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Windows 7: User Folders - Change Default Location

14 Dec 2009   #50
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

You're welcome. Nar, sometimes we get lucky and catch a break.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Jan 2010   #51
dknight178

Vista Home Premium
 
 

Hello guys...

I'm using an Acer laptop running with both Vista and Windows 7 installed on separate partitions (dual boot). My personal files are in the drive where my Vista is (drive C if Vista, drive D if Win 7). Would the method presented here work with Documents, Music, Downloads, and other folders in the start menu (i.e. I'd right click the Document folder, etc. in Win 7 then change its location to match the location of my documents, music folder, etc. in my Vista partition)?

Could I also use this to the folder AppData, or even to my User folder (i.e. I'd right click my user folder in Win 7 then make its location my user folder in Vista)? Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #52
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello DkNight,

It would not be a good idea to have your Windows 7 user folders moved to the same one inside Vista. This can cause unknown issues that may cause you to lose them and the file in them. When you move a user folder, you would want it to be on a separate partition or drive than in another OS.

No, you would not want to move the AppData or the main User Folder itself to another location. Doing so would cause issues like a currupted user profile that may prevent you from being able to log on that user account later.

Hope this helps some,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #53
dknight178

Vista Home Premium
 
 

Instead of the method stated here, would adding shortcuts work? For instance in MS Word (in Win 7), could I save my file to drive C (my Vista partition) thru a shortcut link?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Jan 2010   #54
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

I have not tried it, but it will not hurt anything to give it a try and see for just a shortcut.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #55
flame1

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Hello Brink.

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I upgraded from Vista a few days ago after getting a 2nd internal hard drive. I was finally able to move my user data so I should now have enough room on my system drive for it to actually function.

I blundered my way through the process of trying to move my files - before I found your tutorial - and I've messed up some things. I think I'm going to do the upgrade again (partly to make sure I can in case I need to sometime down the road) and would like to do things right this time. I have a few questions from my first upgrade and also from some of the comments I've read here.

1. Is there a benefit to navigating to the folders to be moved via the "shell" method (which was new to me) versus just going to the C:\Users\Username folders through Windows Explorer?

2. Some of my folders completely moved to the new location and no longer exist in the old location (Documents, Downloads, Links, Music, Pictures, Videos) but some of them still exist in the old location (Contacts, Desktop, Favorites, AppData\Roaming). I thought I said yes to "move" the files but maybe I just messed up. Should all of them be gone from the old location? Or at least all the files should be gone?

3. I had a lot of problems with Vista and corrupt profiles - one of the main reasons I decided to upgrade to Windows 7. If something should happen to my user profile in Windows 7 and I have to set up a new profile, will I be able to just change the locations on the new profile to point to the data on my 2nd drive and be able to access it? If my username was different, there wouldn't be any profile-specific security, right?

4. I've already moved all my data to my 2nd drive. If I reinstall Windows 7 (on my original drive), can I just re-direct the new user folders to my 2nd drive and be able to access the data or do I really have to copy my data somewhere else and then copy it back to the 2nd drive after the reinstall?

5. I read somewhere that the AppData\Roaming folder contained user-specific data and that the local and locallow folders contained machine-specific data. I also read somewhere that if you move all your folders (including the local and locallow) or changed where the system points by using junction points, changing environment variables, or making registry changes, then updates through Windows Update might not work properly. Personally, I don't feel confident enough to try the more technical avenues but is there a reason to move the local and locallow folders if they don't contain user settings? If so, are you aware of any problems with Windows Update?

Thanks in advance for indulging my questions. I'm so glad I found this forum!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #56
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello Flame1, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Q1) Using the shell command is just another way to open the folder. It can be handy if you are not sure where it is exactly.

Personally, I have always believed it best to start with a clean install instead of upgrading to avoid any issues from the previous OS. With a clean install, you will need to reinstall programs and copy your data back.

Unless you just really need the HDD space on the C: drive, I would recommend to leave the user folders as is on the C: drive to avoid any problems from potential mistakes made while moving them to another location. You can then just keep backups of anything that you do not want to lose to be safer and more reliable.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #57
flame1

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Hi Shawn,

My laptop is a couple years old and came with Windows Vista so I bought the upgrade package. I am, however, going to do a clean install - again.

My biggest problem has been space. My laptop came with only a 120GB hard drive. In fact, when Windows 7 came out, I tossed the idea of upgrading because I didn't have 16GB available for the new OS. However, I recently discovered that my laptop has a second internal bay so I bought a 550GB hard drive to put my data on.

So... I really do need to move my data - hence, all my questions. Could I get you to make a stab at answering the others? Oh, and I thought of one more.

6. Can any of the user folders that have a "location" tab be moved or are there only certain folders that can be moved?

Thanks for the quick response!

Carol
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #58
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Carol,

You can only move the user folders with the "Location" tab to the other hard drive.

Quote:
2. Some of my folders completely moved to the new location and no longer exist in the old location (Documents, Downloads, Links, Music, Pictures, Videos) but some of them still exist in the old location (Contacts, Desktop, Favorites, AppData\Roaming). I thought I said yes to "move" the files but maybe I just messed up. Should all of them be gone from the old location? Or at least all the files should be gone?
Only the ones that you moved would no longer exist in that location. You do not want to move these Contacts, Desktop, Favorites, AppData\Roaming folders. Doing so will cause issues of apps that use them to no longer work. For example, favorites in IE8 would no longer work if moved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #59
churin

W7 Ult x64 and W8 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
You do not want to move these Contacts, Desktop, Favorites, AppData\Roaming folders. Doing so will cause issues of apps that use them to no longer work. For example, favorites in IE8 would no longer work if moved.
Hi Brink,
I wonder what apps use the favorites other than IE8. I moved the favorites out of C: drive onto one of the data drives and so far no problem has happend.
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