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Relocate C:\Users to D:\Users


rindi
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nLite allows you to install the "Documents and Settings" folder to some other location. I can't find anything similar in vLite which would do the same for the "Users" folder. Does anyone know if there are plans do accomplish this or is there some other way to get this done?

Thanks for any info.

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  • 1 year later...

You need to get this thing going through autounattend.xml, which you need to put in root of dvd/image of your vista or Win7

The autounattend.xml file should have the folder relocation settings as (For Vista/Win7 64 bit):

<settings pass="oobeSystem">

<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="NonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">

<FolderLocations>

<ProfilesDirectory>%windir%\Profiles</ProfilesDirectory>

<ProgramData>%windir%\ProgramData</ProgramData>

</FolderLocations>

</component>

</settings>

ProfileDirectory moves your Profiles and ProgramData your other Program related data!

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  • 2 months later...

Solutions from my online search about the relocation of default directory for user profiles and program files are a little confusing. With XP nlite it was easily done (and/or editing the winnt.sif file).

I would be interested in also relocating the Program Files and Program Files (x86) to another partition/disk for my Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit operating system running on my Intel Core I7 920. Is there a reason not to?

My partitions are as follow:

c: label Vista

d: label Swap

e: label Programs (for Program Files and Program Files (x86)

f: label Users, for all user data.

also I will add a partition for Video TV recording files....

Would the approach below work similary to the relocation of user profiles? If so, what is the parameters name in Autounattended.xml file?

Thank you,

Donat

Edited by dpluigi
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well.... I have just done that 2 days ago...

install Win7 as normal... (of course u need 2 partitions, 1 C:\ and 1 D:\)

grab a Win7 PE with TC (Search Google)

Burn and boot with it...

Move the Users dir to the D:\ and delete them from C:\

reboot

When rebooting, win7 will complain missing User blah blah blah... just ignore it, go to my computer and C:\

Delete Users dir in C:\ if re-created.

using My Computer, go to C:\Windows\System32 and run cmd.... (yes u have to run cmd in there, because u wont be able to use start menu to find it)

in cmd, enter the following command.

1) mklink /D C:\Users D:\Users

what this does is create a symbolic link for Users folder in C:\, so Windows can still access the moved folder as normal...

And u can use this method to move Program Files and Program Data also....

I do it like this bcause, some components in Widnows like IE, does not always start correctly if moved, by using this method, windows can still think IE is still in the correct location.....

Edited by Tails
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Note that if you move either the users' directory location or the Program Files' directory location, you will disable all folder virtualization. For some this might not be a problem, but it does have consequences. Note there are KB articles (and documentation in the WAIK CHM) that say that doing this causes updates to fail, but this is actually incorrect - the documentation was written before Vista SP1 (and apparently wasn't changed for Win7, it seems - it still exists in the 7 CHM) and the Vista SP1+ servicing stack will indeed work properly if either of these directories are moved. However, folder and registry virtualization will indeed no longer function.

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I got Users moved to D:, but had a mess when trying to move ProgramData to D:*

Wound up giving up on moving ProgramData. Copied back files from D: but have some worry that in all my attempts to move and delete files, some of the original ProgramData files may have been lost! Would I be getting an error already if this were the case? I'm afraid at some point in the future (perhaps with an update?) there will be an error because some file didn't get preserved in all my attempts to delete files...

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

*DETAILS re: trying to move ProgramData, if you're interested:

I changed the registry setting "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders" to reflect D:....But then problems included:

1) couldn't delete the C:\ProgramData folder (parts of the "Microsoft" directory...)

2) started searching the registry-->I'm finding more registry keys with "ProgramData" elsewhere in the registry that point to the "C:" location still. Tried changing them all to "D:" to see if that helped, but actually was getting errors trying to change some of them (it even ghosts out the option to copy the keys!). Examples included:

HLKM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Signature Updates\SignatureLocation

HLKM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\Databases\FileName *AND* \LogPath

HLKM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gathering Manager\Applications\Windows *AND* \DefaultProjectPath *AND* \GatherLogsPath

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Move these folder using registry will just give u more headache........ and give u more errors and drawback than u can imagine..... I would suggest u move this using a live cd.....

I got Users moved to D:, but had a mess when trying to move ProgramData to D:*

Wound up giving up on moving ProgramData. Copied back files from D: but have some worry that in all my attempts to move and delete files, some of the original ProgramData files may have been lost! Would I be getting an error already if this were the case? I'm afraid at some point in the future (perhaps with an update?) there will be an error because some file didn't get preserved in all my attempts to delete files...

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

*DETAILS re: trying to move ProgramData, if you're interested:

I changed the registry setting "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders" to reflect D:....But then problems included:

1) couldn't delete the C:\ProgramData folder (parts of the "Microsoft" directory...)

2) started searching the registry-->I'm finding more registry keys with "ProgramData" elsewhere in the registry that point to the "C:" location still. Tried changing them all to "D:" to see if that helped, but actually was getting errors trying to change some of them (it even ghosts out the option to copy the keys!). Examples included:

HLKM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Signature Updates\SignatureLocation

HLKM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\Databases\FileName *AND* \LogPath

HLKM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gathering Manager\Applications\Windows *AND* \DefaultProjectPath *AND* \GatherLogsPath

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Hi,

Thanks for the replies. :thumbup The last three days I could not log on my account... it was resolved by deleting my browser cookies suggested bu the Forum administrator (duh, I did not think about it ).

