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  1. Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 11
    Windows 10 Pro
       2016-01-12 #350

    I'm very sorry to bother everyone here, but I'm in total despair.
    Some days ago Start button and apps stopped working on my laptop. I tried all possible methods to repair, but was unlucky. Finally, I took a breath, and made a clean reinstall with formatting disks. I also moved Users folder to disk D: (Method 1).
    After 2 minutes of my first log-on - apps stopped working again, and after reboot Start button also became unresponsive.
    I didn't install any third party programs or drivers!!! Just hadn't enough time. It was just an absolutely clean new installation!
    When I add new users - Start button and search still don't work.

    I think that the only thing that could affect the system was moving of Users folder. But did anyone meet such a behavior in Method One?!

    I am killed by that and don't know what to do. Need help, please.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,067
    Windows 10 Pro
       2016-01-12 #351

    Alentiev said: View Post
    I am killed by that and don't know what to do. Need help, please.
    I have never had any issues using the Method One, and also if you read this thread through you will notice that all issues with the method have always been caused by either an error in answer file, faulty install media or such.

    In my opinion you have two options to choose:
    • Reinstall and do the relocating the Users folder again
    • Reinstall and do not relocate the Users folder
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 11
    Windows 10 Pro
       2016-01-13 #352

    Kari said: View Post
    I have never had any issues using the Method One,
    Thank you, Kari. The relocating was OK.
    As I found, the trouble was just in another place. You can read my post in another thread.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       2016-01-16 #353

    Hi Kari, thanks very much for this information - it truly is invaluable to me!
    I have been using it without issue (to change the location of my user folder) on my Windows 10 Pro laptop for many months now.

    However I have been struggling for a few weeks to get this to work with my installation of Windows to go (Windows 10 Enterprise).

    Have you ever tested your relocate method(s) with Windows 10 Enterprise? Have you ever tested this with Windows to-go with Win 10 Enterprise? It should work right?

    Please tell me if you need additional information - I will try and use my camera phone to take a picture of the error etc.
    I have tried both method 1 and method 2 but it fails upon the next boot up after I execute the xml file from the command line (%windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot /unattend:d:\relocate.xml
    ). So it runs the above command fine, reboots and then gives me some major error about cannot install windows and that's that and I need to start over again.

    Extra info (which I'm guessing you don't need to know): I only have a 32gb windows to go certified drive (couldn't afford bigger) and want to run the OS on that but want to relocate the user folder to another 128gb pendrive / usb drive OR I could also maybe have the user folder on the actual hard drive of the laptop (but I suppose although that won't be ideal as it won't be truly portable / to-go then).

    I'm sorry if this has already been asked and answered - I did try and search this thread without success.

    Here is my relocate.xml file:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
    <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>S:\w2g\Data_2g\Users</ProfilesDirectory>
    </FolderLocations>
    </component>
    </settings>
    <cpifflineImage cpi:source="wim:U:\sources\install.wim#Windows 10 Enterprise" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
    </unattend>

    obviously before running the %windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot /unattend:d:\relocate.xml command I have mapped drive S and U to the correct drives. Drive S is another USB drive and drive U is a mounted ISO file. I tried also copying (only) the install.win file to a another location but I got the same error.

    PLEASE help!? If I can't get this to work maybe I can try those hard links or whatever they are called? Basically it'll point the location of C:\Users\ to another hard-drive partition

    P.S. I don't think there's nothing wrong with the installation media because I used that same iso to install windows 10 Enterprise plus the hash value is correct for the iso. I don't think my xml file is faulty either?
    Perhaps the issue is that I'm trying to move the user folder to a removable drive (instead of a fixed drive). It should work though (in a perfect world) because it still assigns drive letter S to that USB drive after it's booted into windows again. Note that the windows to go drive is a certified drive - which is a physically small Solid State Hard drive on a chunky usb 3.0 pendrive and is recognized by windows as a fixed drive. I have tried moving the location of the xml file and install.wim to other drives including fixed drive already on the laptop but I still get the same error. I'll try more testing and post back here but maybe you can save me the time if you already know this won't work with windows to-go?


    Last edited by iano; 2016-01-16 at 09:18.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,067
    Windows 10 Pro
       2016-01-16 #354

    iano said: View Post
    However I have been struggling for a few weeks to get this to work with my installation of Windows to go (Windows 10 Enterprise).

