Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Installing Google desktop in custom location

I have been using google desktop in office for over 1.5 years now. I basically use it to search my files and my history (web history , deleted files , deleted emails). I am more interested in the history part. Google Desktop comes handy in searching the deleted stuff.

I use lookout to search my office mails. It does a better job of indexing moved items. Google desktop fails to open the item in outlook many a time. But that is fine.

Recently in my company, google desktop became an illegal software to use. I am not supposed to install it and use it. In my company they officially support microsoft desktop search to be used. But i have too much of "history" information in my google index which i dont want to lose. So i do want to keep running google desktop on my company PC.

My company has an internal monitoring tool whose job is to ensure that only allowed software is installed and running on the computer. It blocks the installation of googledesktop. So to install it, we temporarily kill the process, complete the installation. Then start the monitoring tool again. I wanted to have a better way to do it. I found that the monitoring tool does not touch stuff in folders with "recycle" as part of the name.

But google desktop does not give option of choosing the folder to install. It must be picking up and using a default folder. I found that it uses the folder setting of registry key ProgramFilesDir in "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion" path. So i changed the registry entry to point to a folder with "recycle" in the path. I installed Google desktop, it got installed fine and the monitoring tool did not touch it. I also set the %ProgramFiles% environment to this path (just to be sure). I now have googledesktop in a non-default location. I reverted back the setting after the installation was done.

This change applies for all google applications (i think - did not test it). So now you can install google applications in non-default locations. Do add a comment if you find this tip useful.

It still is not configured smartly to kill the running processes of google desktop and remove the files. It is fairly simple to do. Hope they don't do it soon. I will keep running googledesktop till that day and may be another hack will get over it as well !!

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