Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


User Profiles - Relocate to another Partition or Disk

  1. #670


    Posts : 18
    8.1, 7, XP


    Hi Kari:

    Well, after all this time the vendor's tech support finally got back to me and they will not do the process. However, if I do it they will still honor my 5 year support agreement, which is what I was most concerned about. So I will undertake it myself following your instructions. With that I've documented my configuration, the process I intend to do, and the modified XML file for your review.

    Configuration

    1. 6-way Intel processors
    2. SSD 232GB - C; drive
    3. HD 1 TB (formatted) -D: drive
    4. DVD RD E: drive
    5. Windows 8.1 Pro with update. Installed clean. I have the media and license key.

    Process
    0. Backup existing system
    1. Start from step 1.2. getting to the Command prompt is different but accessible
    a. enter command to start Sysprep tool as shown, system is rebooted to Audit mode
    2. after system reboots (in Metro mode, whatever that is) click the "Desktop" icon which b rings
    up a window that allows me to closet (cancel) the Sysprep tool
    3. do Step 2.1 , update .xml file (completed)
    4. Save updated .xml file on root of D: drive (with an .xml extension)
    5. Do step 2.2.1 (or 2.2.2)
    a. insert windows 8.1 distribution DVD or media (might want to include this step in your write up for existing installation)
    b. go to command prompt
    c. stop media player
    d. CD to Sysprep folder
    e. start the sysprep program pointing to the .xml file stored on the D: drive
    6. Step 2.2.3, Sysprep working message will appear, and when complete will reboot in Audit mode
    7. Step 2.3, exit audit mode and reboot. Check setting for (OOBE) and Reboot in Sysprep tool window. Click OK.
    8. Step 3; insert Product Key, create new user id (temporary) After Windows starts up check new location for profile
    folders and delete temporary user id

    Modified .XML file

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
    <settings pass="oobeSystem">
    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
    <FolderLocations>
    <ProfilesDirectory>d:\Users</ProfilesDirectory>
    </FolderLocations>
    </component>
    </settings>
    <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:E:/sources/install.wim#windows 8.1 Pro" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
    </unattend>


    Also, if I recall correctly someplace in this thread someone had made an additional modification to the registry which you thought was a good idea. Should I do that too, and if so might you know the post number where it can be found?

    Please let me know if any changes are required. Thanks again for your assistance.

    Cheech

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #671


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Cheech View Post
    ...
    5. Do step 2.2.1 (or 2.2.2)
    ...
    Steps 2.2.2 and 2.2.3 were accidentally left in the tutorial and now removed. They were for those members installing Windows 8 Preview which is no longer available

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheech View Post
    ...
    a. insert windows 8.1 distribution DVD or media (might want to include this step in your write up for existing installation)
    ...
    About the need to tell that the Windows installation media must be present, it might be the fact that English is not my native language but I have difficulties to find any better way to tell it than the way I have already done it. Be it that you do this on a new clean install (1.1) or an existing Windows installation (1.2), the note I have already in the tutorial in step 2.1 (which you have to follow whichever method (1.1 or 1.2) you are using) is the best I can do:
    Note   Note
    (Change the drive letter in wim:F: to that of your CD/DVD drive, USB stick or virtual drive containing your Windows 8 installation media (DVD/ISO). Notice that installation media has to be available to system when running sysprep. Change Windows version accordingly, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 Pro.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cheech View Post
    Also, if I recall correctly someplace in this thread someone had made an additional modification to the registry which you thought was a good idea. Should I do that too, and if so might you know the post number where it can be found?
    I do not recall nor do I know any such registry modifications needed, used or being recommended together with this process.

    And now it's time to reveal a secret and tell a short story :

    You can change the switch /audit in the Sysprep command to switch /oobe which makes Windows to go straight to OOBE boot after the sysprep instead of returning to Audit Mode. There's no need to return to Audit Mode after the Sysprep.

    There's a reason for why that extra unnecessary but harmless step was included in these instructions. When this tutorial was made, I already had a similar for Windows 7 written a few years earlier. As it happens that tutorial was copied almost immediately to another tech site which claimed it being written by someone there although they were stupid enough to use my screenshots, too, so it was easy to prove.

    Just to be mean and able to point out if someone had copied my tutorial text and pasted it as their own in the future, I started to add one unnecessary step and a few typos in my tutorials. That worked: I was later on able to prove in one case that a tutorial on another site was a copy & paste from my tutorial because it had the exactly same unnecessary step and the same typos.

    I do not apologize this because the additional step is totally harmless and the typos I've made on purpose in my tutorials are never in command or script examples.

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 31 Aug 2015 at 12:36. Reason: Fixing typos
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #672


    Posts : 18
    8.1, 7, XP


    it might be the fact that English is not my native language
    Nothing wrong with your English Kari, my attempts at a second language should be half as good, in fact maybe my English should be as good. I put that in there because I recalled reading somewhere that the distribution media was needed even when the process was performed on an installed version of Windows. I hadn't yet studied the XML file and your comments which clearly defined where it was needed. I forgot to remove the comment before pasting the text which I was building (in Word) as I was going along.

    do not recall nor do I know any such registry modifications needed, used or being recommended together with this process.
    I did find where there were some registry changes discussed but it appears that it was for a unique problem a member was having and a registry modification was necessary.

    that tutorial was copied almost immediately to another tech site which claimed it being written by someone there
    I'm sorry to hear that others have posted your work on other sites and taking the credit for the work that you have done. I guess some people have a problem giving credit where credit is due. Glad you caught them.

