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

31 Aug 2015   #970
Clairvaux

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)
 
 
Late thanks

Kari,

I somehow missed your answer to my queries, not having received an email warning from the forum. I just found it rummaging around.

So I wanted to thank you for having taken care to review my concerns and addressing them.

I will tentatively sum up the issue by saying : this method works, but it's easy to make mistakes, therefore it requires a certain level of technical know-how, specific attention, or both.

As a matter of fact, I ran across a different method to move User folders (which you probably are aware of), whose author stated that he had deliberately omitted some of the more obvious steps, in order to scare away lesser-knowledgeable users. You took the opposite approach, which is all the more commendable.

This subject is so important that I would suggest I single entry-point for all your posts related to Sysprep and User Profiles moving. It would also be very useful to have a short introduction explaining the difference in scope between the different tutorials you have published, and the different sets of tools they use.

The one I used five years ago was short enough that I could wrap my head around it, but the longest one I found was a 52-page monument when I transferred it to a word-processor -- and that's not counting the contents of the videos ! Impressive... and somewhat intimidating...

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and trying to help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
31 Aug 2015   #971
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Clairvaux View Post
So I wanted to thank you for having taken care to review my concerns and addressing them.
You are welcome. I am vain enough to enjoy a Thank You, I've had enough those "You broke my PC!" replies even though if you read this whole thread we have found out they have been user errors

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Clairvaux View Post
As a matter of fact, I ran across a different method to move User folders (which you probably are aware of), whose author stated that he had deliberately omitted some of the more obvious steps, in order to scare away lesser-knowledgeable users. You took the opposite approach, which is all the more commendable.
I have to admit I have also "played" some in my tutorials. Because I am no longer doing it, I recently admitted it on our sister site the Eight Forums as can be read here (my confession after the last quote from EF member Cheech in that post).

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Clairvaux View Post
...the longest one I found was a 52-page monument when I transferred it to a word-processor -- and that's not counting the contents of the videos ! Impressive... and somewhat intimidating...
... Depends on the font you use... . In my Word 2016 it's only 20 pages with normal margins, text only, screenshots excluded. You have no idea how much whisky writing that tutorial required!

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #972
gonzar

Massachusetts
 
 

Hi,

First I wanted to start by saying that this is my first SSD on a new build. So this is my first attempt at trying to put my OS on an SSD and everything else on an HDD, since the SSD is only 128MB. So please forgive my lack of knowledge on this subject.

So I did a full install following the tutorial and everything seemed to work fine per the instructions. I then started to install my drivers, first with the mobo drivers, which appeared to install on the D drive during the installation. But when I looked on the D drive there were no program files on it. They were on the C drive of course, but with all the mobo software...which I'm trying to avoid. I then tried to install AVG manually to the D drive but it said the program files do not exist on the D drive. Do I have to move (or symlink) the program files over to the D drive manually? Am I confused?

I also noticed that my user files on the D drive are symlinked...but to where? How do I use them? Because since some of them are symlinked, they are not accessible from the D drive, and don't exist at all on the C drive.

Is all this normal and I'm just not getting it, or is there something wrong?

Thank you.

EDIT:

Now that I turned off hidden files that makes more sense, with the user files. After doing some research on program files, it looks like they are going in the Appdata file on the D drive?

So I guess at this point, from my meager understanding of how this works, the next question is do I just let programs install automatically? That even though it appears they are on the C drive they are actually on the D drive in Appdata somewhere?

If this is so, I don't think I'll ever fully understand how this mysterious dark magic actually works...but will be perfectly happy using it to my advantage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #973
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gonzar View Post
If this is so, I don't think I'll ever fully understand how this mysterious dark magic actually works...but will be perfectly happy using it to my advantage.
Some basics about Windows system folders regarding the process described in this tutorial, program installation and user data:

