Windows XP
February 23, 2004 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Windows XP question... My parents computer is set up that most items are stored on a 20 GB harddrive (or possibly a partition- listed as c:) while they have 100 GB available on d:... When I install software, is it perfectly acceptable to run it off the D drive, and is there a way to switch the set up so most items save to the d drive?

And yes, I realize there is probably a simple solution that I've been unable to find.
posted by drezdn to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Use TweakUI (available from, somwhere) to change the default setting for the install path from C:\Program Files to D:\Program Files
posted by skwm at 1:32 PM on February 23, 2004

Or just when you install stuff, don't send it to the default hell of c:\program files. Send it to d:\applications\winedt and d:\games\halflife and d:\games\atomicmutant and d:\comm-net\mozilla\firefox and d:\comm-net\mozilla\thunderbird and so on. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable to install just about anything whereever the hell you please.

The programs that automatically install to c:\program files without giving you a say in it are few and far between.

And saving things in some semblance of a logical directory structure is useful, especially since so much crap wants, by default, to go to c:\program files\very long publisher name\very long name of the program with some subtitles 2.3\ If nothing else, it will be easy to find the relevant directories when you're trying to uninstall Whatever and the uninstall program craps out without deleting everything.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:01 PM on February 23, 2004

I've always been a big fan of having a medium-sized main drive with most of the programs on it, and then a large (and physically seperate) data drive, with all of my millions of megabytes of crap. This serves two purposes: first, the data is easily accessible from both my Linux and Windows boots (something you probably don't have to worry about, though it's really practical for a lot of technical reasons!), and second, if my OS explodes (as Windows is wont to do) and I have to reformat for some reason, my data is all kept safe.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:24 PM on February 23, 2004

Personally, I install all my apps on C, and keeep all my personal data (documents, mp3's, saved dealies, etc) on D/E/F, that way I can just format my C drive and reinstall if Windows gets all twitchy on me.

If you want to install apps on D, just remember that if/when you format/reinstall, those apps will still be sitting on D, and you'll have to manually delete them all.
posted by Jairus at 6:17 PM on February 23, 2004

You can move the "My Documents" folder to the other drive (and give it a less stupid and patronizing name, like maybe "documents", I mean, whose else would they be?). That way the default save location for many apps is already on the other drive. In Win2K click on the "My Documents" icon, then Properties, then Move and select the location of an existing folder. I imagine it's the same in XP.
posted by TimeFactor at 6:46 PM on February 23, 2004

>and give it a less stupid and patronizing name, like maybe "documents", I mean, whose else would they be?

Oh, that's simple. Microsoft knew XP would be hacked within seconds of its release, so why not ensure that hackers feel guilty when they download YOUR documents? :-)

On that note, I'd also like to thank all the film editors who converted nice Widescreen movies to pan and scan for coming to my house and measuring my screen.
posted by shepd at 2:47 AM on February 24, 2004

Isn't it funny that Windows users still assume that a complete reformat will be required at some point (perhaps multiple points) in the life of a Windows system. I have one system with a two year old version of Windows XP that I have yet to reformat, but it is starting to get a bit buggy. I kind of hoped that XP would be stable enough to last a little longer than that.
posted by caddis at 1:38 PM on February 24, 2004

It's not XP, it's poorly coded 3rd-party software. If you have an XP box that you only install rock-solid apps on, it'll last you forever.
posted by Jairus at 12:02 AM on February 25, 2004

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