    Have you ever tested your relocate method(s) with Windows 10 Enterprise? Have you ever tested this with Windows to-go with Win 10 Enterprise? It should work right?
    I have used this method quite extensively in all editions of Windows, including Enterprise. It works equally well in all editions. However, I have never tested this in Windows To Go because as far as I am concerned, it's pointless.

    iano said: View Post
    I only have a 32gb windows to go certified drive (couldn't afford bigger) and want to run the OS on that but want to relocate the user folder to another 128gb pendrive / usb drive OR I could also maybe have the user folder on the actual hard drive of the laptop (but I suppose although that won't be ideal as it won't be truly portable / to-go then).
    The Users folder can only be relocated to another drive or partition on the same computer, it cannot be relocated to another machine. For Windows, the Windows To Go is a computer, an individual machine, therefore it is impossible to use Sysprep to relocate a system folder to a drive on another machine.

    What you'd like to achieve will never work.

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       2016-01-16 #355

    Hi Kari, thanks for your quick response

    Kari said: View Post
    However, I have never tested this in Windows To Go because as far as I am concerned, it's pointless.
    For me at least it's very powerful, I will effectively have my entire computer on two small (fit in my pocket) usb pendrives which I can move between computers.
    The 1st usb 3.0 pendrive (which is certified by MS as windows to go - is effectively a small Solid State drive with it's own hard drive controller) will have the Windows OS on it. The second usb 3.0 drive will have the user folder on it as it's just a normal usb 3.0 pendrive with more capacity (128gb or more).

    The Users folder can only be relocated to another drive or partition on the same computer, it cannot be relocated to another machine. For Windows, the Windows To Go is a computer, an individual machine, therefore it is impossible to use Sysprep to relocate a system folder to a drive on another machine.
    Kari
    The way I understand it (and I could be wrong?) Windows to go is THE computer as it has the entire OS on it. The actual physical computer doesn't really matter surely. So effectively I will be relocating the user folder to the same computer surely? When I plug in the 2nd normal high capacity usb drive it will have the same drive letter mapped (drive S) no matter what physical computers I plug by usb drives into.

    Sorry I'm not trying to argue with you, I just really want to get this to work. In theory it should because drive C is the OS (1st pendrive) and drive S (or whatever drive letter I choose to use) has the user folder on it.

    I have a feeling it won't work because the Windows operating system sees drive S as a removable drive. Drive C however is seen as a fixed drive by the Windows operating system because of how it was designed (as a certified windows to go drive).

    Kari, would you agree that it won't work because I am trying to relocate the user folder to a removable drive?
    Drive C shouldn't be the issue as Windows thinks it's a normal fixed drive?

    Hope that all makes sense?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,067
    Windows 10 Pro
       2016-01-16 #356

    iano said: View Post
    Hi Kari, thanks for your quick response

    For me at least it's very powerful, I will effectively have my entire computer on two small (fit in my pocket) usb pendrives which I can move between computers.
    A misunderstanding, I see. Windows To Go is really usefol tool, I have a Kingston 128 GB Windows To Go Flash drive always in my pocket. What I meant was that relocating the Users folder in Windows To Go is pointless.

    iano said: View Post
    The way I understand it (and I could be wrong?) Windows to go is THE computer as it has the entire OS on it.
    Yes, exactly That's why the whole operating system, all system files and folders must be on that computer, on the Windows To Go stick. Exactly as I tried to explain to you.

    iano said: View Post
    The actual physical computer doesn't really matter surely. So effectively I will be relocating the user folder to the same computer surely? When I plug in the 2nd normal high capacity usb drive it will have the same drive letter mapped (drive S) no matter what physical computers I plug by usb drives into.
    Yes it matters. You can not network PC1 and PC 2 and then relocate a system folder of PC1 to PC2, not even if the PC2 was always on and online when PC1 was booted.

    iano said: View Post
    Kari, would you agree that it won't work because I am trying to relocate the user folder to a removable drive?
    Drive C shouldn't be the issue as Windows thinks it's a normal fixed drive?
    Removable drive can be used for system folders as long as it has been formatted as NTFS. A FAT drive cannot be used.

    However, your scenario will never work and there is no workaround. Windows To Go Flash drive is its own individual computer. All system files and folders must reside within that computer.

