Moving the 'Users' file to a seperate 'data' drive (Windows 7)

PPI Zulu

Standard Member
Hi all,

I'm currently running XP on on my old desktop and have just bought a new machine running Windows 7 Home Premium.

On my XP machine it was simplicity to move all the data (i.e. documents/pictures...etc...) to my second internal hard drive and tell the OS where to find it. One OS drive, one data drive - you know the score.

I configured the new machine in the same form and set about trying to move the data storage folders (\Users\me\pictures...etc...) to the 'data' drive.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that those pesky Microsoft pixies have changed how everything is stored and the quick XP method of achieving my goals is no longer available.

Does anyone know a [simple] way of putting the whole 'Users' file on to the data drive - so that everything is stored there automatically and new users are created there...etc...?

I have seen a few tutorials on Vista about how to move the destination of the documents...etc...but there are slight differences in the screen shots and description to what I'm seeing on my screen. And this is all about moving just the data folders not the higher level user folders. Also it won't let me move some of the 'data' folders from my user folder i.e. Desktop.

I've searched the forums and although i may have found a few threads that talk about this in Vista, however, I know the techniques contained therin to be flawed.

Zulu.
 
Last edited:

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
It's almost the same as XP:

In Explorer, don't go into the C: drive, expand the Username
Right click a folder (e.g. Desktop)
Properties, Location, Move.
 

PPI Zulu

Standard Member
Thanks for your reply, but this doesn't really answer my question.

How do I / can I move the whole 'Users' folder?
 

PPI Zulu

Standard Member
Why do you want to move the entire directory?
... so that all user data is stored on my 'data' drive and new users that are created are created directly to the 'data' drive and don't have to be laboriously moved across from my OS drive.

I have actually implemented Stiggy's recommendation (which is virtually the same as many Vista tutorials on the web) at the moment as anything that does actually move the 'users' folder (or it's virtual location) involves the registry and regedit - which is beyond me.

Zulu
 

ldoodle

Distinguished Member
If you are that bothered and can stomach a re-install, you need to create an unattended xml file that specifies the default location of the Users folder.

Any and all users will then be created there.

I am actually amazed that you managed to do this (probably not 'properly') in XP as Microsoft have always said changing it in the unattended install file is the only way to do it.
 

PPI Zulu

Standard Member
If you are that bothered and can stomach a re-install...
...uhhh - no. :eek:

...you need to create an unattended xml file that specifies the default location of the Users folder...
...already out of my league (based on the fact that I have no idea what you just said!). :laugh:

Any and all users will then be created there.
Yep - that's what I wanted but, you're right, it all seems like too much trouble for something that can be backed-up much more easily.

I am actually amazed that you managed to do this (probably not 'properly') in XP as Microsoft have always said changing it in the unattended install file is the only way to do it.
You're right - I didn't do it properly in XP. I was hoping to 'upgrade' to the 'Rolls-Royce' solution this time - no matter.

Thanks for the reply.

Zulu
 

wongataa

Well-known Member
... so that all user data is stored on my 'data' drive and new users that are created are created directly to the 'data' drive and don't have to be laboriously moved across from my OS drive.
I understand that but I was just curious as to why you want to have the user data on a different disk.
 

Mr Incredible

Distinguished Member
AFAIK there is no "easy" method to move the entire User directory structure other than by delving into the registry. I had achieved this with XP and then found out that this prevented an in-place upgrade to W7.

Under W7 I had moved the user folders as Stiggy suggested and left the user/system files under the OS drive.

Word of warning if you do get to move all the users (and new users) across to your data drive; leave your administrator account on the OS drive. Reason for this is that if the Data drive goes tits up, you can still log in nicely onto the OS drive with the Admin account.
 

PPI Zulu

Standard Member
I understand that but I was just curious as to why you want to have the user data on a different disk.
After two HDD failures in six years (the first catastrpohic) I clone my HDDs every now and again as well as a normal back up cycle. Ultimately this means that in the event of another failure I can simply swap the broken drive for a clone and be back at work within 20 mins rather than re-install everything or copy-back everything. It might seem like a lot of work for little gain but onece it's set up it means a lot less work.
 

Mr Incredible

Distinguished Member
After two HDD failures in six years (the first catastrpohic) I clone my HDDs every now and again as well as a normal back up cycle. Ultimately this means that in the event of another failure I can simply swap the broken drive for a clone and be back at work within 20 mins rather than re-install everything or copy-back everything. It might seem like a lot of work for little gain but onece it's set up it means a lot less work.
I concur, with the slight change for me in that I use Windows Home Server for all my daily backups. T'is far easier to restore just a single drive in the event of a failure, whether that's the OS or Data disk.
 

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