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Windows 7: Help for re-install of Win7 while using existing Users folder


19 Feb 2012   #1

Windows Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Help for re-install of Win7 while using existing Users folder

I have a system with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit installed on the C: drive and the Users folders moved to the D: drive (per the directions in this tutorial “User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation”. I have a new motherboard (Asus ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3), CPU (Intel I5-2500k), memory (Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ), SSD (Corsair Force Series GT 120GB) and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on order that I want to swap into this system. Well, actually, I guess that it is mostly a “new” system with my old D: data drive, power supply and case.


I have a few questions about the best way to go about getting up and running with the least amount of headaches:
  1. The new MB has a UEFI BIOS, so does that mean that it will automatically create a GPT style disk on the SSD for the new Windows 7 installation, or is there the option to create a MBR style disk? The reason that I ask, is that I use Macrium Reflect Free to make drive image backups of the C: drive periodically and it doesn’t work with GPT disks apparently.
  2. My thoughts are to leave all of the data on the D: drive as it is, and do a clean install of Windows 7 on the new SSD after all of the components are swapped out. Would it be better to rename the Users folder on my D: drive, install Windows 7 and use the same tutorial as above to move the Users at this time, thus creating a second version of the Users folder and then delete the new and rename the old, or would it be better to install everything to the new SSD, and then after installation, then move the individual folders and point them to the existing folders on the D: drive?
  3. Is there a difference in moving Users folders during installation and moving after installation? It looks to me like the move during installation moves the ProgramData folder as well.
  4. For those that do clean re-installs, is there a good “generic” way to preserve application preferences/configurations/settings for installed applications and then be able to use them after everything is installed back? If I can use the existing Users folder that is on my D: drive after the install of Windows 7, will this do what I am looking for? In the past, I have used various techniques like screen prints, some apps have a preferences file that can be saved and moved back, etc..

Thanks for any assistance,
Rodney


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

19 Feb 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

You'll need to install to an EFI mobo following these steps: UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with - Windows 7 Forums

You can move the User folders to D using the existing ones, however be aware that this will force Windows Backup Imaging to include D in the System Image since those folders are on D, so if a goal is to have a leaner OS/Programs backup image you might want to consider another imaging app like free Macrium - Image your system or the excellent premium Acronis apps which come free when any WD or Seagate HD is in the mix.

The alternative to moving User folders is simply to include the existing ones on D in the related Library. You can compare the methods in these two tutorials: Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums
User Folders - Change Default Location

I would not reimport User appdata or Program Data settings as they are a corruption path into a new install. Instead adapt these steps to get a perfect clean reinstall: Reinstalling Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2012   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. As far as I know, the UEFI BIOS does not prevent you from using NTFS

2. + 3. Just Include (right click on the folders) your user folders on D into the correponding libraries. No need to jump thru 25 hops.

And don't worry about imaging. Since you use Macrium, you have no problem.

4. No idea, never tried that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


19 Feb 2012   #4

Windows Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

So it sounds like you guys recommend to just install everything to the C: drive and include my User data folders from the D: drive, correct?

My understanding is that the free edition of Macrium won't make a useable image of a GPT style disk (created by a UEFI BIOS install). Do you guys know if that is the case?

So, how do you guys get your programs preferences/configurations back to the way that they were before you did a re-install?

Thanks,
Rodney
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2012   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. yes
2. not sure, matter of trying
3. I always reset everything. Too much junk in an old installation anyhow.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Interesting there are at least three simultaneous threads about this right now. I just linked this in another: How to Restore the Default Location of Windows 7 User Folders

If you try Macrium and it will work you might not need to bother.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Help for re-install of Win7 while using existing Users folder




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