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Windows 7: How do I move my user profiles back to C:\user

19 Sep 2014   #31
Kaktussoft

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Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kaktussoft View Post
Moving user profile location has to be done BEFORE the user account is created. So during installation phase for example in audit mode.

Moving it later will give you small or major problems.
Wrong. As the procedure can be reversed, it can also be redone.

The sysprep method for instance can be used without issues whenever user wants to. I've done it on systems a couple years old. Again, my recommendation is to set up a test rig and test yourself. Really. Test it and try to make it fail. I give you the same promise than I gave to Greg, I will not say afterwards "What did I tell you!".


What happens when you run Sysprep with an unattended answer file to relocate the main profile folder on an existing Windows 7 installation:
  • The folder Users will be moved to another drive, completely with every existing user profile and everything they contain
  • All future user profiles will automatically be created in the new location
  • An OOBE first run boot is run, it's this phase where Windows checks the system and sets new environmental variables
  • All profile related environment variables get new values, for instance when the procedure is done and user has relocated the Users folder on X: and types various profile related environment variables to Explorer addressbar followed by Enter, he is taken to:
    • %temp% > takes user to X:\Users\ProfileName\AppData\Local\Temp
    • %userprofile% > takes user to X:\Users\ProfileName
    • %localappdata% > takes user to X:\User\ProfileName\AppData\Local
    • ... and so on
Kari
You're refering to User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation ? "During installation" it says


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Sep 2014   #32
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kaktussoft View Post
You're refering to User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation ? "During installation" it says
The tutorial name is misleading, I admit that.

However, at the very beginning of the tut is an Information box where you can see the highlighted text:

Quote:
information   Information
There are several methods to move user profiles to another disk or partition after you have installed Windows 7. The easiest way is to use Audit Mode and System Preparation Tool, both built-in Windows 7 features, to permanently move the location of the folder Users.

This tutorial shows how to relocate both Users and ProgramData to another disk or partition when doing a new, fresh and clean install of Windows 7. If you have already installed Seven, and you'd like to move those folders away from their default location in C: drive, please read first post number 22 in this thread. Follow the steps told in that post, and continue then from beginning of the page 4 in this tutorial.
The post #22 mentioned then explains how it's done on an existing installation:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
OK, I have tested a new, different scenario now on three PC's, and it works. Here's what you should do if installing Seven on SSD and relocating User folders using this method, or if for any reason wanting to move ProgramData and / or Users after Windows is already installed. This method can be used whenever you want to relocate Users to another disk on an existing installation of Seven.

If you want to install Seven on an SSD: Install Seven normally to SSD, disconnecting all other disks. After Windows has booted first time normally after installation, shut the computer down and reconnect other disks. Reboot Windows.

Relocating Users and ProgramData folders when Windows Seven is already installed:

Run Command Prompt as administrator by clicking Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories, then right clicking Command Prompt and selecting Run as Administrator:

Attachment 128354

Type this to command prompt: C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe /audit /reboot, hit Enter.

Attachment 128355

Windows reboots now to Audit Mode, "thinking" it's been started first time as the message on screen shows:

Attachment 128356

Now continue from beginning of page 4 in tutorial, and follow the steps described. Running the script causes Windows to move ProgramData and Users folders from C: to another disk or partition, also moving all content of said folders. The later you do this, the longer it takes because Windows has more to move.

Notice that this really makes Windows think it's first boot, so you have to select country and keyboard layout and again create a user account when first time booted in OOBE (normal) mode after running the script. Because the Users folder already contains your user account folders, you get an error message if trying to input the same name:

Attachment 128342

Use a temporary name, for instance Test to continue first boot routine. When Windows stops for login, choose your old account to login, for instance in my case I chose here Kari and not the account Test which I just created:

Attachment 128343

When finally in Windows desktop, go to User Accounts and remove the unnecessary Test account. That account has yet no folders to remove because Windows does not create user folders when user account is created; the user folders are only created when user logs in first time.

That's it. Works without any problems whatsoever.
Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2014   #33
sargan

W7 64 bit ultimate
 
 

Guys .. as I am not installing windows, only wish to move profiles back to C:\ ... should I use the script just to move profiles, as you describe above "The post #22 mentioned then explains how it's done on an existing installation:". or is do I just move them (revert) as per the original tutorial User Profile - Change Default Location
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Sep 2014   #34
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

No Sargan. I want to apologize, this thread of yours has gone a bit off topic or at least expanded the topic beyong your original issue.

You need to revert the move of your profile folder(s) using the same method you originally used. You will create a total mess if you now use the Sysprep method to revert something you did with the registry editing method.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2014   #35
sargan

W7 64 bit ultimate
 
 

Thanks .. I'll go do that .... I'll admit did seem to be getting quite involved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I move my user profiles back to C:\user




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