Can you rename the WINDOWS folder?

Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows XP
Windows NT
I'd like to know if you can rename a working C:WINDOWS systems folder to C:WINNT in Windows XP-PRO. The applications that I'm using point to WINNT, and cannot be easily changed. Dennis M.

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The only way to change the Windows folder is to format and re-install Windows.

When you do the install you have to give it a resource file to specify that the folder name needs to be changed.
Even if you could change the name of the windows directory it would be a very bad thing. The path to various DLLs, drivers, and other crucial files would then be incorrect on just about every other application in your system, both OS and user apps.
You might want to try creating a virtual machine such as this one from Microsoft or This one from VMware both are free and will allow you to install an OS with any folder name you would want.
(Thanks to MrDenny and others here for pointing me  at the VMWare Virtual Machine program…)
Good Luck!

You can use utilities to create symbolic or hardlinks to the C:\windows folder. The excellent Sysinternals suite (now held by Microsoft) has a utility called Junction that should permit you to do what you describe. I have never tried this so cannot speak to it’s ease of use or reliability. Per the Microsoft website on Junction:

Windows 2000 and higher supports directory symbolic links, where a directory serves as a symbolic link to another directory on the computer. For example, if the directory D:\SYMLINK specified C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32 as its target, then an application accessing D:\SYMLINK\DRIVERS would in reality be accessing C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS. Directory symbolic links are known as NTFS junctions in Windows. Unfortunately, Windows comes with no tools for creating junctions—you have to purchase the Win2K Resource Kit, which comes with the linkd program for creating junctions. I therefore decided to write my own junction-creating tool: Junction. Junction not only allows you to create NTFS junctions, it allows you to see if files or directories are actually reparse points. Reparse points are the mechanism on which NTFS junctions are based, and they are used by Windows’ Remote Storage Service (RSS), as well as volume mount points.

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