Windows 7 Default Install Path


Senior Member
Hello all,

I recently installed a fresh copy of Win7 64 on a new PC. The way I have my system set up is that I have separate partitions for OS, Program Files, and Data (C: D: E: respectively). After installing the OS and partitioning the drive I went into RegEdit to change my ProgramFilesPath from C:\Program Files (x64)\ to D:\. The problem I had, however, is that some programs like Internet Explorer would not run after that because their shortcut pointed to %ProgramFiles% instead of the actual directory name, and IE was pre-installed, of course, on C:\Program Files. I don't care if some programs are installed on C:, but is there a way that I can fix this, or a way I can move such programs over to another drive without re-installing?

I previously ran Windows 7 32-bit and don't remember having this problem.

I have Windows 7 32-bit with SP1.



Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I can see why you would want to install software on a different partition, If Windows gets wiped the software is still there.
I do that too, but I don't try and install Windows components on a different drive.

It doesn't really care where you install other stuff, I don't put my software in Program Files at all, I have a drive just for games and another one for Graphic Arts software and data.

Adobe Photoshop installs in E:\Adobe along with my other Adobe software, and each game get's it's own directory on the D:\ drive.

But I just let it install Internet Explorer, Media Player and things like that where it want's too.
If you have to do a restore they will all get reinstalled anyway.

If there is a way to install them in a different directory, I've never seen it ask, "Where do you want to install Internet Explorer", etc.

Maybe someone else here will have a solution, to what you want to do, but I just install Windows on C:\ and then direct it to install everything else I install to the location I want it installed to, when I install it, no hacking the paths afterword.



Senior Member

I appreciate your response! Perhaps I should have stated more clearly though: It doesn't really matter to me if some applications like IE install on C:. I'm not necessarily interested in moving those. But let's say the OS installs IE to "C:\Program Files\IE". The shortcut will point to %ProgramFiles%, not the exact directory. So, when I make the registry change to change the default install directory to D:, and I click on the IE icon, I get an error message because it's looking for IE on the D drive, "D:\IE", while it's actually still on the C:. That's why I thought moving the application might solve this problem.

Perhaps I changed too many entries in the registry?

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