Vista x64 - Would 2 Program Files (x86) Folders on D:\ Drive Be Functional?

By phkhgh ยท 10 replies
Mar 2, 2009
  1. Re: The two Vista x64 "Program Files" folders.

    I usually don't install programs in the OS drive (C:\). In XP I always created a Program Files folder in D:\

    On my new PC w/ Vista Hm Prem x64 there are, or course, 2 separate Program Files folders in C:\.

    I've only installed one or 2 small prgms on it & they (so far) seemed to automatically select the folder for 32 bit (x86) or 64 bit folder in C:\.

    Question: Will creating 2 Program Files folders on D:\ (naming one "Program Files (x86)" be of any value? Other than if I know some prgms are 64 bit & just want to put them in a separate folder?

    OR... are the 2 Prog Files folders only of value or serve some function when in the OS C:\ drive (as far as Windows or the prgms running are concerned)?



  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    I can't back this up in any way, so take it how you wish...

    I don't think it matters at all, I too install programs to D rather than C, and I've never paid attention to the (x86) part in the past (although I haven't used a 64bit OS as my main system, only secondary). What I always have done is just changed C to D and left everything else in the path the same. Never ran into any problems, but then again I use pretty common programs.

    So in summary, I don't think it matters at all.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I too cannot believe it would make a difference. Also the mention of 'program files' being protected....unless you are adminstrator level. I don't believe it, although in actual fact, few people ever use their PC's as restricted users even if they should.
  4. phkhgh

    phkhgh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Thanks, but that may be the key diff. I'm only using Vista x64.

    I can just try creating one D:\Program Files (or duplicating 2 folders as in C:) & see if they run, but I thought this would be a very common question.

    Though can't see how Vista would do anything special w/ programs installed in D:\Program Files (x86), unless MS programmed in "anytime a prgm is installed in ANY folder w/ "(x86)" on ANY drive, run it as a 32 bit app. I SERIOUSLY doubt they did.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    I mean I've ran XP 64 and Windows 7 64bit. And I've installed to D rather than C. But I did as I said and just changed C to D, leaving the remainder of the path the same. Noticed no odd behavior.

    I said I didn't do it on my main system as an indicator that I don't use those 64 bit systems near as much as I do my main one which is 32 bit Vista.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

  7. phkhgh

    phkhgh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Thanks for replies.
    Clarifying: If the app wanted to install to C:\Program Files (x86)\App Name, you only changed C: to D: ?

    On your D: drive, did you 2 Folders (one named Program Files (x86), or just ONE Program Files folder that 32 AND 64 bit prgms were both loaded into?

    Thanks LookinAround, I'm not planning on installing 2 OSes on the same partition. I've never done that, but then anytime I had a dual boot, I used some 3rd party boot manager.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    I ONLY changed C to D, leaving the rest untouched. So there are 2 program files directories on D.
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    this is just a "heads up"

    Again, i don't know how this may or may not apply to you and/or your installation (also noting this MS KB was published October, 2007) but i found another MS KB i knew i'd seen before.. click here

    /* EDIT */
    Note when reading they talk beyond the case of changing things via the registry
  10. phkhgh

    phkhgh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Thanks again.

    So far, I just duplicated the 2 Program Files folder names in D:\ that are in C:

    Only installed a couple prgms - so far, so good.

    LookinAround, thanks for link. Think I saw that somewhere also. I THINK they're talking about MS windows or other MS prgm updates not working if you change the location of Program Files folder via registry.

    No idea yet if this would be a problem for any other prgms updating. I'll soon find out.:haha:

    BTW, it made no diff to the HP Recovery Mgr that I changed the drive letter of recov partition. I'll also try moving it to a 2nd HDD, which is where it should be.
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Proceeding cautiously (just as you're doing) and checking/keeping any eye on things / being aware of things (as you're also doing) is the right way to go

    At the same, i've always been just a bit leery of Microsoft's wording in their MS KB tho oddities i've ever heard of seemed more related to anomalies with MS updates or software that wasn't written correctly in the first place (to account for non-default locations). In any case, is more an issue of the "heads-up" as many have changed default location without any anomaly.

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