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Moving programs to another drive

By Oddball
May 23, 2009
  1. So I was trying to help my brother out with his laptop which is really slow. The thing is, he's got two disks, the C: and the D: and the C: is only for Windows files while the D: is only used for programs and other files.
    My brother (Who doesn't know much about PC's) has installed every program on the C: Drive so now it has only got 2,66 Gb left out of 35,0 Gb. I was thinking of moving the installed programs from the C: drive to the D: drive, is this possible without corrupting any files?
    I tried to Ctrl+X one folder, but I got a message which told me that the program might stop working correctly.
     
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,825   +922

    First, you almost certainly don't have 2 HDDs on a laptop. "C" & "D" are just partitions of the same drive. If "C:/" @ 35GBs is almost full, no wonder the laptop is slow, since more than likely there are too many programs running at startup. There is also the possibility of "malware" infections, which are notorious for making machines run very slow.

    If you want to put some programs on the "D/" drive, you must uninstall them, and reinstall to the new location. Programs have "DLL"s and system registry entries that are file paths of their own, and just moving a program folder breaks these links.

    My best advice is to uninstall those that you are not using, and run "msconfig" Start > Run > "msconfig" (without the quotes). There are also "startup managers" available that can guide you & do this for you . "Spybot SD16" is an anti-spyware program that has a startup manager in it's tools section. I always install it for that as much as the security aspect.

    You can download this from "Safer-networking"; http://www.safer-networking.org/en/mirrors/index.html
     
  3. Oddball

    Oddball Topic Starter

    Thanks for the help, I'll just have to look for the discs then so I can re-install the programs. But it's not malware, my brothers anti-virus is running 24/7 basically, and I've already scanned the system.
    But I'll do as you said, thanks for the help!
     
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,825   +922

    I should mention that the 35GB is probably not all programs, but rather "My Documents", In Windows everything defaults to that folder, and programs such as Nero will tend to save rather large files there.

    So, in lieu of moving the program folders you can try to "retarget" "My Documents" to the "D:/" drive. Then see how much room is created on "C:/"

    Games with scenery tend to have rather large files associated with them.

    When, (or if) you install programs on "D:/", before doing so, create a new "Programs" folder, and then target the install wizard to it. The program itself will then create a folder of it's own for the install, um maybe. If not, you gotta do that too. Where it says. "xxxxx will install to........ I think you can just delete the drive letter, insert the new one. and the rest of the file path should stay the same
     
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,374   +167

    My Documents
    I'd strongly encourage you first look at moving "My Documents" to the other "drive" before trying to move programs to another
    => It's not only safer (i.e. as in "not screwing things up") but it's MUCH easier. If you're running XP see this
    => Also note each userid has its own "My Documents" you could move (if there are multiple logons on that computer)

    About moving Program Files
    I'd just clarify some of CaptainCranky's comments
    => Some programs use an "installer" (especially large complicated programs such as Microsoft Office or Java)
    => While other (more simple) programs (e.g. many simple freeware programs) are simply downloaded and placed in a directory (without it using an installer)
    => As CaptainCranky points out, some programs must be uninstalled then reinstalled (but this only applies to programs that used an "installer" in the first place.). You can identify these as they will be listed in Add/Remove Programs
    => But i'd still advise you'll probably find it best to leave your program files alone. Look to move My Documents and other files. Use tools and procedures mentioned below to help cleanup and improve performance

    Hints about some "housekeeping" and performance tweaks/tools
    Also see this post for some additional ideas about things you might want to do "cleanup" and "speed up" the computer
    => You may be amazed at just how much junk CCleaner will remove from your disk if you've never removed a cleaner before
    => See that you have the latest Java installed and then look in Add/Remove Programs to remove all the old versions
    => You can review the other tools/procedures mentioned in that post as well (and, of course, let us know if you any questions, etc.)
     
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