Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea?

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jyeager11
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2011/01/23 09:40:55 (permalink)

Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea?

Is moving your VST plugins folder (and its contents) really as easy and simple as just telling your sequencer where you moved it (and its contents) to?

Or is there a registry hack that needs to be performed as well?

Do the standalone versions of some of these plugins (for example, RealGuitar 2L) also need to be individually told where the VST plugins folder has moved to?

Am I opening up a Pandora's Box of some kind by thinking of moving the VST plugins folder after most of my plugins have already been installed? Or is it preferable to uninstall/re-install everything?
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    wintaper
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2011/01/23 12:44:59 (permalink)
    you're asking for trouble. why move them ?

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    #2
    SilkTone
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2011/01/23 12:54:29 (permalink)
    In theory VSTs only needs to be rescanned from the DAW after you moved the location. So you should just be able to move it and tell the DAW to scan the new location.

    However, where you might have problems is if you have a VST that uses an installer and that installer saves registry settings to tell it where the VST is located. Some VSTs have an additional installation folder where they store their main files, like samples etc, and during initial installation it also asks you where you want the VST DLL to be located. So if you later do an upgrade of that plugin, it will know where to copy the new VST DLL to. Jamstix is an example of a plugin that does this, but I am sure there are many others too. Hopefully the installers are smart enough to know that if the previous DLL isn't there anymore, that it should ask you for the new location, but who knows whether they would do that or not?

    Previously when I upgraded to a new computer I have copied the whole VST folder structure to the new computer (with an ultimate different location), and it worked, other than I had to re-install some of the plugins that come with installers.

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    #3
    GHOSTNOTES
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2011/01/23 13:03:04 (permalink)
    Just did it 2 days ago...no problems whatsoever. I backed up my vitals to a usb drive, reinstalled windows, then sonar and just pointed sonar to where i had the plugins relocated to...no big deal. You just have to remember where everything is if you have a lot. 
    post edited by GHOSTNOTES - 2011/01/23 13:04:15

     
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    #4
    jyeager11
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2011/01/23 13:16:40 (permalink)
    Then I'm probably better off uninstalling everything and re-installing it, then.

    I'm returning after a 2 year absence from music. Jumping from Sonar 7 (32) to X1 (64), Waves 5 to Waves 7, DFH to Superior 2.0, etc.

    However, other plugins like RealGuitar 2L and Sonitus FX are the same ones today that they were 2 years ago. And there are others, too. So I thought I'd just uninstall the ones that have been updated, and re-install the new versions.

    While I was at it, I wanted to take the VST folder out of the Cakewalk hierarchy. It's always bothered me that it was in there. These plugins work in Adobe Audition and many other programs, so I never understood why there wasn't a central, more generic location for them. I figured I might as well scratch that itch now.
    #5
    VigilantSound
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2011/01/23 13:30:38 (permalink)
    You can move the .dll's but not the program folders....

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    #6
    e.Blue
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2011/01/23 13:41:42 (permalink)
    jyeager11


    Then I'm probably better off uninstalling everything and re-installing it, then.

    I'm returning after a 2 year absence from music. Jumping from Sonar 7 (32) to X1 (64), Waves 5 to Waves 7, DFH to Superior 2.0, etc.

    However, other plugins like RealGuitar 2L and Sonitus FX are the same ones today that they were 2 years ago. And there are others, too. So I thought I'd just uninstall the ones that have been updated, and re-install the new versions.

    While I was at it, I wanted to take the VST folder out of the Cakewalk hierarchy. It's always bothered me that it was in there. These plugins work in Adobe Audition and many other programs, so I never understood why there wasn't a central, more generic location for them. I figured I might as well scratch that itch now.

    Based on my experience, about 90% the VST .DLLs will still work fine after you move them. However, if you have a a LOT of VSTs (like I did at the time) I'm almost certain that you will have a least a few that will not work properly. I suggest that you go ahead and move the existing folder and just reinstall any that don't seem to be working right after the move.  The default program folder issue isn't just Cakewalk, Steinberg tries to do the same thing. 

