Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


User Profiles - Relocate to another Partition or Disk

  1. #440


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


    I do not find anything that could give us a clue from your log files. Very strange.

    My recommendations might not be what you would like to hear. I would do one of the following:

    1. Download a Windows 8.1 ISO file matching your product key (Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 Pro), burn it to DVD or USB and start from the beginning, doing a clean install and sysprepping it. Option Two in this tutorial tells how to get the ISO, this tutorial tells how to clean install it. Before running sysprep to relocate Users, make sure the target drive is empty and formatted

    -- OR --

    2. Forget the sysprep and move folders manually to D:, this tutorial tells how (tutorial for Windows 7, works the same way on 8 and 8.1)

    Kari

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #441


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1 PRO


    Very strange, I just bought a new computer with the software.
    I tried the move action like I did with windows 7. It didn't want to see the user files and booted incorrectly.

    On the net you can find a lot of referance that this should not be done, but microsoft is telling in technet that it can be done.

    I will install and try to move the folders manualy and do hope this works.
    I have to say that it's strange that microsoft finds it wrong to move the users folder as many people change over to SSD drives of smaller sizes.

    Hans
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #442


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    Very strange, I just bought a new computer with the software.
    I tried the move action like I did with windows 7. It didn't want to see the user files and booted incorrectly.

    On the net you can find a lot of referance that this should not be done, but microsoft is telling in technet that it can be done.

    I will install and try to move the folders manualy and do hope this works.
    I have to say that it's strange that microsoft finds it wrong to move the users folder as many people change over to SSD drives of smaller sizes.

    Hans
    There's no harm in relocating Users folder, or both Users and ProgramData in windows 7. The most recent article Microsoft has published about this is written years ago for Windows Vista; since that both Windows and it's native tool Sysprep have changed.

    The article itself is quite confusing. It says:

    By changing the default location of the user profile directories or program data folders to a volume other than the system volume, you cannot service your Windows installation. Any updates, fixes, or service packs cannot be applied to the installation. We recommend that you do not change the location of the user profile directories or program data folders.
    This is of course not true. Of course you can service Windows installation, update it normally and so on. Here's a screenshot from my Windows 8.1 (Users relocated to E:), not a single failed update (click twice to open, then click again to enlarge):

    Click image for larger version

    The article continues:

    There are various reasons why you may want to relocate the Users directory or the ProgramData directory to other drives.

    For Windows, the most common reasons are as follows:
    • It is easier to back up data from a single drive and from a drive that contains only user files.
    • It is easier to rebuild the operating system drive on a userís computer if user data is located on a separate volume. In this case, the drive that contains the Windows directory can be formatted, and Windows can be reinstalled without having to worry about how to remove user data.
    They mention it themselves: there are various reasons why you might want to relocate some system folders.

    Sysprep is a native Windows tool Microsoft has made available for all Windows users. It uses XML answer files to get instructions, one of the built-in instructions is a command to relocate the main user profile folder Users. It's simple like that.

    All issues we have had both here and at Seven Forums regarding some non-functioning stuff after sysprep and relocating Users folder have been either user errors or caused by something else than relocating and sysprep. I myself have currently 8 computers running Windows 8.1, all having the Users folder relocated to another drive, all functioning perfectly. I have done this procedure for more than 50 computers altogether, always without a single issue.

    To put it very short, this procedure is safe. I do not know why yours didn't succeed, I'm still going through your log files. In your case I would not give up yet, I would try the first of my suggestions mentioned in my previous post first. But it's your computer and your decision, you have to do what you feel safe and sound.

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 14 Mar 2014 at 14:38. Reason: Typos, as always :)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #443


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1 PRO


    Good day Kari,

    After a moment to think about it all I started again.
    Now with a friend.

    He pointed out that in the script (relocate.xml) I changed the amd64 to x64 as I was installing a intel processor.
    This wat the fault, as indicated I should not have changed this.
    My machine is running great on Win 8.1 Pro.

    Thank for all your support.....

    Hans
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #444


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


    I've checked your answer file countless times but did not see that! Can't explain how, I just did not notice it.

    Conclusion: we were both a bit sloppy . I for not noticing the obvious error in your answer file, you for not reading this note attached to line 4 in example answer file (tutorial 2.1):

    Note   Note
    (If you are installing Windows x64 (64-bit), value prosessorArchitecture should be amd64​, also on Intel processors. For x86 (32-bit) it should be x86.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #445


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Kari,

    I created an account on here so that I could thank you for making this guide. It took me two days of surfing around the internet trying out other guides that caused my Windows to crash. This is the first guide that actually worked without causing Windows to crash. Thanks a bunch!

    PS: I was wondering. Now that I am done with all of the steps, can I delete relocate.xml or does it need to still be in the root folder? Also, my user folder in C:\ was deleted without me doing anything, is this normal?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #446


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


    Hi Clucky, welcome to the Eight Forums.

