Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


User Profiles - Relocate to another Partition or Disk

  1. #480


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    I forgot something really essential from the previous post:

    In no circumstances do not copy the hidden system folder AppData located in each user profile folder (Users\Your_Username\AppData). It and its subfolders contain installation specific application data which can totally ruin your new install when the new AppData is replaced with the old one.

    What this means is do not simply copy everything inside Users folder and back it up to external location, then after new installation copy it back. Instead copy only your own content like Pictures, Documents, Videos, Music and other files and folders you have created.
    Thanks for the extra input Also, will having the Users on a sepearte drive cause issues whenever Windows 9 is released and you want to update to it?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #481


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Clucky View Post
    ... will having the Users on a sepearte drive cause issues whenever Windows 9 is released and you want to update to it?
    A bit premature question, don't you think? Anyway, I wholeheartedly recommend you to join our sister forums Windows 9 Forums .

    That being said, wherever you have your user folders is totally irrelevant when installing a new operating system. Just back them up to an external location, install new Windows or Linux or Hackintosh and restore your backed up user files to new system.
    Last edited by Kari; 23 Apr 2014 at 04:08. Reason: Fixed some typos
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #482


    Posts : 453
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by Clucky View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    I forgot something really essential from the previous post:

    In no circumstances do not copy the hidden system folder AppData located in each user profile folder (Users\Your_Username\AppData). It and its subfolders contain installation specific application data which can totally ruin your new install when the new AppData is replaced with the old one.

    What this means is do not simply copy everything inside Users folder and back it up to external location, then after new installation copy it back. Instead copy only your own content like Pictures, Documents, Videos, Music and other files and folders you have created.
    Thanks for the extra input
    If you want to restore your system to some semblance of the way it was, you can't ignore AppData completely, for programs store a lot of crucial data there, some of which is your data just as much as the files you created explicitly. For example, and this is an incomplete list, there are things I back up under the following folders, which contain settings I've made and data I've entered, that the various programs decided to store there without asking or even telling me what they were doing. If I do not restore this data, it's like starting over from scratch with these programs.

    AppData/Local/2BrightSparks
    AppData/Local/EZ CD Audio Converter
    AppData/Local/Plex Media Server

    AppData/Roaming/foobar2000
    AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Templates
    AppData/Roaming/Mozilla/Firefox/Profiles
    AppData/Roaming/Mozilla/Firefox/Profiles.ini
    AppData/Roaming/Mp3tag
    AppData/Roaming/XBMC

    I didn't include Microsoft Outlook, because that one made me mad enough to move my .pst file to my Documents folder, but I gave up on that idea in general because it was a losing battle; the above is a very incomplete list, and there's no solving it. That said, I couldn't believe Microsoft was storing my very valuable .pst file in a hidden folder that someone could easily miss when selecting folders to back up. I still can't believe it. It's nuts. In fact, AppData is so inappropriately hidden, or so inappropriately used (your pick), one of the first things I do after installing Windows is add it to Windows Explorer's Favorites tree, because I need to access it fairly regularly to tweak some XBMC files, among other things.

    A couple of standouts here are Firefox and XMBC, for everything that makes them "yours" is stored under AppData, and they are outstanding in that copying this data restores them to the state you left them in, though you do have to install the programs, of course. It's brillantly simple and straightforward, basically an xcopy installation of your working environment with all your settings. I even copy Firefox profiles between machines to duplicate my Firefox environment, and everything comes over, favorites, cookies, addons and their settings, layout customizations, etc. I wish all programs were like this.

    Good programs document how they use AppData, ProgramData, and the Registry. Typical programs leave you to figure it out for yourself. For my day to day backups of my own data, which I backup with the file-based SyncBackSE, I include these AppData items and others I've determined need to be backed up because they contain my data. After reinstalling Windows from scratch, installing drivers, and applying the hundreds of Windows updates not included in the integrated SP, I restore my backed up AppData subfolders to my new profile folder, which I leave on the system drive. I also merge various program-specific registry keys I exported that I determined contain program settings I've made. Then I reinstall my programs. Then I do an image of my system drive so I don't have to do it again unless I want to reinstall from scratch. However, if there should come a time that I need to restore my Firefox, XBMC, or whatever configuration, I regularly back up the relevant parts of their AppData folders, so it's no problem.