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    #7
    JKrieger52
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2012/01/25 17:09:24 (permalink)
    Closely related Question:  I am also returning to recording after a break.  I have a bunch of plugins, and I'd like to move them to a new machine.  My old machine, which still functions is on WIndows XP; the new one is an i7 with Windoes 7 64 bit.  I can install SINAR OK, but what about all the third party plug-ins.  I doubt I can find the registration numbers.  Can I dup the file structure no problem, or am I toast?

    Thoughts?  Thanks in advance for the help.  this seems lie a knowledgable, intelligent group!
    #8
    yorolpal
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2012/01/25 17:38:19 (permalink)
    One potential problem is that when you go to update any of your software it will still think it's in the old folder and, unless you  manually tell it different, will install the update there.  Not good.

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    #9
    musicroom
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2012/01/25 18:42:08 (permalink)
    You can experiment easy enough. Rename your current vst folder to something like vst2. Point X1 to the newly named vst2 and check that everything works. If not, undo your changes.

     
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    #10
    Mark D.
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2016/08/07 18:40:38 (permalink)
    Old thread I know. I'm getting a Win 10 machine and have a Win 7 machine with Sonar 8.5.3 and a lot of VSTs.

    Scanning them in the new install will allow those (freeware) that are just .dll files work fine. My issue is more than half probably need to d a full installation, as installing them isn't just about putting a .dll in your VST folder but putting a few other things in System 32 and / or the Registry. 

    I learned years ago here (and did it on a prior similar new PC scenario) you can drag the .dll in File Manager  over to touch something found in System 32. I just can't remember what. It worked 90% of the time, saving a lot of time in not having to authorize as much stuff. Help anyone?

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    #11
    AarDVark101
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2017/07/09 11:39:42 (permalink)
    It's an old thread, but I was looking for an answer to this question and found something that works the "smart" way on other forums. I wanted to share it here in case someone else get here like me.
     
    Typically, most DAW software will search for VST plugins in C:\Program Files\Steinberg\Vstplugins for 64bits plugins and C:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\Vstplugins for 32bits plugins. I recommend creating Directory Junction links (or Hard Symlinks).
     
    Those are type of shortcuts that emulate a folder that is pointing directly to another one. For example, I installed Z3TA+2 via Steam, so it would be wise to let the dll's in the steam folder if there is updates in the future and prevent breaking anything. So I created a symlink to the steam Z3TA folder. Here's how :
     
    1- Launch cmd.exe as administrator
    2- Excute the following command: mklink /J Path_to_Place_Link Path_to_Installed_VST
    3- Voilà!
     
    In my case it look's like this :
    For 64bits plugins : mklink /J "C:\Program Files\Steinberg\Vstplugins" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Cakewalk\x64\Vstplugins"
    For 32bits plugins : mklink /J "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\Vstplugins" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Cakewalk\Vstplugins"
     
    I only have plugins from cakewalk so I linked to the whole vstplugins folders but for users that have plugins from other vendor, I suggest created symlinks to individual VST folders like this :
     
    mklink /J "C:\Program Files\Steinberg\Vstplugins\Z3TA+2" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Cakewalk\x64\Vstplugins\Z3TA+2"
     
    This way, you can build your plugins library wihtout disturbing their default folder structure and/or default behavior.
     
    Cheers!
     
     
    #12
    chuckebaby
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2017/07/09 12:05:26 (permalink)
    I believe you can just move the folder and change the location in preferences.
    No need to enter in any commands / CMD.exe.

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    #13
    Brando
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    Re:Moving the VST plugins folder after everything has been installed : Simple, or bad idea 2017/07/09 15:03:28 (permalink)
    Jeez - I vaguely recall that OP's avatar at the top of this thread. 4+ years since he last posted so it's good to know the disturbing memory of it will eventually fade away again. 

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