How can I install applications to the D: drive in Windows Vista? The C: drive is full, and every program wants to load itself into it. I tried saving the application on the D: drive and running it from there, hoping I would get a prompt saying “setup will install this program in C:\Program Files….. if you want to install it elsewhere browse for the location” but the application just automatically installs itself in the C: drive without giving me another option. It then gives an error message saying not enough disc space in C:. How can I do this?
You may not be able to.
But then again, depending on the application, you may.
And that phrase is kind of what it boils down to: “depending on the application”.
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In your situation, I’d make sure to first have cleaned up that C: drive as much as you can. Even though we may install applications onto other drives, there’s still no getting around the fact that Windows, and programs running under Windows, will need some amount of space on C:.
Where you download your install program actually makes no difference at all to where that program may try to install itself. The key is that at some point in the installation process, it must ask you where you want it to be installed. If it doesn’t ask, then there’s almost nothing you can do. It’ll install where it installs, and that’s likely going to be C:.
Many programs are nice enough to just ask:
That’s PDFCreator asking where you want it to be installed. No special steps were required, it simply includes this as part of the normal setup process. If you want to install it to a different drive you can simply enter the new location here.
Another common scenario has that setting available, but hidden.
Here’s a step in the Open Office installation process:
As I said, this particular scenario is very common as setup designers want to make it easy for people to simply take the default settings that might otherwise confuse or concern them.
In this case, choose Custom, and the next step looks something like this:
As you can see, the setup program now displays where it will install the software, as well as a Change… button so you can alter that. Click that and:
You can select exactly where the installation should happen.
The specifics of this scenario will vary from application to application, but the big takeaway is to choose the “advanced” or “custom” installation option if it’s offered. Nine times out of ten, the install location is hidden therein.
Unfortunately, if it’s not, and there’s no other place to specify it as part of the installation, then there’s little you can do.