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Windows 7: User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation

22 Dec 2012   #510
cwburns32

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Yes, that should work.
Worked like a charm!! So it appears that renaming the folders (Users and ProgramData) do you no good. It seems that the PC reverts the old names of the files upon reboot and even if you rename before you run script it still messes it up. Advise everyone to reformat the disk before running script just to be "safe" and to save them a lot of time. I tried the process 4 times before I was successful, thanks to you!

Much appreciate the fast responses! Thanks again!

P.S. Having a USB 3.0 2 TB external drive helped when backing user data, 386 GBs in a little under an hour


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
22 Dec 2012   #511
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

That is all good to know cwburns32.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2012   #512
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Thanks for the feedback. Good to know you got it finally.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #513
ferrari353

Windows 7 HP x64
 
 

So I have Windows and my program files on my SSD and program data and my user folder on my secondary HDD. I recently upgraded my HDD, and I just copied all the files over to the new one from within Windows and I changed the drive letter on the new drive to what it was, yet windows doesn't seem to be showing my programs, my libraries, or my desktop. And when I open windows Explorer, it says "C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\Desktop refers to a location that is unavailable." so it sounds like it's looking for all this stuff on the C drive, my SSD.

How do I fix this?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Dec 2012   #514
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ferrari353 View Post
So I have Windows and my program files on my SSD and program data and my user folder on my secondary HDD. I recently upgraded my HDD, and I just copied all the files over to the new one from within Windows and I changed the drive letter on the new drive to what it was, yet windows doesn't seem to be showing my programs, my libraries, or my desktop. And when I open windows Explorer, it says "C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\Desktop refers to a location that is unavailable." so it sounds like it's looking for all this stuff on the C drive, my SSD.

How do I fix this?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
Hopefully you have the original secondary drive intact. You could try cloning it to the new drive or create an image of it to put on the new one. Use Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download to try it.

I have been wanting to know if this method would work without a fresh install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2012   #515
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ferrari353 View Post
How do I fix this?
Copying system files and folders to a new HD never works. Not even on a system that has never been sysprepped. What on earth made you think it could work?

I have told this already a few times in this thread but here's the procedure once again:

When replacing the secondary HD where the folders ProgramData and Users are located, first before swapping HDs boot to Audit Mode by giving this command in Start > Run or Command Prompt:
Code:
C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\sysprep.exe /audit /reboot
When in Audit Mode, edit the answer file (script) to change the values of FolderLocations tags back to default locations on C: as shown here:
Code:
<FolderLocations>
<ProfilesDirectory>C:\Users</ProfilesDirectory>
<ProgramData>C:\ProgramData</ProgramData>
</FolderLocations>
Rest of the answer file should remain intact, be as it was when you syprepped first time to move the folders to secondary drive.

Sysprep now as told in the tutorial, using this modified answer file to put Users and ProgramData back to C:, after reboot exit Audit Mode and boot to OOBE / Welcome Mode as told in tutorial.

Now shut down your computer, replace the secondary drive, reboot, reboot again to Audit Mode as told above and repeat the procedure, this time editing FolderLocations tags in script to put folders to a new drive.

Something worth remembering:

Moving folders back to defaults on C: can take a while, depending on how much there is to move. To avoid an hour long sysprep phase I normally backup docs, pics, music, videos etc. and delete them from user folders to make folders to be moved as empty as possible. DO NOT DELETE ANYTHING ELSE THAN YOUR PERSONAL FILES i.e. let AppData remain intact, as well as the folder structure (it's OK to delete docs from My Documents but leave the folder itself).

Every time you exit Audit Mode and boot normally for first time, it is a so called OOBE / Welcome boot. It means that the computer "thinks" Windows is booted first time ever thus stopping to ask for the initial user name and computer name. Existing user profiles are there but can not be used. If you try to enter the username you already have on that computer, this happens:



I usually use a temporary username Test at this stage.

When you then finally arrive to Welcome screen, just ignore the new user account (Test) you had to create in OOBE / Welcome and log in to your normal account:



Windows boots now to default OOBE first boot desktop, with default 800*600 resolution and default theme. All your installed applications are there, as well as your old user profiles and folders. Windows has installed the default drivers for your setup, you can update them if needed.

Now go to Control Panel > User Accounts and delete the temporary user account (in this case Test) that you just created.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2012   #516
ferrari353

Windows 7 HP x64
 
 

So if I change my old drive back to X and put it back in my computer, will it work normally so I can go through the procedure you posted?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2012   #517
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

It should work, but there's no way to tell before you try. Worst case scenario is new install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2012   #518
ferrari353

Windows 7 HP x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
It should work, but there's no way to tell before you try. Worst case scenario is new install.
It still seems to be looking for everything on the C drive. Is there any way to go into audit mode and set up a connection or mklink or something to make it look in the right place?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #519
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

I honestly think your best shot is to reinstall. Copying Usrs and Programdata manually and removing the drive where they were originally located has screwed your setup and registry.

Creating links now could cause bigger irreparable problems.

My recommendation is to reinstall. You have messed up, to make things OK again it's the best you could do. It also helps you to avoid related future issues.

If you are not willing to do that, you could try this method to move your user folders (do not move ProgramData and AppData folders with it). However, your screwed settings and registry can cause problems whatever you'll do.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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