Prevent any software from installing on C drive

Jan 28, 2015
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Is there a method, either via a command or a piece of {preferably free} software that will prevent any software from installing, either wholly or partially, on the C boot drive? I see this question all the time, but the answers never seem to be on topic. I am not interested in methods to clean the C drive, or to optimize it. Just to automatically prevent installation on to the C drive.
 

biggranny

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Aug 18, 2014
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Depends on the software, usually when installing software it will give you an option to do a custom folder and you can put it on another hardrive, unfortunately some software doesn't do this.
 

i7Baby

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If you choose to do a custom installation, you can choose where to install it. But not all downloaded software gives you that choice. So sorry to say - but every now and again, you have to go and clean out c:.
 

SBMfromLA

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Actually, I was interested in doing this a few years ago... and found a solution... a simple change in the registry:
To change the registry, follow these steps:

1. Start Registry Editor by entering “Regedit” in the search All programs.

2. Locate the following:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

3. Right click on the value named ProgramFilesDir & change the default value C:\Program Files to the path you want to install all your programs in.

4. Click OK and Exit.


It does work... but I've also heard about potential problems... I don't don't I had any problems... but then again.. I have three Drives on my computer.. so I just manually change the locations now... because I want games and utility programs installed on Drive D.. but keep other stuff like Drivers or hardware software on Drive C.
 

SBMfromLA

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Actually, I was interested in doing this a few years ago... and found a solution... a simple change in the registry:
To change the registry, follow these steps:

1. Start Registry Editor by entering “Regedit” in the search All programs.

2. Locate the following:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

3. Right click on the value named ProgramFilesDir & change the default value C:\Program Files to the path you want to install all your programs in.

4. Click OK and Exit.


It does work... but I've also heard about potential problems... I don't don't I had any problems... but then again.. I have three Drives on my computer.. so I just manually change the locations now... because I want games and utility programs installed on Drive D.. but keep other stuff like Drivers or hardware software on Drive C.

UPDATE.. I found a webpage that explains it better and also takes into considers the Program Files x86 installs as well.. so refer to this link, instead:

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/change-default-program-files-directory-windows
 
Jan 28, 2015
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I really, really, really do want to do this. :)

In this specific case I want to do so because I have a ssd drive as the C, and space is a limited enough resource with Windows without out other software adding stuff on the C even though another drive was selected during installation. These "stealth" space robbing components are, in my mind, examples of sloppy, lazy or a combination of these, programming.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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What size is the SSD? I have a 120GB, has been for 3 years.
OS and all applications. Not running out of space.

Now...if yours is a 60GB or similar...bite the bullet and get a larger one.

Many things DO need to be/will be on the C drive, no matter how much you wish it to be otherwise.
 

SBMfromLA

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Well, the person has already made the decision... so we all should respect his or her wishes.. I left the instructions above on how to change the default install directory. Update this thread if you have any problems...
 
Jan 28, 2015
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Should my build really matter for this question? There should be a method to do this regardless of a system setup. Users should be able to install all portions of any programs in the location of their choice as they have the best knowledge of their individual machines.

When Windows 10 came out I "solved" my issue of space by rearranging my drives, but that only makes this a non-urgent issue rather than a true solution. It seems that a lot of programs add things to the C drive even when installation is specifically set to another drive, I'm not a programmer, but I know enough about the art to know there is no real reason for this practice other than saving a few lines of code. When installing apps from the Windows Store you are not even given an option, everything goes to the C drive and any attempts I've tried to relocate them after installation renders them inoperative. This is lazy, stupid programming IMHO {any ideas how to solve this?}.

Anyway, to answer the question despite feeling strongly it should not be a factor, I have four drives - my C now is a 150gb SATA, my D is a 1.5tb SATA, my E is a 1tb SATA, and the 50gb SSD is now my removable A drive I set up as a recovery drive (I have a hot-swap SATA port).

I use the 150gb drive for the C because for some reason the 1tb drive will not boot when set as the C, despite being re-partitioned and formatted and setting it up using the Seagate tools (it is a Seagate drive). I tried moving it around to every cable connection, the bios sees and recognizes it, but it will not boot from this drive. I used the Windows 10 recovery and new installation programs, still no dice. I can set it up as any other drive and read and write to it, just will not work as the boot. This would be my preferred boot drive if I could get it to work. :??:

All of my important programs & files I have on the 1.5gb drive and I do not wish to use it as a boot drive regardless.

I don't know what other info you need . . . I have 16mb of RAM in a CyberPower PC, a Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 motherboard and I'm running Windows 10 64bit.
 

Geekoid

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Feb 25, 2013
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Was a better solution found to this? I have a computer that is used by several family users, and I don't' want them accidentally installing anything on the C drive. I just want the OS, and programs I choose to be there. Mostly maintenance stuff.

 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Don't give them the admin password. Give them basic user accounts.
Anything that needs to be installed, they will have to ask you. Then you direct where it goes.
 

Geekoid

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Feb 25, 2013
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Yeah, I was afraid of that. I really don't want another PC I need to micromanage. I was hoping I was overlooking a user permission somewhere. I would think that dictating where a user can install would be a standard feature, considering all there corporate account, that is.

Thanks for the answer.
 

USAFRet

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A standard feature in an Enterprise level OS, if you are connected to Active Directory that can dictate stuff via GPO.

Standard Windows OS...if they have the admin password, they can do what they like.
 

rebrown547

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Dec 13, 2015
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System drive space is a limited resource on systems that come with a pre-configured system drive partition. Systems with an internal SSD drive often use the smaller partition as the System drive. By default the system drive is used for system level operations (paging, hibernation, restore points,, etc...) Given this configuration, consuming limited system drive space can cause performance and operational problems. Changing the installation target location is essential.
 

USAFRet

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Yes. And on just about every application made, you can tell it what drive to install to.
But a lot of things you DO want on the C drive. Trying to force everything to automatically install elsewhere is counterproductive.
 

mrhermit

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Feb 18, 2016
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I use the program called Application Mover from Fundac Software. I have used it in the past for moving programs from the "C" to the "D" drive.
It will go through all of the registry and other locations where the program is located and will change it to the drive and directory of your choosing.
There is a 32 and a 64 bit version of the program. I have not had a problem with this program.

I found it to be a good program to use when you run into a lazy programmer that won't give you the choice where you want the program installed.
 

mrhermit

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Feb 18, 2016
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I use the program called Application Mover from Fundac Software. I have used it in the past for moving programs from the "C" to the "D" drive.
It will go through all of the registry and other locations where the program is located and will change it to the drive and directory of your choosing.
There is a 32 and a 64 bit version of the program. I have not had a problem with this program.

I found it to be a good program to use when you run into a program with a lazy programmer that won't give you the choice where you want the program installed.
 

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