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(MOD) How to install Windows Stores apps on sd card

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tamarasu

Member
Dec 13, 2009
23
44
hey guys and gals,


We all know that the Surface has limited storage. I was messing around and found a quick change to a registry key that lets you change where windows store apps are stored when installed. Tested and working on my Surface 32gb. see below for the key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx

change the key labeled PackageRoot to whatever directory you want, and all new apps will install in that directory.

Note: this does require that you change owner and permissions on the Appx registry folder so that you can edit the key. I have tested this will no ill effects.

You can also change the app repository to another directory by changing the PackageRepository key.

Test on a class 10 32gb card. Hope this helps!
 
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paschott

Senior Member
Mar 12, 2006
83
5
Dallas
Ahh, good find. I just used a symbolic link (which has the advantage of moving existing apps without breaking anything) but your approach is probably easier on clean installs.

Did you have to do anything funny with permissions to make the change? What was the command to make the link and move the files?

Last time I used a symbolic link (Windows "Installer" folder *sigh*), I don't remember Windows automatically moving anything. I was probably doing it wrong, but manually set up everything so it wouldn't be lost.
 

GoodDayToDie

Inactive Recognized Developer
Jan 20, 2011
6,066
2,931
Seattle
Used robocopy, with the switches to maintain ACLs and all, to copy the directory tree. Deleted the old one, and then used mklink /d to create the symbolic link.
 

truffle1234

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2007
865
27
Tokyo
hey guys and gals,


We all know that the Surface has limited storage. I was messing around and found a quick change to a registry key that lets you change where windows store apps are stored when installed. Tested and working on my Surface 32gb. see below for the key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx

change the key labeled PackageRoot to whatever directory you want, and all new apps will install in that directory.

Note: this does require that you change owner and permissions on the Appx registry folder so that you can edit the key. I have tested this will no ill effects.

You can also change the app repository to another directory by changing the PackageRepository key.

Test on a class 10 32gb card. Hope this helps!

where do I change the owner and permission? I opened the reg edit as adminirtator but could not change the folder... do I have to uninstall all the apps before changing...??
 

Ishman

Senior Member
Sep 3, 2007
74
13
I have not been able to get this too work. I have made the registry changes with no problems but once I do that I get an error when trying to install any item from the app store. Once I change the registry back it functions correctly. Any thoughts? I did create a directory on the SD card first and mapped the registry setting to it.

Thanks
 

tamarasu

Member
Dec 13, 2009
23
44
No nothing special. the only difference on my system is that the sd card is formatted as ntfs instead of the default fat32 that it came as. zero issues installing apps.





I have not been able to get this too work. I have made the registry changes with no problems but once I do that I get an error when trying to install any item from the app store. Once I change the registry back it functions correctly. Any thoughts? I did create a directory on the SD card first and mapped the registry setting to it.

Thanks
 

Ishman

Senior Member
Sep 3, 2007
74
13
Wonder if it is because I am using a 64 gb exfat card. I will try with another card tomorrow.
 

kenikh

Senior Member
Nov 18, 2009
275
45
Damn - so you have to have the SD Card formatted as NTFS? I'll have to pull a boat load of content off of the card before I reformat it, then.

Has anyone determined in the NTFS requirement is technically driven or reg setting enforced? Would be nice if there were a modification that would allow exFAT to work without going through the hassle of reformatting. I did a cursory look in the registry and didn't see anything.
 

tamarasu

Member
Dec 13, 2009
23
44
The only thing I can think of is name length and special character restrictions of fat formats. Haven't seen anything in the registry yet that determines the ntfs comparability versus far or exfat





Damn - so you have to have the SD Card formatted as NTFS? I'll have to pull a boat load of content off of the card before I reformat it, then.

Has anyone determined in the NTFS requirement is technically driven or reg setting enforced? Would be nice if there were a modification that would allow exFAT to work without going through the hassle of reformatting. I did a cursory look in the registry and didn't see anything.
 
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Sweetblu

Member
Nov 12, 2008
8
1
How do I change the ownership and permissions??? All I keep getting is "Unable to change permissions on appx"


Please help
 
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Ishman

Senior Member
Sep 3, 2007
74
13
I can confirm that you need to have the microsd formatted to NTFS. It works fine using this method. The exFAT will not work. This was tested on the 64 GB card.
 

illidanx

Member
Jan 3, 2013
32
12
Thank you for this tip. I don't need to use it yet but it will sure come very handy later on.
 

Sweetblu

Member
Nov 12, 2008
8
1
Youll need to change owner and permissions on the registry key. you can also change both on the windowsapps folder, though it isn't necessary.

Please help me figure out how to do this. I really seem to be lost on how to be able to change the permissions and ownership of the key. I always get a message about not being able to change the settings.
 

illidanx

Member
Jan 3, 2013
32
12
Please help me figure out how to do this. I really seem to be lost on how to be able to change the permissions and ownership of the key. I always get a message about not being able to change the settings.
Right click on the key and choose permission...I assume you are familiar with how security setting in windows works. If you are not, reply here and I can guide you step by step.

