Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Change Secondary Drive Letter Without Breaking Everything

  1. #1


    Posts : 12
    Windows Consumer Preview

    Change Secondary Drive Letter Without Breaking Everything


    Hi,

    I have two drives in my laptop--one is a 60 gb SSD that I installed in the ODD slot and the other is the 250 GB HDD that came with the laptop. I installed Windows 8 on the SSD and put all my files and the majority of my programs on the HDD. The problem is that the HDD was originally partitioned into two, and I would install all my programs onto the second partition, since that was my data one. Windows 8 assigned C as the drive letter for the SSD, D for the first partition and E for the second partition. My problem is, though, I got rid of the D Drive because it was a hosed Windows 7 install that I was keeping just in case I forgot to backup something, but now no longer need. It annoys me now to have a C Drive and a E Drive--I would like to rename the E drive to a D. However, since all my programs are on the drive, I don't want to break all of the start menu links and the like. Is there a way to do this without any pain?

    Thanks

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 55
    windows 7 x86,7 x64, 8 x64, xp


    edit:wrong issue
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Use either completely at your own risk. Be sure and read the notes to the read in this link. Here is a link that has to do with changing drive letters in Win7. Not going to speculate on whether the read applies exactly to Win8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 12
    Windows Consumer Preview


    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    Use either completely at your own risk. Be sure and read the notes to the read in this link. Here is a link that has to do with changing drive letters in Win7. Not going to speculate on whether the read applies exactly to Win8.
    I know how to change the drive letters, I just want to know if everything will break by doing it (like the start menu links) and if so, if there was a way to have everything that links to something in E to redirect to the same directory on D drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    I am not willing to state an opinion. Like I said; do at your own risk.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Unfortunately there is no easy way for you accomplish what you want to do as indicated above. Your installed programs will not work, your shortcuts from start menu will be broken, Uninstallers also be broken since all references are changed from E: to D:

    When you install a program, information will be put in the registry and scattered all over, below are registry entries that I can think of:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Installer\Products
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software
    HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software

    You would have to export them and manually use the notepad editor to change from E: To D: and import them back to the registry and also you have to manually fix those broken shortcuts.

    Is it worth the effort to do it ? the answer is NO, It is better & cleaner for you to uninstall them and reinstall.

    Having said that, Why would you want to install your applications in a different drive ? Your 60GB SSD is having plenty of room for your applications. In my PC, I have a lot of applications installed and it only takes 40GB and that included the pagefile.sys and Hiber.sys which occupy close to 8 GB. In addition, your application performance would improve since you are running it from SSD.

    Most people don't realize that when they install an application, the installer not only put the executable in C:\Program Files or C:\Profiles(x86), it also put the .DLL files and Drivers in C:\Windows and C:\Windows\System32 etc... so how much space would you save ? To prove apoint, go to your C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files(x86), right click on some of installed folders and click on Properties, You'll see how much space it takes.

    Hope I give you enough info to make your decision.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 12
    Windows Consumer Preview


    Quote Originally Posted by topgundcp View Post
    Unfortunately there is no easy way for you accomplish what you want to do as indicated above. Your installed programs will not work, your shortcuts from start menu will be broken, Uninstallers also be broken since all references are changed from E: to D:

    When you install a program, information will be put in the registry and scattered all over, below are registry entries that I can think of:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Installer\Products
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software
    HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software

    You would have to export them and manually use the notepad editor to change from E: To D: and import them back to the registry and also you have manually fix those broken shortcuts.

    Is it worth the effort to do it ? the answer is NO, It is better & cleaner for you to uninstall them and reinstall.

    Having said that, Why would you want to install your applications in a different drive ? Your 60GB SSD is having plenty of room for your applications. In my PC, I have a lot of applications installed and it only takes 40GB.

    Most people don't realize that when they install an application, the installer not only put the executable in C:\Program Files or C:\Profiles(x86), it also put the .DLL files and Drivers in C:\Windows and C:\Windows\System32 etc... so how much space would you save ? To prove apoint, go to your C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files(x86), right click on some of installed folders and click on Properties, You'll see how much space it takes.

    Hope I give you enough info to make your decision.

    Yeah, I guess it's not worth the effort. As to you saying that I can fit everything on my 60 GB SSD, Windows alone takes up about 30 GB for some reason. On top of that, I just checked the folder where I keep all of my programs--it's over 60 GB's by itself. (Exactly 67.2). As you can see I cannot fit everything on my SSD.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Yeah, I guess it's not worth the effort. As to you saying that I can fit everything on my 60 GB SSD, Windows alone takes up about 30 GB for some reason. On top of that, I just checked the folder where I keep all of my programs--it's over 60 GB's by itself. (Exactly 67.2). As you can see I cannot fit everything on my SSD.
    Windows alone will not take 30GB, you must have a lot of restore points created, temp files, Windows update files etc...
    and I am also curious of what applications you have installed to occupy over 60GB.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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