Windows 10: Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10  

  1. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 14,785
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       17 Jul 2018 #1190

    In addition to my last post, I just created a new backup of system disk (SSD) and Software and User Profiles partitions from HDD. One single Reflect image file, with everything required to restore Windows:
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    Kari
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  2.    17 Jul 2018 #1191

    Kari said: View Post
    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)

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    Thnx for that detailed breakdown of the process...

    So hypothetically -- using your sample partition choices above -- if I wanted to restore your MReflect image to another PC with a single 1TB SSD/HDD drive, I would simply copy all the partitions from GPT Disk 2, followed by the first two partitions from GPT Disk 1, there by creating a single row of six partitions; and, after restore the new PC should theoretically boot (assuming drivers & all other dependencies are in order).
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  3. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 14,785
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       17 Jul 2018 #1192

    KabyBlue said: View Post
    So hypothetically -- using your sample partition choices above -- if I wanted to restore your MReflect image to another PC with a single 1TB SSD/HDD drive, I would simply copy all the partitions from GPT Disk 2, followed by the first two partitions from GPT Disk 1, there by creating a single row of six partitions; and, after restore the new PC should theoretically boot (assuming drivers & all other dependencies are in order).
    Theoretically, yes, although I must admit I have never tested it.

    The above is how I was going to reply to you. Then I thought why not test it? I did the following using a Hyper-V VM with a single 1 TB virtual hard disk as test target machine.

    First, laptop's partition structure as shown in Disk Management. Primary disk (HDD) contains the Software (D:) and User Profiles (E:) partitions, which are included in Macrium image with UEFI system partitions and Windows partition (C:) on secondary disk (SSD):
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    I booted target machine from Macrium Rescue media. First thing to do was to open Macrium PE's Command Prompt and enable networking with wpeinit command, then map a network share containing the Macrium image:
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    When done, I could browse to and select the image:
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    I first selected the system (in my case secondary) disk from the Macrium image to be restored:
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    (Click to enlarge)

    and restored it to target machine's only disk:
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    Next, I selected the primary disk from Macrium image to be restored (partitions D: and E:):
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    and restored the Software and User Profiles partitions it contained to empty space on target machine's only disk:
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    Next step was to check drive letters using Macrium PE's Command Prompt. In my case now I had to assign a new letter to Macrium Rescue media which currently held the D: letter I needed for Software partition, then change Software partition ID to D:, and finally assign E: to partition User Profiles to assure everything would work, drive letters being the same as in original image:
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    Checking the drive letters again, everything is as it should be:
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    Final step is to create boot records with bcdboot command:
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    Rebooting the target machine, it booted without issues to Windows, everything being now on single disk, user profiles in partition E:
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    Absolutely no problems!

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    17 Jul 2018 #1193

    @Kari I am super tired and making sure if I understand you correctly. If I have my music, pictures and other folders like this with their location changed to another drive I have...... and this drive dies.... I will have to clean install to restore them to my main OS drive?
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  5. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 14,785
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       17 Jul 2018 #1194

    Access Denied said: View Post
    @Kari I am super tired and making sure if I understand you correctly. If I have my music, pictures and other folders like this with their location changed to another drive I have...... and this drive dies.... I will have to clean install to restore them to my main OS drive?
    As always when a disk dies, you need to replace it. If you have a recent backup, you can restore it to new disk / disks. If not, you must clean install.

    This regardless if the disk that died is your only disk containing Windows and Users, or if you have Windows and Users on separate disks. Relocating Users folder does not change anything regarding how to proceed if a hard disk or SSD becomes useless and can't be read anymore.

    Regular, frequent backups is the key factor.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    17 Jul 2018 #1195

    Kari said: View Post
    As always when a disk dies, you need to replace it. If you have a recent backup, you can restore it to new disk / disks. If not, you must clean install.

    This regardless if the disk that died is your only disk containing Windows and Users, or if you have Windows and Users on separate disks. Relocating Users folder does not change anything regarding how to proceed if a hard disk or SSD becomes useless and can't be read anymore.

    Regular, frequent backups is the key factor.

    Kari
    Thank you. I am moving all my user folders back to my SSD. The mess it would cause if that older SSD I have them on died, it would be too much for me to deal with atm.
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  7. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 14,785
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       17 Jul 2018 #1196

    Access Denied said: View Post
    Thank you. I am moving all my user folders back to my SSD. The mess it would cause if that older SSD I have them on died, it would be too much for me to deal with atm.
    With regular backups, there would be no mess. You would just need to restore Users to main SSD until the time you've got a new disk to replace the dead one.

    See this post about how to restore a dual disk image (Users on another disk) to single disk.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    17 Jul 2018 #1197

    Kari said: View Post
    With regular backups, there would be no mess. You would just need to restore Users to main SSD until the time you've got a new disk to replace the dead one.

    See this post about how to restore a dual disk image (Users on another disk) to single disk.

    Kari
    It is not my entire Users folder. I had moved the music, pictures, video and documents to another drive. If that drive dies I would not be able to replace it for a while. I do have have regular backups of the "data" drive where they were and my windows ssd as well. They are not imaged together when the schedule runs. They run independently.

    The mess I mention would be if the 2nd drive died. I would have no way to restore the backup of what I have to any drive but my main OS drive. I have already moved the folders back to default location to avoid this debacle until I can replace both the OS and data drives. The data drive has over 62k hours on it. The OS drive I need to replace later this year for sure.
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  9. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 14,785
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       17 Jul 2018 #1198

    Access Denied said: View Post
    It is not my entire Users folder. I had moved the music, pictures, video and documents to another drive. If that drive dies I would not be able to replace it for a while. I do have have regular backups of the "data" drive where they were and my windows ssd as well. They are not imaged together when the schedule runs. They run independently.
    That's precisely the reason why I prefer relocating the whole Users folder on another disk, with not only all existing and future user profiles and their personal data but also system folders like AppData. Including that one partition on another disk to my regular Macrium system backups, I am always safe, in emergency situation (either or both of the disks completely dies) even able to restore everything on a single disk.

    Don't take this wrong, I am just stating a fact: In my scenario, one or both disks dying would cause no issues because of existing backups. Your scenario, only relocating certain user profile folders to another disk but not including them in system backup would effectively brick Windows, creating a mess as you said.

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 18 Jul 2018 at 05:45.
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  10.    18 Jul 2018 #1199

    @Kari

    You sir are the real MVP... Thnx for confirming my theory as you definitely didn't have to go through all that but I trust others who might have had the same inquiry will much appreciate your efforts as well.

    Also @Kari, if I may ask, why do you choose to store your software on a separate partition from the "C" drive?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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