Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10  

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  1. Posts : 36
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Problems with MS browsers Edge and IE11

    Hi Kari.

    Good to see youíve produced a version of this procedure for Windows 10. I adopted this as a standard part of my new system builds in Windows 7, but stopped using it at some point in Windows 8 because of a problem or incompatibility I encountered that suggested it wasnít such a good idea. I wish I could remember what it was, but I canít Ė Do you know of any common problems or good reasons for not redirecting user folders? The advantages are clear to the point that itís fair to ask why Microsoft doesnít provide a simpler way to implement it, but what are the drawbacks/incompatibilities to take into consideration when deciding whether to implement user folder redirection?

    Anyhow, I decided to use it again for some new Windows 10 desktops Iím building. The components are quite old but Iíd bought them together to build ten PCs and only ended up doing five so it makes sense to use what I already have. I just added the OCZ SSDs as they were recently offered at a very attractive price.

    Mobo: Asus P7 Q57-M DO
    CPU: Intel Core i5 660, 3.33GHz
    RAM: 8GB
    SSD: 128GB OCZ Trion 100 (for OS C:\)
    HDD: 500GB 2.5Ē Hitachi HTS725050A9A364 (for Data D:\)

    I did the initial installation on one of the old PCs that didnít have an SSD, jut the Hitachi spinner partitioned into two. Everything appeared to be fine.

    I then used Macrium Reflect to clone the C:\ drive to one of the new PCs and, again this went pretty smoothly and appeared to be fine. There were one or two drivers that needed updating and cloud services (OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive) had to be re linked, but everything appeared to be there and working. It wasnít until I tried to start the Edge browser that I knew there was a problem. Edge starts up momentarily then just disappears. Retrying it just produces the same result so I tried IE11, which Iíd have to default to anyway as I use RoboForm extensively and thereís no integration with Edge, but whilst this browser did work (just about), itís excruciatingly slow. Iím not just talking about the sluggishness for which IE has something of a reputation, I mean unusably slow - taking several minutes to load a page.

    I hadnít noticed these problems on the source machine, but went back to check and found that Edge was fine. This suggests that itís most likely something in the cloning process thatís caused the problem, but the IE issue was present even here (although to a lesser degree) so Iím wondering if the folder redirection has something to do with it as itís the only non-standard part of the build.

    Any ideas?
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 1
    Windows 10

    I'm having an odd issue where my start menu nor right clicking on icons on my taskbar work. I downloaded an old image of windows 10 to install because I was having issues with the install.esd and I couldn't find any other way to get a .wim file. Anyways, I installed it and it all seemed well, until I updated windows and now it doesn't seem to be working. Is there a workaround for this or do I have to stay on an old version of windows 10?

    Edit: Creating a new user did not fix my issue either. Running sfc /scannow and attempting to reinstall all windows apps also did not work.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 1

    Driver install issues

    First off, new forum member here and I would like to thank Kari for these tutorials....fantastic job!

    Now, on to my issue. I am currently running WIN7 with user files relocated onto drive D:. I have been running it like that for over a year with no problems whatsoever. So the free WIN10 deal appears and they finally make it so you can do a clean install rather than an upgrade over top of WIN7....great! Obviously I wanted to configure WIN10 like I did with WIN7....with user files relocated. That's where I found this great site. Anyway, I follow your instructions on some test drives to make sure everything will work as I wanted and it went amazingly smooth....worked right off the bat as far as I could tell. Well, until I tried to install any type of driver such as SATA drivers, sound drivers or graphics drivers. I spent hours trying different methods to make it work and nothing. The drivers would always install with errors and ended up usually aborting because they couldn't see the device, or they continued to install and then just reported the driver as not found or not working correctly. So, I reinstalled WIN10 as per method 1 several times to see if maybe I left out a step...still no joy each time. I'm thinking maybe it was the drivers themselves and they hated WIN10 (even though they were for WIN10 specifically) so I did a clean, normal WIN10 install on a single drive and tried to install them once again. This time They installed correctly the first time with no errors (except for an X-Fi sound card which still seems to have [documented] issues in WIN10...but I managed to figure that out finally). After my success with the normal install I did another install using your method 1 and encountered the same issues as before using the exact same drivers that worked fine with the single drive setup.

