Windows 10: Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10  

  1. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 14,791
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       20 Mar 2018 #1160

    arnold layne said: View Post
    has the procedure changed with the myriad of updates to windows since it was written?
    ...or does my lenovo ideapad laptop use a different key combo to enter audit mode?
    ...or am i just screwing something up?

    thanks for any help!
    No, the procedure has not been changed.

    First, I have to say that some computers with OEM pre-installed Windows can be tricky, sometimes impossible, to get sysprepped. Manufacturer's own configuration files will override any user made ones, causing a reinstall / recovery to give Windows as manufacturer has it designed and set up instead of doing the changes in user's answer file.

    My recommendation in these cases is to disable Secure Boot and Fast Boot in UEFI settings and, instead of using OEM recovery partition or media to reinstall Windows, get an original Windows 10 ISO image from Microsoft and use it instead to perform a fresh, clean install. Windows 10 is really good in finding correct drivers, the only thing usually lost in doing a clean install is the OEM "bloatware".

    About booting to Audit Mode: personally, I have never seen a Windows PC (laptop, desktop, tablet) not being able to boot to Audit Mode with CTRL + SHIFT + F3 from Region selection screen:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    In your case, I think you have to choose between using OEM recovery to setup Windows 10 and forget relocating Users folder, or to get a clean, valid install media using an ISO image downloaded directly from Microsoft to perform a clean install.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    20 Mar 2018 #1161

    thanks for your reply! sorry to go a little OT here, but apparently i can't message you until i have been a member for three days...

    while i do know my way around a computer somewhat, i'm not up to speed on some of the finer details. you mentioned "disable Secure Boot and Fast Boot in UEFI settings", but i'm not sure where the UEFI settings are (it sounds like it ought to be a BIOS setting!) can you tell me how to get to them?

    you also say the problem is often that the manufacturer's config file will override mine...can i just add the 'move user folder' lines of code to the manufacturer's config file? (assuming i can find it...i assume it is on one of the two or three tiny hidden drives that i see in disk management.)

    i would be fine with installing from a new ISO, but will that eliminate the built-in 'factory reset' option should i need it in the future? also, will a new win 10 ISO recognize my built-in software key, or do i need to write it down before i install from scratch?

    i tried to follow the instructions 'to the letter', so i only tried to enter audit mode at the express/custom settings prompt where i was told...i can try entering audit mode at other 'stops' in the install, but i didn't know if it needed to be done before a certain point.

    lastly, if none of that gets me anywhere, someone in another thread suggested putting a pointer in the C:\users folder that links to the D:\users directory. i know that will not put "all future users" on the D drive, and that i will have to manually move the folders for each user (and link them back to C: ), but is that a good way to keep all of that data from clogging up my system directory?

    oh, one other thing...if i can get the data to D:, what is a good size partition for win 10 home system? i don't plan on installing a lot of software on it...mostly libre office. if i remember correctly, i have it at 175G currently. as i said, it has been a while since i made the first attempt, but i think i tried to make it 100G but couldn't at the time. (possibly unmovable files that i could wipe now?)

    thanks again!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 14,791
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       20 Mar 2018 #1162

    arnold layne said: View Post
    thanks for your reply! sorry to go a little OT here, but apparently i can't message you until i have been a member for three days...
    Don't take this wrong, but that's good! I would not have answered.

    I will never answer personal messages asking for assistance. Let me reapeat: NEVER!

    The idea of forums like our TenForums is to assist as many users as possible. Posting about your issue, getting replied and possibly a solution, that can help some other user years from now. However, assisting you personally, hidden from other users, will only benefit you. That's not what forums is about.

    For future readers of this thread, mark my words: Do not ask assistance in privat messages! I am not alone in this, most of our senior members have the same policy. We do not answer privat messages for assistance.


    arnold layne said: View Post
    while i do know my way around a computer somewhat, i'm not up to speed on some of the finer details. you mentioned "disable Secure Boot and Fast Boot in UEFI settings", but i'm not sure where the UEFI settings are (it sounds like it ought to be a BIOS setting!) can you tell me how to get to them?
    Each manufacturer has their own method to enter UEFI or BIOS setings. Consult the manual.


    arnold layne said: View Post
    you also say the problem is often that the manufacturer's config file will override mine...can i just add the 'move user folder' lines of code to the manufacturer's config file?
    No. That would involve too much "hard labour".