Note: you have to change the owner of the key from TrustedInstaller to Administrators first, only then can you give Administrators full control over the key.

regeditz.png
 

joebeta

Member
Apr 7, 2012
16
9
Right click on the key and choose permission...I assume you are familiar with how security setting in windows works. If you are not, reply here and I can guide you step by step.

Note: you have to change the owner of the key from TrustedInstaller to Administrators first, only then can you give Administrators full control over the key.

regeditz.png

I also need help.
 

illidanx

Member
Jan 3, 2013
32
12
Well here is how you change permissions using security setting.

Click on Permissions to open the "Permission for Appx" window. Click on Advanced to open a window like this:

securitysettings.png


Currently, the owner is TrustedInstaller. Click on Change. In the Select user or group window, click on Advanced..., the click Find now. You will get the list of all possible user/groups on your computer.

Select Administrators (the one with 's'), hit OK, hit OK once more. Make sure you select "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects", then hit OK once more. You should be back at the "Permission for Appx" window now. In this window, select Administrators and check "Full control" box under Allow. Hit OK the last time.

Now you have full control of the registry Appx folder and will be able to change every key inside this folder as you wish.
 
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GoodDayToDie

Inactive Recognized Developer
Jan 20, 2011
6,066
2,931
Seattle
For those facing the issue of reformatting a large SD card: there's a better option. SD cards, like all block storage devices, can be partitioned (legacy ones used MBR, I don't know about SDXC ones); they might use GPT. It doesn't matter, Win8 understands both). You might be able to use Disk Management, just shrink the existing partition on the card and then create a new one, format the new one as NTFS, and mount at E:\ or similar. If Disk Management won't do it right for removable media, use diskpart.exe (terminal user interface app, but with a good help system).
 

kenikh

Senior Member
Nov 18, 2009
275
45
For those facing the issue of reformatting a large SD card: there's a better option. SD cards, like all block storage devices, can be partitioned (legacy ones used MBR, I don't know about SDXC ones); they might use GPT. It doesn't matter, Win8 understands both). You might be able to use Disk Management, just shrink the existing partition on the card and then create a new one, format the new one as NTFS, and mount at E:\ or similar. If Disk Management won't do it right for removable media, use diskpart.exe (terminal user interface app, but with a good help system).
Great idea, but it doesn't seem to work. The option to shrink the volume isn't available from Disk Management, at least for my SD Card. It's a 64GB SDXC card. Oh well.
 
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  • 17
    hey guys and gals,


    We all know that the Surface has limited storage. I was messing around and found a quick change to a registry key that lets you change where windows store apps are stored when installed. Tested and working on my Surface 32gb. see below for the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx

    change the key labeled PackageRoot to whatever directory you want, and all new apps will install in that directory.

    Note: this does require that you change owner and permissions on the Appx registry folder so that you can edit the key. I have tested this will no ill effects.

    You can also change the app repository to another directory by changing the PackageRepository key.

    Test on a class 10 32gb card. Hope this helps!
    3
    Ahh, good find. I just used a symbolic link (which has the advantage of moving existing apps without breaking anything) but your approach is probably easier on clean installs.
    2
    I can confirm that you need to have the microsd formatted to NTFS. It works fine using this method. The exFAT will not work. This was tested on the 64 GB card.
    Is NTFS required for this? I wanted to use exfat for my 64gb card.
    Noted, will need to add some iffy logic to script.

    IF Get-WmiObject -class Win32_Volume | Select-Object FileSystem -eq NTFS then "Install to SD" else "Fomat SD NTFS"
    2
    was wondering if someone can help me, I applied the hack and it works perfect EXCEPT 1 bloody app that is giving me problems! I can't uninstall/install/update "sports" app...it's the only app giving me trouble, I can't find it anywhere on my tablet but it is still marked as INSTALLED in the store! is there any way of resetting or deleting it from the app store? maybe perhaps in the registration some where?

    Not sure if I can help. Never tried this trick. But did you try to clear the app in "Your Apps" in the store? While in the Store, right click and go to Your Apps, then chose the device for which you have the problem app, e.g. Apps installed on Surface. If you right click on the app in question you should see a Clear and possibly an Install button at the bottom left (RT 8.1 here). I would try clear and install, then uninstall.
    Again, just a wild guess and might not help at all.

    ---------- Post added at 02:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:15 AM ----------

    Does anyone know if I update to 8.1 can this mod be reapplied? Thanks

    seeing that the key in the registry is the same as for 8.0 I would believe that this should still work the same way. MS in fact now allows you to easily use a different target for file libraries such as Pictures, Music etc to store your files onto the sdcard.

    ps. I am sure once a lot of more people get their system upgraded to 8.1 in October, you will get a quicker response to your questions.
    2
    Please help me figure out how to do this. I really seem to be lost on how to be able to change the permissions and ownership of the key. I always get a message about not being able to change the settings.
    Right click on the key and choose permission...I assume you are familiar with how security setting in windows works. If you are not, reply here and I can guide you step by step.

    Note: you have to change the owner of the key from TrustedInstaller to Administrators first, only then can you give Administrators full control over the key.

    regeditz.png