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Old 05-11-2011, 04:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Redirecting Program Files and Program Files(x86) in Vista/Win7.

With people venturing to Solid State Drives (SSD) for their primary OS drive, I have decided to write a little tutorial I haven’t seen elsewhere, at least when it comes to users of Windows Vista and Windows 7 users in both 32 bit and 64bit flavors.

Solid State Drives still lack ONE thing, and that is overall reliability, though the life span has been increased, I still feel as if we are better off having most things on a traditional hard drive. We have two benefits from doing this, along with one con. (This can be left up for debate for another time, but share your opinions on the pros/cons with others if you wish)

The first benefit of having both a traditional hard drive, and an SSD in one system is the fact that you can have a snappy system at start and shut down, just in general, snappier, and go through personal documents quickly, and easily.

The second benefit, large programs such as today’s latest games that eat 12GB easily will be on the traditional drive, freeing up the much needed space on smaller drives. It is advised to never use all the drive space on an SSD even with the current technology, this comes from OCZ forums.

You are truly only benefited when using a 60GB SSD, or another small cheap SSD that is smaller than your normal OS drive, and a set of hard drives in a RAID 0 array.
The only downside that occurs from this, the programs that are installed on the RAID array, will still take their sweet time loading compared to the SSD, this is just a way to help cut on the costs of a larger SSD and still get a performance boost. Notice, that is in bold for a GOOD REASON.

I am one of those people that desire performance, but reliability, and doing it cheaply. So I have come to the conclusion of buying a 60GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD, and keeping my two Western Digital 80GB hard drives in a Raid 0 array. I wiped the array out, and installed Win7 onto the SSD, IMMEDIATELY after the install, after plenty of research, I redirected my program files directory to the Raid Array for the two benefits listed above.

In my search online, many people have had issues doing this, it basically almost requires a fresh windows install.

Here is how to redirect your Win7/Vista Program Files directory to another drive.

*NOTE* This should be done with a fresh and clean install! Doing this on an install that is already in place can cause issues with currently installed programs not operating properly!!

Step One: Copy the entire Program Files directory to the secondary hard drive, if you have a 64bit OS, copy BOTH the Program Files and Program Files x86 directories.

Step Two:
Open Regedit with administrator access.
Navigate to the following entries listed below.
32bit Users: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion
64bit Users: Will be covered in step 3.

Step Three:
32Bit: Change your values in “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion” on the right side that ARE MARKED to the location of your new program files directory. Remember to use the path you have relocated your program files directory to already. Ignore the (x86) and wow6432node entries, those are for a 64bit only OS, but if they exist in your install, go ahead and change them.

64bit: First navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion” and make the following edits, remember to use the proper path, since my raid array is drive D, I just made a single letter change.


Second, navigate to THIS key, “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion” and make the following edits, remember to use the proper path as stated before, notice something funny? The entries are the same as before, but this step CAN NOT BE SKIPPED ON 64BIT INSTALLS!


Step Four: RESTART, do NOT install ANYTHING prior to restarting, this includes windows updates and system drivers, install them ONLY AFTER THE RELOCATION.

Now, if you right click on a previously installed program file on the desktop, and view the properties, it SHOULD have changed the target file, and location to the new file. From this point on, your default install path will be your secondary set of drives.

If anyone has anymore information they would like added, please let me know.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Redirecting Program Files and Program Files(x86) in Vista/Win7.

Nice tutorial, this is extremely helpful!
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Redirecting Program Files and Program Files(x86) in Vista/Win7.

Umm.. i used this guide to setup my SSD.
How to: Setup SSD boot drive with secondary Hard disc optimization - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net

Whats the difference between the both of them?

I'm gonna have to do another clean install of windows in a few weeks and it would be nice to get the best out of my SSD from using one of these two guides.
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Redirecting Program Files and Program Files(x86) in Vista/Win7.

Ooh, that's very handy. I probably won't do it since I have plenty of space on my SSD (about 50% unless I stick Shogun 2 back on it) but I'll keep this in mind for others.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Redirecting Program Files and Program Files(x86) in Vista/Win7.

The other guide posted tells you how to move basically, all the folders to another hard drive, which is about useless IMO.

Mine only took into account the program files directory, as that is the sucker that will suck up the most data with programs being upto 10GB now in days.


EDIT: Actually, after looking over that guide, it just relocates user data, not the program files directory. My guide will set the default path for program data, program files, and program files x86 to another drive instead of the SSD, and make your programs install there as default.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Redirecting Program Files and Program Files(x86) in Vista/Win7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by c0rr0sive View Post
The other guide posted tells you how to move basically, all the folders to another hard drive, which is about useless IMO.

Mine only took into account the program files directory, as that is the sucker that will suck up the most data with programs being upto 10GB now in days.


EDIT: Actually, after looking over that guide, it just relocates user data, not the program files directory. My guide will set the default path for program data, program files, and program files x86 to another drive instead of the SSD, and make your programs install there as default.
With your guide is the desktop the SSD or HDD?
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Redirecting Program Files and Program Files(x86) in Vista/Win7.

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Originally Posted by _SomeOne_ View Post
With your guide is the desktop the SSD or HDD?
If you read the guide carefully, you would see that it is both. The SSD is used just for the OS, but since it doesnt have enough storage for what is wanted to be accomplished he used another HDD, non SSD, to store certain folders and applications on there. So it is a combination of both SSD and mechanical HDD to accomplish this goal.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Redirecting Program Files and Program Files(x86) in Vista/Win7.

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Originally Posted by KSoD View Post
If you read the guide carefully, you would see that it is both. The SSD is used just for the OS, but since it doesnt have enough storage for what is wanted to be accomplished he used another HDD, non SSD, to store certain folders and applications on there. So it is a combination of both SSD and mechanical HDD to accomplish this goal.
Either you didnt understand my question or i dont understand you.

With the guide i posted the desktop = the HDD.. So if i save stuff on the desktop it will save it on my HDD and not my SSD.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Redirecting Program Files and Program Files(x86) in Vista/Win7.

The guide posted here does not redirect the user profile directories, its for moving program files (they have different locations for editing the registry). But to answer your question, if you were to only adhere to this guide, user files, including items saved to the desktop will be stored on the SSD. I assume if you are redirecting your program files folder to conserve space on your SSD, then naturally you would probably redirect the user profile directory as well.

How hard would it be to get this done without a clean install? I have my user files redirected, but my SSD is filling up fast with programs. (I am even considering adding another SSD to get more space).
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Redirecting Program Files and Program Files(x86) in Vista/Win7.

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Originally Posted by _SomeOne_ View Post
Either you didnt understand my question or i dont understand you.

With the guide i posted the desktop = the HDD.. So if i save stuff on the desktop it will save it on my HDD and not my SSD.
No you dont seem to understand how Windows fully works.

The guide you posted is NOT the HDD = the Desktop. Cause User Profiles are not the only thing that make up a user desktop. That is just 1 aspect of many that come into play when using Windows. You still need Explorer.exe, DWM.exe and many other files which ARE stored on the SSD to see the desktop.

Therefor it is as I have said. Both drives. You can't separate 1 aspect of Windows from the other. All you did was move a file location. You did not move what it takes to operate that file. Try to bring up your desktop and have it work with only the files you have on the HDD and not with anything on the SSD. You will see that you cant.


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