the S: drive though, I can't work out a way to easily move them to the C: drive.

    Does anyone have any idea? Is there some technique to move installed programs when symlinks aren't appropriate, without hacking the registry to shreds (which will only result in errors)?
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 56,119
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #2

    BillyNoMates said:
    I recently invested in a 256GB SSD to replace my old mechanical 1TB HDD. The SSD is obviously much smaller than my old HDD, so a while ago (in anticipation of this upgrade) I split my C: drive in to two (a C:\ and an S:\ drive), and symlinked a load of programs/games/etc., off to the S:\ drive.

    Great! More space, and ready to upgrade to an SSD.

    As time rolled on, I started installing most programs directly to the S:\ partition via their .msi/.exe file... I now realise that that was a mistake for a lot of programs. I actually want them installed to my C: drive. The original applications that were installed to my C: drive, and I symlinked off, I can just delete the link, replace the program folder, and it'll work as expected. The programs I've actually installed to the S: drive though, I can't work out a way to easily move them to the C: drive.

    Does anyone have any idea? Is there some technique to move installed programs when symlinks aren't appropriate, without hacking the registry to shreds (which will only result in errors)?
    If I understand correctly, the S drive physically contains the installed program objects (.exe, .cfg, .ini, .whatever). But, all the registry entries from running the MSIs( or EXE installers) would, of course, be on C:. Just the way it works. Registry is always on C:. Cleanest, safest way is to uninstall them and re-install defaulting to the C: drive's Program Files, Program Data, etc. Otherwise, as you state, you're going to hack the registry into scrambled eggs. Not worth the risk. It'll take some time, but it's the best way.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    f14tomcat said:
    If I understand correctly, the S drive physically contains the installed program objects (.exe, .cfg, .ini, .whatever). But, all the registry entries from running the MSIs( or EXE installers) would, of course, be on C:. Just the way it works. Registry is always on C:.
    It's not so much that the registry is on C:, but that the registry items for a given program points to the S: drive, as that's where the installers for the programs was told to put them.

    Now the S: drive is going to be an external drive, which I can't guarantee will always be available (as it's a laptop and I travel a lot). So I want to get some of the programs I stupidly installed to the S: partition to reside on the C:, so they're always available... Things like Vivaldi, CMDer, etc... All of which have tons of settings/options altered.

    This is going to be a bummer...
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 56,119
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #4

    BillyNoMates said:
    It's not so much that the registry is on C:, but that the registry items for a given program points to the S: drive, as that's where the installers for the programs was told to put them.

    Now the S: drive is going to be an external drive, which I can't guarantee will always be available (as it's a laptop and I travel a lot). So I want to get some of the programs I stupidly installed to the S: partition to reside on the C:, so they're always available... Things like Vivaldi, CMDer, etc... All of which have tons of settings/options altered.

    This is going to be a bummer...
    I understand. But it is the registry that's causing your current dilemma. It's not broken, it's doing exactly what it was instructed to do. If the S drive is external an removable, and not always available, your only choice is to install to the drive that will always be with the laptop, i.e. it's BOOT drive, C:. Bummer, yes, necessary for what you need to do, yes. Just bite the bullet and do it. I do not see any other choices.
      My Computers


 

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