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Windows 7: moving users folders - alternative method

11 Oct 2009   #1

windows xp
 
 
moving users folders - alternative method

hi all,
i would like to share / discuss an alternative method to move all folders and subfolders of your user home directory from the system partition to a new one.

here's what i did:
- clean install of windows 7 rc1 to a new 40gb partition on a new 250gb hdd and leave the rest unalocated
- enabling the windows buildin administrator account
- login as administrator
- rename c:\users\[user_name] to c:\users\[user_name_orig]
- create an empty folder c:\users\[user_name]
- create a new ntfs volume and mount it to c:\users\[user_name]
- use robocopy in windows cmdline like this:
robocopy c:\users\[user_name_orig] c:\users\[user_name] /COPYALL /E /R:0
- login as [user_name]
- if everithing works as expected, delete c:\users\[user_name_orig]
- proceed with costumization, installation of apps, and so on ...

awaiting your comments & suggestions

regards obogosa

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by obogosa View Post
hi all,
i would like to share / discuss an alternative method to move all folders and subfolders of your user home directory from the system partition to a new one.

here's what i did:
- clean install of windows 7 rc1 to a new 40gb partition on a new 250gb hdd and leave the rest unalocated
- enabling the windows buildin administrator account
- login as administrator
- rename c:\users\[user_name] to c:\users\[user_name_orig]
- create an empty folder c:\users\[user_name]
- create a new ntfs volume and mount it to c:\users\[user_name]
- use robocopy in windows cmdline like this:
robocopy c:\users\[user_name_orig] c:\users\[user_name] /COPYALL /E /R:0
- login as [user_name]
- if everithing works as expected, delete c:\users\[user_name_orig]
- proceed with costumization, installation of apps, and so on ...

awaiting your comments & suggestions

regards obogosa

I tried something similar to an XP computer several months back, and it just about killed the entire system as far as the user account is concerned. There is one MAJOR flaw in your technique:

While you can copy the user folders. etc to another location, what about the thousands of registry entries that point to the original " c:\users\[user_name]"? I haven't tried mounting an NTFS volume into a folder, but I guess that could work.

You are still however, copying way to much redundant information that serves no real purpose as far as the user experience is concerned. I found it best to just leave the "c:\users\[user_name]" folder where it is by default, and then to manually relocate the appropriate folders ("Contacts", "Documents", "Downloads" "Favourites" and "Pictures") before I install any new applications. Those are the only folders that contain anything worth saviing anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2
 
 

A variation that can work is to replace the actual user root folder with a suitable junction point that points to the new location on the non system drive.

this will also address the problem of existing registry entries that point to the original whilst allowing the system drive space used to be kept to a minimum.

This could be achieved for the complete users tree by the use of the PendMoves utility available from sysinternals.
This is needed to allow the removal of the system folder which is not allowed whilst windows is actually running.

I would only advise this type of modification when there is no other viable alternative
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


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