Solved: Can't get into Registry Editor!

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tall3rthany0u

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Nov 18, 2011
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Ok, so for starters, I have a 60GB SSD that I have my operating system on and I have a 1TB regular Hard Drive that I wanted to have all my basic programs on. Once the operating system/drivers/etc were installed on the SSD drive I changed the registry so that the default filed installation location was the 1TB drive instead (because some files/programs don't ask what location you'd like to install them to). Afterwards I restarted the computer after installing a program. Now tons of my system 32 system files/programs wont open even though they're there. I get an error message saying "Windows could not find 'C:\Windows\system32\regedt32.exe' Please make sure you typed the name correctly, and try again."

This is the second time it has done this. The first time I had installed a few more programs before restarted so I thought maybe somehow I got a virus that disabled some of my registry permissions. But all this stuff I can't open IS still there, but because I changed this the ProgramDefDir registry now it can't find this stuff. After this first time when I thought it was a virus I just went ahead and reformatted and reinstalled windows, but I noticed as soon as I restarted after changing the registry the way I wanted it before, the same problem occured.

So, 2 questions come from this: first, how can I fix this? i.e. changed the registry back WITHOUT the default regedit program as it wont let me use it.. second: How can I do what I want efficiently without creating this problem? i.e. OS on SSD and every other program, music, and such on the 1TB drive?
 

Phantom010

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Mar 9, 2009
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34,801
If you go to C:\Windows\system32, can you find regedt32.exe at all?

What about C:\Windows\regedit?

If those files are indeed where they should be, do the following:

Click Start > Programs > Accessories > right-click on Command Prompt, select "Run as Administrator" to open a command prompt.

In the command prompt, type set

Press Enter.

Copy (right-click and Select All > press Enter) the entire content of that window and paste it into your next reply.
 

tall3rthany0u

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Nov 18, 2011
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Unfortunately one of the files it "can't find" and thinks is missing is the .exe file that controls the administrator access prompt that comes up when you try to "Run as administrator" so I can't open up the command prompt... also the cmd.exe is in the system 32 folder and thinks that's not there either.

As an update though, I just gave up and got impatient and reloaded windows from scratch as I freshly built this computer so I didn't have many programs and such on it anyway. However, I would still like to make it so that programs that don't want to ask where to install them before installing, install to my 1tb secondary drive by default. Is there a way to do that?
 
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It can be done but leads to all kinds of problems. Program Files is a Windows system directory and making any changes to its default location is probably impossible to do system-wide. Since all programs install files to the system drive (and some files install the majority of their files to the system drive) even if installed elsewhere, be sure to leave plenty of space on the system partition.

Some programs will not install at all to anywhere but the system partition. Those programs would be unusable if you even attempted to change the default location of that folder.

Can you start regedit.exe by clicking on it? Have you changed environment variables?
 

Phantom010

Retired Trusted Advisor
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Mar 9, 2009
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34,801
It can be done but leads to all kinds of problems. Program Files is a Windows system directory and making any changes to its default location is probably impossible to do system-wide. Since all programs install files to the system drive (and some files install the majority of their files to the system drive) even if installed elsewhere, be sure to leave plenty of space on the system partition.

Some programs will not install at all to anywhere but the system partition. Those programs would be unusable if you even attempted to change the default location of that folder.

Can you start regedit.exe by clicking on it? Have you changed environment variables?
That's where I was getting at... :)
 

tall3rthany0u

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
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I couldn't open regedit.exe. But as I said its of no concern now. I reloaded windows and it's fine now. Thanks for the help.
 

Phantom010

Retired Trusted Advisor
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34,801
If you had come back, we might have been able to avoid reinstalling the operating system, and maybe even easily... :(
 

tall3rthany0u

Thread Starter
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Nov 18, 2011
Messages
4
I appreciate the help. But everything y'all told me to try and open or run was inaccessible.. Reloading windows wasn't a big deal. I installed only 2 programs. So it didn't hurt to just reformat and reinstall. Now after installing all the programs I want, ya I wouldn't want to reload it. But at that point it was fine. Thanks again though.
 
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