Windows 10: Best Way To Move Users Folder Back to System Drive With Programs

  1.    10 Jun 2016 #1

    Best Way To Move Users Folder Back to System Drive With Programs


    I have a computer that is stuck in an "automatic repair" loop. On this machine, the Users folder is on a separate physical hard drive than the system drive.

    I have concluded that I will have to reset the PC. What is the best way to move the Users folder back to the System Drive? Do I simply copy the Users folder back to the System drive? So that it is un the root of the drive, e.g. c:\Users? Or is there a Registry hack that I need to do?

    Or, since I've decided to reset the computer, should I not try to retain the Users folder? And instead do the same thing as a clean install and after installation create users of the same names, and then copy those user accounts from the old Users drive to the the brand new Users folder?

    Thank you!

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. AndreTen's Avatar
    Posts : 14,708
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       10 Jun 2016 #2

    Here are great tutorials on how to move user folders by Kari.

    Just pick your method and follow the guides.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    10 Jun 2016 #3

    I guess the question in my mind is whether the tutorials will work if you "Reset Your PC". I am sure they work fine if you are doing a full installation, or an upgrade. The question is whether the tutorials will work correctly if the Windows 10 system is broken and the system must be "reset".


      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    10 Jun 2016 #4

    If "Reset your PC" means activating the factory restore/install upon the hard-drive, that means burning down the forest to the nubbins and replanting from scratch. Upon nothing, the factory's image will restore the hard-drive to what it was from factory floor.
    And FWIW, I recommend not moving users folders from its default to anywhere else.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. essenbe's Avatar
    Posts : 11,358
    Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Pro Insider
       10 Jun 2016 #5

    How did you move the User folder to another drive?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    10 Jun 2016 #6

    Actually, I built the computer myself, and installed Windows 7 Ultimate -- the full version -- at the time it was built, a few years ago. At the the time I originally installed Windows 7, I followed Kari's tutorial for moving the Users folder to a separate physical drive. The person using the machine then upgraded it to Windows 10 Pro last year. Windows 10 was working fine until about a week ago. I wanted to clone the Users folder to a separate, backup hard drive at that time. I had my friend shut down the computer. That was when I made my first mistake, possibly the worst one: I didn't switch the machine right back on to ensure it will boot and start up properly. Instead, I disconnected the power cord, unplugged the drive containing the Users folder, cloned it to a new hard drive, and connected this new hard drive to system. I plugged in the power cord, turned on the computer...and "Automatic Repair" started up. This is a lesson to me to always ensure a system will boot before I do any work on it. My fault.

    So things are a bit of a mess. The user never made any backups of the system, but as we see from above, I do have two good copies of the Users folder.

    I will "Reset the PC" and create a new user and copy data from the old user account to the new one. Perhaps there is a Windows 10 migration wizard that can extract user accounts from a hard drive and plant them into the "reset" system.

    Thanks a ton

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    10 Jun 2016 #7

    essenbe said: View Post
    How did you move the User folder to another drive?
    I followed Kari's tutorial for doing that at the time I installed the full version of Windows 7 Ultimate on this machine. So I used the "OOBE"/sysprep methods Kari discusses. Everything has worked great for several year. The user of this computer actually upgraded to Windows 10 through the free online upgrade, and this worked just fine also until last week. Then as I indicate above...I cloned the Users folder and the system broke when I reinstalled the new, cloned hard drive containing the Users folder. I have no real clue to how this could have broken the system. But it broke magnificently.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    10 Jun 2016 #8

    The system in question is an Asus KGPE-D16 dual processor motherboard, two AMD processors, 32 Gb of memory. The full version of Windows 7 Ultimate was originally installed. At first I used Seagate "legacy" (mechanical) hard drives for the system and user drives, but I migrated those to SSDs when the user agreed to pay the additional costs. Since the user has an older version of Adobe Lightroom, and the Lightroom product creates catalogs which are written to disk, I added an third SSD dedicated to those catalog files. The user later decided to do the free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro as soon as it became available. It has run well since being installed. So this breakage is quite unexpected and odd.

    Thanks a ton

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9. AndreTen's Avatar
    Posts : 14,708
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       11 Jun 2016 #9

    I don't see any major problem here. No need to manually copy files over to new system.

    Set up new system, attach drive with user files and move User files (from new system) to attached drive.
    Since there are no User files yet on new system, no overwrite will occur, except some demo files which are not important. After this, all User files should be in place and system will see them.

    Edit: as long as your external drive always has the same letter assigned!
    Last edited by AndreTen; 11 Jun 2016 at 04:07.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10.    11 Jun 2016 #10

    The Windows 10 "Reset this PC" functionality does not appear to work on this installation. Indeed, every rescue option has run into a brick wall. Particularly distressing is the lack of helpful error information. This has been a constant throughout the inexplicable "Automatic Repair" loops.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Given the extreme brittleness of Windows 10, I decided to install Windows 7 Ultimate for this user. Extended support from Microsoft is available until 2020. It is a far more stable option at this time and gets the user back to a productive mode.


      My ComputerSystem Spec


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