    One other question if you will. I have a couple of programs installed already and am wondering if it best that they be uninstalled first? The reason I ask is while browsing through the thread I noticed that a member had a problem uninstalling a particular software product (AutoCad??) and had to put the user profile folders back on the C: drive to get the uninstall to work. I don't know if it was just this software or is a more general problem? One program I am using uninstalls previous versions and installs as if it were a first time install every time there is a maintenance release. Some components are installed under the users folders.

    I presume the above problem occurs because there are registry entries that point to the original drive. Assuming I am correct, does the sysprep process resolve whatever registry entries that are effected by moving the user folders off of the C: drive?

    Thank you,

    Cheech
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #673


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Cheech View Post
    I presume the above problem occurs because there are registry entries that point to the original drive. Assuming I am correct, does the sysprep process resolve whatever registry entries that are effected by moving the user folders off of the C: drive?
    I can only answer that based on my own experience and tell I have never had any install or uninstall issues on a sysprepped system.

    This sysprep process changes the the values of all user profile related Windows environment variables. When done you can test these variables, type the following example variables in File Explorer address bar or the Run dialog (Win + R), hit Enter and see where they bring you (let's assume you relocated Users to D: drive):
    • Type %userprofile% + Enter
      • You will be taken to D:\Users\Your_UserProfile_Folder

    • Type %appdata% + Enter
      • You will be taken to D:\Users\Your_UserProfile_Folder\AppData\Roaming

    • Type %localappdata% + Enter
      • You will be taken to D:\Users\Your_UserProfile_Folder\AppData\Local

    • Type %temp% + Enter
      • You will be taken to D:\Users\Your_UserProfile_Folder\AppData\Local\Temp

    A correctly coded application installer does not use absolute paths, it uses environment variables instead. It installs the program itself in %programfiles%, not in C:\Program Files, its DLL and other system files in %windir% instead of C:\Windows, application data for all users in %programdata% and your personal application data in %appdata% and / or %localappdata%.

    Again when this application is uninstalled it checks the locations of its various elements using these variables, not absolute paths.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #674


    Posts : 18
    8.1, 7, XP


    Hi Kari:

    Thought I would take the opportunity to give you an update. The entire process worked flawlessly, with the exception of one very minor exception which was easily resolved. I thought I should give you the feedback in the event that what I experienced was common enough for you to update the process documentation.

    What I am referring to is the command for starting the sysprep program. The documentation has the command with an uppercase "S". That did not work on my system (8.1 Professional) but when replaced with a lower case, as the program is shown in the directory, it worked fine. I'm reasonably sure that was the only correction as I did a command line edit and that was all that I changed. I didn't think these commands were case sensitive as I don't use them too often, but apparently they are (at least now).

    Thank you for providing a very well documented procedure, you save me a lot of grief.

    On another but similar topic. As this is a new system for me, and I have had one in a number of years (with an SSD which I haven;t had before). I would like to start off reevaluating one of the things that I done in the past. Generally when I've installed software I let it default to the standard Program Files folder but occasionally place it on the root drive. If I continue the practice of letting it default this software will be placed on the SSD drive using what might become precious space. I could install software under the root of the D: drive or under an "Installed Programs" folder under the root of the D: drive.

    My thoughts right now are to install frequently used software on the SSSD and less used software on the D: drive. Are you aware of any other considerations that I should factor into my decision as to where software should best be installed?

    Thank you,

    Cheech
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #675


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


    Commands are not case sensitive, in your case there has to be another reason why the command did first not work. You can type the sysprep command as SYSPREP, SysPrep, sysprep, SySpReP or using any other case combination and it's still understood by the system.

    Do not install software on root of any drive. If you want to you can create a Programs folder on D: and when installing software, select Custom or Advanced install options depending on software and install everything under the D:\Programs (or whatever you have named the install folder).

    Personally, however, I see no reason to do that. You would need an enormous amount of software installed before the space on C: is used, especially when you have relocated the Users folder. My PC as an example: I have installed all the software I need, a lot of video making tools and editors, programming tools, full Office 2016 Pro Plus suite and so on, all on C: drive. Yet the software takes only 32.8 GB:

    Click image for larger version
    Last edited by Kari; 05 Sep 2015 at 10:22. Reason: Fixed some typos
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #676


    Posts : 1
    Windows 8.1


    Hi, new here. Is there any way to reverse this? Ever since I did this, the OS is malfunctioning left and right. I can't open any apps, can't change the default browser. I can't open a lot of programs (The error "Class not registered" is shown), and I have to open other programs as Admin to use them. I can't even access some of Windows 8 settings. It's all working like shit. Please, I don't want to format.

    Thanks.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #677


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


    Hello Matias, welcome to the Eight Forums.

    I am sorry about your issues, although I have to say that this process when done correctly does not cause any functionality issues. That being said, the process is easy to revert. Follow the instructions in tutorial starting from the step 1.2, this time when making the answer file change the <ProfilesDirectory> in the answer file to C:\Users (step 2.1).

    However, as I suspect that your issues are caused by something else, it might be that you have exactly the same issues even after reverting the process.

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #678


    Posts : 1
    Windows 10


    Kari,
    I've used your instructions for years. I referred to them again today to prepare a new system for a Windows 10 Pro install via my original 8.1 home disk and Pro Upgrade key. Thank you for making this task so much easier. And yes, I did confirm that the Windows 10 upgrade honored the User files configurations set up with your instructions on 8.1. Thanks again...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #679


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Medamo View Post
    Kari,
    I've used your instructions for years. I referred to them again today to prepare a new system for a Windows 10 Pro install via my original 8.1 home disk and Pro Upgrade key. Thank you for making this task so much easier. And yes, I did confirm that the Windows 10 upgrade honored the User files configurations set up with your instructions on 8.1. Thanks again...
    Hi Medamo, welcome to the Eight Forums.

    Always nice to get positive feedback. Thank you
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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