Anyhow, since my last post I successfully carried out an unattended install of my OEM Vista Home Premium (64Bit) SP1 using the FolderLocations option in the "oobeSystem" settings pass for Users and ProgramData. :)

C:\Users was set to F:\Users and C:\Program Data is now F:\Program Data (using <ProfilesDirectory> and <ProgramData>). Note that it took me several failed attempt to trouble shoot to draw the conclusion that the use of <ProgramFiles>E:\ProgramFiles</ProgramFiles> is not a supported settings according to install log/message. It is confusing because it was reported on posts for multipartition uninstall from others? Is it unsupported because I was using SP1 and it is only available for newer Vista and/or WAIK version?

As a side note, in the process of troubleshooting the unattended install, I deleted and created all my partitions and volumes at least 5-6 times and carried out at least as many Windows vista install if not more. Would writing zero my WD Black series 750GB drive recommended or an overkill to start from a clean slate? (In order words, is deleting all partitions on a drive leaving not trace and mess?)

After this full/clean install all path variables such as variables %PUBLIC%, %ProgramData% ,..., do refer now to the custom locations on my F: partition.

C:\>echo %PUBLIC% %PROGRAMDATA%

F:\Users\Public F:\ProgramData

I am still in my very first login session with a dummy admministrator account "Dummy" since the completion of the fresh install. This account will be deleted eventually when all is squared away.

:unsure:

:?:The issue for me now is to clarify before I go any further that according to your experiences of similar install if this is going to be stable (i.e. side effect, update issue, slower operation,...) and if a symbolic link is still required in my case?

:?: What are the consequences of disabling all folder virtualization after accrying such User and ProgramData folder relocation mentioned by Cluberti? (I am new to Vista and Folder Virtualization features).

:?: Regarding Program Files and related directories (Commons, (86)), is a relocation by registry editing without side effects possible and well tested?

I can save to an alternate location by browsing during most new program install would prefer that this would be the default if possible...

Regarding registry values... I noted that all the values are set to root from C: in this locations when searching for C:\Users:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Advanced INF Setup\IE.HKCUZoneInfo ...\IE40.UserAgent

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Recording

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Advanced INF Setup\IE.HKCUZoneInfo ...\IE40.UserAgent

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders

and for C:\ProgramData:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Reliability Analysis\RAC

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYTEM\ControlSet001\Control\BackupRestore\FilesNotToBackup

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYTEM\ControlSet001\Services\luafv\Parameters

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYTEM\ControlSet001\Services\PEAUTH

and similarly few more in \ControlSet002 and ControlSet003, CurrentControlSet

:huh: There is a Junction (not a symbolic link) created by Vista install in C: partition for C:\Users but none yet for ProgramData (See below listings for all my main partition folders). Again, should one be created or Vista will actualuy do that for you as it did for Users?

In a nutshell: :)

Does a Junction (or a symbolic link) circumvent the need to change the values explicitly referring to location in C: instead of custom location?

Are the change made in the Registry permitted by Vista and persistent, or restricted even to administrator and refreshed after reboot (i.e. making changes ineffective)?

:unsure: What free search and replace registry parameters do you recommend to use in Vista 64Bit? (the couple I tried during my live test installs did not work or missed a lot... which generated a mess).

This is a lengthy post. I apologize, I hope you understand that starting from bare system I hope to get it right from the ground up and avoid problems down the road because of poor choices and preparation. I read a lot about this subject in the last week since I finished building my first custom PC and first transitioned from XP (32bit) to Vista Home Premium (64Bit) using the system builder OEM DVD I purchased.

I look forward to this clarification to finish off the install and start installing programs and creating account on my PC with confidence. Thank you for reading and thank you very much in advance for your replies.

Cheers!

Donat

>>>> Partitions/Volumes used to relocate default C: Users and Program Data folders. <<<<

The Page File will be set to none on C: (saving 6Gb) and set/relocated instead in Volume D: labeled Swap (10Gb). D: could be merged back in the future is C: was getting too full.

All programs will be installed on E: and user data on F:. I have currently 530Gb Unallocated partition left on this hardrive that I would like to use record media with my HD TV dual Tuner card. C:, E:, and F: are as follow:

C:\>dir /a C: E: F:

Volume in drive C is Vista

Volume Serial Number is 4440-E6CF

Directory of C:\

07/27/2009 05:07 PM <DIR> $Recycle.Bin

07/27/2009 05:56 PM <DIR> Boot

01/20/2008 07:50 PM 333,203 bootmgr

07/27/2009 05:56 PM 8,192 BOOTSECT.BAK

11/02/2006 08:42 AM <JUNCTION> Documents and Settings [C:\Users]

07/27/2009 05:04 PM 6,754,287,616 pagefile.sys

01/20/2008 08:04 PM <DIR> PerfLogs

11/02/2006 08:44 AM <DIR> Program Files

11/02/2006 08:36 AM <DIR> Program Files (x86)

07/27/2009 06:17 PM <DIR> System Volume Information

07/27/2009 05:05 PM <DIR> Windows

3 File(s) 6,754,629,011 bytes

8 Dir(s) 14,562,594,816 bytes free

Volume in drive E is Progs

Volume Serial Number is EC03-803D

Directory of E:\

07/27/2009 05:07 PM <DIR> $RECYCLE.BIN

07/27/2009 08:41 AM <DIR> System Volume Information

0 File(s) 0 bytes

2 Dir(s) 85,802,811,392 bytes free

Volume in drive F is Data

Volume Serial Number is C009-8B5B

Directory of F:\

07/27/2009 05:07 PM <DIR> $RECYCLE.BIN

07/27/2009 05:05 PM <JUNCTION> Documents and Settings [F:\Users]

07/27/2009 05:05 PM <DIR> ProgramData

07/27/2009 08:42 AM <DIR> System Volume Information

07/27/2009 05:07 PM <DIR> Users

0 File(s) 0 bytes

5 Dir(s) 53,246,435,328 bytes free

Edited by dpluigi
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