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

27 Jul 2014   #870
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

No probs Kari just thinking out of the box and maybe give a little extra time to sort the small drive out in case of accidents doing it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Jul 2014   #871
namitutonka

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Kari does have great advise, plus a long history of it as well. He'll aslo advise you on fine single malt Scotch if you ask him.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2014   #872
Soul3chelon

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Soul3chelon View Post
I've been trying to use the information on the 22nd post where you're supposed to go into command prompt and type in: C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe /audit /reboot

A small window popped up, stating "Processing clean up phase Sysprep plugins..."

But then a few moments later I received this error:

"A fatal error occurred while trying to sysprep the machine."

I looked up solutions on how to fix this. Checked the registry and made sure GeneralizationState was set to 7. Then I tried msdtc -uninstall and then msdtc -install. Neither solutions worked.
Hi Soul3chelon, welcome to the Seven Forums.

The culprit is most probably the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service (WMPNetworkSvc). When it's running, Sysprep always fails.

Stop the said service first by giving this command in administrative Command Prompt:
Code:
net stop WMPNetworkSvc
Now run the Sysprep, it should work this time.

Whatever you do, do not forget to backup your system first, at least your personal files and folders. also do not forget this warning:

warning   Warning
Using this method causes Windows 7 to lose activation information, and it needs to be reactivated afterwards. If your Windows 7 is an OEM version, you might not be able to reactivate it, at least not without phone activation option.



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
Soul3 mate I am no expert Kari will answer I suspect as soon as he sees this but if you are just copying the small drive to the larger one why not just clone it? with Macrium.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download and then work on it??
In this case this is not a solution to OP's issue; OP is not trying to clone the smaller disk but instead free the space in it by moving the main profile folder Users with all its subfolders (user profiles) to the new bigger disk, keeping already installed Windows running on the original smaller disk.

Kari
Ah thank you for answering. I apologize for not posting sooner.

I ended up just reformatting and reinstalling again while using the tutorial. Everything came out perfectly. My 40 gig is housing Win 7 while my 500 gig is housing my user profiles and all my installations.

Hopefully someone else will use the information you gave me to help them. Either way, again thanks for answering, and thank you for that tutorial as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2014   #873
cobrien84

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 
DELETING "Old" (Relocated) User and Program Data Folders

Kari:

I downloaded, "inhaled" (and used) your original (2010?) PDF entitled "Relocate User folders during Windows 7 installation" with GREAT results (on a Win7Pro machine) a few months ago, as it neatly solved a variety of challenges I'd been facing keeping my data separate from the OS and Apps. The problem (subsequently apparent) came with the desire to reinstall Win7Pro AGAIN, in that (even if I carefully relocate my data FROM the User Folders TO Temp Folders) I don't know the easiest way to DELETE the "old" User (and Program Data) Folders (from the "other drive") to prepare for a clean install. And while I read parts of your "recent maintenance thread", I'm easily frustrated due to my greater familiarity with Unix~! Suggestions (PLEASE!)

Thanks, Chuck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Aug 2014   #874
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cobrien84 View Post
Kari:

I downloaded, "inhaled" (and used) your original (2010?) PDF entitled "Relocate User folders during Windows 7 installation" with GREAT results (on a Win7Pro machine) a few months ago, as it neatly solved a variety of challenges I'd been facing keeping my data separate from the OS and Apps. The problem (subsequently apparent) came with the desire to reinstall Win7Pro AGAIN, in that (even if I carefully relocate my data FROM the User Folders TO Temp Folders) I don't know the easiest way to DELETE the "old" User (and Program Data) Folders (from the "other drive") to prepare for a clean install. And while I read parts of your "recent maintenance thread", I'm easily frustrated due to my greater familiarity with Unix~! Suggestions (PLEASE!)

Thanks, Chuck
Hi Chuck, welcome to the Seven Forums.

First, this (Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep) is wrong thread for both your question and and my response. I'll ask mods to move both to where they belong, to the relocation tutorial thread.

OK, then to your issue. Reinstalling when ProgramData and / or Users folders are relocated to another drive follows exactly the same procedure as when reinstalling Windows 7 when those folders are in their original location. This is how it is recommended to be done:
  • Backup your user data to an external drive (personal files and folders of all users under the main profile folder Users)
  • Boot PC with Windows 7 install media
  • Delete and recreate the partition or drive where you had the Users relocated using Drive Options while installing as told in this tutorial, step 8. It is important that the drive is completely wiped, deleting and recreating it takes care of that
  • Continue installation until the first OOBE boot (Windows asking initial user and computer name)
  • Enter Audit Mode as told in relocating tutorial
  • Relocate ProgramData and / or Users folders with Sysprep
  • Finalize installation
  • Restore the user files from backup
When backing up user data, please notice that you should not backup the hidden AppData folders in each individual user profile folder as this would lead to problems when restored to new installation. This means that you should not backup the whole Users folder for instance by dragging & dropping it to a backup location, nor should you backup individual user profile folders as whole, as this would also copy the AppData. Instead you should only backup the user content from each user profile, folders like Documents, Pictures, Favorites and so on and all other user created stuff, not the system created AppData content.

