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  1. Joined : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,092
    Windows 10 Pro
       2015-02-14 #30

    In any version of Windows, if you move one user profile or them all, you have to use the same method to move them back to C: before upgrading.

    If you Sysprep users to X: (Vista to Win10 Build 9860), you have to use the same method to move them back. Then you can upgrade without issues. See this tutorial, the Upgrade section at the end of it for more information.

    The same if you use the registry. You have to edit the registry to put users back to C:, then upgrade, and again move them to another drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Feb 2015
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Technical Preview
       2015-02-14 #31

    Kari said: View Post
    In any version of Windows, if you move one user profile or them all, you have to use the same method to move them back to C: before upgrading.

    If you Sysprep users to X: (Vista to Win10 Build 9860), you have to use the same method to move them back. Then you can upgrade without issues. See this tutorial, the Upgrade section at the end of it for more information.

    The same if you use the registry. You have to edit the registry to put users back to C:, then upgrade, and again move them to another drive.
    Alright I'll give that a shot then. Thanks for the quick responses.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,092
    Windows 10 Pro
       2015-03-19 #32

    Relocating the Users folder working again!


    Hi Geeks.

    Apparently Microsoft has got the Sysprep issues resolved in the latest Build 10041, released yesterday 18th of March 2015. Sysprep is working again as it should, I have already successfully relocated the main profile folder Users to another drive as told in this tutorial.

    There seems to be an issue though with the Windows ADK for Windows 10 Technical Preview, I had to create the answer file using ADK for Windows 8.1 and the 8.1 install.wim file. However, the end result was a fully functioning sysprepped Windows 10 Build 10041.

    I will check a few more details to be absolutely sure I will tell the correct procedures, doing a few more test installs. I will update the tutorial within next few days and post again here when you can start using this method again.

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,092
    Windows 10 Pro
       2015-03-21 #33

    OK geeks, this works again. Added this warning at the beginning of the tutorial:

    warning   Warning
    EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, READ BEFORE STARTING!

    This procedure works again in Build 10041 after being bugged and non-functional in two last builds. However, the procedure works only if Windows is installed without any whatsoever network connection. As soon as installation is done and you have entered the Audit Mode desktop (Method One Step 2) you can connect the computer to network and Internet again. The installation phase must be done without network connection.

    Short checklist, the only way this works:
    1. Disable all network connections before starting the installation (disable WiFi, disconnect Ethernet cable)
    2. Install and enter Audit Mode as told in Method One Step 1
    3. Enable network connections (enable WiFi, reconnect Ethernet cable)
    4. Continue from tutorial Method One Step 2

      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Feb 2015
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Technical Preview
       2015-04-01 #34

    I believe that this sysprep method might be broken again in build 10049. I have a computer that I've done the following with:
    1) clean install of build 10041 including using Method 1 to sysprep Users to D:\
    2) sysprep Users back to C:\ using the first part of the Upgrade Method (Method 2)
    (NOTE: before upgrading, the 'upgrade' registry keys you say to delete before running sysprep do not exist. However, my sysprep 'CleanupState' was '2', not '7'. I changed it to '7'.)
    3) upgrade from build 10041 to 10049
    4) attempt to follow the second half of the Upgrade Method (This time the 'upgrade' registry keys were there and I deleted them. Sysprep 'CleanupState' was '2' again, I changed it to '7' again).
    However, after running sysprep and rebooting into the OOBE, I get struck in a reboot loop. When the OOBE reaches the "Checking Connection" stage (with that phrase and a loading circle animation on a blank white screen), it flashes to a blank white screen with just the loading circle animation, which then reboots back to the beginning of the OOBE. This reboot loop in the OOBE happens regardless of whether I have my ethernet cable connected or not. This reboot loop in the OOBE does not happen when using sysprep in build 10041.

    So for now I'm going to stay on build 10041 (the Spartan browser is pretty much the only difference between build 10041 and build 10049 anyway) until build 10049 hits the slow ring and people can get .iso files of it to experiment with and report here. Hopefully another build that is confirmed to work with the sysprep method comes out soon.

