howto temporarily bypass the windows temp folder

An arty command shell shot. God I'm geeky.Funny topic title isn’t it? So WTF is this about then? Well, sometimes you want to install this piece of software that starts automatically unzipping files to your Windows temp folder before it can start the actual installation.
Problem is I have a pretty tight installation on my C, which doesn’t allow for huge file unpacking business like the Quake Wars Demo for instance.

The shitty part is that you can’t tell it where to unzip the files, so you’re pretty much fucked. Unless you know how to temporarily change your temp folder to a drive with more free space. Luckily for me, I know exactly how to pull that off.

So here’s how you can do that in 3 little steps:

  1. Open up a command shell.
    The quickest way to do that is to click Start, then select “Run” and type in “cmd” and the enter key.
  2. Now lets change the temp environment variables. You do this by using the following commands:
    set temp=e:\temp
    set tmp=e:\temp
    You should change the e:\temp to whatever path you want of course.
  3. Now run that installer by typing it’s name and path in the command shell window.
    You could also drop the file in the command shell from Windows Explorer. That will paste the file name right in there. You just have to hit that enter key for it to execute.

Now the executable started from the command shell will get a copy of the environment variables set in the shell session. This means the installer will get the new TEMP and TMP variables, and not the ones normally used which are probably pointing to a location on your C drive. So instead of using your C drive it’ll be using whatever you pointed it too. As soon as the program is finished, and the command shell is closed, the changed environment variables are also gone. Sweet!

Now why are there 2 environment variables? Beats me, but some programs use TEMP and others use TMP (like the Quake Wars Demo), so by changing them both that should do the trick.

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