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Thread: Change Default Installation Directory in Windows

  1. #1
    tweakwindows's Avatar
    tweakwindows is offline Microsoft MVP
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    Default Change Default Installation Directory in Windows

    Default Windows installs all the programs in C:\Program Files directory, you might want to change it if your C drive is running out of free space. Moreover, if you like to install any antivirus program like Kaspersky or Norton you need to use this tweak as they won’t give an option to change the default installation directory during product installation.

    To start with this guide, make sure you have enough free space in your new directory which you are going to make as default one.You need to do a small registry change in order to change your default installation directory as follows:

    1. Type “regedit” in Vista start menu search box or in Run dialog box (for XP) and hit enter to continue.

    2. Navigate to the following registry key in the Registry Editor:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion

    3. Locate the value named “ProgramFilesDir” and change the default value “C:\Program Files” to your new directory path(address).



    4. Close the registry editor and reboot your system to apply the change.

    5. Good luck!

    PS: This tweak should work fine with Windows XP, 2000 and upcoming Windows 7 too .

    Source:intowindows


  2. #2
    iMav's Avatar
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    Default

    This is a handy trick saves a few clicks and some time. I used it on my previous XP installation.

  3. #3
    Bryan G's Avatar
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    Default This didn't work on Vista

    On Windows XP I used a little VB script someone wrote to change the default install dir. It would only change where apps were to be installed but didn't effect installed apps.

    In Vista, I tried the above fix and it stopped some installed apps from working, mainly the Vista's default picture viewer. I first noticed when my screen saver "Photos" would crash when it tried to run. When I would try to click on the settings button it would also crash. Then I tried to double click on a .jpg and got a pop up telling me the picture prog couldn't be found and it gave the path, D:. The only thing I had installed on D: at this time was MS Street & Trips.

    I uninstalled street & trips then changed the registry setting back to C: and everything worked right again.

    I'm guessing that vista uses that setting to see where apps are (to run them) as well as where to install them and XP only uses it to suggest where to install but remembers where you installed an app to run it instead of referring to this setting as to where to run it.
    Last edited by Bryan G; 3rd December 2008 at 14:16.

  4. #4
    tweakwindows's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up Bryan G. I didn't notice such things in my Vista Ultimate.Will try it out on another Vista comp shortly.

  5. #5
    alex is offline New Member
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    Bryan is right. Most Vista applications have stupid asumptions about the location of program folder. I think the followings will get into trouble after the change: Windows Defender, Media Player, Meeting Place. I don't remember which else. One problem is that the shortcuts in the startup menu used %programfiles%, pointing to the new folder (while the files were installed in the original folder). Even if you fix this, it is not sufficient. I don't know what else need to fixed. Perhaps registry settings for each applications, or worse.

    In contrast, it is safe to do in XP.

    Vista is so stupid. Dumping everything into the system disk, making it grow like crazy. And it is one the few drives that cannot be expanded (other dynamic disks can). And many partition managers do not work on Vista. I am always less then 200MB on the system disk and it has become a weekly routine and figure out how to delete more things to survive another week.

  6. #6
    Bryan G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex View Post
    Bryan is right. Most Vista applications have stupid asumptions about the location of program folder. I think the followings will get into trouble after the change: Windows Defender, Media Player, Meeting Place. I don't remember which else. One problem is that the shortcuts in the startup menu used %programfiles%, pointing to the new folder (while the files were installed in the original folder). Even if you fix this, it is not sufficient. I don't know what else need to fixed. Perhaps registry settings for each applications, or worse.

    In contrast, it is safe to do in XP.

    Vista is so stupid. Dumping everything into the system disk, making it grow like crazy. And it is one the few drives that cannot be expanded (other dynamic disks can). And many partition managers do not work on Vista. I am always less then 200MB on the system disk and it has become a weekly routine and figure out how to delete more things to survive another week.
    I have to agree, Vista is SO STUPID!
    Last year a friend of mine bought a Toshiba Satelite with Vista and wanted me to put XP on it. So I partitioned it and installed XP then went through hell finding the drivers but in the end he had what he wanted, a laptop that was fast and familiar.
    This year, he bought me a new Toshiba Satelite (what a friend) and I could only partition it with Vista's built in partition thing. After installing XP I went through hell finding drivers and in the end it blue screens within 5 minutes of booting. Some or all of the drivers are not working. The drivers I used are the only ones I could find so I'm stuck using Vista.

    I'm learning some things about Vista I can't understand. They made what looks like a folder call "Documents and Settings" but you can't access it because it's not really a folder, it's a shortcut to a folder called "users" (I think, can't remember and my laptops no in front of me). I read they did this so it would be more familiar to XP users, but if you can't access it, then how does it help people familiar with XP?? STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!!

    The friend mentioned above was the first in line on black Friday at the Best Buy in Grand Rapids just to get me this laptop. The news was there making a story about people waiting in line for black Friday deals, the Grand Rapids Press even put him on the front page and interviewed him. He called me from the line a to ask me about the laptop, he wanted my opinion on it but never told me it was for me. Later that day I ran into him at Walmart and we were talking in the parking lot when he gave me a box and said here. I was shocked, a brand new Toshiba Satellite L305D-S5892. He said he did it for all the times I worked on his and his families computers and wouldn't take any money. I tried to give it back over and over but he wouldn't let me

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