Windows 10: Running programs from separate hard drive

  1.    08 Mar 2016 #1

    Running programs from separate hard drive


    I have recently installed Windows 10 on a new SSD drive (C) I have two other drives which are not SSD one of which just contains saved data, photos, documents, downloads etc. (E) The other is blank which did contain Windows 7 (D) What I want to know is it possible to download programs in Windows 10 but instal and run them from that separate drive (D)?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    08 Mar 2016 #2

    When you install a program, look for custom install options. Usually one of the custom install options will be the path where you want the program to install to. Change the drive letter there.

    You can also read this entire thread:
    How To Change Program Files Location In Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    08 Mar 2016 #3

    colinwebb said: View Post
    I have recently installed Windows 10 on a new SSD drive (C) I have two other drives which are not SSD one of which just contains saved data, photos, documents, downloads etc. (E) The other is blank which did contain Windows 7 (D) What I want to know is it possible to download programs in Windows 10 but instal and run them from that separate drive (D)?
    Yes you can but rather defeats the point of having an SSD unless capacity is very limited. The point of an SSD is to speed up program loading etc. making pc more responsive.

    In addition, it makes backups and reinstalls more complicated.

    Best setup really is

    SSD - Windows+Programs (then this disk is easily imaged using Macrium Reflect Free or similar. Image size remains relatively static (only growing as you add new [programs).

    HDD(s).- use these for data only, then easy to backup using file history backup, or even just file explorer to copy files.

    I keep the user directories on my ssd as well, but only use it for temporary storage, copying data to hdd as required.

    The advantage of doing this is if the C drive gets corrupted (or even fails), you can reinstall OS+programs from backup without affecting the other disks.

    Summary: OS+programs on SSD, (long term) stored data on other drives is (imo) best plan.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    08 Mar 2016 #4

    cereberus is spot on! Due to the nature of backups and restores, I have an OS partition and a data partition on my three computers' hard-drives. I've had to restore OS a few times! I second the motion about not having OS and programs on separate drives - because of the complexity that would exist in backup and restore operations.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    08 Mar 2016 #5

    If, for example, you want to install some huge programs you only occasionally launch but don't want to occupy SSD space (we don't know how big your SSD is) then it could make sense to install the program on an HDD. But just because you choose to install it on D:, that doesn't mean it's all on D:. Why?

    Typically parts of programs and/or their default data or working space are on C, e.g. in C:\Users<username>\AppData and of course the registry keys, and often use folders in Documents etc. Thus you then cannot reliably deal with issues of disk replacement or failure, and would need carefully coordinated disciplined disk imaging. It therefore is a risk as explained above.

    Some programs don't offer the option to change the installation path. With others you have to look very carefully for the option.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    09 Mar 2016 #6

    My SSD is 1tb (Windows 10) and is incredibly fast compared to my previous Windows 7 installation on a 500gb HDD. My fear is that installing large programs such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop will slow the drive. Windows 7 was about 75% full and had slowed almost to a standstill even though I constantly kept the drive healthy by removing junk files, unwanted programs etc. and keeping data on another drive.
    Thanks to all for the very helpful info, I see I may have to use trial and error.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    09 Mar 2016 #7

    Hi, thanks, then you should be fine installing things on the drive.

    My new laptop with SSD and hybrid HDD is virtually a copy in terms of the 300 programs installed on my 6 year-old laptop. But that wasn't terribly slow; it's not the number of programs installed but what they are and what overheads they add a. to startup (much less of an issue with an SSD and fast RAM) and b. to the idle state and c. to shell extensions- provided you've plenty of RAM.

    Shell extensions can slow explorer down greatly, but again with an SSD and fast RAM, explorer runs much better than I've ever seen it.

    Startup time is obviously much less of an issue with this hardware- 12-15s to the lock screen, compared to 90-100s on my old laptop (migrated from Vista to Win 7 to Win 8 and finally Win 10 x64), but startup time after login is still noticeable as it loads some programs I've used for years, mostly small, very useful.

    I've moved my desktop to E: along with data (not that I keep much on it), and ignore the library folders Documents, Pictures etc on C: completely - they're full of folders created by installed programs.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    10 Mar 2016 #8

    colinwebb said: View Post
    My SSD is 1tb (Windows 10) and is incredibly fast compared to my previous Windows 7 installation on a 500gb HDD. My fear is that installing large programs such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop will slow the drive. Windows 7 was about 75% full and had slowed almost to a standstill even though I constantly kept the drive healthy by removing junk files, unwanted programs etc. and keeping data on another drive.
    Thanks to all for the very helpful info, I see I may have to use trial and error.
    SSDs do not get fragmented like HDDs. Any slowdown would be for other reasons.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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