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How to change location of "HOME" folders in XP?


RMDesai
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Hello,

One nice features in Vista is that you can right click on your HOME folders like My Pictures, My Music, My Downloads, Favourites and relocate it where-ever you want (on drive other than C:\). This enables you to forget taking back-up of these folders when you format your partition.

How can we do this in XP?

Thanks in advance and regards,

Ravindra.

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While it's not as intuitive, or GUI centric, as it is on Vista it's still QED. I'd recommend using the following steps:

  1. If you don't already have an alternate account, create one and add it to the Administrators Group
  2. Reboot (this clears any locks on the profile you want to move)
  3. Log in under your alternate account
  4. In Folder Options set/check Show hidden files and folders
  5. Right-click My Computer and select Properties
  6. On the Advanced tab, click the Settings button under User Profiles section
  7. Highlight the profile you want and hit Copy To
  8. Browse to new location and hit OK
    • Note: Make sure you specify a FOLDER and not just the drive

[*]Specify your normal account in the Permitted to use field and hit OK

[*]Open regedit.exe

[*]Browse to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

[*]Look for the key named for your account SID that has a value named ProfileImagePath that references the original profile location

  • e.g. %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\JustinTyme

[*]Right click on the SID key and export it to a reg file to the root of C:\. This will be a backup just in case.

[*]Change the ProfileImagePath value to the folder that you copied the profile to above

[*]Exit and reboot

[*]Log in using your previous account

[*]It should look just like before, but let's check

[*]Open a command prompt (Start->Run->CMD)

[*]Type "set u" (w/o the quotes)

[*]Make sure the value for UserProfile references the new profile location

[*]Review your data and applications to make sure everything is working

[*]If you created the alternate account for this, then delete it, or at least remove it from the Administrators group

[*]When you're comfortable all is well, delete the old profile directory

If you have problems logging in using the new profile location, log in under your alternate account and merge the backup reg file in C:\ to restore your profile to it's original location. You have to do more of this manually than you would in Vista, but it works like a champ.

If you want a simpler solution, You can right-click your My Documents folder and redirect it to a new location. This way your data is moved but not all of the application settings and what-not. It just depends on how far you want to go to work from an alternate location.

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While it's not as intuitive, or GUI centric, as it is on Vista it's still QED. I'd recommend using the following steps:
  1. If you don't already have an alternate account, create one and add it to the Administrators Group
  2. Reboot (this clears any locks on the profile you want to move)
  3. Log in under your alternate account
  4. In Folder Options set/check Show hidden files and folders
  5. Right-click My Computer and select Properties
  6. On the Advanced tab, click the Settings button under User Profiles section
  7. Highlight the profile you want and hit Copy To
  8. Browse to new location and hit OK
    • Note: Make sure you specify a FOLDER and not just the drive

[*]Specify your normal account in the Permitted to use field and hit OK

[*]Open regedit.exe

[*]Browse to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

[*]Look for the key named for your account SID that has a value named ProfileImagePath that references the original profile location

  • e.g. %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\JustinTyme

[*]Right click on the SID key and export it to a reg file to the root of C:\. This will be a backup just in case.

[*]Change the ProfileImagePath value to the folder that you copied the profile to above

[*]Exit and reboot

[*]Log in using your previous account

[*]It should look just like before, but let's check

[*]Open a command prompt (Start->Run->CMD)

[*]Type "set u" (w/o the quotes)

[*]Make sure the value for UserProfile references the new profile location

[*]Review your data and applications to make sure everything is working

[*]If you created the alternate account for this, then delete it, or at least remove it from the Administrators group

[*]When you're comfortable all is well, delete the old profile directory

If you have problems logging in using the new profile location, log in under your alternate account and merge the backup reg file in C:\ to restore your profile to it's original location. You have to do more of this manually than you would in Vista, but it works like a champ.

If you want a simpler solution, You can right-click your My Documents folder and redirect it to a new location. This way your data is moved but not all of the application settings and what-not. It just depends on how far you want to go to work from an alternate location.

Nice post! Thanks!

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No problem. While tweakUI can do a number of things far easier, I've always believed that if you know how to do it the hard way first, you can then go with the easy route/tool. Otherwise when some tool like tweakUI has a problem, you're kinda lost and have no idea why things are not working. Teach a man to fish..., so to speak

Edited by Mordac85
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