    I've searched and read this entire thread to see if anyone else has had this issue and haven't seen anything. Any idea what might be happening here? FYI, I'm using a downloaded ISO of WIN10 Pro, 64-bit, build 10586.

    Again, thank you so much for all that you've done here.
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    SkidCooly said:
    I've searched and read this entire thread to see if anyone else has had this issue and haven't seen anything. Any idea what might be happening here? FYI, I'm using a downloaded ISO of WIN10 Pro, 64-bit, build 10586.
    First, welcome to the Ten Forums :)

    I have never encountered an issue like the one you described, nor have I ever heard about it earlier. I agree that the circumstances make it easy to believe the relocated Users folder might be a culprit but I have to very strongly disagree, for various reasons.

    First reason why I disagree is the fact that the device drivers have nothing to do with user profiles and their location. Device drivers install on system drive, in various subfolders of the Windows folder. They are not least affected nor interested in the user profiles.

    Second, my own experience. I basically never install Windows, instead I deploy it (a fancy geek word meaning installing using a pre-configured and customized install image). I first install Windows on a reference computer (I use virtual machines as reference / technician machine), customize it and install software in Audit Mode, then prepare the install image with sysprep generalizing it and finally capture the image, deploying it to my various computers. (This process as a walkthrough tutorial: Windows 10 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep - Windows 10 Forums).

    This saves a lot of time as I only have to install my software and do my customizations and personalizations once,; deploying the image then takes only a few minutes longer than a normal clean install, the big difference being that after deploying my image all my software is already installed and all my customizations and personalizations done, whereas after a clean install I would have to start from scratch, installing software and modifying Windows to my liking.

    Makes reinstall a piece of cake when you have reinstalled Windows plus all your software and done all the customizations in less than half an hour :)

    Enough about that method, here's why I mentioned it: The generalizing part in the process described above is the second reason I do not think nor believe the relocated Users folder is causing your issue; the generalize phase in Sysprep process removes all hardware information such as device drivers from my customized Windows install image, making it hardware independent so that I can use the image to deploy Windows to any hardware. When Windows is then booted first time on a machine where this image was deployed, it relocates my Users folder automatically and installs all devices on that particular machine.

    Yet, I have never had any device issues on any of the Windows 10 builds (I have used them all since late 2014, almost a year before the official launch, currently using the latest build 14291 released two days ago).

    I am not sure if the above made any sense. Anyway, I believe in your case it's just a weird coincidence.

    In your case now, if you continue to get similar results, here's a workaround that would work for you:
    • Install Windows 10 clean as usual, using a dummy username (not your "final" username) as the initial user you have to create in the OOBE / Welcome Mode, Do not create any additional user accounts yet!
    • Install all your device drivers when finally on desktop of this dummy user
    • Follow the instructions to relocate the Users folder on an existing Windows installation (Method Two)
    • This time use your real final username in OOBE / Welcome when setting up the initial user
    • Finally when on desktop using your real user account, delete the dummy user account

      My Computer

  5. Posts : 2
    Windows 10 PRO 64 bit

    Failed User File Relocation?

    Hi Kari,

    Thanks for all your help, it's a blessing when someone with your knowledge is willing to share it with the rest of us.

    After reading all 46 pages and 400 comments, I thought I did everything as shown in your tutorial. I edited the registry, created an unattended answer file, disabled existing user accounts and ran sysprep. Unfortunately I screwed up somewhere along the line and got trapped in the blue loop of death! Luckily I had made a system image file as you had suggested and was able to restore my computer.

