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Programs on other than C:\ drive

I just read a tip about putting (installing? I may be using "installing" incorrectly) programs on a drive other than the C:\ drive. That is, when installing a program, instead of just agreeing to put the program in C:\Program Files, one can put it in some other drive.

I would love to do that, using an external hard drive or even a USB memory stick. The reason is that after about six months or so, Windows seems to accumulate a lot of junk, some program files get corrupted, the registry gets messed up, etc. As a last resort, I do a complete OS restoration. Unfortunately, that requires reinstalling each and every program.

Is it possible to keep programs on an external drive, and the only have to restore the OS on the C: drive? If so, it would save many hours of reinstallation time. ( I am assuming that I can force the reinstalled OS to look at the external drive for programs. )

As a corollary, how do I force a given external drive to be recognized as drive "D," say. That is can I assign my own drive designator.

I hope this question makes some sense.



3 GHz Gateway, Windows XP Media center, 2 GB RAM, 260 GB C: drive.

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Not a good idea.

In reply to: Programs on other than C:\ drive

It wouldn't make any difference to accumulating junk, corruption of program files, a messed-up registry, etc.
So you would have to do a 'restoration' just as usual. And after that, you have to reinstall the software, just as you had when it was on the c:-drive.

So it wouldn't make any difference. So it doesn't make sense.

May I remark that it's rather unusual to have to restore a Windows XP system twice a year. You must be doing some uncommon things. Most people do it never, because they there's not a single need to do it.


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Not a good idea

In reply to: Not a good idea.


Thanks for the quick reply.

First, I am a "Download Junkie" and usually can't resist downloading and trying new utilities and freeware as they pop up in the various newsletters and forums that I get. Because most of those little apps are not fully tested, I am not surprised that there are conflicts and eventual corruption.

I exaggerated about twice a year, but I really seem to have to do it once per year.

I guess that programs have to be reinstalled so the registry knows where to find the needed files?

Thanks agin, though I am a little disappointed to find there is no free lunch.


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That's the exact reason.

In reply to: Not a good idea

Just like Steven told below. Those are are facts of (Windows) life.


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Some, yes...most, no.

In reply to: Programs on other than C:\ drive

The reason being that almost all programs will place libraries or other files in Windows folders. As well, registry entries are made. You can conserve some space on the C: drive if absolutely necessary but this does not eliminate the need to reinstall programs if you need to reinstall Windows. I tend to keep the OS and all programs installed on one drive and data on another. I create full backup images of the boot drive on a regular basis and keep these on other drives so that any re installation takes minutes instead of hours. The data on other drives is also backed up as needed. That which is expendable such as downloaded files from the web that I can easily get back I don't worry about. Hope that helps .

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Some yes, most no

In reply to: Some, yes...most, no.


OK. Thanks for the advice.

Too good to be true.



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