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Windows 7: User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation

17 Jun 2011   #90

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

thanks for quick reply Kari. I got it
I am not going to move ProgramData, but with 3 different users accounts can I relocate to same location if I have different user names and I give same name to computers. So it will be computer/webjockey1, computer/webjockey2.

Once again thank you so much for taking time to answer my Q.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #91

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


The problem is not only usernames, it's the folder Users. It's a system folder. Because of several ownership and permission issues it should only be used by one computer / installation.

To put it short:
- All user accounts (profiles) on one computer and one Windows installation can and will be stored under Users. This is OK, you can have as many user accounts as you need. Using the script in this tutorial takes care of that, all future user account folders will be automatically created to this new location of Users.
- Users should only include account profiles of one computer or installation. When more Windows installations exist on the same computer (dual / triple whatever boot), the Users folder (as well as all other system folders) should always be located on the system drive of that installation, or be relocated on a drive that does not have any system folders from any other Windows installation.

To put it even shorter:
- Don't do that.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #92

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks Kari.
SO I WONT create users on from different installs on to the same drive. what i have planned now is I will relocate Computer1's users on to D but will leave users of Computer2 and computer3 on their install drive. Then from all three Installs I will relocate just the Favourite folder to E Drive (or wherever) using "the old famous right click>location tab method" so that all my installs have same favorites. I have used "this way" of sharing favorites in the past and it works flawlessly.
The whole idea of moving the complete users directory came into picture when I could not relocate hotmail's ost created by Outlook 2010 with outlook connector. Its a big file and I am using SSD so I have to move it for numerous reasons. But as I am setting up Outlook only on one machine so I dont have any problems as pretty much everything else I can setup application to behave in a way that it downloads to a specifc folder.

Thanks Kari you are a real genius
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2011   #93

Windows 7

This guide is just what I need. I just made a new build and I have a 64gb ssd for the OS and programs but Win7 was eating up space. I've been using some optimization guides to regain some space but I want to move as much as possible to the E: drive. This guide should do the trick. There isn't really much on the C: drive other than Win7, mobo and hardware drives, Mozilla, stuff like that. I want to keep the ssd drive as uncluttered as possible. I'll gather all the info from this guide here on my laptop, read and re-read it and then give it a try. Thanks very much, Kari and everyone else. I'll keep you all posted of my progress.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Jun 2011   #94

Windows 7 Professional x64

This guide from Kari is indeed excellent. However, I found that moving AppData and ProgramData off my SSD was slowing down the system boot FAR too much!

I have since reinstalled Windows, and left all my AppData and ProgramData in place and it's running a lot faster. Not to say this isn't a good guide, just the drive I moved all the data to was much slower, and was noticeably slowing down the booting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2011   #95

Windows 7

I already have Win 7 installed and I want to get this done but when I try to run the sysprep.exe I get a "A fatal error occurred while trying to sysprep the machine." message.

I chose "Run as Administrator" for the command prompt but I see, "C:\Users\Me>" Is that ok?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2011   #96

Win 7 Ultimate x64
Kari, confused a little wanted to verify.

Hello Kari, Thank You for this tut. OK, I understand most of everything. I'm going with the moving AFTER win 7 already installed. I get the script thing and all.

Question, I'm confused on if the win 7 disc needs to be in the WIM(?) CD/DVD drive; before excuting the script? As you have suggested, I created the xml file in notepad; have it in my D: drive root. Am I good to go? Just not sure if any modification is needed, on the script.

Also, a few posts down from post 22, you mentioned this:

I am going to do some serious testing in a next few days. I think moving existing accounts (profiles), you need to first copy the folders of that account to an external drive, then delete the profile, move users using the script told in this tutorial, and then copy the files and folders back.

It seems sysprep is too "clever"; it does not let it to be fooled with renamed user folders but "hijacks" those, causing double user profile name, with the ".ComputerName" extension on the new profile.


Is this something I need to be concorned with on this procedure? Don't want to screw anything up; so double-checking.

Thank You for any assistance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2011   #97

Windows 7

This just isn't working for me at all. I guess I'll have to do a fresh install or try another method. But thanks for the guide. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #98

Windows 7

I finally got it done!

I did a fresh install and moved things over but I forgot to unplug the extra hdds and things got messy. Some how I lost the Boot manager. So I started over and unplugged the extra drives until it was time to run the script in Audit mode. Now ever thing is fine. And then I went through some SSD optimization guides, removed the "Window.old" folders, removed some Windows programs that I wouldn't be using (games, DVD maker, etc) and I reclaimed a LOT of space.

Now I just have to set up the video capture RAID and then it's time to install Programs. Thanks a lot Kari and everyone else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2011   #99

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1

After following this tutorial & loving the setup, I'm now trying to plot out my backup plans. But D, now 350GB, is considered a system disk. Kari, do you advise anything in the way of how to take an image of this kind of setup? This is definitely a big drawback, and I'm thinking about trying to figure out a different setup that will allow for an image of only the OS+apps as I have other backups of the data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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