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Windows 7: User Profile - Change Default Location

03 Jul 2010   #20

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Berean, and welcome to Seven Forums.

You might restart the computer and see if you may be able to delete the old profile location while logged in Safe Mode using a different administrator account.

Hope this helps,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2010   #21

Windows XP Media Center
Problems on Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium

Using a standalone Windows 7 64-bit box I first I tried just using the location tab to move indiviual user folders and moving them over another partition (e.g. C:\Users\Mom to D:\Mom). When relocated "My Videos," the folder "Mom" became "My Videos." Then I tried to do the same with "My Pictures," but only the folders in my pictures relocated to D:. When I went to access the "My Pictures" folder on the C drive it said I did not have permission. So I used the "Undo" command a rolled everything back, but now Users\Mom has become "My Videos"! It contains all the normal user subfolders (e.g. Downloads, Pictures, etc.), but it is missing the "My Videos" subfolder! When I click "Properties" for the "My Video" folder it says the location is C:\Users\Mom.

So, stumbling upon this article about relocating the entire user directory I gave it a try for user "Dad". At first not all the files copied because Dad was still logged on via switch user command. So I logged off Dad and all the files transferred, but when I logged onto the Dad account the system.ini file could not be accessed. I canceled the error message window, but realized the one gadget I had implented had not loaded. Then when I right clicked on the desktop and selected "Gadgets" I got the same error. So I went back into regedit and pointed the profile back to the original user file location and got it working again.

It is hard to understand why something that should be so very simple to do seems next to impossible in Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2010   #22

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello AKautz, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Sometimes moving a user profile may give you issues like this unless it was moved when you first installed Windows 7. Programs that were installed before moving the user profile may not work properly afterwards if the program is hard coded to look at the old location instead of the new one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #23

Windows 7 64-bit Professional

Hi ya'll,

First off I want to say that I've spent the past couple of days lurking all over these forums and have found a wealth of wonderful knowledge!

Brink your tutorials are excellent and have really helped me begin to understand windows 7!

That being said ... I am completely new to all of this other than what I've picked up from IT classes that I am currently taking. I just built my first PC and have been dealing with a major nightmare trying to get everything running smoothly.

The hardware is great ... it's just getting an OS to work for me that's been a real challenge. My first install of Windows 7 ended up with a corrupted user account and that was after major incompatibility issues with trying to get Ubuntu 10.04 to run on my system. And since then I have literally lost sleep trying to get a solid clean install going with my OS isolated on a separate partition ... just so I can get a backup that isn't a mess like the first one I tried to do on the corrupted account (sadly I did the backup without realizing what was wrong).

Anyway, after numerous clean installs and trying to move my profile to a separate partition on my harddrive ... I found your tutorial threads here. After reading through this one and the one about just moving the folders I am curious as to what you all might recommend I do?

It seems to me that both techniques have possible issues from what I've been reading ... but since I have a free and clear hard drive, would you recommend that I move the entire user profile to a separate partition or just the data folders?

In the long run I want to know what is going to keep my system the safest from malware and viruses while, at the same time, give me a fast easy and effective way to backup my important files and programs and not cause any more system errors.

Last question relating directly to the last statement ... do you think it is smarter to isolate newly installed programs, other than virus protection, from the the OS or is it better just to keep them on the same partition?

Thanks so far for all the great info and a preemptive thanks for whomever decides to reply to this post!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Jul 2010   #24

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Newbi, and welcome to Seven Forums.

If you hard drive that Windows 7 is installed on has the space, then it would be best to leave everything on it as by default to avoid any possible issues that may come from moving any of the folders to another location.

I find that manually backing up (copying) files that I do not wish to lose to a separate hard drive is the safest and best way to back them up. Plus, all you have to do is copy them back to restore them.

To help keep your system safe from malware and viruses, I would recommend a good antivirus and anti-malware program like MSE, using Windows Firewall, use a router with a built in firewall, and just using some common sense to not open anything that you do not where it came from or to go to any dodgy websites.

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2010   #25

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)

This seems to be a good tutorial and this is exactly what I want to do - to move my profile folder from C:\ to another drive. However, before I follow the steps, I would like to ask a question.

According to step 2 I have to (rather logically) log in into another admin account before moving my profile. So I went ahead and activated the built-in admin account using another excellent tutorial. I used the first method suggested there, the Local Users and Groups manager.

Now, here's the question - in the Local Users and Groups manager I can select a user, click properties and in the pop-up windows there is a tab named Profile. This tab contains basically two things: a path to the user profile and a path to the local folder. Somehow, for all the users on the machine - there are only two at the moment, myself and the built-in admin - these fields are all empty. What would happen if I populate these fields? I mean, what if I actually type a path to some folder where I want the profile to be stored, as opposed to the standard C:\Users\Myself? Will that by itself do the job, or the registry edit suggested in the tutorial is the only way to do it?

I probably could create a couple of test accounts and figure it out by myself, but I thought I could ask first, maybe someone knows the answer already?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2010   #26

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Unifex,

I haven't tried it through Local Users and Groups since some Windows 7 editions do not included it, and opted for the registry since it can be used in all editions of Windows 7.

It would be worth a try to see. Just be sure to create a restore point first to be safe in case you need to do a System Recovery. You would still have to move the user folder in steps 3 to 7 first, then substitute steps 8 to 13 with entering the path in the Profile path field under "User profile" in Local Users and Groups.

Please let us know how it went.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2010   #27

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)

Hi Brink,

it did not work. Entering a path in Local Users and Groups resulted in appearance of the folder "...\username.V2" in the destination folder. It acted as a shadow copy of the original profile, i.e. both folders would update simultaneously. But, since the purpose was to move the profile, not to copy, the idea was a failure.

At the same time, I keep thinking that there should be a way to specify where to keep the user profile in Windows without having to manually edit the registry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2010   #28

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Thank you for posting back with your results Unifex. It appears that using the registry may be the only way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2010   #29

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
Should I try this?

Hello geeks!
I tried do some fancy chicanery to accomplish this before, and it didn't work quite right. I want to try this tutorial now, but I'm concerned it might not go well for what I did before. I used LSE, and I ended up with multiple User folders as shown in the capture. Can I just go ahead and try this procedure? Or am I going to break something? I am making a disk image with Casper 6.0 right now. Advise much appreciated as always.
Warm Regards,

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