Question How do you change what drive things are installed on after reinstalling Windows?

Jun 21, 2022
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Hey fellas, so recently I finally undertook the task of reinstalling Windows 10 Pro on another drive, specifically a Samsung 970 EVO M.2 NVMe 250 GB SSD. I've been planning to do this for a while, since I've had Windows 10 on an old 1 TB HDD for the longest time I wanted to have faster boot times. After installing Windows on the new drive I deleted the one on the other drive, however while everything went well I find myself in a tricky spot. A lot of my files and data is still on the old drive, I'm not scrapping it, but keeping it as a backup still plugged in. I noticed that everything is fresh and while I still have all my files my desktop shortcuts and everything aren't there. My user profile with everything is still on the old drive, while on my new SSD I have a new profile under the same name (since I still have the same Microsoft account) that came with the new install but everything is downloading and installing on the new SSD and I don't want it to. I pretty much wanted to reinstall windows and ONLY keep windows on that new drive, while everything I did, whether it be installing a program or something showing up in my downloads folder, was all being put in a 2 TB HDD I have. Is there any way I can change priorities on things and make it so stuff like my downloads folder from my old drive where windows was installed before is now my new one? Sorry if I'm messing up an explanation, but if anyone can help me out I would greatly appreciate it!!
 
Most applications will have an option to let you choose where to install. Usually the first thing they ask though is if you want to do an "Express" install or a "Custom" install. You need to select the custom install.

For game launchers like Steam, Origin, or EGS, you can specify where the games are installed in their settings. You can also move any games you have around in the new location where they're downloaded to and reinstalling them will basically be "oh, the files are here, let me make sure it's all good to go" without downloading the entire thing (usually).

Some applications like Chrome, Discord, and Visual Studio Code, will install in your user folder. I don't know if there's a way to circumvent this as they don't typically give you an option to install somewhere else.
 
Jun 21, 2022
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Most applications will have an option to let you choose where to install. Usually the first thing they ask though is if you want to do an "Express" install or a "Custom" install. You need to select the custom install.

For game launchers like Steam, Origin, or EGS, you can specify where the games are installed in their settings. You can also move any games you have around in the new location where they're downloaded to and reinstalling them will basically be "oh, the files are here, let me make sure it's all good to go" without downloading the entire thing (usually).

Some applications like Chrome, Discord, and Visual Studio Code, will install in your user folder. I don't know if there's a way to circumvent this as they don't typically give you an option to install somewhere else.
Yeah I was just going through some applications myself like Samsung Magician that tell me I'd need to reinstall it since I guess reinstalling windows on a different drive has caused the application to break which is fine by me. I'm trying to move everything from my old HDD to the new one, and if I can just copy and paste that should be simple enough. I also noticed with my Steam that some of my games show as installed while others don't even though I clearly have the files saved. I have a 500 GB SSD with a ton of games on it, pretty much splitting up my library to have most games on the SSD while others are put on the backburner HDD. I'm guessing that like you said if I try installing the games that aren't showing as installed in the location where I know where it's installed then it'll fix itself. I've already reinstalled Chrome and other applications like Spotify and Discord and I'm fine if I need to install some things on the drive with Windows on it, it just can't be all of what I had before since there isn't enough room.
 

USAFRet

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Most applications give you the option.

However.....
There is really little need to install applications on a different drive or partition.

Applications generally take up far less space than you might think.
A 250GB drive is FINE for your OS and just about all applications.

Games, however, DO take up significant space.
Those you can and should install elsewhere.

The major game platforms make this easy, especially Steam.

Steam games location
In the steam client:
Steam
Settings
Downloads
Steam Library Folders
Add library folder
 
Jun 21, 2022
7
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10
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Most applications give you the option.

However.....
There is really little need to install applications on a different drive or partition.

Applications generally take up far less space than you might think.
A 250GB drive is FINE for your OS and just about all applications.

Games, however, DO take up significant space.
Those you can and should install elsewhere.

The major game platforms make this easy, especially Steam.

Steam games location
In the steam client:
Steam
Settings
Downloads
Steam Library Folders
Add library folder
Thanks my man! I appreciate the assist! I'll go through that now and I'll keep that in mind. I've always needlessly worried about installing applications on a drive as small as that and then they end up taking more space than I realize but it's good to hear that's not commonly the case. I do have quite a few games but they're installed on other drives as I don't want any games on the drive with my OS, given how small it is too. I'm assuming I can also remove library folders from other drives with Steam?
 

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