    When I looked at my drives I now see a User file on both the C and D drives. Both files are almost identical in size and quantity of files. Is it possible that this somehow worked? Do you think its safe to delete the majority of the User files on the C drive? I attached a couple of photos of the drives to show you what I ended up with.

      My Computer

  6. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Hi Mike, welcome to the Ten Forums.

    Sorry, no pics in your post?

    Anyway, if you restored your computer from an image taken before you run Sysprep to relocate the Users folder, there's no way that the Users is relocated to D: drive.

    Please post some screenshots to show the situation. BTW, as you were trying to relocate the Users folder to D: drive, did you read this warning carefully:

    warning   Warning
    If you intend to use drive D: as the location for the relocated Users folder, please read this before proceeding!

    Windows "likes" to set the the drive ID letters like this:
    • Drive C: > The system drive where Windows will be installed
    • Drive D: > First optical drive (CD / DVD drive)
    • Drive E: > Second partition on the same disk where the C: is located, or in case that disk only has one partition, the first partition on the secondary disk

    Now when you sysprep telling it to move the Users to D: drive, after the reboot Windows might find that the D: is an optical drive and your intended drive D: is now E:, sysprep fails and you have to reinstall.

    To be sure you are able to use drive D: for the relocated Users folder you need to set the drive letters manually before the sysprep is run. In Audit Mode you can do this for instance with Disk Management by manually changing the drive letters:
    • Change the optical drive letter to something at the end of the alphabet, I use X:
    • Change the drive letter of the partition or disk you intend to use for the Users folder to D:
    • If the partition or disk you want to use already has a letter D:, change it to something else, close the Disk Management, open it again and change the letter back to D:

    See the tutorial at our sister site the Seven Forums: Drive Letter - Add, Change, or Remove in Windows - Windows 7 Help Forums

    I recommend to always set drive letters manually to override the defaults but this is especially important for those wanting to use drive D: for relocated Users folder.

      My Computer

  7. Posts : 369
    Windows 10 x64 Pro 22H2

    AHA!!! That's the reason why I got changed drive letters when I installed Windows 10 clean, while unchanged if an inplace upgrade done... Funny thing huh? Any reason why Microsoft chaned this behaviour from W7-8.1?
    Well, fortunately, that's a quick and easy fix. Thanks for the tip
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 36
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Did you miss my post?

    Hi Kari.

    Can I get a response to my post at the top of this page, please (#450)?

    I was going to send you a PM, but I'm not allowed as I haven't posted 5 times yet.

    Your thanks in advance as it's holding me up now.

    If you have no ideas I'll see if Macrium has ever come across this weird browser issue before.
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 2
    Windows 10 PRO 64 bit

    Failed User File Relocation?

    Hi Kari,

    Yes I saw that and changed my optical drive to "X" as you had suggested and also tried to change my existing "D" drive to another letter and it wouldn't allow it. I don't remember now what the issue was but I decided to roll the dice and see if the Sysprep would go through. Since I had the back-up and if it failed, I could start again and run it one more time.

    Hope the attachment works this time.

    Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10-screenshot-c.pngMove Users Folder Location in Windows 10-screenshot-d.png

    I noticed in some other Tutorials that you can now get a clean Windows install on upgraded machines? Mine was a 7 Pro upgraded to 10 Pro. I have very few programs on this computer as I use it for my work only. Two of the programs have huge data amounts so this is why I've got to figure out a way to get this to work. Might it be best to reset and go back to the beginning?
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 2,667
    Windows 11 21H2 (22000.593)

    Hi, Kari. LTNS!

    I just performed a clean install of Win 10 x64 build 10586 on my machine, and used method 1 to successfully moved the /User tree to another drive.

    I am now using the ESD2ISO to get the latest Redstone 14291 build installed on the same machine, and I will see if it allows me to install over. If not, I will then perform a clean install and sew if method 1 here works out not.

      My Computers


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