    Thanks as always Kari for the amazing work. This trick has become a core part of my Windows use case over the last few years.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,092
    Windows 10 Pro
       2015-04-02 #35

    I have some mixed results at the moment. I need to check the upgrade issue more before answering anything.

    algorhythm said: View Post
    So for now I'm going to stay on build 10041 (the Spartan browser is pretty much the only difference between build 10041 and build 10049 anyway) until build 10049 hits the slow ring and people can get .iso files of it to experiment with and report here. Hopefully another build that is confirmed to work with the sysprep method comes out soon.
    You don't have to wait the slow ring for the ISO, you can create one by yourself: ESD to ISO - Create Bootable ISO from Windows 10 ESD File - Windows 10 Forums

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7.    2015-04-02 #36

    If you go into Modern Settings app - System - Storage Sense - Save Locations, would that move your work folders to another drive?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Joined : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,092
    Windows 10 Pro
       2015-04-02 #37

    swarfega said: View Post
    If you go into Modern Settings app - System - Storage Sense - Save Locations, would that move your work folders to another drive?
    Yes. The difference compared to method told in this tutorial:


    1. The Sysprep method (this tutorial):
      • Moves the whole main profile folder Users to another drive, no further actions needed
      • All future user accounts will have their user profiles and all profile folders automatically created in the new location, nothing regarding user profiles will be stored in C:
      • No need to manually move folders one by one

    2. The Storage Sense > Save Locations method:
      • Needs to be done for each existing user and folder separately. When a new user is created this procedure must be repeated
      • Can only change location of Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos subfolders. All other folders like AppData including Temp remain in C: which can take a lot of storage space


    This screenshot from the PC I am using at the moment shows how the method in this tutorial works. I am showing the hidden items, too in the screenshot so that you can see there really isn't even the Users folder on drive C:, instead all user profiles are located in E:\Users:
    Click image for larger version. 

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      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Joined : Nov 2013
    Posts : 805
    10 Pro Preview x64
       2015-04-02 #38

    Kari said: View Post
    2. The Storage Sense > Save Locations method:

    • Needs to be done for each existing user and folder separately. When a new user is created this procedure must be repeated
    • Can only change location of Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos subfolders. All other folders like AppData including Temp remain in C: which can take a lot of storage space
    Kari said:
    Note   Note
    I prefer backing up all personal files and folders from all user profiles first to an external backup, then delete the backed up content from Users to make it as small as possible.
    As you have to copy users back before upgrade, is it known if you can you backup and delete everything in AppData as recommended with other folders? Or do you have to keep enough space on C:\ to copy it back? Or some of it?

    I don't want to end in a situation where I might out of space to copy back profiles before upgrade - if I have to leave space for AppData I may as well leave it where it is. This would be a shame as I want to assign minimal amount of space to Windows partition.

    kari said:
    Note   Note
    If you will move the Users back to the same drive where it was earlier before the upgrade, be sure to empty the drive first to a backup location
    Is this really necessary or can the user folders just be renamed? Does the process format the partition? I ask as I have some big files I don't back-up (movies mainly) as don't have space and don't care particularly if I lose them.

    Can I for example keep X:\<user>_save\* on disk, then move user profiles after upgrade to X:\, then move the contents of the subfolders back from X:\<user>_save\* to X:\<user>\* ?

    A final question is if the location you re-locate to has to be on a file system Windows recognizes by default or if you can use something else (HFS, EXT4) that requires you to load a driver. If you load the driver during sysprep it should be OK right?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  10. Joined : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,092
    Windows 10 Pro
       2015-04-02 #39

    adamf said: View Post
    As you have to copy users back before upgrade, is it known if you can you backup and delete everything in AppData as recommended with other folders? Or do you have to keep enough space on C:\ to copy it back? Or some of it?

    Is this really necessary or can the user folders just be renamed? Does the process format the partition? I ask as I have some big files I don't back-up (movies mainly) as don't have space and don't care particularly if I lose them.
    Of course it's always better to perform a clean install when upgrading OS but if and when you decide to upgrade, here's how it's done.

    If you have free space on C: before upgrading a system where the Users folder is relocated, just run the Sysprep and relocate the Users back to C:.

