How can I install games/programs to D partition?

By LukeyJB
May 1, 2011
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  1. My laptop has two partitions, C and D. At the moment, all my games & programs are installed on my C drive and I'm not using my D drive for anything, both drives are 138GB each and I'm running out of space on my C drive. How can I move/install current/future games & programs to my D drive? I've tried installing games to my D drive before by just changing the location to D:/ but it didn't work?

    EDIT, could I just copy/paste the 'Program Files' and 'Users' folder to the D drive and delete them from C?
  2. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 616

    For games, NO, you cannot. Copying a game like any other document or picture is a pain in the ***, you need to manually (or maybe there's a program I've not heard of) change the registry keys to correspond with the new location yadda yadda.

    Not only that, many ingame files are written to correspond with the desired location. So those games would require you to mod them in order for the "desired path" to be correct. :eek:

    Also, that D:/ should be D:\, as the former would give a totally different result compared to the latter.


    There are some good news though. When installing any game nowadays, you're given the option to choose the desired install directory.

    I.e. "Where do you wish to install the game?" or "Please choose the desired folder for the game to be installed in", simply choose a folder created in the D:\ partition, (like "D:\Program Files\") and the game will be installed in the D:\ partition!

    But there is a big 'but'. Windows 7 64 bit (Windows 6.1) can almost always only run 32-bit applications (like older games, pre-2007) if the games are being installed in the "C:\Program Files (x86)\" folder, as this presumably tells the OS that this application is supposed to be run in 32-bit mode.

    So for future reference, choose to install games in the D:\ directory if you desire, but 'copy/paste'-ing a game is no easy task, even for professionals.


    Edit:
    You're saying that changing the desired path directory from C:\ to D:\ did not work when installing a game?
    There are several thinkable reasons.

    1. Did you write 'D:\' or 'D:/', because those are completely different. Only the D:\ should work (unless Windows uses aliases like Linux, but I'm unaware of that).
    2. Having multiple sub-folders that does not exist when trying to install a game will cause some confusion.
    You mentioed that you have no games installed on the D:\ partition, then you probably do not have the 'path': "D:\Program Files\" or "D:\Programs". So installing a game in "D:\Program Files\Somegamecompany\Somegamename" will cause a lot of confusion as not even the 'root folder', "D:\Program Files\" exists.

    It can be manually created though. But this is not a guarantee that the game will work, it might be 32-bit based, or the default desired path might be different (it might be C:\Programs\ for instance).

    Sorry if I'm making it sound complicated, because it's not, doing all these things is easy, really :) .
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,285   +155

    You should NOT try to manually move program files from one partition to another. As already pointed out, doing so is asking for trouble!

    The only safe method of installing a program do a different drive letter, is if the program installer gives you the option of changing the program's installed location.

    Whether or not the installer gives you the option to change installed location is entirely up to the vendor who wrote the installer. So some do. Some don't. (also meaning the only way to safely "move" an installed program is to first uninstall it. Then reinstall and indicate the new location if you have the option to do so

    As example, here's screen shot of Auslogic's Defrag which let's you change the default install location
    [​IMG]
  4. mike1959

    mike1959 TechSpot Addict Posts: 1,033   +15

    Installing to D:\

    Before you try to install software to your D: drive, create a new folder in it first, then rename it something logical; e.g 'Extra1'.
    Then when you run the installer, (as mentioned above) you MAY get the option to choose the location. If you do, then click on 'Browse', and navigate to 'D:\Extra1',
    you will see the installer adds the program name to the end of that path name, then click NEXT and you should find it installs in there.
    If you don't get the option to choose the location, then it means it's vital it goes where the software maker chooses, you can't change it.
    As for cutting and pasting, it might work for some very simple software, and portable versions of certain programs, but otherwise is going to fail to run.
  5. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    I haven't seen any of such games in the last ten years or so. I install all of my games to drive e: and haven't had any problems.
  6. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 616

    Oh, nonono I didn't mean it like that! :eek:

    If you install a game to C:\ first, and then copy paste the folder onto E:\ - all the ingame files are still written to correspond with C:\ - so they all need changing to E:\ (mod) if one's unlucky. For an example: I tried installing Prince of Persia (2010) on F:\, and then copy-pasted it to D:\ - did not work after that. Copy-pasted it back to F:\, worked like a charm. Although that might have just been the registry though.

    Edit:
    Your holiness.
  7. !r1shg@m3r

    !r1shg@m3r Newcomer, in training

    Lokalaskurar, once you copied the files to your D:\ did you create a new shortcut corresponding the new location of the files .... im trying it not and will let you all know how it all works out .... I realize ... old thread .... new to me ... but I don't see why "copy-pasting" the programs files onto D:\ wouldn't work as long as you change the shortcut on the desktop to correspond with the change in location of the files .... the shortcut is to the current file at it's current PC address I.e. (C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\Madden2k10) {just an example} ... hence just like when you move physical address you have to alert the post office, when a file moves PC address it needs to alert the shortcut
  8. mike1959

    mike1959 TechSpot Addict Posts: 1,033   +15

    Hi,
    The only 'real' way to install a program to a different drive or partition (other than C : is to install it again, and change the option when you get the chance during installation.
    For instance, the usual install option is C:\Program files\xyz (xyz is program name you are trying to install)
    So if that game (or program) is to be on D:, then during installation, change the install path (by using the browse option) to; D:\xyz or if you have created a folder called, say, 'extra_games' on D: then the path would be; D:\extra_games\xyz
  9. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,201   +229

    What you're asking for can be done with junctions. I do this with my Steam games so I can move things on and off my SSD without having to redownload games. Once you move the folder to the new drive you mklink /J in the original location to point to the new location. The game still thinks it's on C instead of D or wherever you chose to put it. At that point it doesn't even have to follow the same folder structure since it's still accessed via C:\oldpath\ . New files written to the oldpath will go to the new location and it'll be transparent to the game.

    You cannot normally move the directory for modern games because there are many hooks written at the time of install pointing to the installdir. The registry is usually riddled with absolute paths to your installation directory.
  10. fimbles

    fimbles TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,198   +105

    You could also just shrink your D drive and extend C in to the space you gain.

    Edit: just noticed the date of the OP, im guessing this thread has either been solved or forgotten.


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