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Windows 7: Moved default user docs and pix, now new hard drive

05 Aug 2014   #1

Moved default user docs and pix, now new hard drive

Long time reader of this forum and now have a question to post. Like many I have redirected my default docs, pix, etc. Folders from my SD to a second D: drive. No issue there.

I am upgrading my D drive and use ssr2013 which allows me to restore a secondary drive within the windows environment. So here is my question. My plan was to unplug my old drive D, plug in my new unformatted drive, boot up and restore.

But having been through many windows battles over the years, what will windows 7 do when it boots up and does not find a drive D and looks for those links? Well it freak out? Worse, will it grab one one of my other drives (which I guess one of which would now be drive D: and setup my docs etc there?
I can unplug all drives except C and the new drive to avoid that issue which seems safer regardless, can't restore to wrong drive!. But still need in put on what 7 will do and what the recommended method is for the restore.

Of course after my restore I want my defaults on the restored drive as they will be restored as the windows default locations.

I can do a bare metal boot up restore instead if all of the above creates issues. However the networking support seems better in windows.

Thanks for any input,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I would restore the folders to the original default location and then move them again once the new drive is installed. That's the safe way.

User Folders - Restore Default Location

If that is not possible (maybe there is not enough space on C), I would image the D partition and restore the image to the new drive.

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2014   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

What has been moved? Only docs, music, video of your userprofile? If so:
  1. Create a new fresh user account. All stuff (profile, docs, music, picture etc) is on C.
  2. Log on as that user.
  3. Clone or backup/restore to the new disk.
  4. Unmount old disk from system
  5. Give new disk drive letter D (same as old disk).
  6. Logoff and logon as normal user.
If all is working fine, you can delete the temporary user.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Aug 2014   #4


Thanks to both for the help!!

WHS, Correct, there is no room on drive C for Docs, Pix, Music, etc. I definitely am going to image the drive and restore to the new the way to do that I think without breaking links would be to unplug one of my OTHER drives and plug in the new drive and leave the old drive D plugged in. Then backup and restore all in one session. And of course shutdown and plugin the old drive D.

Kaktussoft, creative solution on creating the temporary account.

I will do one of the above. Or, perhaps just do a "bare metal" bootup restore to the new drive in which case windows won't even know what happened. It will just see the new drive, same as the old drive!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2014   #5

Windows 7 Pro-x64

I would leave the D drive and install the new drive, let Windows assign a drive letter, format it then copy the files or do the restore to the new drive. After that, delete the old D drive letter and reassign the new drive to D. If the old D drive is going away, shutdown and remove it. If it's staying, assign it a drive letter other than "D".
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Moved default user docs and pix, now new hard drive

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