    You can delete the relocate.xml file, it is no longer needed.

    Not having the Users folder anymore on drive C: is totally normal. It might be created later on depending on what software you install; some programs are simply a bit badly coded using an absolute path to tell the installer where to locate its files, instead of using a relative path.

    An example from this Windows 8.1 laptop I am using to post this: I have installed a program called Stardock Fences. Its installer tells the program to install its user files in C:\Users\Public\Documents\Stardock, an absolute path. As the Users folder did not exist on C: anymore, Stardock Fences installer had to recreate it.

    You can see only the Public folder exists in C:\Users, the installer just created the folders it needs:

    Name:  2014-03-20_11h40_23.png
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    The Public folder in its turn only contains Documents subfolder and its subfolder Stardock:

    Name:  2014-03-20_11h41_52.png
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    This had not happened if the Startdock programmers had used a relative path with Windows environment variables, the correct way to tell the path to installer would have been %PUBLIC%\Documents\Stardock, an environment variable instead of the drive letter. This had automatically found the Public user folder in its actual location, in my case the E: drive. See this post at our sister forum The Seven Forums about using environment variables.

    Although the Users folder on C: is almost empty, the Stardock folder only contains three empty folders and no data, the Fences program crashes when I delete the folders. So, I just let the C:\Users stand there as it does not take any space and does not bother me:

    Name:  2014-03-20_11h53_26.png
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    The real Users folder is on E:, containing all my user data:

    Name:  2014-03-20_12h02_38.png
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Size:  17.7 KB

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 20 Mar 2014 at 09:23. Reason: Fixed typos.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #447


    Posts : 6
    windows 7/8


    i tried this method but it's quite difficult, so started thinking to something easier... after reading a lot and searching the registry for something interesting...

    - fresh install windows 8.1 from your dvd as usual

    - make partions / format to clean previous installs / whatever you need to prepare your hard disk(s), if needed

    - when you arrive into "personalize" screen type SHIFT + F10...prompt is here

    - run "regedit", find the key "profilelist"

    - adjust the key "ProfilesDirectory" to meet your drive/partition... you need something like "d:\users"

    - done, continue installing. the administrator user (and other users you'll add) is in "d:\users\adminnickname"

    note:

    - tested for the moment only in virtualbox, not tested in multiboot...with freetime i'll go for production install and more intensive tests

    - use "diskpart" if you have scrambled drive letters to assign d: to the proper drive/partition

    - "c:\users" is still here and will contains default profiles, symbolic link to programdata and public folders (that can be easily moved if you use them)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #448


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


    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    i tried this method but it's quite difficult, so started thinking to something easier... after reading a lot and searching the registry for something interesting...
    The way to do it as you describe is commonly known and widely published in Internet, for instance here and here. On Microsoft's pages you do not find it, for a reason: it involves manual registry editing.

    That being said, if running a simple sysprep command in Audit Mode is "difficult" to you as you mentioned, you are of course out of your league. For people who have difficulties in understanding and typing simple commands, all modifications in Windows contain a risk and they should just leave the PC as it is or ask someone with a bit more knowledge to help.

    The method in this tutorial cannot even be compared to what you describe. This method is a complete solution moving absolutely everything, done in a minute or so with one command, whereas doing it as you tell requires manual registry editing, and do not move everything at once. It is also not so easily done on an existing Windows installation with lots of data on Users to be moved, and it is not reversible; the sysprep method as told in this tutorial can be undone whenever user wants to simply by giving the same sysprep command again, this time relocating Users back to C:

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #449


    Posts : 6
    windows 7/8


    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    i tried this method but it's quite difficult, so started thinking to something easier... after reading a lot and searching the registry for something interesting...
    The way to do it as you describe is commonly known and widely published in Internet, for instance here and here. On Microsoft's pages you do not find it, for a reason: it involves manual registry editing.

    That being said, if running a simple sysprep command in Audit Mode is "difficult" to you as you mentioned, you are of course out of your league. For people who have difficulties in understanding and typing simple commands, all modifications in Windows contain a risk and they should just leave the PC as it is or ask someone with a bit more knowledge to help.

    The method in this tutorial cannot even be compared to what you describe. This method is a complete solution moving absolutely everything, done in a minute or so with one command, whereas doing it as you tell requires manual registry editing, and do not move everything at once. It is also not so easily done on an existing Windows installation with lots of data on Users to be moved, and it is not reversible; the sysprep method as told in this tutorial can be undone whenever user wants to simply by giving the same sysprep command again, this time relocating Users back to C:

    Kari
    yes, difficult was exagerated btw, one thing missing in your method are the original acl on moved users folder...have you tried creating the folder before moving?! is it possible?!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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User Profiles - Relocate to another Partition or Disk

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