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Windows 7: User Profile - Change Default Location

22 Feb 2014   #210

Windows 7/ Ubuntu

I believe I have managed it successfully in Win8.1x64! It's been stable for a week now.

I used method 1 but there were some important things not mentioned.

First, there are a few additional registry keys which make things go a lot smoother:

  • Tell Windows where to find ntuser.dat and userclass.dat
**Note: If you've already moved your files you have to move ntuser.dat and usrclass.dat AGAIN, because these registry entries are being changed in your local copy of those files.

**Note: The Volume# in HarddiskVolume# is counted from the first partition on the first drive STARTING WITH 1, not 0 as you see it in Windows or Linux. So mine was HarddiskVolume8 since it's behind 7 partitions.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\hivelist\
  • Registry\User\S-1-5-21.... = \Device\HarddiskVolume1\Users\YOU\NTUSER.DAT
  • Registry\User\S-1-5-21.... = \Device\HarddiskVolume1\Users\YOU\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\UsrClass.dat
I also changed (=Your new path):
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Volatile Environment\Appdata
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Volatile Environment\Homepath
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Volatile Environment\LocalAppdata
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Volatile Environment\Userprofile
    • Leave Homedrive alone.
and of course
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList.....\ProfileImagePath\ = Your new path.

Second, what to do about the Junctions (reparse points to the real folders)? They are broken when you move the folders. You have to reconnect them exactly like the folder structure on the C:\ drive. I use Hard link shell extension.

Update: Copy the Junctions in one simple step with Far Manager. See my post here (gggirlgeek.)

Third, what to do with the stubborn ntuser, usrclass and crypt files that don't want to move. I logged into another installation of Windows, took ownership and then used Unlocker to force them.

Reboot once or twice and Windows should catch on. If not, check your HarddiskVolume# again. And make sure you move NTUSER.DAT and USRCLASS.DAT after you edit the registry!

FWIW: I am using the built in Admin account as my own. This should have made things harder but it worked!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2014   #211

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

After step 15 the location of the Documents file is still shown as C instead of the desired E. Does it make any difference that at present all these files are empty?

I also got a pop-up message saying I was logged with a temp profile whatever that means.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2014   #212

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Aurondium,

Double check to see if you may have made a mistake somewhere above step 15.

If you like, I would recommend to do what's in the yellow tip box at the top of the tutorial instead of moving your profile location.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2014   #213

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Will do. For interest - here's the pop-up message.

You have been logged on with a temporary profile. You cannot access your files and files created in this profile will bedeleted when you log off. To fix this log off and try again later. See Event log for details or contact system administrator.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Mar 2014   #214

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Re Step One- Nobody has a padlock beside it.

When I click I get two choices - Stop sharing or Change Sharing permission.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2014   #215

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

The padlock is normal. It indicates that the folder is not shared with any other user.

The temp profile error was most likely caused by a mistake made while doing the steps in the tutorial. The error indicates that your profile cannot be found or is corrupted, so Windows loads you into a temporary profile for your user account to use for now.

It would be best to double check through all the steps to see if you may have made a mistake, and correct anything found to hopefully fix the temp profile error.

If that doesn't help, then see: User Profile Error - Logged on with a Temporary Profile
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2014   #216

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thanks, Brink.

No luck yet. I may have to start afresh with a clean install. We'll see. I haven't opened any files yet, or activated Windows yet or loaded any files from my old machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2014   #217

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Are you able to create a new user account to use instead that works properly?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2014   #218

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Forgive me being a tad dumb, Brink, but I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean a new Administrator Account and then try the procedure again to change the location?

I created a new Administrator Account before going through the Tutorial and haven't deleted that one yet because Step 15 showed the change of default location hadn't worked.

Have to go to bed now. Thanks for your tolerance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2014   #219

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Yep, that's what I meant to start over with the new account, and delete the old one.

Sleep well. I'll be here when you're ready to continue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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