Windows works with so called Environment Variables. Assuming you have already relocated your Users folder and further assuming you relocated it to D: drive, you can check some of these variables and see them "in action" by yourself. Just type the name of the following example variables in File Explorer address bar or the Run dialog (Win + R), hit Enter and see where they bring you:
  • Type %programfiles% + Enter
    • You will be taken to C:\Program Files. This is where the 64 bit software will be installed by default in 64 bit Windows, all software in 32 bit Windows
  • Type %programfiles(x86)% + Enter
    • You will be taken to C:\Program Files (x86). This is where the 32 bit software will be installed by default in 64 bit Windows. This folder does not exist in 32 bit Windows
  • Type %windir% + Enter
    • You will be taken to C:\Windows. This is where the core of Windows operating system will be installed
  • Type %userprofile% + Enter
    • You will be taken to D:\Users\Your_UserProfile_Folder. This is where by default your documents, pictures, videos, music, favorites and so on are stored
  • Type %appdata% + Enter
    • You will be taken to D:\Users\Your_UserProfile_Folder\AppData\Roaming. If an application needs individual settings and configuration files, they will be saved here and in AppData\Local (see next entry)
  • Type %localappdata% + Enter
    • You will be taken to D:\Users\Your_UserProfile_Folder\AppData\Local. If an application needs individual settings and configuration files, they will be saved here and in AppData\Roaming (see previous entry)
  • Type %temp% + Enter
    • You will be taken to D:\Users\Your_UserProfile_Folder\AppData\Local\Temp. By default Windows saves your temporary files here.
  • Type %programdata% + Enter
    • You will be taken to C:\ProgramData, D:\ProgramData if you relocated this folder, too. If an application needs global settings and configuration files for all users, they will be saved here. About the same function than AppData\Local and AppData\Roaming but for all users instead of individual users
If you look at the list you will notice that this Sysprep procedure only changed the path of those environment variables that have something to do with the user profiles. Windows itself remains on C: drive, as well as the folders to store your installed applications. The only folders that can be relocated in Windows are the Users folder (Vista and later) and ProgramData (Vista and Seven).

Relocating the Windows and / or Program Files folders is not supported. Trying to do so is a sure way to a crippled Windows. If and when you have followed the instructions in this tutorial, the personal user data for all existing and future users will from now on be stored on D: drive by default but the software still installs on C: drive. Most software installers have a so called Advanced or Custom installation mode available to allow you to manually change the install location.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

31 Aug 2015   #974
gonzar

Massachusetts
 
 

Oh. Guess I should have been more clear. I only have a 128GB ssd, so all my games and program won't fit on that...on top of the OS. I'm a game developer, so I use programs that take up a lot of space.

And I guess I should'nt say relocating...as it's a new install. I just want to be able to have the option of installing programs on either drive. Is it as simple as adding those? My co-workers that have the same setup are saying that windows automatically adds those program files? Again, all I need is the option to install on either drive....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #975
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

The process told in this tutorial relocates (moves) the Users folder, the folder where all user account (profiles) are stored. It does not move the folders where the software is installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #976
gonzar

Massachusetts
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
The process told in this tutorial relocates (moves) the Users folder, the folder where all user account (profiles) are stored. It does not move the folders where the software is installed.
Yeah, I understand that now. I just wasn't sure about the program files. I think I just need to create them on the D drive so I can install programs on that drive as well. I assumed it had to be created in some specific way for them to function properly. But I guess it's just a standard file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #977
gonzar

Massachusetts
 
 

Tried installing AVG on the D drive again and getting a "specified path not found" error message. Tried installing display drivers next, but get get a black screen on boot. I guess they could be separate issues. The only other things I've installed is mobo related, on the C drive.

Day 3, here we go:/ And my boss said it should only take a half day, LOL.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2015   #978
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

How difficult can it be to change the AVG installation folder? Select Custom installation and change the location!
User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation-2015-09-01_12h12_18.png
Display drivers causing issues has absolutely nothing to do with Sysprepped system, with or without a relocated Users folder.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2015   #979
gonzar

Massachusetts
 
 

Not hard at all? Did exactly that when trying to install manually...several times. I think I specified that in the overclock thread. Anyhoo...I'll figure it out one way or another. Just thought I'd save some time asking the experts if they new what might be going on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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