For years, Windows users have moved Users, Program Files, and some system folders to nonstandard locations. But it’s now an obsolete idea; here’s why.
Plus: A Windows virus prompts “Get a Mac” advice, and a request for advice on using cut-rate, third-party printer ink.
An unexpected cause for a reinstall failure
To save space on his C: drive, reader James Muir relocated some key folders to another partition. The consequences of that action highlight why altering Windows’ default folder structure is no longer a viable practice.
- “I attempted to follow Fred’s advice in the [July 14, 2011, Top Story], ‘Win7′s no-reformat, nondestructive reinstall.’ But I ran into the following error message:
“‘To upgrade Windows, the Users, Program Files, and Windows directories need to be on the same partition. Upgrading when these directories are not on the same partition is not supported ….’
“I have an SSD [solid-state drive], and I moved numerous items to drive D: (Users, Programs, etc.) to conserve space on C:. Everything is backed up, and I created a ‘repair disc,’ as you suggested.”
“I don’t want to have to reinstall everything from scratch. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.”
You have some options, James; I’ll describe them in a moment.