Talk:Change the default PGDATA directory on Windows

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the described method for change of the default PGDATA directory on Windows (XP) (editing the registry) does not work for me (postmaster is crashing in this way. Maybe version problem? I tried only with 8.3.3.-1, and I had anyway a lot of compatibility problems with this version when I tried upgrading from 8.1.5). However, at least I found a way how to start a new database in a custom directory. I couldn't find a working how2 (for beginners) so far, so for those interested, here's the way I did it:

(note: you have to have an up-and-running standard psql installation for this, be administrator and know the postmaster service account password)

  • Stop the Postmaster Service (open services panel -> klick on postgresql server -> stop)
  • in command-line window, enter
   runas /noprofile /env /user:<domain>\<username> cmd

(with username being the name of the account used for running the postmaster service)

  • enter the corresponding password
  • now a command-line window opens, run under the postmaster service account
  • in this window, type
   initdb -D <path> -E SQL_ASCII -U <username> -W

or something similar, depending on your configuration needs (try initdb --help). (with username being the name of the database superuser. This will create a new database in the chosen directory, with all necessary rights for postmaster to access it.

  • close the command-line window run under postmaster service account
  • as Admin: unregister the old service (instead of directly altering something in the registry via regedit):
     pg_ctl unregister -N "pgsql-8.3"

"pgsql-8.3" is the service name. If you are running a different version, the name will be different. You can find the service name under "Services" -> right-klick on the corresponding service -> properties

  • register a new service, giving the new path for the database:
     pg_ctl register -N "pgsql-8.3" -U <username> -P <password> -D <path>

  • start the service

--> done!

I hope this comment will be helpful for someone.

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