Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


User Profiles - Relocate to another Partition or Disk

  1. #110


    Posts : 4
    windows 7 pro


    Hi Kari, I just found your tutorial and it looks like it solves my problem nearly completely . Meaning: I have to relocate ProgramFilesDir (Program Files and Program Files (x86)) to another Drive too. Is there a way to define this in your relocate.xml?
    I have searched TechNet but did not found it. I know that it is not recommended by Microsoft. But I have all my PC running with Windows on drive C:, Users and ProgramData on Drive E: and Program Files on Drive D:. There is no problem in Windows 7. It is stable and running without any errors. Now I am looking for a way to upgrade to Win8 without having a complete New Installation, which would be a lot of work due to the reinstallation of all the software.
    Thanks, Rainer

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #111


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Hi Rainer, welcome to the Eight Forums.

    I had this discussion just a few days ago at our sister forums, Windows 7 Forums. As the answer and arguments leading to it are exactly the same on Windows 8 than on Seven, I just copy that discussion here instead of typing it all again .

    The discussion on Seven Forums starts from this post: User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation - Page 55 - Windows 7 Forums

    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by IML8 View Post
    Would it be possible to include both the Program Files folder and the Program Files (x86) folder in the XML or would that break something for Windows.
    It is a difficult task which includes quite a lot tinkering with junctions and symbolic links. I have played with it enough to understand to totally forget the idea.


    Due to it's complexity and numerous ways it can go wrong I have not included this procedure in my tutorial, and I will not in any circumstances offer support or advice on this subject. Call me chicken if you want to but I do not want to spend my evenings answering all those "Oh s*** it totally messed my Windows!" posts.


    To give you an idea how to start if you want to research the issue by yourself, type mklink /? on command prompt to get started with linking folders. These articles might help, too:



    There are some third party applications to move installed apps from system drive to another drive. See this article about one of these: SSD Boost Manager Seamlessly Moves Files and Programs Between Hard Drives


    My solution is to manually edit installation path when installing new apps. Honestly, how often do you need install something? It takes a few seconds to click Browse button on setup dialog of a program to change the installation path.


    Just for information, this gets even trickier on Windows 8 as Win 8 Store Apps and Store itself refuse to co-operate if ProgramData is relocated so my recommendation is to only relocate Users on Win 8.


    Kari

    Quote Originally Posted by IML8 View Post
    Thanks for your response. I think I'll just count my blessings for what you've already given me and take your advice about unnecessarily fooling around with the Program Files folders. Everything is working perfectly, so I think the old adage, "don't fix it if it ain't broken", certainly applies here.

    ...and thanks again!
    Nick

    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    In my opinion that is a wise decision, Nick.


    BTW, here's a mind game to play: Try to guess how much HD space your Program Files (and Program Files (x86) in 64-bit Windows) folder takes. When you have a figure in your mind, right click the Program Files folder icon, select properties and check.


    I bet you will get surprised: It's quite small, in fact quite often a lot smaller than users assume.


    Kari

    Quote Originally Posted by IML8 View Post
    Wow. You're right. Only about 2 GB and I've already got just about everything really I need in there. My Program Data and Appdata folders that were moved over to my HDD via your tutorial, however, seem, comparatively, to be growing by leaps and bounds and I expect they will collectively exceed the volume of the Program Files folders in fairly short order if they maintain the same delta.

    Thanks again. I'm really satisfied with the way this setup is working out.
    Nick

    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post



    Apps and programs are normally much smaller than we users think. Folders and files stored in Program Files only store the app itself, the static part of it.


    Dynamically changing parts like user preferences, settings and so on you have already moved: user specific files to NEW_DRIVE:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\***\App_Name (hidden folder, *** here one of AppData's subfolders Local, LocalLow or Roaming) and those for all users to NEW_DRIVE:\ProgramData\App_Name (also a hidden folder).


    It is common that an application's combined ProgramData and AppData takes more space than app folder itself in Program Files.


    All this just to explain a bit more why I think that moving Program Files really is unnecessary.


    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #112


    Posts : 4
    windows 7 pro


    Hello Kari, thank you for the quick reply
    Yes - moving Folders in Win 7 (and I guess Win8 is the same) is complex. It requires many changes in the Registry and a lot of Junctions. I did this on three x64 Win7 and one x86 Win7 PC's. It is a lot of work. Well - I intend to apply your procedure when updating Win7 to Win8. So the question is still - is it possible to integrate "ProgramFilesDir" into your relocation.xml?
    The idea is that Win8 setup is recognizing the Programs as well as the Users and ProgramData on that different locations.
    Trying to upgrade to win8 without such procedure results in ignoring all these Users ProgramData and Programs. So it is like a new install.
    Regards, Rainer
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #113


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Rainer, first I want to repeat what I said on that quoted thread on Seven Forums:
    Due to it's complexity and numerous ways it can go wrong I have not included this procedure in my tutorial, and I will not in any circumstances offer support or advice on this subject. Call me chicken if you want to but I do not want to spend my evenings answering all those "Oh s*** it totally messed my Windows!" posts.
    My reasoning as a list:
    • Microsoft has reasons not to recommend moving Windows and / or Program Files away from system drive. So much depends on these folders working flawless it is a risk not worth taking
    • Too much can go wrong. When it does go wrong it is normally serious enough to be beyond any other repair method than complete reinstall
    • The total HDD space Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders are taking is so little there is no reason to move them, at least in the sense of getting more space

    I strongly recommend you not to move Program Files. If you decide to do it on Windows 8, be prepared to reinstall several times. Although it is doable and I have done it a few times on a test rig the resulting Windows 8 setup is so unstable and error-prone I have decided to give up and forget this.

    I am totally completely absolutely refusing to assist in this. It's a liability issue: If (and when) something goes wrong, I am on the safe side when I know I have warned against.

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #114


    Posts : 4
    windows 7 pro


    Kari - Thanks again for your answer.
    OK - I understand your arguments. I am going to try it in the coming weeks (if time is free to do it). If it do not work - no problem I have a very good BackUp - and Restore - Program.
    Have a nice WeekEnd Kari,
    Rainer
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #115


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center




    Although I have a very strict policy in this matter, it does not stop intriguing me. Please post your results!

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #116


    Posts : 4
    windows 7 pro


    OK - I will
    Rainer
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #117


    Posts : 3
    windows 8 pro 64


    Just another tale.

    Windows 8 pro upgrade disk. Installed on SSD, created 2 users. Found this article and used it to move over users and programdata to subdirectories under "H:\Windows8Files"

    Created new user, deleted the old ones.

    Found as expected the apps wouldn't work so made following Junction usign the elevated cmd window.
    "Mklink /j c:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\AppRepository H:\Windows8Files\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\AppRepository"

    This enabled me to log into the app store and download what i required.

    Update functions correctly, yes early days but no problems so far. I am curious though that if i ever have to do a "refresh" or "reset" what it will do, any thoughts?

    Apart from that many thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #118


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Hi BadWulf, welcome to the Eight Forums.

    I had to rep you, I believe it was the first time here I have repped a new member for his first post . That solution is really elegant in its simplicity!

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #119


    Posts : 3
    windows 8 pro 64


    Thank you Kari!

    Grand site you have here, I had tried several solutions that broke before finding this approach so very grateful for your hard work!

    Any thoughts on how splitting it off like this might affect a windows 8 "Refresh", presumably it would break it?

    John
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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