Registry Hacks for Reinstalling Programs (Unreal Tournament) and Saving SSD Space

I currently work from a 32GB primary SSD. That’s not a lot of space, so I offload as many extraneous programs and data onto a 64GB SD card as I can. That means that most games that I play must go onto this SD card.

Recently, I also reformatted my PC to install Windows 8, meaning I lost much of the registry data associated with programs. The actual program data is there, so I only need to adjust the registry. But what to adjust? Fortunately, some programs can be easily changed, but some cannot be.

The Unreal Tournament series are easy to “reinstall” in the registry. Simply open Notepad, edit the data below to match your system, save as a .reg file, and open the .reg file to add it into your registry (courtesy of WisMerHill at HardwareHeaven).

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Unreal Technology\Installed Apps]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Unreal Technology\Installed Apps\UT2004]
"ADMIN_RIGHTS"="You need to run this program as an administrator, not as a guest or limited user account."
"NO_DISC"="No disc in drive. Please insert the disc labeled 'Unreal Tournament 2004 Play Disc' to continue."
"NO_DRIVE"="No CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive detected."
"TITLEBAR"="Unreal Tournament 2004"
"WRONG_DISC"="Wrong disc in drive. Please insert the disc labeled 'Unreal Tournament 2004 Play Disc' to continue."

LifeHacker also suggests that before reformatting a PC, to find and export (backup) registry entries for programs for easy Windows installation.

My suggestion is to backup any registry data for programs ”not” installed onto the main drive or programs with very large installation sizes, such as games. Beyond that, the use of the SysInternals Junction tool can be useful for tricking the system into offloading programs onto non-primary drives, through the following command:

mklink /d "C:\Program Files\ProgramName\" "ExtDrive:\Program Files\ProgramName\"

The Junction tool (mklink) creates symbolic links between files and folders. You can apply this tool before installation of the program or copy the data onto the external drive, delete the original folder, and then create the symbolic link.

You can also use this to offload various other data sources that are not normally used but necessary for the system: the Office MSOCache (C:\MSOCache), the Windows Installer folder (C:\Windows\Installer), and so on. I use DLLArchive to remove unnecessary .dll files from Windows, and I also use mklink to offload the archive onto the SD card.

But be aware that if you use an SD card like I do, that SD cards do not have redundant sectors or error checking like normal drives. Make a backup!