Windows Installation is a mess with multiple program paths and users


  1. Posts : 2
    Win 10 Home 64
       #1

    Windows Installation is a mess with multiple program paths and users


    Hello!
    This is my win version:
    Windows Installation is a mess with multiple program paths and users-winver.png

    My issue is that I tried to migrate two separate user accounts from an OLD windows installation (Years ago)that I had recovered.
    Now, I worry that if I just start copy and pasting files I'm going to have file path errors, and lose data in the mix.
    I'm used to the old system, not the windows account login authentication that came with win10 (I believe), where my file system of old, didn't mix with the heirarchy I guess? Obviously I'm not an expert. My user accounts and permissions are out of wack because of this too, simply moving files and creating files in each subdirectory of the Users/ area is upsetting.
    My registry is a mess, and it scares me to think about trying to unravel it there.

    ULTIMATELY my goal is to merge all of my information into one user account, BACK it all up, Buy a massive SSD and start fresh on a new install of windows with all my (double user) files that exist on my current system. I don't know too much about .img files except for hosting .iso through daemon tools...

    Can you guys help me with this? I'll try to post an example of the multiple installations and users that all operate under one windows install:
    Windows Installation is a mess with multiple program paths and users-multipleusersanddrives.png
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 13,957
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503
       #2

    The C: drive is the newer system, the D: drive is from the old system, right?

    First, you really can't move/copy programs, only data. There are programs you can buy (not free) that some here have said do a decent (not perfect) job of moving programs but I don't remember their names as it's nothing I've ever wanted to do.

    You're best bet is to record the names of the programs you want to install on the new system that were on the old system then go find and download them via Google.

    Data on the other hand is safe and relatively easy to copy from one system (or drive) to another. You just need to decide how you want to store it on the new system. Do you want to merge it into your new data or keep it separate. To keep it separate just create a folder called Old under Documents, Photos, Pictures, etc then copy the data from the old system into the Old folders as appropriate.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 35,485
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #3

    My issue is that I tried to migrate two separate user accounts from an OLD windows installation (Years ago)that I had recovered.
    Now, I worry that if I just start copy and pasting files I'm going to have file path errors, and lose data in the mix.
    If you've already irrecoverably hacked your O/S, you'll be well advised to either
    - restore your system from a disk image you previously created- before these changes (you do use disk imaging routinely, I hope, as is so often recommended here (e.g. Macrium Reflect - free/paid - plus large enough external storage for image files

    or, assuming you don't use disk imaging to protect yourself from bad mistakes, unbootable cases and disk failure etc,

    - clean install Win 10 and start again. Tutorial available.

    Once you have a sound operating system installed, follow ztruker's advice.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 2
    Win 10 Home 64
    Thread Starter
       #4

    dalchina said:
    If you've already irrecoverably hacked your O/S, you'll be well advised to either
    - restore your system from a disk image you previously created- before these changes (you do use disk imaging routinely, I hope, as is so often recommended here (e.g. Macrium Reflect - free/paid - plus large enough external storage for image files

    or, assuming you don't use disk imaging to protect yourself from bad mistakes, unbootable cases and disk failure etc,

    - clean install Win 10 and start again. Tutorial available.

    Once you have a sound operating system installed, follow ztruker's advice.
    Thank you for the solid and considerate advice.

    Excuse my ignorance in disk imaging. This is my first step toward using disk imaging to protect myself, for months I have been backing up my essential data to a cloud, in a less organized database I designed with storage bigger than my two total drives.

    But way back when I made this mistake in Early 2016 I wasn't sure how to effectively make an image of my disc that was already a mess. I am finally attempting to salvage and organize what's left so I can transfer the data I need to my new fresh install of windows on a fresh rig, as per my OP.

    Thank you again.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 35,485
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #5

    Understood. Here's an outline pattern you can follow:

    As early as you can, and before making significant changes to your new installation, create a base (initial) disk image - of ALL the partitions comprising the Windows O/S.

    Macrium Reflect (free) is often recommended here.

    When you create your first disk image, you will be prompted to create a backup job- whch thereafter controls the number of images on your backup disk (space) and makes subsequent imaging much easier.

    Use disk imaging to allocate your backup drive a letter late in the alphapet- say 'R'. Then, whenever you plug your USB disk in, it will be R, making it easy.

    Having created your first image, start making changes.

    Keep a simple text record of changes.
    After having made a number of such changes, use your backup job to create a differential image (smaller, faster) - being the changes from the first image to 'now'.

    Repeat that- differential images- until your next feature update (upgrade) or in-place upgrade repair. Then start the whole sequence again.

    Macrium Reflect tutorials here- very basic- and videos on youtube. Plus it has a huge help file.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 812
    Windows 10 Professional x64 21H2
       #6

    chronicdenial said:
    Excuse my ignorance in disk imaging. This is my first step toward using disk imaging to protect myself
    I don't use Macrium Reflect, I use EaseUS Todo Backup Technician. More advanced. Go through the tutorial first, it'll give you the basics, then download the app and create an image backup.

    Macrium Reflect Tutorial

    Macrium Reflect Download
      My Computers


 

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