    ETA: While I didn't discuss it specifically, ProgramData is much like AppData. There are things inside it that need to be backed up and restored, which for me includes subfolders for ASUS/Fanxpert, Earmaster, MyChannelLogos, and SpectraCal.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #483


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8 64 bit


    When I installed Window 8 (64 bit) as a clean install I used the installation tutorial that also eable you to move user profiles from C drive (an SSD drive) to convential hard drive. Now I want to upgrade to 8.1 and see that to do so I will have to move back user profiles to C before upgrading.
    As I have a 200Gb SSD is there any real benefit in having user profiles not kept on this drive?
    Thanks
    Steve
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #484


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Chillblast View Post
    When I installed Window 8 (64 bit) as a clean install I used the installation tutorial that also eable you to move user profiles from C drive (an SSD drive) to convential hard drive. Now I want to upgrade to 8.1 and see that to do so I will have to move back user profiles to C before upgrading.
    As I have a 200Gb SSD is there any real benefit in having user profiles not kept on this drive?
    Thanks
    Steve
    Other than increasing the lifespan of your SSD signifigantly, having more disk power/speed (faster file loading/saving), and more storage space... no.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #485


    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1 64-bit


    Hello guys,

    So I followed Kari's tutorial on how to relocate User Profiles to another HDD. I also added a line to the .xml file to relocate the Program Data folder too, like this:

    ...
    <FolderLocations>
    <ProfilesDirectory>U:\Users</ProfilesDirectory>
    <ProgramData>U:\ProgramData</ProgramData>
    </FolderLocations>
    ...

    Migrating the Program Data folder to a secondary HDD always worked for me on Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, but when I did it on my fresh install of Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit it seems that the Metro apps are missing. In the Metro menu on the down-right corner of the tiles there is a X mark and when I try to open one I get the following error:

    This App can't open.
    There's a problem with Mail. Contact your system administrator about repairing or reinstalling it.

    Can you help me?

    Also, how can I make sure that I'm the administrator of the PC? Thanks in advance!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #486


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


    Quote Originally Posted by CyberMarco View Post
    Hello guys,

    So I followed Kari's tutorial on how to relocate User Profiles to another HDD. I also added a line to the .xml file to relocate the Program Data folder too, like this:

    ...
    <FolderLocations>
    <ProfilesDirectory>U:\Users</ProfilesDirectory>
    <ProgramData>U:\ProgramData</ProgramData>
    </FolderLocations>
    ...

    Migrating the Program Data folder to a secondary HDD always worked for me on Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, but when I did it on my fresh install of Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit it seems that the Metro apps are missing. In the Metro menu on the down-right corner of the tiles there is a X mark and when I try to open one I get the following error:

    This App can't open.
    There's a problem with Mail. Contact your system administrator about repairing or reinstalling it.

    Can you help me?
    Hi Marco, welcome to the Eight Forums.

    Did you really bother to read this tutorial before executing sysprep with your answer file?

    This big red warning box is at the beginning of this tutorial, I have marked (yellow highlight) the part concerning you:

    warning   Warning

    An upgraded Windows cannot be sysprepped. As this method is based in sysprepping, this tutorial is valid only for Windows setups which have not been upgraded.

    This means that if you have for instance in-place upgraded Vista or Seven to Eight you cannot sysprep and this tutorial cannot be used in your case. The same applies if you have upgraded Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 to 8.1.

    Notice that a repair install is also an upgrade install, so if you have ever done a repair install (= in-place upgrade to same edition), you cannot sysprep.

