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

14 Feb 2011   #60

Win7 Pro 64-bit

I just wanted to report back that I used Kari's tutorial to move user profiles and programdata after having installed windows 7. One tip worth following that is in Kari's instructional PDF on page 1 of this thread (for fresh install) that is not on page 4 but worth knowing is that you will likely need to stop windows media by typing

net stop WMPNetworkSvc

at the command line. I needed to do this before running the script, after running the script, and I think again before rebooting out of audit mode. It took several attempts for me to figure out that I needed to stop windows media at more than just before running the unattend script.

Kari, I do have one more question. The script is responsible for changing the path of the userprofile and programdata such that it is not necessary to go into the environment variables tab and manually change these also?

Thanks again for the tutorial and also for answering all of my beginner-level questions.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2011   #61


Check the end of the last page of that PDF tutorial, that tip to stop WMPnetworkSvc is there

No, if you used the xml script, that's it. Sysprep takes then care of changing the variables, it's hard coded in system and register after running the script. No additional tweaking is needed.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2011   #62

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Link to previous user folders


I used this method when installing windows ages ago. I had to re-install windows unfortunately and I would like to know how to link back to the users folder from my last install? When I use the script from the tutorial it says fatal error, I believe this is because the users folder is already there.

Any help would be appreciated!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2011   #63


Hello Kavo, welcome to the Seven Forums.

Fatal error during sysprep should not occur because of existing folders. Did you check the end of the last page (page 8) of the tutorial, there's one possible reason and fix for it, to stop service WMPNetworkSvc and then run the script again?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Mar 2011   #64

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

thanks it worked!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2011   #65


Nice to hear that!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2011   #66

Windows 7 X64 Pro

Thanks Heaps for all the work you've done on this Kari

Just wondering if you have had any luck automating the process of when a user folder exists already and you want to create it over the top, or just replace not have to worry about getting username.computername type folders

i only ask because at the start of next year we will have about 800 computers to do
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2011   #67


Hi Buffaloo, welcome to the Seven Forums.

The method described in this tutorial is meant to be used by single user on a single computer without need to download and / or install any additional tools and applications. When managing a network and deploying images to multiple computers, there are better and more flexible methods available.

Normal, I would like to say almost standard approach is to use WAIK and Windows PE. Here's some very informative sites for you to find out more:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2011   #68

Windows 7 Professional x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
OK, I have tested a new, different scenario now on three PC's, and it works. Here's what you should do if installing Seven on SSD and relocating User folders using this method, or if for any reason wanting to move ProgramData and / or Users after Windows is already installed. This method can be used whenever you want to relocate Users to another disk on an existing installation of Seven.

If you want to install Seven on an SSD: Install Seven normally to SSD, disconnecting all other disks. After Windows has booted first time normally after installation, shut the computer down and reconnect other disks. Reboot Windows.

Relocating Users and ProgramData folders when Windows Seven is already installed:

Run Command Prompt as administrator by clicking Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories, then right clicking Command Prompt and selecting Run as Administrator:

Attachment 128354

Type this to command prompt: C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe /audit /reboot, hit Enter.

Attachment 128355

Windows reboots now to Audit Mode, "thinking" it's been started first time as the message on screen shows:

Attachment 128356

Now continue from beginning of page 4 in tutorial, and follow the steps described. Running the script causes Windows to move ProgramData and Users folders from C: to another disk or partition, also moving all content of said folders. The later you do this, the longer it takes because Windows has more to move.

Notice that this really makes Windows think it's first boot, so you have to select country and keyboard layout and again create a user account when first time booted in OOBE (normal) mode after running the script. Because the Users folder already contains your user account folders, you get an error message if trying to input the same name:

Attachment 128342

Use a temporary name, for instance Test to continue first boot routine. When Windows stops for login, choose your old account to login, for instance in my case I chose here Kari and not the account Test which I just created:

Attachment 128343

When finally in Windows desktop, go to User Accounts and remove the unnecessary Test account. That account has yet no folders to remove because Windows does not create user folders when user account is created; the user folders are only created when user logs in first time.

That's it. Works without any problems whatsoever.


So I already have Windows 7 installed on my computer and would rather not do a complete reinstall to move my Users folder.

I have not read the thread fully yet but I was wondering, from those who have done it, if following the above steps (along with following the PDF guide) works 100% and doesn't result in any unforseen issues?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2011   #69


I don't know how it's been for others, but I've done this several times without issues on rigs with old installations.

The error mentioned at the very end of the tutorial occurs more often when using this method than when used on a fresh install. Check first the end of the last page to see how to stop that disturbing service before running script.

Remember that the new location is only set when Windows is finally booted normally, so after running the script and returning to Audit Mode you don't see new Users folder on the drive where you moved it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

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