Run Chia other than C drive?

I’ve looked around and cant get an answer to this.

Is there a way to install and run Chia on a drive other than C?

During install there is no request on where to install.

I have an M.2 drive located at Z:\ and would like to install and do the Chia work there.
Can anybody tell me how I can do this?

I have never attempted this. But it should work with a symbolic link in the right place, via the “mklink” command.

The below assumes that your current Chia installation is here:

  1. Shut down Chia, and confirm (via taskmgr) that all processes exited.
  2. Copy all of the directories/files from mainnet to z:\mainnet
  3. Rename mainnet to mainnet.old (that is, rename the original mainnet on your c: drive to mainnet.old).
  4. Create a symbolic directory link, via the command prompt.
    Note that you will have to open the command prompt with administrator rights.
    4a) Search for “cmd” in Windows search field, in the lower left corner by the Start menu.
    4b) Right-click the “Command Prompt” results from your search, and run it as “Administrator”.
  5. Within your command prompt, change directory to c:\users\rlhs76\.chia via:
    cd \users\rlhs76\.chia
  6. Run the command that creates the symbolic link. In this case, it will be a “directory” symbolic link.
    mklink /d mainnet z:\mainnet

If you want the syntax for making links, then run with no options the “mklink” command.

  1. Start up Chia.
    It should run with no issues.
    It will look to run in its original location, and Windows will point it to the new location. Chia will not know the difference.

When you are comfortable that Chia is functioning properly in its new location, you can delete the original Chia files from:

The above will work, as long as future Chia installations use “mainnet” for all future versions.
If they drop files in some other directory, then Chia should still work, but those other files will end up on your c: drive.

Note that there are files in:
They take up virtually no space. So if freeing up space is your reason for moving Chia to your z: drive, then the .chia_keys files will pose no problem, and can stay on your c: drive.

Also note that there might be an easier way to accomplish the above, by editing your config.yaml file to point to your z: drive.

I have no idea where, within config.yaml the changes are needed. And I also do not know which files can then be deleted on your c: drive to free up space.

One type-o in config.yaml could prevent Chia from running properly.


He asked to install chia on another drive and you make some great links for the data base files and config.yaml etc but forgot all about the chia programs that are installed in…

Make life easy for now and later upgrades and just buy a Samsung EVO 870 500gb SSD. And say goodnight Gracie.


Good catch.

But I suspect that @rlhs76 asked his question to free up free space on his OS drive.
If my suspicion is correct, then those other files (that you identified) should not be a problem, leaving them where they are. They take up little space.

It is good that you pointed out those other files, just in case my suspicion (him wanting to free up space) is not his reason for wanting to install Chia on his z: drive.

And I agree with your suggestion to install a larger OS drive (if space is the issue).
But some folks are not up to performing that job, which requires both a know-how with the physical drive swapping, and the know-how for cloning the OS drive.

In my case, physically getting to my OS drive will require me to get out a machete to get inside my computer case. I am very cramped for room. When the blockchain gets large enough to fill my OS drive, I will probably be making a symbolic link to an external USB SSD.

1 Like

He said

"I’ve looked around and cant get an answer to this.

Is there a way to install and run Chia on a drive other than C?

During install there is no request on where to install."

I’m sure from a support stand point keeping the run files on the boot drive make sense.

1 Like

My reason for this question is more speed, not necessarily space. I had to take my system down and when I got back up again my plots have been syncing for 5 days Looking for way to help this finish. My OS (Win10) and Chia are installed and running on my C:\ drive =>> A Samsung SSD - 870 EVO 500 GB with 380 GB free.
Just want to get my plots synced again.

1 Like

SSD should br fine, i imagine the issue is somewhere else.

Recent trim?
Db converted?
Everything else synced?
Deleted plots folders and re added them?


The fastest way to get back synced is to download v2 bc db. There are / were a couple of places that offered download, just search the forum.

Although, slow syncing indicates potential vulnerability to increased activities on the chain while fully synced (e.g., dust storms)

The syncing process depends on three factors:

  1. single core performance (if trying to catch up - full_node main process can easily hose the one core it is using, and it basically doesn’t matter how many other physical cores are on that CPU)
  2. how many cores help to stay in sync (while synced), so be more resilient to dust storms. Of course, it also helps when catching up, if the main full_node process doesn’t choke, or chokes lightly
  3. drive speed - a good SSD (that can reliably deliver ~500 MBps is more or less the minimum requirement. A good / fast NVMe is potentially the best option, as bc db heavily depends on it. It should be a dedicated drive, as having it on the OS drive is both slowing it down, and potentially killing the boot drive.

Having binaries on other drive than boot drive (the default drive for the installer) doesn’t really help, as once the program starts, it runs from the memory, and is not really touching the drive anymore.

I also think that trimming is an overrated thing. Trimming is not a cumulative behavior, as it slows down writes by some constant factor (say a couple of percentages). So, it is good to ask the system to trim once a week or so. However, SSD / NVMe quality / performance is much bigger factor.

5 days is potentially a sync from scratch on a mid-range setup. How long was your system down?

I agree with @Bones. Your SSD should not be a problem, unless the drive is failing (which is unlikely).

I believe that is a SATA based drive (not as fast as a good NVMe drive, but still fast).
Even if it is SATA, it should have no problem keeping up. It should be a yawn for that drive to process Chia data.

If you are able to make a copy of a 1GB file (residing on that drive), from and to the same drive in under 5 seconds, then your drive is probably fine.

If you try to move Chia to a different drive, you will be complicating matters. If things do not work on the new drive, then it will be difficult to know if it is in any way due to the move not being done properly.

Check taskmgr, and see if your c: drive is busy. Unless you are actively doing video rendering, zipping files, etc, then your c: drive should be close to idle, with occasional blips of activity. As long as your c: drive is mostly idle, then nothing on your system is preventing the drive from processing Chia data.

Even if you are downloading music or videos to that drive, it will consume less than 10% (probably less than 5%) of that drive’s processing capacity.

When you check taskmgr to see if your c: drive is mysteriously being hit heavily, also check your CPU usage, to ensure that you do not have a runaway process.

Which CPU are you using? How many cores?

1 Like