Windows 10: How to point to a "Users" branch on another drive or better ideas???

  1.    15 Jul 2015 #1

    How to point to a "Users" branch on another drive or better ideas???

    Here is the story:

    I have one 64 bit mini-tower and a number of laptops. I held back on converting the mini-tower to W10 until about a week ago as it has ALL of my files (capitalized "all" for dramatic effect). I figured we were so close to the retail release that I could give it a shot. I was glad that I successfully was able to do an upgrade of the existing installation! Then it hit me a few days later. Heh heh.

    I got hit with the infamous "Critical Error - Can't create Start menu or Cortana..." issue that I find has plagued Windows users since Windows 8, so I doubt holding off would have made a bit of difference other than I would have been writing this on a later date. An interesting point that might already be way over-noted is that the two identities that were tied to MS IDs for logging in both gave the error (at the exact same point), but the one local account did not have the error and did not exhibit the error, but had a number of problems such as UAC being unusable most of the time (I learned to switch it off by a command line statement, but it would come back next time I would work on finding a solution. I elevated that to an admin yet I could not create new user accounts nor could I change the other MS ID account logins to being local logins, among other constrictions.

    After trying every solution I could find over the internet over the past week and some that I made up, I finally gave in to a solution I was putting off, but first the basic configuration:

    Two hard drives. One is about one TB, the other something like 250 to 500 GB. Let's call the 1 TB drive "TB" and the other drive "GB".

    Windows was on the TB drive originally.

    GB was used for miscellaneous storage.

    After giving up on getting TB to run W10 without the error, I moved all the misc. files that had been on GB over onto TB, fairly well taking up all that formerly available space, then I formatted GB and did a clean install of 10162 onto it (GB).

    At least Windows boots up and lets me sign on properly now.

    The previous complete structure of Windows is still on TB, as are all of my (former) program files and USERS files.

    Now what to do...?

    I know we can redirect where W10 looks for My Documents and several other high level user sub-directories, but is there a way I can have Windows 10 booting up now on GB point to the entire USERS structure on TB recreating the logins so the login from GB would correspond to the respective USERS sub-directories over on TB?

    What about something even more far-reaching, like copying all of the Windows directory structure and files from GB onto TB completely overwriting what is there now, then setting that drive back to the primary active? Yes, I know that one made y'all cringe. There are probably more references to locations that I would have to edit than sidewalk hostesses walking 8 Mile Road in Detroit. But is there anything along those lines or somewhere between? I know many of you folks reading this know what you are doing far above me, and I could really use your help at this point. I would most of all like to be able to restore my structure all on TB which then I could once again use as my "C" drive and send GB back to being "D". I had tried resetting it a number of times and the two times I was successful in completing the reset I still had that critical error (other times it complained that the drive was locked and an assortment of other problems). Failing this, I would most appreciate being able to access the USERS branch intact. If that isn't possible, is there any better path to take other than creating my daughters' and my identities on the new setup and point to the proper "My Documents" and so forth directories?

    Another problem with that last option would be the space I have to work with on GB (The new and present OS drive), for if I maintain the OS there then I am going to have to find a solution to the amount of program files I am dealing with and try to find a way to balance the entire file load between the two drives. Perhaps it won't be an issue for I can not honestly say I know at this point how large Program Files actually is...

    Please, ideas?

    Thank-you very much!

    edit: Though I notice that W10 not only provided means of specifying alternate location for "My Documents" and such, I am also pleased to note that it appears one can specify alternate for "Program Files". Of course, not only is this not my first choice of handling, but also I notice that though it appears the facility is provided, I have yet to be able to actually enter and modify those fields... (SETTINGS:SYSTEM:STORAGE)
    Last edited by brucemc777; 16 Jul 2015 at 11:37. Reason: Additional info
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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