Users and Program files/ProgramData reroute?

  1. Posts : 2

    Users and Program files/ProgramData reroute?

    Hi all.

    On my desktop I run WS2008R2 Enterprise and have done since 2009 due to the work I do heavily in IT. It's a critical system.
    I also have a laptop running Windows 10 Enterprise.

    I managed a very long time ago to have my WS2008R2 desktop system to re-route any users and program files to another stripped HDD (RAID 0) which is E: and the OS remains on C: and Windows update and everything has been working great with no issues.

    I know I had to change some registry settings (yup, even IE works when I changed the path) along with maybe some PATH environment settings too, half way during installation for this to work and certainly works great - no need for a directory junction to be made (mklink) as I had OS issues with this. I also used robocopy to copy Program files to another drive, straight after the OS installation before I modified reg settings and then rebooted.

    In any event, I want to install a newer server OS however there are some things missing from it. But, I can settle with Windows 10.

    Question I have is for Windows 10, how can I successfully:

    - have all user profiles created and redirected to another physical HDD?
    - same thing for Program Files, Program Files (x86)?
    - Any new program installations to automatically pick up the new location of Program files, just like I managed on WS2008R2?

    Is there a way to do this in Windows 10, and still have all updates run smoothly?
    Whether it be a registry trick or an ADK approach, whatever - I would be interested to know. Sometimes changing it from within the OS does not quite work fully (I tried in a test environment with WS2012 once...then managed to get it to work with more reg hacks).
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 35,621
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Hi, if you search through the Tutorials section for

    you will find things which may help like
    Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials

    - which says:
    Microsoft does not recommend relocating, moving ProgramData, Program Files, Program Files (x86) and Windows folders. Too much is depending on information and data stored on these folders and relocating them might cause serious issues. However, there's simply nothing preventing us to move the Users folder and everything it contains, including the Temp and AppData folders. This tutorial will show how to move (relocate) the Users folder by changing internal Windows Environment Variables.

    While you can hack the registry thus:

    this will cause major problems when upgrading or doing an in-place upgrade repair (same process) - these will then not be possible.
    Microsoft does not support changing the location of the Program Files folder by modifying the ProgramFilesDir registry value. If you change the location of the Program Files folder, you may experience problems with some Microsoft programs or with some software updates.
    Of course you can specify install locations for most programs you download and install, which can validly be on a different disk or partition, as you know, for all but the most trivial, there will be elements of that program in various locations on C:

    Some more tutorials:

    Change Save Location for New Apps in Windows 10 Apps Features Tutorials
    Set Save Location for Library in Windows 10 Customization Tutorials
    Move Location of Desktop Folder in Windows 10 Customization Tutorials
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 2
    Thread Starter

    Thank you.
    Well even some programs that don't ask for installation locations just install in the default location, or even the ones that DO ask don't quite install everything into the specified folder...

    The problem here would be, with the hack, to see if the next update(s) to Windows (next major update) will work or not. :-/
    Things like this (and I understand the reasons for making changes unsupported) prevent me from moving forward. Current sys config works fantastically.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 12,492
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro

    To add, I've seen installations of Microsoft Office allow Custom settings and choosing a different drive or partition still put quite a bit of itself on the same drive/partition that Windows was installed on, maybe as much as 2/3rds of itself.
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 34
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    You can also use an awesome small program that i use for our school lab that moves and current and any future created profiles to a designated hard drive that you set. You can also redirect registry chsnges with this tool too. It's called Faronics Data Igloo. :) hope this helps!
      My Computer


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