Moving Visual Studio 2005 Default Directories

2009 Mar 13 - Brian Kloppenborg

In 2008 I transitioned to Linux for almost all of my day-to-day activities. I have set up a fairly nice backup solution which uses rsync to backup my drive at regular intervals (using cron). Unfortunately, a few of my software development activities still use Visual Studio 2005 which requires a completely separate backup solution.

In order to unify my backup strategy, I want to move the default Visual Studio directory from the C: drive to my H: drive which is a VirtualBox share from my Linux home directory. Fortunately, the solution was fairly simple and only required a few registry modifications.

To move the default directory for Visual Studio, open up reg-edit and change the keys found in

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MSDN\8.0 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0

to point to the directory of your choosing. For my use case, I changed a majority of these directories to H:\Programming\Visual Studio 2005\Projects except for the MyDocumentsLocation key which I set to %USERPROFILE%\My Documents

Now, you might be wondering if I notice a performance hit by compiling over a network drive. Because the VM is using a host-shared folder, there probably is a short increase in build time, but it is not noticeable on my machine (which supports hardware-based virtualization).