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Windows 7: User Profile - Change Default Location

27 May 2010   #139
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 
User Profile - Change Default Location

How to Change the Default Location of a User Profile in Vista and Windows 7


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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Jun 2012   #140
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alun1976 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Al,

Moving an existing profile could be problematic with some programs.

You might consider OPTION TWO in the tutorial. After OPTION TWO, the new user account that will be at the new location. Next, you would just need to copy any shortcuts (Start Menu, desktop, Startup, etc) and files (ex: your users' Music, Documents, etc.. ) from the old user account's profile folder to the new user account's profile folder. You will have to setup all your settings in the new account again though.

When finished, and everything checks out ok, you could delete your old user account to regain the HDD space it's using. You might wait a day or two before deleting the old account just to be safe and make sure that you had copied everything you wanted though.
Great, will give that a try and feed back to you. I wont delete the old user profile in any hast, will make sure it is up and running smoothly first. Could I copy the existing user and paste it in the new user profile on my bigger HD? Would this miraculously make my programs functionable or am I dreaming?

Thanks again
No, you will not be able to copy and paste the old profile into the new one like that and still have it work. Only copy shortcuts and files in My Music, My Documents, etc....

You're programs will still work just fine, but you may have to adjust any personal settings back.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Jul 2012   #141
KJBoyd

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
This could be a possibility ...

Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but have you tried mounting the partition you want to use onto the user folder ? I did this with both my own user 'My Documents' and 'My Downloads' folder - as far as I can tell, it should work transparently and without messing about with registry settings and such - filesystems - Mount second drive as c:/Users in Windows 7 - Super User has full details on doing this but I will summarize ;

Create either a restore point or a full system back-up in case something goes horribly wrong.
Boot using either a WinPE2.0 disk (Hirens boot cd / Windows installation disk) and get to a command prompt.
Locate the drive / partition that has your Windows 7 installation on it, locate the drive / partition you want to use for the Users folder.

At the command prompt use Type robocopy c:\Users d:\ /mir /xj (replace the directories with the ones from your system)

Remove the original users directory - rmdir /S /Q C:\Users

After deleting the C:\Users directory, recreate it

mkdir C:\Users


Run the DISKPART command, and select the second disk (substitute * for correct disk number listed after the LIST DISK command)


DISKPART


LIST DISK


SELECT DISK *


SELECT PARTITION 1


Set the mountpoint. If it fails, go back and make sure the C:\Users directory exists and is empty.


ASSIGN MOUNT=C:\Users


EXIT


Reboot. Once it's done rebooting, you can use Start->diskmgmt.msc to remove the drive letter from the second drive if you want.


should work perfectly ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2012   #142
nevesswodniw

7 Ult x64 sp1
 
 

Hi Brink,

I've already done this, and it's been working fine for months, but lately I've been wondering just what the benefit is...

For example, having users in original location on an ssd would mean a quicker experience.

But lets just say you make an image of windows, you must always make an image also of the users folder, right.
If you didnt, and windows becomes corrupt or infected with a virus, and you restored an earlier image or windows, but no image of the current users folder, it wouldnt achieve anything, that is, its the user profile that becomes corrupt or infected with a virus, so they both need to always be imaged at same time?

So, if that's the case, and the ONLY way to restore your system from corruption or a virus, is to make sure you have an image of BOTH, then wouldn't it be easier to just leave the users folder on c drive and image that?

Other than moving location of the space wasting folders which aren't required in an image ( pics, vid, music etc) , is there an important reason to move the whole users folder that I'm missing? ( I probably knew them when I first did this, but cant remember them now )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2012   #143
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Nevesswodniw,

Moving a user profile can save HDD space, but personallly I believe it's best to leave the user profile as is by default to avoid having issues from any mistakes made. It's much easier to just use libraries (see TIP box at top of tutorial) to save HDD space and access files from different locations in the one library folder with the files still stored at the different locations.

When you move your user profile to another location, that other location will be included by default when creating a system image, and cannot be not included. If you are using a 3rd party program to create a system image with, then yes you will need to make sure that you also include this other location or Windows will not work properly when restored.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #144
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Correct. I would still recommend to leave it set as default.

I'm sure that many people may find it to have a number of benefits for their own reasons though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #145
nevesswodniw

7 Ult x64 sp1
 
 

woops, It double posted, I deleted one, and they both deleted.....

The main reasons I moved the users folder to a separate partition are, so that when a new user profile is created, the "MY" folders don't use up HDD space on the windows partition ( so that the user doesn't have to manually move the locations after creating the new profile ), and so that the firefox and thunderbird profiles are also automatically created on the separate partition.

So my question would be, if I leave the users folder as default, which I would like to do, is there any way at all that you know of, where the pics/vid/music etc folders and the firefox/thunderbird profile folders can automatically be set to a separate partition after a new user profile is created, instead of having to re-direct them manually afterwards?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #146
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

LOL, no problem.

You could use libraries if setup as in the yellow TIP box at the top of the tutorials for the the pics/vid/music etc folders. However, programs will still be on C though unless they have an option to select where you want to install them at.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #147
MortenHa69

Windows Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Hmmm! Interesting stuff!

I'm using the library function, and I have moved my documents, pictures etc. to my E: partition. But now I'm wondering if that is the smart thing to do!?!

This is my restore scheme:
I have created a partition on an external USB Disk (Not SSD, good old fashioned HDD), and cloned my C: drive to this partition using EaseUS Todo Backup. Then I have created a bootable Utility CD-ROM that I can use to copy back the clone if things go sour.

Question is:
Will the system still recognize my libraries after such an operation? Or are there hidden pitfalls I don't know about?
Morten
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #148
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Morten, and welcome to Seven Forums.

It will only recognize your moved user folders on E if you also include E in the cloned image backup.

This is one reason why IMO it would best to leave the user folders at default, and use libraries as setup using the yellow TIP box at the top of the tutorial instead. This way you would not have to worry about making sure you have included all location that you moved user folders to in backup images.

Hope this helps,

Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #149
MortenHa69

Windows Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thank you Shawn! I'm glad to have found such a great forum, it has given me answers to almost every question I've pondered (new to Windows 7)!

As to your reply:

I knew it, it looked too simple when I was arguing with myself. Well, back to the drawing board...

Thanx for the quick reply!

Morten
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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