Changing the Program Files Folder

Why would one want to change the default Program Files folder? I like to compartmentalize my disks so that should something go wrong, I can still recover data after a reinstallation. Part of preparing this is the fact that all of my computers’ main hard drives (HDD) are partitioned into a minimum of two partitions, a 5GB one for the system, and only the system, and the rest for everything else.

When Windows is installed, the default Program Files folder is located at %sysvol%\Program Files (%sysvol% is the System Drive, normally C:\). I like to have it on the disk for everything but the OS.

I would recommend changing the default folder before installing any programs whatsoever, in order to keep things as simple as possible.

The way to change the default is as follows:

1.Open «My Computer», and access the second (normally D:\) partition
2.Right-click, and create a new folder
3.Name the new folder «Program Files»
4.Open the start-menu, and click run
5.Enter regedit in the box and press «ok»
6.Navigate to the following folder: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
7.Find and double-click the value «ProgramFilesDir»
8.Change the location, which should be C:\Program Files, to the path you want. In our example you should change the location to D:\Program Files
9.Click OK
10.Exit the Registry Editor
11.Restart the computer

You will now have changed the default Program Files folder.






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