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Windows 7: Using vssadmin command line to store Restore files on the DATA drive

17 Jan 2014   #11
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

BTW - if you want to make a quick backup of your data partition, you can do that with the command below from command prompt. That produces a VHD which you can attach via Disk Management > Action tab.

WBADMIN START BACKUP -backupTarget:L: -include:

D would be your data partition and L is the disk/partition to where you put the VHD - or whatever letters you have

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2014   #12

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Windows 8.1 Pro

WHS and Kari --

Thanks for all the info - Let me bump this situation off you guys - Lets say you have a SSD on Drive 0 and have your System on partition C: - You have a HDD on Drive 1 and have your DATA Partition on D: set up using Kari's method during the W7 system install and have used this setup for a year or so when something happens and you loose your SSD drive and (for whatever reason) you don't have a backup of your SSD drive and have to do a System install from scratch on a new SSD - However, your HDD is OK with all your data on D: intact -

How would you do your install (use Audit mode and move to E: on Drive 1 (new partition)?) and then recover all your data from D: to E:? Which folders could you recover? Interesting!!

Again, thks - Papa
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2014   #13


  • System partition C: on disk0, needs to be replaced. Main profile folder relocated (sysprep) to partition D: on disk1 is intact.

How to do it:
  • Remove disk0 and disk1
  • Attach new disk0
  • Install Windows normally, boot to desktop
  • Shut down Windows
  • Attach old disk1
  • Boot to Windows
  • Backup the user data from D: (disk1). NOTE: Do not backup AppData, only personal data like docs, pics, media etc.
  • Wipe disk1, format, attach desired drive letter(s)
  • Boot to Audit Mode
  • Run sysprep to relocate main user profile folder Users
  • Exit Audit Mode (OOBE boot)
  • Restore the user backed up user data
Some pointers and tips in following posts:Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Jan 2014   #14
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

In this situation, your data on the HDD will not be touched. It will remain intact.

After you have reinstalled Windows, go to the data on the HDD and right click on each (higest level) folder - Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc. Then INCLUDE them into the appropriate library.

I suggest to give those folders on the HDD a slightly different name to distingguish then easily from the system folders. I always call them Whs Documents, Whs Pictures, etc. (see snip). They are on E which is a HDD.

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Using vssadmin command line to store Restore files on the DATA drive-2014-01-18_1314.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #15

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Windows 8.1 Pro

Hey Kari and Whs - Thks for the prompt response - sorry I didn't get back quicker but we had our version of pro football semi-finals Sun so I was a little slow Mon - Haven't had a chance to test all this info but wondered if you can move 'Program Data' could you add a line to the script to move 'System Information' also - that way you could free up lots of GBs of System Restore files -

Also was wondering if you guys could suggest some reading material that talks about the stuff you guys know - I've bought books by Halsey, Northrup, etc, but only Karp's book goes into any real detail stuff but nothing like the stuff you guys know - I promise I won't tell -I'm 73, so well you know what happens next!!!

Anyway, Thx - Papa
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #16
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Any system files you should not move. If they don't have a Location tab in Properties, don't touch them. There are some exceptions, but I'd rather not go into that.

Btw: Welcome to the seniors club. From my vantage point you are young. Once you get to my age you will know more than me, LOL.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2014   #17

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Windows 8.1 Pro

Whs and Kari -

Just 1 more question -- Is there a way for me to change my system from the way it's set up now to the correct way (Kari's) without doing a clean install? W7 HPx64 is on C:, DATA is on D:, and W8.1 Pro is on E: (haven't done much with it yet) - The AppData folder and NTUSER files are on D: so I think I would have to do a clean install to make the system work correctly -

Thank you guys for all your help (and patience) - Papa John
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2014   #18


I have some difficulties to understand your question?

Relocating Users with sysprep can be done while installing or later for an existing installation. It should not be done if the Users main folder or parts of it (eq. individual user's Documents folder) are moved to another location with Properties > Location tab or by editing registry.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2014   #19

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Windows 8.1 Pro

Kari - Thks for your prompt reply - This is the state of my W7 HP system now

I followed the info I sent you in one of my early posts as follows:
System and User data was on volume C: (me only)
Created a 96 GB volume D:
Did a System Restore
Booted using my W7 Repair CD
Chose 'Command Prompt'
Checked to make sure my Volumes were C: and D: (they were)
Then type: robocopy /copyall /mir /xj C:\Users D:\Users and Enter
Note: Make sure no failures to copy (FAILED column = 0)
Then, remove old users folder - rmdir /s/q C:\Users and Enter
Create NTFS Junction: mklink /j C:\Users D:\Users and Enter
You can check by going to C: and do the dir command and you'll see 'Users[D:\Users]'
Remove CD and Reboot - That's it - and that's how it is now -

However, the robocopy copies your all your ntuser.dat files so your user profile is on D: -
I don't know how to overcome this issue unless I do a clean install using your method -
Unless you know how to break the Junction and recover my profiles - All the stuff is there and it would be a lot easier not to have to re-install all my stuff but this setup is not good - Any help appreciated -

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2014   #20


Personally I do not like to use junctions and links for system folders like Users. That setup cannot be sysprepped to relocate Users, so either you simply move the Users back to C: or do a clean install in case you want to use the more efficient and less pain-in-the-you-know-where sysprep method.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Using vssadmin command line to store Restore files on the DATA drive

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