ProgramData folder does not need to be backed up as it contains data created by programs and applications which will be recreated automatically when you reinstall your software after reinstallation of Windows.

That's it.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2014   #875
BPhillips

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Hi Kari,

I had a bit of a problem using your tutorial, and was wondering if you could help figure out what I did wrong. I'm trying to do a fresh install of Windows 7 Professional x64 with an Intel processor. I made the necessary changes to the xml file you, first changing "amd64" to "intel64", then trying "x64", and of course running the command for sysprep.exe., and I keep getting an error stating:


"Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [C:\Windows\Panther\unattend.xml] for pass
[oobeSystem]. The answer file is invalid."

Any ideas or suggestions on what might be causing this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2014   #876
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BPhillips View Post
Hi Kari,

I had a bit of a problem using your tutorial, and was wondering if you could help figure out what I did wrong. I'm trying to do a fresh install of Windows 7 Professional x64 with an Intel processor. I made the necessary changes to the xml file you, first changing "amd64" to "intel64", then trying "x64", and of course running the command for sysprep.exe., and I keep getting an error stating:


"Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [C:\Windows\Panther\unattend.xml] for pass
[oobeSystem]. The answer file is invalid."

Any ideas or suggestions on what might be causing this?
Hi BPhillips, welcome to the Seven Forums.

Your issue seems to be you can't read English .

The tutorial says quite clear that if you have a 64 bit Windows (tutorial does not separate 64 bit Windows on AMD and Intel processors) the line 4 in answer file (script) should be as in below:
Code:
<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">
To be more accurate, in the explanations I state this:
Quote:
  • Row 4: If you are installing Windows x64 (64-bit), value prosessorArchitecture should be amd64
  • Row 4: If you are installing Windows x86 (32-bit), value prosessorArchitecture should be x86
The tutorial does not have any separate instructions for AMD and Intel processors, nor does it tell to be creative and invent the values for variables by yourself.

Nowhere in the tutorial do I tell to use the value "Intel64" for variable "ProcessorArchitecture"; you have invented that value for this variable by yourself, it is not a valid value, nor have I told to use it or any other value than amd64. As the value "Intel64" you have invented is not recognized as a valid value for the variable "ProcessorArchitecture" it causes a so called syntax error and, naturally, the Sysprep fails.

To put it short: For sysprep all 64 bit Windows installations are amd64, regardless if you have an AMD or an Intel processor. An unattended answer file (an XML file to give instructions to Sysprep) has a strict syntax; you cannot "be creative" and invent your own commands and variable values.


Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2014   #877
BPhillips

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thanks, Kari, reading English was indeed my problem (sad considering it's my native tongue). Guess that old saying is right ... there are no stupid questions, only stupid people.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2014   #878
iamc3k

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

Kari,

Great tutorial. I used this when I built my current rig. It's got a 250Gb SSD and a couple 1Tb spinners. It worked great...for 6 months. Now, I'm getting some odd issues. I cannot keep a power profile, for one. I -suspect- the profile is linked to the user account's expected location.

Regardless, I'd like to, err, undo this. Is that possible without a total W7 reinstall?

Thanks,
Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2014   #879
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

I do not believe the location of the user profile folder has anything to do with your issue. What makes you think that is the reason, would be interesting to know it?

To move folders back to C: or relocate them to a new drive is simple:
  • Backup (move) the user data in user profile folders to an external location
    • The more content various profile folders contain, the more time is needed for Sysprep to move them and more can go wrong. I always recommend first moving all user data to external location. Notice that this applies only to user created data like pics, docs and so on; you should never move system folders like AddData manually
  • Edit the answer file script shown in this tutorial by giving the new location in between the <FolderLocations> tags (in below example to C:):
    Code:
    <FolderLocations>
    <ProfilesDirectory>c:\Users</ProfilesDirectory> <ProgramData>c:\ProgramData</ProgramData>
    </FolderLocations>
  • In all other aspects regarding the syntax of the answer file and especially the bit architecture and location of the original Windows install media when the Sysprep command is given, consult the tutorial as this "re-relocation" process is done exactly the same way
  • Save the answer file as an XML file to root of any drive except C:, run Sysprep from elevated Command Prompt as shown below (in this example the answer file is called MyAnswerFile.xml and is located on drive X:):

    %windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /OOBE /REBOOT /UNATTEND:X:\MyAnswerFile.xml
  • After reboot the folders are back on C: drive. Restore the user profile content from backup

  • Notice that Windows needs to be reactivated after this.

    Kari
    My System SpecsSystem Spec
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