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Programs on another drive?


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Hi,

I got a PCI-SSD (OS on it - primary boot drive) with 256gb storage space and I also got a 1TB SSHD with no OS on it and I only store games on it. So let's suppose I install GTA V and BF4 on drive D (SSHD) and for whatever reason I gotta reinstall OS on drive  C (PCI-SSD). (The games remain untouched on drive D.)

How can I make those games work without having to reinstall them? (They are NOT portable. They require full installation.)

Edited by Tengerecki
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If they depend on registry entries to work you can find and backup them and reimport them to registry in such an occasion. Also check if there are related folders in the Program Data folder (note however that they won't appear in the installed programs and you will have to uninstall them manually if you want to).

Edited by HarryTri
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This is one of the perks of the online game services, such as Steam with GTA V or Origin for BF4. A new Steam install can easily link to a Steam dir on another drive. I have done it already, and in case of Steam you can have it use multiple dirs on multiple drives. Not sure how exactly Origin works, I don't like it and will get rid of it as soon as I am done with BF4 myself.

Otherwise, it is difficult to know. It would depend on the program itself, and this problem has been this way for many years. Some programs work just fine, even after the main OS is removed or replaced. Some just need registry entries restored, some will refuse to run on a new OS. You would have to handle it on a case-to-case basis.

Another thing to watch out for, after you reinstall your OS, is that your storage drive have the same drive letter as it did on the previous OS.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Clone your operating system with something like AOMEI or Image for Windows. This is a good backup practice for any system because the OS is more likely to fail due to some driver, registry or virus issue than your programs or game drive or folder. I never keep programs on the same drive as Windows. You're just asking for trouble.

Edited by BYTE-ME
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No need to get snarky @Tripredacus.

Tengerecki indicated he had limited storage on his main drive (256GB), so it would be difficult if not impossible to cram all the data on his 1TB drive onto the smaller PCI-SSD. Although many people do put everything on their system drive, my point was that when trouble strikes, it usually strikes there on the system drive in the form of driver, virus and registry issues. And the easiest way to defend against those calamities is to separate the OS from the rest of your data. 

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I think it really depends on usage. I have never run out of hard drive space on OS volume with actual programs and I typically use 80GB disks. My current PC has an SSD, I think 160GB but the only game installed on it is Minecraft.

Data understandable to put on another volume. Programs are usually not as forgiving. As an example, if you were to install Office on a different volume, and for whatever reason reinstall/change your OS, that Office installation won't be usable. But it depends on which programs they are for sure.

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If you change your OS, you are correct: you would have to reinstall Microsoft Office. But if you reinstall a previous drive image of your OS, you can put programs and data on any drive you want. That's why I use this procedure because when Windows 8 is on it's own partition, its image backup is only about 10GB or so  and takes about 3 to 4 minutes to restore vs. a 100GB-sized backup or more if I had all my programs and data installed on the root drive as well.

drives.gif

Edited by BYTE-ME
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