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Old 09-22-09, 06:28 AM   #1
LordJuanlo
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Default Changing profiles folder from C:\Users

I'm getting new hard drives for my incoming Windows 7 installation, and I would like to use a separate drive for profiles and program data. By default, profiles are stored in C:\Users folder and program data in C:\Program Data. After a bit of googling on how to change it during Windows install, I have found that you can create an unattend.xml file to change this behaviour. You just insert your Windows 7 DVD in the drive, and put this xml file in a USB drive, so Windows setup will look for it and use it during installation.

Quote:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
<settings pass="oobeSystem">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<FolderLocations>
<ProfilesDirectory>D:\Profiles</ProfilesDirectory>
<ProgramData>D:\Data</ProgramData>
</FolderLocations>
</component>
</settings>
</unattend>
However I have found out this warning on technet:

Quote:
This setting should be used only in a test environment. By changing the default location of the user profile directories or program data folders to a volume other than the System volume, you will not be able to service your Windows installation. Any updates, fixes, or service packs will fail to be applied to the installation. Microsoft does not recommend that you change the location of the user profile directories or program data folders.
This applies to Windows Vista, I haven't found anything saying Windows 7 has the same problem. If this happens in 7, I won't be able to install any Service Packs or fixes from Windows Update.

Has anyone tried it previously, in 7 or Vista?. Found any problems?
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Last edited by LordJuanlo; 09-23-09 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 09-22-09, 11:17 AM   #2
ViN86
 
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Default Re: Changing profiles folder from C:\Users

May I ask why you want to do this?

Another option is to mount one of your new hard drives inside the C:\Users folder. It won't have it's own physical letter. It would essentially be like expanding the size of your C drive.
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Old 09-22-09, 11:46 AM   #3
LordJuanlo
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Default Re: Changing profiles folder from C:\Users

For me it's more comfortable and secure to have data generated by programs and games in another drive, a RAID5 drive. I know in Windows 7 is very easy to manually move my documents, my pictures and some special folders, but I also want to move program data folder, lots of games put savegames there instead of my documents.

I like your idea of mounting a drive inside C:\Users, I will look into it. I hope to do some tests in a virtual machine before trying the real thing.
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Core i7 920 / Noctua NH-U12P SE1366
Gigabyte EX58-Extreme / 6 Gb OCZ PC3-12800 Platinum
1 x Intel X-25M G2 80 Gb / 3 x Seagate 1 Tb (RAID5)
ATI 5870 (Graphics) + GeForce 9600GT (PhysX) on Samsung SM244T 1920x1200
LG GGW-H20L BluRay & HD-DVD / Logitech Z-5500 5.1 DTS / Westone 3 Earphones
Asus Xonar D2 / 360 Elite Wireless Controller / Gigabyte Odin GT 800W
Windows 7 x64
(also a 360 and a PSP )
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Old 09-22-09, 12:13 PM   #4
ViN86
 
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Default Re: Changing profiles folder from C:\Users

Good idea. Hope it works, to be honest, I don't know why it wouldn't...
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Old 09-23-09, 11:43 AM   #5
LordJuanlo
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Default Re: Changing profiles folder from C:\Users

I have tested the xml file under Virtual PC 2007 and it works!!!, I have created a couple of virtual drives and profiles were stored on disk D: with the folder name I have chosen. The installation didn't see the xml file until I saved it as UTF-8 instead of plain ASCII, then it worked perfectly. The entire Users and Program Data folders are now on drive D: so I can format C: without losing any of my data or program data.

After boot I have connected to Windows Update and it got a couple of updates that have installed with no problems, so it looks like those compatibility problems only affect Vista, and I have found a link (but lost it somehow) saying that this was fixed by a MS hotfix.

Will do more testing, I will reinstall 7 again formatting OS drive to see if there are any problems in re-using the user folder on D: drive.

So far so good, will let you know if I find any problems
__________________
Core i7 920 / Noctua NH-U12P SE1366
Gigabyte EX58-Extreme / 6 Gb OCZ PC3-12800 Platinum
1 x Intel X-25M G2 80 Gb / 3 x Seagate 1 Tb (RAID5)
ATI 5870 (Graphics) + GeForce 9600GT (PhysX) on Samsung SM244T 1920x1200
LG GGW-H20L BluRay & HD-DVD / Logitech Z-5500 5.1 DTS / Westone 3 Earphones
Asus Xonar D2 / 360 Elite Wireless Controller / Gigabyte Odin GT 800W
Windows 7 x64
(also a 360 and a PSP )
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Old 12-22-09, 05:45 PM   #6
FLMan
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Question Re: Changing profiles folder from C:\Users

So...In the past few months have you seen any ill effects based on changing the location of the user directories onto a different drive?
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