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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Some questions about bbearen's Set7Free tutorial (move special Windows folders)

    I discovered bbearen's Set7Free guide a few years ago, but it just sounded too daunting to bother with, despite the potential benefits. Now I have Windows 10 on an Alienware laptop I've had for a few years, hoping to squeeze the most performance out of my still-capable but aging hardware. It has run quite well so far, I only had a few issues finding compatible drivers, but everything is ironed out now.

    So I decided to try his guide out on a clean install in a VM, one that has never had any programs, Windows Updates, or drivers installed, and hasnt even been connected to the Net for that matter. So bascally, 10 in a VM running on top of a 10 host machine.

    I read the entire tutorial several times, obtaining all the necessary tools in advance (Sysinternals Suite, PsTools, Process Hacker for running as System user, Registry Workshop, RunasSystem and RunAsToken, and a few others).

    My target (real machine) drives consist of a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD, and a 2TB Seagate HDD in an internal optical disc caddy adapter. 10 is on the SSD, I will create 2 more partitions on the HDD, one for Program Files/Program Files (x86), and the other for ProgramData and Users (most of Users will be moved to the partition, but my main user profile folder will remain on SSD to benefit from its' speed).

    For now, I'm not particularly worried about moving ProgramData/Users, but am reserving a partition for it for later use. Program Files will eat the bulk of my space, and even though I can install them to another patition on the HDD, some will still try to put stuff on the C drive (particularly Visual Studio, Office, 3ds Max, Adobe suites, and other large programs). I figure it's best to do things a bit at a time, in baby steps, then see how things go. Program Files is a good place, and, at first, seemed like it would be the easiest to move. But it seems I might have been wrong (more below).

    I started by taking a snapshot of my clean system in VMware, then rebooted into the 10 ISO to do the robocopying. My target partition has a drive letter Y. So I copied there using the commands bbearen listed. Simple enough, everything copied correctly with nothing missed. I rebooted back into 10, everything looked fine.

    Next, the Registry editing, which is where the trouble began. For this I created an admin account called Temp, with no other accounts on the system (Temp is the first and only account, the one I used to complete Windows setup). I found 2 tools called RunAsSystem and RunAsToken, which I obtained from reboot.pro, then unzipped the contents into C:\Windows\System32 (for easier access from CMD). bbearen's advice to edit as System user worked for changing some keys, but many others are owned by TrustedInstaller. So using the 2 tools above, I found a way to directly run both Registry Workshop and Regedit while impersonating TI's access token, which allowed me to edit nearly all keys with impunity and without changing permissions.

    I started with searching Registry Workshop for C:\Program Files, and C:\Program Files (x86). Editing these and substituting my Y drive letter in place was enough, and thanks to Registry Workshop's batch editing and search/replace function, this was done in a matter of seconds. I did, of course, manually inspect each key beforehand, and replaced only what was needed (drive letter).

    Despite all this, I found a large number of occurrences of the following, most of which werent covered in the guide. Such as:

    "C:\Program Files ( in quotes)
    @C:\Program Files
    ProgramW6432Dir
    ProgramFilesDir
    ProgramFilesDir (x86)
    CommonW6432Dir
    CommonFilesDir
    CommonFilesDir (x86)
    SharedFilesDir
    x86AppPath

    Progra~
    C:%5CProgram (continued with this pattern, very long names, mostly referencing Metro apps)
    %ProgramFiles% (with program both in all lowercase as well as P capitalized)
    @%CommonProgramFiles%

    I also found many references to the Program Files folder when searching for %SYSTEMDRIVE%, some of which I werent certain whether they should be edited, or how to go about it. And I found several references to %systemdrive%\programs\, which while typing exactly that into an Explorer address bar, they are (the path) said to not exist.

    After all of this, and not being sure whether I did everything correctly, I created a new user and logged in. The first thing I noted is that none of the Metro apps work except IE. They give no error when clicked, they simply turn grey and dont open. Other than that, no crashes, but I havent tried to install any programs or updates.

    I dont expect handholding or a walkthrough on this, but am uncertain how to proceed. I consider an intermediate user and would like to clean up and organize my system, to see if bbearen's claims are true regarding greater responsiveness/stability/ease of backup, but equally important, to keep the write hits on my SSD to a bare minumum.

    I would great appreciate any help in this matter. And for anyone patient enough to respond.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    You are a glutton for punishment. I have a 120 GB SSD I figure when that gets filled I will get a 1TB SSD. Good Luck
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnonVendetta View Post
    Despite all this, I found a large number of occurrences of the following, most of which werent covered in the guide. Such as:

    "C:\Program Files ( in quotes)
    @C:\Program Files
    ProgramW6432Dir
    ProgramFilesDir
    ProgramFilesDir (x86)
    CommonW6432Dir
    CommonFilesDir
    CommonFilesDir (x86)
    SharedFilesDir
    x86AppPath

    Progra~
    C:%5CProgram (continued with this pattern, very long names, mostly referencing Metro apps)
    %ProgramFiles% (with program both in all lowercase as well as P capitalized)
    @%CommonProgramFiles%

    I also found many references to the Program Files folder when searching for %SYSTEMDRIVE%, some of which I werent certain whether they should be edited, or how to go about it. And I found several references to %systemdrive%\programs\, which while typing exactly that into an Explorer address bar, they are (the path) said to not exist.

    After all of this, and not being sure whether I did everything correctly, I created a new user and logged in. The first thing I noted is that none of the Metro apps work except IE. They give no error when clicked, they simply turn grey and dont open. Other than that, no crashes, but I havent tried to install any programs or updates.

    I dont expect handholding or a walkthrough on this, but am uncertain how to proceed. I consider an intermediate user and would like to clean up and organize my system, to see if bbearen's claims are true regarding greater responsiveness/stability/ease of backup, but equally important, to keep the write hits on my SSD to a bare minumum.

    I would great appreciate any help in this matter. And for anyone patient enough to respond.
    Thanks in advance!
    "Here there be dragons", as pirates are often quoted to have said. Open regedit as System, and run a "Find" for each of those paths, one at a time. When you get a hit, check the permissions, and if SYSTEM doesn't have full control or full control is denied to SYSTEM, right-click the key and select Permissions, go to Advanced, Owner tab. At the bottom put a tick in the box beside "Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object", then click "Change" beside the listed Owner, and change it to System, click Apply, then OK, then check the Permissions dialog box and make sure that SYSTEM has full control. Put a tick there if it's not already there, then OK.

    Next, right-click the value and edit it as needed. Those enclosed in "%%" don't need to be edited, as they will follow your other changes. There are Progra~1 as well as Progra~2 that can be edited. Those you should be able to run through Registry Workshop without difficulty. There will be entries that will give you an error message "... path already exists". Those can be ignored.

    Your main concern is only to change "C:\..." to the drive of your choice. Once all those "C:\..." entries have been modified, the others should follow that change. As for Apps, check ASKVG for those particulars.

    I've made no efforts as yet as far as Windows 10, but I know the procedures work for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. I just finished reconstructing Windows 7 Ultimate yesterday to complete my upgrade to Windows 10 on that machine.

    Always run a "Find" with regedit after you think you've finished with a particular path, to make certain that you really are finished.

    Above all else, read my red signature line often. At every major step, save your changes with a drive image so you won't have to repeat your efforts. And don't forget the caveat at the beginning of Set 7 Free, "For Advanced Users Only". Good luck.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2015-08-08 at 15:33. Reason: clarity
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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