Windows 10: Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10
I really like the look of this method. I have a 120GB SSD and so it's not feasible to have the Users folder on my OS drive. I am going to do a fresh install of Windows 10 soon due to some issues I have been having. However, I am confused by two steps of this tutorial.
Most importantly I am confused at the start, specifically this part:
I started typing a question and then re-read it and I think I understand it a bit more (but still not entirely). Before set up, you are supposed to create a bootable version of some imaging software, which effectively allows you to use that imaging software without Windows being properly installed - correct?
Before starting the installation, create a boot disk for your chosen imaging program. I use Macrium Free, see thetutorial at our sister site the Seven Forums.
When installation has done the last reboot you will arrive to settings dialog (screenshot from this tutorial):
Now turn off the PC. Insert the imaging boot disk and reboot from it, create a system image. As Windows is quite barebone at the moment it only takes a few minutes.
When the image has been created, remove the imaging boot disk and boot the PC normally. It will resume the setup from the above shown settings dialog. You can now reboot to Audit Mode
So what you are saying in the tutorial is that after I reach the 'settings' step of the Windows 10 installation, I am to swap DVDs from the Windows DVD to the Macrium DVD, and then create a system image of the just-installed Windows 10. After that's done, I just remove the Macrium DVD and boot normally, which resumes the set up and allows me to enter Audit mode to start writing the XML file and so on.
I feel as though this step is not stressed or detailed enough, unlike the rest of your tutorial. In fact, in your video tutorial, you completely skip this step. Does this mean it's not needed? In fact, having thought of it, I cannot actually see where in your tutorial you use the system image that you apparently created? What is its purpose? I have done more than 10 fresh-installs of Windows, usually Windows 7, in the past and not once have I heard of the need to create a system image.
In what has to be one of the greatest examples of not reading properly, I have gone back a third time and read what is written immediately beneath and see that this is for troubleshooting purposes. Please accept my apologies (even though I have edited this straight after I posted) for being so stupid. You can use me as an example to others as to why reading the guide properly needs to happen.
But this still stands:
Secondly, is it actually necessary to have the target drive be completely empty? I have files on it that I don't want to remove, but are not critical (in case they get deleted somehow). But is it a necessity that the drive be totally empty? It would save me many, many hours re-downloading my Steam library, for example.
Thanks in advance, I hope you can answer my queries!
Finnish but not finished
It is not absolutely necessary.
I apologize now, I do not want to sound patronizing, just lazy , but the fact is that telling you geeks (some of you have never done anything like this) to be sure the target disk or partition is empty, I have saved a lot of unnecessary answering to posts with issues.
In fact you can even have the user profiles from several Windows installations on the same target disk. I've had a triple boot Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10 system where the user profiles of all three operating systems have been relocated to same disk. It requires some tweaking but it can be done.
Based on the above, this is "the official statement", the scenario I promise to work and promise to support and give assistance when something does not work as expected:
- Be sure to backup all your personal, important data from the target disk to a safe location and finally make the disk empty
- If the above is not possible, be sure move all files from the root of the disk to folders (when opened in Explorer, the disk should only show folders, no files)
- Be sure the target disk does not contain any system files and folders from any other Windows installation
- Be sure the target disk has enough space free for your Users folder
What the above means: If you have no external storage to backup the disk and make it empty, you proceed at your own risk. It will work, though, in most cases, this is just me being cautious. If (unlikely) something happens, I will not accept responsibility, being accused of your lost Steam library
Last edited by Kari; 11 Jun 2016 at 04:29.
Reason: Lots of typos!
Kari, thank you for your fast response. As my internet speed means it's almost faster to download than transfer over USB 2, I will probably use your 'promised' method when I go to re-install next week, to save us all a potential headache.
Most of my important files are on OneDrive which itself is cloned to my Macbook, which in turn is cloned to an external HDD Time Machine backup
I would like to migrate my Users folder from it default on drive C:\ to a 128GB smart-card slot listed as drive D:\. I have a few questions with regard to the procedure.
The computer has been recently been updated via Microsoft Updates. The Acer Drivers were updated as well.
1) Will this smart-card slot word as the alternative drive?
2) I am a bit perplexed as to finding the Windows 10 install.wim file, or if one even exists.
To my knowledge, the only installation data is on an unLabeled (this is the backup/recovery partition).
After giving it a label (F:\) the folder that showed up was names WindowsRE, but the access was denied to the folder.
What are my options for getting around this?
3) Is Sysprep part of Windows 10 or do I need to download this?
Finnish but not finished
The Users folder cannot be relocated to a smart card or any other removable drive. It must be a hard disk. Although your smart card is seen by Windows File Explorer as a hard drive, deep down it will be recognized as a smart card, an invalid location for a Windows system folder.
That's not good news
1) Can any of the folders inside the Users folder be relocated, such as "Downloads," "Documents," "Pictures...?"
2) Albeit, the "Downloads" folder is inside the Users folder, but one can use a default from a browser to direct all DL to that folder on the smart-card, correct?
...and thanks for the quick response.
Finnish but not finished
You can change the default save locations for Apps, Documents, Music, Photos and Videos in Settings app. If any other location is chosen than This PC, Windows will create folder in selected disk.
Well, that should help. My brother downloads and or streams a lot of movies and I wouldn't want his SSD to die prematurely.
...No way to write TEMP file to the smart-card?
Also: when it says "New Apps will be save to" This PC (C:\) what does this mean...that new app downloads or new app installs will end up there? Thus, if I change this to USER FILES (D:\), all new apps will install there, yes? I don't think I would want this.
Finnish but not finished
Honestly, I don't know because I have never tried it! Never have had a need to move Temp folder because I always relocate the whole Users folder which automatically relocates AppData and its subfolders.
You can try. Press WIN + X to open Start context menu, select System, select Advanced system settings, select Environment Variables, select variable TEMP, click Edit, add new location in Variable value field (X:\NewTempFolder for example), click OK:
Repeat for variable TMP.
(Click / tap to enlarge.)
This tutorial explains it: Apps Save Location - Change in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
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Alienware M17x R5 Laptop
Windows 10 Pro (upgraded from Windows 7 Pro)
What caused the problem:
1. I wanted to change the locations of the users directory from C:\ (SSD partition that contains the OS) to W:\ (HDD)
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Is there a way to correct this?