Windows 10: How to change user profile without affecting windows updates

  1.    15 Jan 2017 #1

    How to change user profile without affecting windows updates


    Hello,

    It is being a while since I have been dealing with Windows 10 failed updates. If you change some of the profile folders from partition, such as ProgramData or AppData you condemn the Windows update to fail.
    I like to have my drive separated in two partitions, one dedicated only for Windows (With no user files in order to maintain it static without growing) and another partition with the rest (Users folder and Programs files and data).

    I've been working for some time changing again all folders location in the registry to update and re-changing them again. Nevertheless, this is not a final solution. I want to know and discuss how to cheat the system in order to update it with some configuration folders in another drive. I don't think it is so difficult, they just don't want to allow it, why? (don't know). In linux you can actually install the system and profile in different partitions.

    Is there any way to do this? maybe changing some registry entries?

    PLEASE: abstend to write those who think is not possible

    Thanks for your attention
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    15 Jan 2017 #2

    I agree with the principle of separating Windows from data.

    From the Tutorial section (do have a look):
    Users Folder - Move Location in Windows 10

    and for interest:
    User Profile - Change Default Location - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Don't move your Windows user profiles folder to another drive | ZDNet
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/c...another_drive/

    I have read a number of threads where people have run into the greatest difficulty having relocated folders.

    Personally I would not run the risk; here's what I do.
    1. Installed programs create their own folders in the typical default library folders.
    2. Therefore I do not use these for my personal data.
    3. I wish to avoid the possible difficulties consequent on relocating folders.
    4. I use my own 'My files and Folders', Photos, Videos, Music, Downloads... on another partition.

    Sadly, Windows does not allow separation of users from the OS, to me one of its biggest weaknesses.

    Making registry changes as you are runs the risk of making an in-place upgrade repair install infeasible (a very useful repair method).
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 12,102
    Windows 10 Pro
       15 Jan 2017 #3

    dalchina said: View Post
    I agree with the principle of separating Windows from data.

    From the Tutorial section (do have a look):
    Users Folder - Move Location in Windows 10

    and for interest:
    Don't move your Windows user profiles folder to another drive | ZDNet
    Can you move the "Users" folder to another drive? : Windows10

    I have read a number of threads where people have run into the greatest difficulty having relocated folders.

    Personally I would not run the risk; here's what I do.
    1. Installed programs create their own folders in the typical default library folders.
    2. Therefore I do not use these for my personal data.
    3. I wish to avoid the possible difficulties consequent on relocating folders.
    4. I use my own 'My files and Folders', Photos, Videos, Music, Downloads... on another partition.

    Sadly, Windows does not allow separation of users from the OS, to me one of its biggest weaknesses.
    That Ed Bott's article on ZDNet, you'll find my comment (and many similar) from the comment section. Bott, a geek I have some respect for, did something wrong in writing that article. Maybe it was a quiet day but ZDNete was pestering him to write something, maybe he just didn't know or care to check things up.

    Anyway, that article used as a reference an article from Microsoft written in 2006 when Windows Vista was still in beta. A lot have changed since 2006. Bott's article includes some allegations no one else has heard of or experienced with modern Windows operating systems (8 and later), allegations that simply are not true. The article itself is so full of invalid information that I can't understand a professional like Bott let it be published.

    My guess is, Bott like you have never really tested the process as can be understood from between the lines.

    Windows 10 fully supports relocating Users folder to another disk or partition. Windows 10 updates and upgrades work perfectly normally when Users folder is relocated. Please keep on your mind that it is something designed by Microsoft, done with a tool (sysprep) designed by Microsoft.

    Windows 8 and later no longer supports relocating ProgramData, it was possible and worked perfectly in Windows 7.

    Relocating any other system files or folders is not supported.

    My complete Users folder, on all computers have always been relocated since Vista. On this PC Users folder is on second HDD, partition E:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 15 Jan 2017 at 16:14.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    22 Jan 2017 #4

    If I change in registry the location of the user folder, program files, program files (x86) windows update fails
    Last edited by Ilargia; 22 Jan 2017 at 15:29.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 12,102
    Windows 10 Pro
       22 Jan 2017 #5

    Ilargia said: View Post
    If I change in registry the location of the user folder, program files, program files (x86) windows update fails
    Yes, of course. Program Files and Program Files (x86) should never be moved, not with registry edits, not with any other method. That is always a sure way to disaster, sooner or later.

    Users is the only system folder which can be relocated without any issues, be it update, upgrade or anything else. Only method to be used is the Sysprep method, all other methods to move Users will in most cases lead to various issues.

    Earlier (until Windows 7) also ProgramData folder could be relocated but that feature was deprecated in Windows 8 and later. It is still somewhat misleadingly available as a pre-set modification in Microsoft's tool used to create answer files, Windows System Image Manager, but it should only be used when making modifications in Windows Vista and 7:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (Click to enlarge.)

    Short: Only Users folder can be relocated without issues. When done, it needs to be done using Sysprep and an unattended answer file during a clean installation or when creating a deployment image on a technician computer. It is also possible to Sysprep Users folder, move it to another location on an existing installation but this will not work every time.

    No other system files and folders should never be moved.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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