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Changing the default "Program Files" folder

Wednesday, 2nd December 2009 7:55am
I normally prefer to install applications on Program Files on a partition rather than the default one on C: drive on my Vista install.

With most install programs I can change to the install directory during the installation process to be the one on the selected partition but with others there isn't that option.

This was the case when trying to install SQL Server 2008 and I so I decided to set the partition as the default folder instead.

To do that I had to change the registry and so the first step is to save the registry before making any changes.

So here are the steps:

Go to Start -> Run or Windows key + R then type regedit

Navigate to the key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion
Change ProgramFilesDir from the default C:\ProgramFiles to the new path in the partition

Whilst still there you can also change the CommonFilesDir from the default one on C to the same partition you would have chosen for ProgramFilesDir.

Reboot the machine for the changes to take effect.

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