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Is it possible to install the less frequently used programs on a Hard Drive

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Regular Poster
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Right now my internal Hard Drive is serving as a Data Drive. But it would be a great space saver for me if I could install programs that are used infrequently, on the WD Internal, where I have tons of space. (Like Gpu-z that I used once.  Or the free partition software I used today.)

What do you think?


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CotS, not sure that this has anything to do with the Acronis software and functions, other than to confirm that you cannot install the Acronis application to any other location than the default C:\Program Files (x86)\ folder.

For any other software, that really depends on what options the installer offers.

If you do install a specific program to a different drive than your main OS C: drive, then please understand that only the program files / data will be stored on that different drive, but the links shown in the Windows Start Menu / All Programs list and the information stored by the installed program which are written to the Registry, all are stored on the OS C: drive, not the install drive - unless you have a program that can be run completely standalone without using the Registry or putting entreis in the start menu etc.

Regular Poster
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If I'm understanding you correctly, If I were to install programs on my WD 2TB Inernal HD links that normally show up in the Windows Start Menu, (because those programs were installed on (C:) drive, won't because, they were installed on the WD drive.

It could also be that they may need to make changes to the Registry, as they are being installed, which is something they can't do from the WD drive.

Is that it?


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Not quite correct.  When you install a program on your WD drive, the installation process will create the correct links in the Start / Programs menu and also in the Windows Registry, but both of these items are stored on the OS C: drive, not on the WD drive.

The problem that this can create for you is that should you have installed new programs on the WD drive, but then need to restore the OS C: drive back to an earlier point in time before that install date, then you will immediately break those installed programs because the necessary Registry and Menu links no longer exist.  There may also be other links held in the C:\User\CotS\AppData and other folders, as well as in ProgramData folders etc.

This effectively means that you will need to keep your backups of both the OS drive and your WD drive synchronised, and if restoring one, you may also need to restore the other to maintain the correct cross links between them.

Forum Hero
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Installing applications to a different partition, let a lone a different drive, is not a good idea is most cases.  Microsoft no longer recommends it either and is actually recommending you no longer parition a single drive either.  Yes, you can save some space on the main drive doing so, but you're bound to run into trouble down the road.  Especially if you end up having to restore just the OS drive going back in time where things might not match up with what's on D as far as the apps go.  Considering the trouble you had just getting your image restored and learning about hardwae and the bios, i highly recommend you stay away from stuff like this and let Windows "be" as it was meant to for the majority of intended installations.

For typical single-drive configurations, we do not recommend that you use a separate data partition. There are two main reasons:

  • The partition may not automatically protect data that is stored outside the user profile folders. For example, a guest user might have access to files in an unprotected data partition.
  • If you change the default location of the user profile folders to any volume other than the system volume, you cannot service your image. The computer may not apply updates, fixes, or service packs to the installation. For a list of known issues related to changing the default folder locations, see Description of known issues with the FolderLocation settings.

I would leave the apps and and the OS alone on C drive and find a way to move off raw data (pics, movies, photos, documents) to the other drive to save on data.  You can also save a lot of space on your OS drive by disabling windows system protection if you're taking good backups with Acronis.  Other things like running the "disk cleanup" on C: drive and especially selecting "cleanup system files" and selecting everything from time to time will help free up space.  

The only suggestion I might have for moving apps might be for an email client like Outlook or if you're using iTunes.  I still WOULD recommend you install them to their default location of C: drive.  HOWEVER, where these 2 apps store large data (your email .pst file or iTunes device backups) is actually in your user profile under appdata.  For both of those applications, I use a junction point (a symbolic link that tells the OS the files live on C:, but they really live on the other drive).  I only do this for these 2 apps because iTunes device backups are huge and I personally don't really care if I have a backup of my phone backup (although I do backup those folders on occassion as a separate file/folder backup, but very rarely).  Same for email client PST's since the original mails lives on the Gmail serverso I don't care if it has to download again. 

Regular Poster
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Ok, Thanks guys. Will take your advice.


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How do we survive with a 256Gb or 512Gb SSD boot drive C - I thought the whole reason i got a small fast boot drive was to just get to windows and a few of my fav programs quick - then put all the other programs on my drive D SATA that is really big... 
I am really worried that in my past windows 7 box i outgrew its 2TB boot drive limitations... 
Shouldnt we expect any software application developer to provide an install option for which drive we place their heavy application?  I must not have been careful in researching the downside of SSD for a boot drive... 

Forum Moderator
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Keith, thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback on the installation scenario! I've added it to the existing change request. Currently there are no plans to change the installation routine, but maybe the product management will consider this in the future.