Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10  

  1.    21 May 2018 #1180

    Kari said: View Post
    Are you doing Method One (clean install), or Method Two (relocating Users folder on an existing installation)?
    Neither, I'm the one that had my User folder installed on G: drive with fresh install of Win 10, due apps and certain games, that drive was getting low on space. So I wanted to buy a new Larger drive, and swap it out. You gave me the below instructions.

    Theoretically, it should work. I must admit I have never done that, I will test that scenario later this week.

    Thinking about it, about the fact that if you boot to Windows before the new drive has got letter G and the old G: is no longer present, Windows would fail to boot. You would get to sign-in screen but system could not proceed from there because G: where Users folder is located would be missing. On the other hand, if you boot with duplicate Users folders on two different partitions / disks, it might also cause issues.

    This is how I would do it. Lot's of steps but trust me, this only takes a few minutes plus time required to clone old disk:

    1.) Clone old disk to new HDD / SSD using your preferred imaging / cloning software.

    2.) Shutdown PC

    3.) Remove old disk (optional, see steps 7 & 8 below).

    4.) Create a WinPE USB boot device (tutorial, process is fast and easy).

    5.) Boot from WinPE USB, do not let Windows boot from hard disk!

    6.) WinPE boots automatically to Command Prompt. Run Windows Disk Partitioning tool by typing diskpartand pressing Enter.

    7.) Enter command list vol to get a list of all volumes. Check the list, find the drive letter for partition containing Users folder on old disk if you did not remove it in step 3. above, and drive letter for same partition on cloned new disk. Notice that when booting to WinPE, drive letters might be different than when booting normally, drive G: might be shown as drive F: or something else. In any case, whatever drive letters are shown, change them.

    8.) If the old disk was not removed in step 3, select it by entering command sel vol X where X is its volume number. Change its drive letter to any unused letter with command assign letter=Y where Y is the new drive letter.

    9.) Now select the cloned partition on new disk with command sel vol X where X is its volume number. Assign it the letter G with command assign letter=G

    10.) Type exit and press Enter to quit Diskpart.

    That's it. remove WinPE USB, reset / restart PC booting normally to Windows.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    22 May 2018 #1181

    Hello,


    I have a Ascer switch 10.
    Win 10 Home
    x64 processor
    32 bits operating system
    28Gb internal ssd hard drive, non removable.
    26Gb used (13,6Gb in users because of spotyfy)
    So I want to move users to a 64Gb ssd as drive D:

    Your youtube films and tutorial are quite good. Unfortunately I still have questions. Reading those 119 page is a lot. I didn't.

    Your films are different than the tutorial here on page 1.
    I read your tutorial and watched Sysprep - Relocate the Users folder in Windows 10 and Windows 10 - Relocate the Users folder Part 2 (the newest of the two)

    The line with <cpi: offlineImage cpi:source="Wim:E:\x86\source\install.wim#windows 10 Pro" xmlns:cpi"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi"/> (I put a space between : and offline ) appears in both films but not in the tutorial here, page 1. Is it necessary?

    I read:
    Sysprep will not run on an upgraded OS. You can only run Sysprep on a custom (clean) install version of Windows.
    I found my system was upgraded from 8.1 to 10. Now version 1607. There is to less space to update.
    We need to edit Windows registry to "fool" Windows
    I did, but I think I fooled my self.... by editing the registry as told. I didn't read quite well or did not understand what is meant. I don't need to upgrade anymore.

    How to proceed?
    Putting back the backup and start over again without fooling windows?
    or do what in Sysprep - Relocate the Users folder in Windows 10 is showed
    Ore do this: Windows 10 - Relocate the Users folder Part 2

    The line <cpi: offlineImage cpi:source="Wim:E:\x86\source\install.wim#windows 10 Pro" xmlns:cpi"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi"/> must it be used or not?

    I hope someone can help.
    Regards
    Kos
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    28 May 2018 #1182

    Great Thread, Thanks Kari.
    i have set up my C:\User folders to G: drive, as per your instr, which all worked well. But now i need to do a fresh install of Windows for bsod reasons.
    if i do a fresh windows install, will i have to follow your instructions above, again? if so, will i lose all my current G:\User docs etc that i have already put in the G: drive?
    thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,168
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       28 May 2018 #1183

    Funjunkie6 said: View Post
    if i do a fresh windows install, will i have to follow your instructions above, again? if so, will i lose all my current G:\User docs etc that i have already put in the G: drive?
    thanks.
    Yes, you have to start from scratch and repeat this process again. You will not lose your data but you cannot keep them on G: drive while reinstalling due permissions issues.

    Backup your personal folders (Documents, Pictures, Videos and so on) from G: drive to an external drive. Reinstall, relocate Users folder to G: as told in tutorial. When done, copy your data from backup to respective folders on "new" G: drive.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    28 May 2018 #1184

    Thanks a lot for your quick reply.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 1
    Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
       03 Jun 2018 #1185

    Like many before me, I thank you, Kari, for this helpful guide. :)

    There are some things I would suggest updating in your guide though so as to make things more streamlined:

    First, it might be clearer for those attempting this for the first time (like me) to have ALL the steps in "Method Two: Existing Windows Installation" and "Method Three: During Windows Upgrade" threshed completely out instead of referring to steps in other methods. I did Method Two, which refers to steps in Method One, but when I did so, I inadvertently continued through Method One's steps. Good thing those steps still resulted in a restart anyway, but I startled myself momentarily thinking I may have screwed things up.