    If you have not the space available, here's a tested and working solution:

    • Boot to Audit Mode (%windir%\system32\sysprep.exe /audit /reboot)
    • Backup all personal content from all user profiles (docs, pics, music etc.), empty the user folders as much as you can
    • Although not recommended you can backup all third party folders from all user profiles' AppData\Local, AppData\LocalLow and AppData\Roaming folders and delete the folders when done, only leaving the Microsoft content. For instance you can backup, delete and later restore the AppData\Roaming\Adobe folder but not the AppData\Local\Microsoft_Corporation and AppData\Local\Microsoft folders (do not forget the built-in administrator account if enabled!)
    • Sysprep relocating the users back to C:
    • Upgrade (I recommend upgrading using an ISO with network disconnected instead of WU upgrade using the ESD)
    • Sysprep relocating Users back to drive X:
    • Boot to Audit Mode
    • Restore the personal content to all user profiles
    • Restore the third party AppData to all user profiles
    • Boot back to OOBE (%windir%\system32\sysprep.exe /oobe/reboot)


    What happens if Sysprep finds an existing Users folder from an earlier Windows setup on drive X: when you relocate Users after the upgrade or clean install is that the new Windows uses the same folder but the usernames will be doubled. An example: I have users Kari and Admin in X:\Users from an earlier Windows installation. A new installation, I sysprep the Users to X:\Users. Sysprep finds that the folder exists but also that the users exist, so it creates the two new accounts as Kari-NewComputerName and Admin-NewComputerName.

    Now the Users folder has four user profiles, Kari, Admin, Kari-NewComputerName and Admin-NewComputerName. The user files for my new user profile are located in Kari-NewComputerName profile while the files in old Kari's profile are flagged (SID) belonging to the old installation. These old profiles remain flagged to the old installation even if I renamed the Users folder to Users-Backup before sysprepping.

    This is why I often simplify this and tell to wipe the drive, when there in reality is no issues using an existing Users folder. I have done some tests for instance where I have relocated the Users on three separate computers to a128 GB flash drive, using the same flash drive and same Users folder to store users from all three computers. No issues whatsoever.

    The below quote is a recent discussion at the Seven Forums but it all applies to Windows 10, too (User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation - Windows 7 Help Forums, starting from post #909):

    Kieran said:
    Hi Kari,A few years ago when I built my system I followed your tutorial to move the default location of user folders to my 1TB D: HDD, and installed Win7 on the 128GB SSD. Due to an unresolvable infinite repair loop problem, I'm now planning to just do a clean re-install of the OS on the SSD.
    Is it possible to do a clean re-install on to the SSD, and have the new installation recognize the existing user folders on the D-drive (HDD)?
    Thanks in advance,
    Kieran

    Kari said:
    No Kieran, I am afraid it is not possible. Windows always starts after a clean install with empty user profile folders (read: no personal content).


    The drive where you have the Users folder now located should not contain a folder named Users when you sysprep. It should also not be renamed to something else but totally removed. This is the short checklist to do what you want to do correctly:

    • Backup your personal content from all user profiles to an external drive
      • Do not include the AppData folders in this backup! Using old appdata on new installation is a sure way to get a screwed up Windows. Only copy and backup the docs, pics, music, videos, saved games and such

    • Shutdown the PC
    • Disconnect the HDD, only leaving the SSD connected
    • Boot with Windows 7 install media, perform a clean install
    • When installation is done and you get to first dialog asking you to create the initial first user account, enter Audit Mode with CTRL+SHIFT+F3
    • When in Audit Mode, close the Sysprep GUI by clicking Cancel and shutdown the PC
    • Connect the HDD
    • Boot the PC, it boots automatically back to Audit Mode
    • Wipe the HDD clean, create a partition for the Users folder
    • Run the Sysprep relocating the Users folder
    • When ready and you are on the Windows desktop with your usual user account, restore the backed up personal content


    Kari

    Kieran said:
    Thanks very much for the prompt reply.
    Is it absolutely necessary to wipe the HDD clean?

    Kari said:
    No, it's not necessary. What is important is that it does not contain any Windows system folders or files from any old installation, not even renamed.


    If the only system folder the HDD contains is Users, backup the personal content and remove the folder. Also if you had used this method to relocate the ProgramData folder, remove it, too.


    All other content can stay on the HDD. Notice that backing up the content of the Users folder to another folder on the same drive is a no go, too. The user files will in that case remain flagges belonging to an older Windows insallation.

    adamf said: View Post
    A final question is if the location you re-locate to has to be on a file system Windows recognizes by default or if you can use something else (HFS, EXT4) that requires you to load a driver. If you load the driver during sysprep it should be OK right?
    I have in fact not tested this but honestly I don't think that would work. I believe the filesystem has to be one of Windows' default systems.

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 2015-06-01 at 06:39. Reason: Fixed some typos
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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