    When sysprepping an existing Windows setup, it only works if the Windows 8 was installed clean and has never been upgraded or repaired using repair install, or if it is the original pre-installed Windows 8

    Although I have repeatedly told that relocating ProgramData will cause Windows Store and Apps as well as PC Settings not to function, people keep doing it using the method described in this tutorial.

    DO NOT RELOCATE PROGRAMDATA! YOUR WINDOWS STORE AND APPS WILL NOT WORK IF PROGRAMDATA IS MOVED FROM ITS DEFAULT LOCATION.

    If you want your Windows 8.1 to work, you need to reinstall and this time be sure you follow the instructions.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberMarco View Post
    Also, how can I make sure that I'm the administrator of the PC? Thanks in advance!
    The first user account created when installing Windows is always automatically an administrator account.

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #487


    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CyberMarco View Post
    Hello guys,

    So I followed Kari's tutorial on how to relocate User Profiles to another HDD. I also added a line to the .xml file to relocate the Program Data folder too, like this:

    ...
    <FolderLocations>
    <ProfilesDirectory>U:\Users</ProfilesDirectory>
    <ProgramData>U:\ProgramData</ProgramData>
    </FolderLocations>
    ...

    Migrating the Program Data folder to a secondary HDD always worked for me on Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, but when I did it on my fresh install of Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit it seems that the Metro apps are missing. In the Metro menu on the down-right corner of the tiles there is a X mark and when I try to open one I get the following error:

    This App can't open.
    There's a problem with Mail. Contact your system administrator about repairing or reinstalling it.

    Can you help me?
    Hi Marco, welcome to the Eight Forums.

    Did you really bother to read this tutorial before executing sysprep with your answer file?

    This big red warning box is at the beginning of this tutorial, I have highlighted (yellow highlight) the part concerning you:

    warning   Warning

    An upgraded Windows cannot be sysprepped. As this method is based in sysprepping, this tutorial is valid only for Windows setups which have not been upgraded.

    This means that if you have for instance in-place upgraded Vista or Seven to Eight you cannot sysprep and this tutorial cannot be used in your case. The same applies if you have upgraded Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 to 8.1.

    Notice that a repair install is also an upgrade install, so if you have ever done a repair install (= in-place upgrade to same edition), you cannot sysprep.

    When sysprepping an existing Windows setup, it only works if the Windows 8 was installed clean and has never been upgraded or repaired using repair install, or if it is the original pre-installed Windows 8

    Although I have repeatedly told that relocating ProgramData will cause Windows Store and Apps as well as PC Settings not to function, people keep doing it using the method described in this tutorial.

    DO NOT RELOCATE PROGRAMDATA! YOUR WINDOWS STORE AND APPS WILL NOT WORK IF PROGRAMDATA IS MOVED FROM ITS DEFAULT LOCATION.

    If you want your Windows 8.1 to work, you need to reinstall and this time be sure you follow the instructions.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberMarco View Post
    Also, how can I make sure that I'm the administrator of the PC? Thanks in advance!
    The first user account created when installing Windows is always automatically an administrator account.

    Kari
    Oops, my bad! Sorry. Don't know how I missed that. Been searching like a week for a tutorial like this on the net and I just found it yesterday. I guess I messed up because I rushed to do it since I was in a hurry. Good thing I still had my Win7 system image for me to restore.

    So I guess there isn't much that I can do to relocate the Program Data folder to the HDD, right? I think that's the best feature since you can save a lot of space from the SSD.

    Thanks again for your help and I'll try to be more careful next time!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #488


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


    ProgramData will never be as big as Users. Although not a big space thief, it was nice to be able to relocate it in Windows 7 but with Windows 8 you can only do it if you are absolutely sure you will never need Windows Store or Store Apps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #489


    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    ProgramData will never be as big as Users. Although not a big space thief, it was nice to be able to relocate it in Windows 7 but with Windows 8 you can only do it if you are absolutely sure you will never need Windows Store or Store Apps.
    Maybe this is a noob question, but doesn't the ProgramData get bigger the more programs/apps you install in your OS?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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User Profiles - Relocate to another Partition or Disk

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