    Also, as I read through this thread (not all 119 pages, but quite a few), more than one person who did Method Two experienced the same thing I did: When my PC restarted, it got stuck in the Windows 10 startup screen (blue Windows logo, dots going around in circles) for a good while. As others in this thread experienced something similar (just a plain blank screen for some) and reported that it continued eventually, I also waited (around 15 minutes for me), and it did indeed continue. Without mention of this in the Method Two steps though, I definitely though I might have screwed things up. Good thing I did read through the thread because if I didn't, I'd have restarted my PC after 5 minutes thinking I did something wrong. Therefore, you might want to mention this long wait in the original post so as not to panic people.

    By extension, your tutorial video shows you having a Windows 10 Installer plugged in while your text guide does not. Might want to clarify if this is needed (I started it without the installer as I followed only the text guide, though I did plug in my Windows 10 installer USB drive during the 15-minute restart wait thinking that's what it might be missing that's keeping it from restarting, but only after I watched your video while I was waiting).

    Lastly, while the operation was successful, my OneDrive bugged out. Not sure if other people experienced this but for those who do, this might help:

    While Windows 10 was already using the new User folder location for most things, my old C:\User\Username\OneDrive folder continued to exist containing all OneDrive files (the new D:\User\Username\OneDrive location only copied the drive folders, not files), with the added bug of my OneDrive system tray icon disappearing and OneDrive itself no longer functioning. After some fiddling, I was able to get it back running by deleting the old C:\User\Username\OneDrive (folder recommended you back it up first, of course), opening WIN+R and accessing %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\OneDrive\Update, and running the OneDriveSetup.exe. It sets up OneDrive like it's the first time you're setting it up, and it already chooses the new D:\Users\Username\OneDrive folder by default. After finishing the installation, it syncs completely in the new folder.

    Once more, thank you for this guide, Kari. :) You were a great help.
    Last edited by Overkill001; 03 Jun 2018 at 04:09.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    17 Jul 2018 #1186

    Hi Kari,
    I followed your tutorial in order to move the user folder in a second hard disk.
    Unfortunately, this hard disk broke down and, even though Windows 10 regularly loads (from the main drive), I'm not able to get access.
    What should I do now?
    Is there a way to create the user folder in the OS drive, or the only way is a clean installation of Windows 10?
    Thank you in advance
    Nicola
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,168
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       17 Jul 2018 #1187

    eccoFatto said: View Post
    Hi Kari,
    I followed your tutorial in order to move the user folder in a second hard disk.
    Unfortunately, this hard disk broke down and, even though Windows 10 regularly loads (from the main drive), I'm not able to get access.
    If the disk is completely dead, clean install is your only option. But first, check if the disk can be accessed when booting to Command Prompt from Windows install USB.

    Boot your PC from Windows install USB, and press SHIFT + F10 when this screen is shown:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    It opens Command Prompt. Type DISKPART and press Enter to open Windows Disk Partitioning utility. Enter command LIST DISK and check if all disks are shown.

    If yes, enter command LIST VOL and check if the partition where User profiles are stored is shown. Check which drive letter it has (drive letters are not always shown as normal when booting to WinPE or install media).

    Enter command EXIT to quit DISKPART, enter command DIR W:\Users\YourUsername, replacing W with actual drive letter to your user profile drive. Will everything be listed, or do you get an error message?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tell how it went before starting a clean install.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    17 Jul 2018 #1188

    @Kari Thnx for tutorial.

    Am curious, how would you backup your PC that contained two hard-drives (one with the OS & the other containing the Users folder migrated using your guide) with a backup program such as Macrium Reflect?

    Is Macrium able to backup two hard-drives simultaneously to one image file? And would a restore in the event of a crash or hdd failure require at least two hard-drives be present as well -- meaning you couldn't restore the image (containing a "C" +" D" hard-drive) to a single hard-drive?
    Last edited by KabyBlue; 17 Jul 2018 at 09:58.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,168
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       17 Jul 2018 #1189

    KabyBlue said: View Post
    Am curious, how would backup your PC that contained two hard-drives (one with the OS & the other containing the Users folder migrated using your guide) with a backup program such as Macrium Reflect?

    Is Macrium able to backup two hard-drives simultaneously to one image file? And would a restore in the event of a crash or hdd failure require at least two hard-drive be present as well -- meaning you couldn't restore the image (containing a "C" +" D" hard-drive) to a single hard-drive?
    Macrium has no issues in creating backups containing multiple disks or selected partitions from multiple disks.

    I am writing this using an HP ProBook laptop which has a so called hybrid disk, meaning it has a 128 GB M.2 SSD and 1 TB HDD. I have UEFI system partitions and Windows on SSD (highlighted yellow in below screenshot), which simply is too small to have Users there. I have relocated Users folder on partition E: on the HDD (blue highlight). HDD also contains partition for additional software installs (drive D: Software)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    (Click to enlarge.)

    Notice that I have unselected (= not included in backup) two HDD partitions, Hyper-V (drive F:) which is for my virtual machines which I backup separately by exporting them, and VHD Boot (drive G:) which does not need to be backed up, it being a partition where I just copy a virtual machine VHD file adding it temporarily to Windows boot menu whenever I need to run a VM as so called native boot VHD, to be able to boot it using real, physical hardware instead of emulated VM hardware. When done, I'll copy the VHD back to its original location on Hyper-V partition.

    When creating a Macrium image, I must select Image selected disks on this computer. Selecting Create an image of the partitions required to backup and restore Windows would not work when Users is relocated because backup would only contain the system disk where Windows is installed:
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    Running backup with this selection creates one single Reflect image containing UEFI system partitions and Windows partition from SSD, and Software and User Profiles partitions from HDD. Restoring this image would restore my Windows 10 setup with relocated Users folder exactly as it was when image was created.

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 17 Jul 2018 at 10:00. Reason: Some typos fixed
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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