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Installing Metro Apps to another drive (for SSD Users)

OP trettet

3rd January 2013, 04:27 AM   |  #1  
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title says it all, you see metro apps from the window store are huge, some games even reach 200 Megabytes. I'm thinking of upgrading my computer by using an SSD instead of an HDD, however unlike my HDD, the SSD is only 120GB while my HDD is 750 GB. I could easily fill 120GB with Steam Apps, Metro Apps, Desktop Apps in less than a month.
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3rd January 2013, 06:44 AM   |  #2  
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It's possible, but it does require some work. Microsoft doesn't make this easy. You can use directory symbolic links (symlinks) to put the files on one drive (say, D: ) but have them accessible via another (say, C: ). This avoids breaking all the install paths, etc. and ensures new installations will go to the correct disk. Please note that even the biggest Metro apps are pretty small compared to the typical Steam game. You'll save a lot more space moving your Steam library over to the other drive. It's also a lot easier; you can either use the built-in Steam feature to put games in different library locations, or you can use symlinks (similar to as below, but with a whole lot less "Takeown" and similar). However, if you really want to move the WindowsApps folder, try the following steps. Be aware that in cases of mistyped commands, failure to follow instructions correctly, gremlins, or plain bad luck, it's entirely possible that this will mess something up.

You'll need an Administrator command prompt (meaning you need Admin access) to do this.
These steps assume that your C:\ drive is your SSD, and that Windows is currently installed there, and D:\ is your large data drive, where you want to move the app folder.
You may adjust the paths, especially the destination, if you want; these instructions put the "WindowsApps folder on the root of the D: drive.

First, make sure you aren't running any "Metro" apps. It may help to do these steps immediately after rebooting.
Open a Command Prompt as Administrator (you can do this by right-clicking the Start button and selecting "Command Prompt (Admin)" from the menu).
Take ownership of the WindowsApps directory:
Code:
takeown /F "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" /A /R
Make a copy of the "C:\Program FilesWindowsApps" folder onto the new drive:
Code:
robocopy "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" "D:\WindowsApps" /E /COPYALL /DCOPY:DAT
Make sure that the copy succeeded (no Skipped or FAILED, etc. in the summary).
Delete the original WindowsApps folder:
Code:
rmdir /S "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps"
Create the symlink:
Code:
mklink /D "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" "D:\WindowsApps"
At this point, you should be done. Try running a Metro app to verify that it worked.
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9th January 2013, 10:03 AM   |  #3  
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My apps won't work because of the last step. It say's
Quote:

Cannot create a file when that file already exists.

9th January 2013, 10:15 AM   |  #4  
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That just means that the WindowsApps dir wasn't fully deleted. I actually recommend doing this step from the local Administrator account (disabled by default; use Computer Management -> Local Users and Groups to enable it, then log off (tap your name on the Start screen to get the log off option) and log in as Admin. That should ensure that anything using the WindowsApps dir stops, since local Admin can't run AppContainer apps.
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9th January 2013, 10:58 AM   |  #5  
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It wont let me delete these files, im in admin mode
Quote:

C:\Users\Administrator>rmdir /S "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps"
C:\Program Files\WindowsApps, Are you sure (Y/N)? y
C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\MICROS~2.135\images - Access is denied.
C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\MICROS~2.135 - Access is denied.
C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\MICROS~3.26_\LOCALC~1\CACHED~1 - Access is denied.
C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\MICROS~3.26_\LOCALC~1 - Access is denied.
C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\MICROS~3.26_ - Access is denied.
Access is denied.

9th January 2013, 12:06 PM   |  #6  
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Question
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowridincrew,

It wont let me delete these files, im in admin mode

it sounds like you nor elivated the CMD promt,you need to run the cmd prompt in elevated rights, not just logged in as administrator

click start
type cmd
right click
select run as administrator

or

Windows Key + X and select cmd prompt (administrator)
Last edited by [BT]Black V; 9th January 2013 at 10:57 PM.
9th January 2013, 01:40 PM   |  #7  
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Uninstall all Apps currently installed (The registry tweak will cause errors when Apps get updated)


Regedit
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Appx\PackageRoot

Change location from "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" to where you want them ie( "e:\WinApps")
9th January 2013, 10:56 PM   |  #8  
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Info 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyalWitCheese

Uninstall all Apps currently installed (The registry tweak will cause errors when Apps get updated)


Regedit
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Appx\PackageRoot

Change location from "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" to where you want them ie( "e:\WinApps")

I would have thought you don't need to do this if you are using a symlink/junction
If you just manually moved the files and didn't create a link afterwards then YES you need to make this registry change
Last edited by [BT]Black V; 9th January 2013 at 10:58 PM. Reason: Spelling
10th January 2013, 09:15 AM   |  #9  
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Everything seemed like it went smoothly but once I updated the main apps (mail, calendar, people, messaging) They will not open. All of the apps I installed after doing this procedure work fine, as well as Store and Bing. I tried uninstalling these apps and reinstalling to no avail. They just start to open and then close. All of the new apps are being installed in the correct "WindowsApps" folder on my D: drive so it seems to have worked. Any Ideas?


Tried to make the change in the registry but when I save it I get an error message:

"Cannot edit PackageRoot: Error writing the value's new contents."

This change seems like a logical solution but I'm not sure why I can't save the change.
Last edited by 9xnine; 10th January 2013 at 09:37 AM.
11th January 2013, 11:01 AM   |  #10  
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I'm having trouble simply copying over the data >< I initially tried to write to a sub-folder, not the root of another drive. Both attempts to run robocopy on root and sub-folder failed giving the message:

Copying File C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\18476MPBrun.ShareMyFiles_1.4.0.0 _neutral__5j38zygvezh8g\App.xaml
Access is denied.
Waiting 30 seconds...

I thought maybe I had something open so I booted up in Safe Mode with cmd prompt and still, I got the same error. Any ideas?

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