    Kari


    P.S:
    Note   Note
    For me it's the same if you accept my answer or not. Apparently not as I told this already in my previous response to your post.

    A system folder of a Windows installation cannot reside on another machine. End of story. A Windows installation, be it a clean install on a desktop or a laptop, or a Windows To Go drive must always have all necessary system folders available on that same machine. As far as Windows is concerned, the Windows To Go stick is an individual, independent Windows machine.

    Your hopes and reality do not correlate regarding this matter.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       2016-01-17 #357

    Thanks again for your reply. I wish Windows wasn't designed like this, it's so frustrating!

    Kari said: View Post
    Removable drive can be used for system folders as long as it has been formatted as NTFS. A FAT drive cannot be used.
    However, your scenario will never work and there is no workaround. Windows To Go Flash drive is its own individual computer. All system files and folders must reside within that computer.
    I would have thought the removable drive in my situation will be seen as a removable drive, and not another PC?

    I have the same drive as you do, just only 32gb. Is there no way I can put the %appdata% folder anywhere else? Perhaps using Junction Points? - I know you said there's no workarounds but I'm sure MS and others have told you the same thing before, and you came up with the really useful method described in this article...

    I'm still confused about the definition of the same computer as there must be ways to fool the system - such as mounting a removable drive as a fixed drive etc.

    Anyways thanks for your time in trying to help me understand this. I think the time cost of trying to move this %appdata% just isn't worth it. I wish Windows wasn't designed like this, it's so frustrating!! Killing me at moment.

    Oh I just realised my S drive (the 2nd removable drive where I want the user folder to reside is formatted as exFAT). But like you said it wouldn't work anyways.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,067
    Windows 10 Pro
       2016-01-17 #358

    iano said: View Post
    Thanks again for your reply. I wish Windows wasn't designed like this, it's so frustrating!

    I would have thought the removable drive in my situation will be seen as a removable drive, and not another PC?
    iano said: View Post
    I'm still confused about the definition of the same computer as there must be ways to fool the system - such as mounting a removable drive as a fixed drive etc.
    From Windows To Go: Frequently Asked Questions:

    Iím booted into Windows To Go, but I canít browse to the internal hard drive of the host computer. Why not?

    Windows To Go Creator and the recommended deployment steps for Windows To Go set SAN Policy 4 on Windows To Go drive. This policy prevents Windows from automatically mounting internal disk drives. Thatís why you canít see the internal hard drives of the host computer when you are booted into Windows To Go. This is done to prevent accidental data leakage between Windows To Go and the host system. This policy also prevents potential corruption on the host drives or data loss if the host operating system is in a hibernation state. If you really need to access the files on the internal hard drive, you can use diskmgmt.msc to mount the internal drive.

    warning   Warning
    Warning
    It is strongly recommended that you do not mount internal hard drives when booted into the Windows To Go workspace. If the internal drive contains a hibernated Windows 8 operating system, mounting the drive will lead to loss of hibernation state and therefor user state or any unsaved user data when the host operating system is booted. If the internal drive contains a hibernated Windows 7 or earlier operating system, mounting the drive will lead to corruption when the host operating system is booted.

    The above also applies to all external drives (both USB and memory cards) on the host. Physically they belong to another machine, the host, and are not considered as drives belonging to the WindowsToGo machine.

    It is possible to assign drive letters for the host drives as told in this tutorial at our sister site the Eight Forums, but I strongly advice against it.

    iano said: View Post
    I have the same drive as you do, just only 32gb. Is there no way I can put the %appdata% folder anywhere else? Perhaps using Junction Points? - I know you said there's no workarounds but I'm sure MS and others have told you the same thing before, and you came up with the really useful method described in this article...
    No there is no supported way to do that. The whole idea of the WindowsToGo is that it is a portable but complete Windows machine on a stick, possible to use on any host machine capable to boot from the USB and supporting Windows. Trying to make WindowsToGo to use external devices for its core system data is so clearly against this main principle that it is not supported.

    Long time ago I decided never to participate in a conversation about unsupported scenarios and workarounds. I need to know that what I have advised, told in a tutorial of mine is a supported, official way to make changes in the Windows system. What you want to is not only an unsupported scenario but also strongly against the main purpose of WindowsToGo.

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  10. Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 5
    Win10 duh
       2016-01-17 #359

    It's unsupported? Source??
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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