    arnold layne said: View Post
    i would be fine with installing from a new ISO, but will that eliminate the built-in 'factory reset' option should i need it in the future? also, will a new win 10 ISO recognize my built-in software key, or do i need to write it down before i install from scratch?
    To some extent, yes, a clean install might remove the "easy" way to restore PC to factory condition. What I mean is that the boot option to recovery might be gone, but in any case if you will not format or remove the recovery partition, it would still be there and it might be possible to recover your PC from that partition.


    arnold layne said: View Post
    lastly, if none of that gets me anywhere, someone in another thread suggested putting a pointer in the C:\users folder that links to the D:\users directory. i know that will not put "all future users" on the D drive, and that i will have to manually move the folders for each user (and link them back to C: ), but is that a good way to keep all of that data from clogging up my system directory?
    I do not recommend using junctions and symbolic links to relocate Windows system folders, and am strongly advising against it.


    arnold layne said: View Post
    oh, one other thing...if i can get the data to D:, what is a good size partition for win 10 home system? i don't plan on installing a lot of software on it...mostly libre office. if i remember correctly, i have it at 175G currently. as i said, it has been a while since i made the first attempt, but i think i tried to make it 100G but couldn't at the time. (possibly unmovable files that i could wipe now?)
    Windows needs about 20 GB to function. If you only install basic software, you will be just fine with 175 GB. To use myself as an example, I am something you might call a heavy duty user. My C: drive at the moment where Windows and software is installed is at the moment about 50 GB, my drive E: where the Users folder is relocated is about 100 GB.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    20 Mar 2018 #1163

    all very helpful answers...thank you very much!

    i think i'm ready to 'give it a go' again when i get a chance to download the ISO and try to shrink that system partition down to 75G or so.

    the reason i thought to message you was because i was starting to go off of the original topic, and i didn't want to 'clutter' the thread with unrelated matters. i hadn't intended to break any board netiquite, but now know to 'keep it public' regardless. thanks again
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 14,791
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       21 Mar 2018 #1164

    arnold layne said: View Post
    the reason i thought to message you was because i was starting to go off of the original topic, and i didn't want to 'clutter' the thread with unrelated matters. i hadn't intended to break any board netiquite, but now know to 'keep it public' regardless. thanks again
    The "board netiquite" is to post your issues where any member can see it. In that case, if you get a solution, it helps other members, too.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    26 Apr 2018 #1165

    Answer File syntax


    Hello,

    Thanks much for so many detailed postings on this forum. Good learning tool!

    I have been looking for relocating user folder to non-system drive for a while.
    I would like to do the same as I am doing a fresh install of W10 Pro (after ransom attack!).

    The tutorial refers to the answer file with the following parameters:

    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">


    https://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance

    http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State

    > The resource you are looking for has been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

    Also what does publicKeyToken and versionScope refers to?

    Please confirm

    Thanks,
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    02 May 2018 #1166

    Look forward for clarification to the syntax of the answer file.

    Also if there are any concerns, as referenced in some of the earlier postings,
    in using separation of user profiles location from the system directory during system updates etc.
    I have Windows 10 Pro Version 1709.

    Thanks,
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. johngalt's Avatar
    Posts : 1,534
    WinX Pro x64 IP current
       02 May 2018 #1167

    zxtour said: View Post
    Look forward for clarification to the syntax of the answer file.

    Also if there are any concerns, as referenced in some of the earlier postings,
    in using separation of user profiles location from the system directory during system updates etc.
    I have Windows 10 Pro Version 1709.

    Thanks,
    As for concerns - my current system was cleanly installed 4 months ago, and I have taken every Insider Preview build and Skip Ahead preview build since then without a hitch. IIRC, it had been at least a few years since this cause any sorry if problems with an update from Microsoft.

    This far I also have had almost no program give any issues, although I have occasionally run into a program that was hard coded to put config files in c:\applications and settings\{folder}, but that are very few and far between, and by it doing so it neither compromised the system now cause any errors.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    03 May 2018 #1168

    zxtour said: View Post
    The tutorial refers to the answer file with the following parameters:

    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
    [...] what does publicKeyToken and versionScope refers to?
    Components | Microsoft Docs
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       03 May 2018 #1169

    Hi Kari,
    I write to you again, just to ask a couple of questions.
    1) Is this method valid for last week's windows update (spring 2018) ?
    2) Is there any way to avoid cleaning up completely the destination drive for X.\Users ?

    I'd like to perform a clean installation, without having to move all user's folder to an external drive and then once installed and moved the folder, then copy everything back again....

    Thanks so much for your grat work!

    Fordlobus
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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