Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Install in D:\ but it goes into C:\

Generally speaking, Windows home computing should be done from a single big fat volume 'C:\'.

For flawed reasons, I've decided to install all my applications and data on my D:\ drive. Just about every installer provides an option to change install locations from C:\. But sometimes it just doesn't work out that way.

Here is a list of applications that install files in C:\ like it or not:

Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Standard

Installed here: D:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0
Showed up here: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0 (Post install updater)

Lizard Tech Express View JPEG 2000 Viewer

Installed here: D:\Program Files\LizardTech\Express View
Files showed up here: C:\Program Files\Common Files\LizardTech Shared (In all fairness, there was a previous web browse plugin install location that had common files which might have been initially placed here)

My terrible Samsung Printer

Installed here: D:\Program Files\Samsung\SmarThruSCX-4x16 Series\RCP
Files showed up here: C:\Program Files\Samsung\Samsung


I just came across a journal of my primary disk utilization when reinstalling Windows and all the obligatory office productivity apps.

"rebooted 5,330,866,176
installed all my fav apps (On D, of course) including ms office, adobe, visio 6,514,597,888"

1.1GB dropped on my C Drive for installing them on D...


Rich Andrews said...

AIM - can't install anywhere but C! Weak for such a ubiquitous tool.

Mike said...

NTFS Junction Points

If your filesystems are NTFS then you might want to look into NTFS Junctions (wikipedia).

They are similar to linux's symbolic links. And you could easily move say 'Program Files' over to another partition/drive.

WARNING: Be careful, you SHOUD NOT delete Junctions using explorer.. explorer WILL delete the target directory. You must 'unlink them'. Read through the wikipedia article for details and limitations.

I recommend Sysinternal's 'Junction'. And would also recommend NTFS-Link if you want a GUI with shell integration (right click menu interface) and Junction Point icons, though others may work just as well.

My first use of junction points was when I needed to 'hackishly' move several user directories (Docs&Setings:Desktop,My Docs, etc) to another drive, but there are obviously much more appropriate uses out there.

Windows on the 2nd primary partition
Installing software when Windows is living on something other then the C: drive can also be troublesome when the software 'assumes too much'. If windows is not the first partition, and you cannot play tricks at the bios/bootloader level, you might be able to use junctions and another partition to very messily hack around this issue. (Though, I have never given it a try, and I highly recommend looking for another approach.)

Other Random Comments
You can mount partitions in NTFS folders using the 'Disk Management' mmc plugin (random google example), or by cli using 'mountvol'. This allows you to play some more tricks, as well as help save you if you ever need to change drive letters, or ever begin to run out of drive letters. :/

Hope that helps someone.

(Also, your Western Digital MyBook extraction post saved me some time. Much Appreciated!)