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Windows 7: Moving profiles off C: - unattended XML vs Audit Mode vs mlink

16 Jun 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Ubuntu 14.04
Moving profiles off C: - unattended XML vs Audit Mode vs mlink

Iíve seen these three strategies recommended by different people. I think Iíve only used the Microsoft method (the 1st one) which they explain but claim it will block upgrades.

Iím preparing to reinstall Win 7 (after an SSD Win partition vanished). Does anyone have comments on the merits of these different strategies?

The XML file and Audit Mode are basically the same since youíre just changing the Registry, but can you move ProgramData in Audit Mode?

Creating links (in recovery?) makes the system think the files are still on C: but seems a bit messier to set up.

Iíve enjoyed my holiday in Linux but Windows games are calling.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2015   #2


I wouldn't recommend moving the User profile off the OS. The hidden AppData integrates itself into the OS and should like Programs remain on C. We see plenty of problems with doing this.

What works without much problem is to move the User Folders - Change Default Location moving only the folders that you use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2015   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Ubuntu 14.04

Thanks for your reply Greg. It doesn’t directly address my question, but thanks.

Could you expand on “We see plenty of problems”?

I’ve never had any problems from doing this and I think the first time I did it was probably NT 4 (I didn’t have the hardware to seriously use NT before that). I’ve had problems caused by badly written programs (e.g. creating User folders using the wrong codepage), but none I could attribute to this.

Unfortunately some programs store significant amounts of data in AppData which makes leaving it on an SSD impractical. E.g. just checking my previous AppData (which only still exists because it wasn’t on the SSD) — 324,017 items, totalling 135.9 GB. A lot of that appears to be cruft but it’s still there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jun 2015   #4


I focus on what works best for Windows 7, observing trends over the six years since it's release Having been here every day 4-6 hours without missing a day.

As to moving User Account I have observed numerous problems experienced by those who have done this over The years, while I cannot remember any problems reported by those who have only moved their user folders.

While User Data can stand to be on the slower hard drive, I'm not sure this can be said for user AppData which interactis with system files in such a way as to be integrated with the Operating System. I would want it on the SSD, but maybe that's just me.

Hopefully others will share their opinion so you can have a variety.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Moving profiles off C: - unattended XML vs Audit Mode vs mlink

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