Windows 10: Users Folder - Move Location in Windows 10
You miss understood me, or I didn't make myself clear enough. I was not intending a dual boot system, just wanted to keep my old C: for as long as was necessary to convince myself that the Windows 10 install and sysprep etc went okay - which it did.
For the benefit of other readers here, this is the process I used:
Before starting, I generated a GenuineTicket.xml file using Brink's tutorial and made a full backup of my existing C: and D: drives using Acronis. I adjusted the BIOS boot settings to boot only from the new SSD and the CD/DVD drive, not the old 2TB HDD and then shut down. I disconnected the SATA cables from all the HDDs, booted up and performed Method One using a Windows 10 boot disc up to the 'Get going fast' menu, where I then switched off the PC at the power button. I connected all the SATA cables back to the HDDs, booted up, replaced the Windows 10 boot disc with my Acronis boot disc and performed another backup, this time of my new barebones Windows 10 now present on the SSD. I then swapped the Acronis disc with the Windows 10 disc and rebooted. The installation returned to the 'Get going fast' menu where I triggered Audit mode with CTRL+SHIFT+F3. Before creating the unattended answer file, I entered Disk Management from the Control Panel and reformatted the old D: partition and reassigned its ID letter back to D: (it had been changed to E:). I created the correct unattended answer file for my system, saved it and ran Sysprep. Everything went as expected, and when I finally reached my new Windows 10 Desktop, my Users folder had relocated to the D: drive on my HDD as intended. Satisfied that the process had been successful, I re-entered Disk Management and reformatted the old C: drive containing my previous Windows 7 install to erase it. Finally, I completed the Windows 10 activation using the GenuineTicket.xml file and rebooted. Windows 10 then showed up as being fully activated. Job done! Completely successful install with Users folder relocated.
I can only reiterate Kari's comments... if you read the whole tutorial and all the posts, follow the relocation process carefully and pay attention to all the details... it WILL WORK without issues. I have now done this many times over the years without problems, Win 7 to Win 10. Well done Kari!
In that case, the easiest manner would be to adjust the boot order in the BIOS.
If I use an external 1TB would it then work? If not is there any other way to do this? Does symlink work on SD card?
Finnish but not finished
It is doable but I very strongly advice against it. There would be problems with the device every time the external disk is not connected.
I followed your directions but for some reason the Desktop folder is still pointing at c:\users\Adminstrator instead of the D:\users\username like the rest of the folders. It creates the Desktop folder in the correct location but the link in the Quick Access menu points to the incorrect one. This behavior continues with any newly created accounts as well.
Unfortunately, this is preventing me from installing any piece of software that adds icons to the desktop.
Any ideas or a simple way to fix this?
Finnish but not finished
Simply relocating the Users folder should not do that? Did you also customize the default user profile, too, as told in this tutorial: Windows 10 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep - Windows 10 Forums
Anyway, when default user folder is customized, Sysprep has a minor bug which I am sure will be addressed in later builds of Windows 10 (this bug is in all builds starting from 10586 to current latest Insider build 14295) which will leave remnants of the built-in admin's Quick Access visible to end users.
A fast and simple fix to reset Quick Access to defaults is to copy & paste this command into Command Prompt and run it:
The same can be done manually by browsing to %appdata%\microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations in File Explorer and deleting its contents.
echo Y | del %appdata%\microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations\*
The Quick Access will now be reset to defaults.
Availability of install.WIM
I am following your instructions exactly, however, the ISO file that I created using the Media Creation Tool only has the install.ESD file in it, the same as on my USB Flash Drive media. I don't believe we can use your procedure unless we have this WIM file.
Would you advise on how to obtain the install media with the install.WIM file, as the ISO file seems to no longer have it.
Note: The Media Tool was downloaded from the Microsoft site today (4/9/2016 09:00 EST) and ran shortly after to download and create the ISO file.
Directory Junctions: Legacy Documents & Settings, Users
If I can get ahold of the install media with the install.wim file and get your procedure to work, would you then recommend creating a directory junction (hard symlink) from C:\Users to its new location? Do you see any harm in creating this added failsafe?
Also, in a standard Windows 10 installation, there seems to be an existing junction from C:\Documents & Settings to C:\Users. Would you advise to delete this standard directory junction and recreate it to point to the new location of the users folder? Or would you simply advise to leave it in place and create the junction from C:\Users to its new location? In this manner, the original Documents & Settings junction will be pointing to a new junction, which will be pointing to the new location of the actual users folder.
Continuous System Writes to the Users Folders
On an informational note:
I believe the true value of your procedure is vastly extending the life of an SSD, as after much analysis using the Resource Monitor and Process Monitor tools, I noticed nearly constant writes at 50-500kB/sec to my C:\Users\AppData folder whenever the computer is on. While much of this was caused by standard operating system processes, it also stems from common web browsers, such as Google Chrome, FireFox, and MS Edge, even when they are not in active use, and even when their cache locations have been redirected either to RAM or another disk location. Activity goes up dramatically when you actually use the browsers.
After one year of daily use from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM each business day, the Intel SSD Toolbox Software shows my Intel 530 180 GB suffering over 3.0 TB (3,000 GB) in writes. At this rate, the lifespan of the drive has been reduced to less than ten years, if not closer to 5. There is no other personal use activity on the SSD drive (no music, video, pictures, documents, etc.) as everything is stored on an accompanying 500GB Western Digital Hard Drive and network drive locations.
While one can easily move the Pictures, Music, Videos, Documents, etc. Folders to another location using Start>Settings>System>Storage or the Location Tab Properties for each of these folders, successfully moving the AppData folder is a lot harder, if not impossible, and this is where you procedure to move the entire Users folder has true value.
This last part makes perfect sense. Your temporary folder, aka TEMP folder, is in the local folder under your username. So, yes, it will be continuously written to.
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