View Full Version : Installing programs on a drive other than C:
I have a 60GB SSD as my main HD, running Win7 Ultimate x64.
I also have a 2TB internal drive in my computer.
I have relocated my documents, music, etc. to reside on the 2TB drive and have started installing some non-essential programs (Winamp, MalWareBytes, etc.) to this 2TB drive in a "Program Files" directory I created.
Everything works fine now, but at some point down the road when I go to reinstall Windows, how will I regain access to the programs? I mean, it's easy enough to re-create a desktop shortcut or two, but how do I get those programs to reappear in the start menu?
Also, will the programs continue to function OK?
Will more complex programs like Quickbooks work OK in this manner too; meaning installed on my secondary drive, then will it work OK after I reload Windows?
Seems that doing things this way should save me time reinstalling programs down the road....
This is standard practice and smart. Good job!!
This is standard practice and smart. Good job!!
Right, thanks, but again, my question is; should all/most major programs (I'm primarily concerned with Quickbooks) work fine after I reload windows on the primary C: drive?
How do I get the programs to re-appear in the start menu?
Just double click the executable in the folder of your program/s on the seperate drive and walk through the wizard, it's not that hard to figure out dude.
Right click on the file (the appropriate .exe file) and select Send to Desktop (create shortcut) and then drag the shortcut on the desktop to the Start menu.
I believe the above should work (I stole the info from another website).
if programs require specific files to be placed in places other than their own directories in whatever path they reside, they'll need to be reinstalled if you decide to whack your windows directory at some point (if that's what you consider a re-install, vs. reinstalling over an existing installation of windows).
if you blow away windows, your existing programs wouldn't show up anyways, even if they resided in their c:/program files/ or c:/program files (x86)/ after you reinstall.
as to why you'd want to reinstall windows, like it's an inevitable thing, i can't understand, but, a path, is a path, is a path, when it comes to most anything.
learning to fix a problem with windows (or, more likely a 3rd party software) can save you a lot of time, versus just reformatting and reinstalling (most people don't consider the time it takes to reinstall their 3rd party programs in that process).
Why not just have Windows Backup make an image of your system? It's not 2Tb now, so you would at least get the basic system recovered...
It's easy, and doesn't take that long...
When you re-install Windows you'll have to re-install all the software anyway, so all your shortcuts will be back.
You can put your document folders, configurations, and other files on another drive, and they'll be preserved when you re-install Windows. But installed programs are registered in Windows so it knows where the files are located, and all the particulars necessary to run the program. You can't re-install Windows and use programs from a previous installation even though they had been installed to another drive. They won't be registered in the new installation of Windows, so they won't run.
You could put your Quickbooks data files on the secondary drive so you won't lose them. After you re-install Windows, then re-install Quickbooks, you can then point Quickbooks to the secondary drive where your data will still be intact.
What kc8ykd said is correct, but as a software developer I'll chime in with some extra info.
Many programs need to be installed, but some can run on their own and don't put files or settings in other parts of windows or can re-create them when needed. It really depends on the program.
As for the shortcuts in the start menu, desktop, or elsewhere, they are easily re-created by several means. I find a right click drag and drop of the exe to be the easiest. When you drop it the menu will have "Create shortcuts here" option. Putting the shortcut in the start menu is as simple as dragging and dropping it there.
What JimmyN said is not entirely accurate, not all programs need to be "registered". Almost all of the programs I write can run without installation.
One of the best ways to do it is kind of like Pierre said, with a backup. For me, I use Acronis backup. It makes a disk image and saves it to a separate disk. When I first setup the computer, I make all the changes I want, install programs, etc, then make a disk image. That way if it crashes, I can restore from the disk image in a very short time.
Then, I make automated daily/weekly disk images so at any time I can restore my entire system, and at most lose a days worth of work. I can even restore to different hardware or into a virtual machine with Acronis (and it worked great the last time).
I was looking into Acronis till I discovered that the recovery system in Windows 7 also includes the system imaging capability.
I need to kill a system and pull a full restore which would simulate the death of either hard drive to be really happy, but so far it completed the images reasonably fast.
It's in the Backup and Restore menu...
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