Move User & ProgramData folders to different drive during clean install
Most of this information was pulled from the following page: http://youtu.be/koST74INsb0
How to move user profile in Windows 7 to another directory / drive:
- After installing windows 7 you will be greeted with a user creation prompt press shift+f10 and you should get a cmd window.
- Copy the Users Profiles and ProgramData Folders onto the Partition you want to use.
- robocopy "C:\Users" "D:\Users" /E /COPYALL /XJ
- robocopy "C:\ProgramData" "D:\ProgramData" /E /COPYALL /XJ
- Delete the old folders and create links for User Profiles:
- rmdir "C:\users" /S /Q
- mklink /J "C:\users" "D:\users"
- Delete the old folders and create links for ProgramData:
- rmdir "C:\ProgramData" /S /Q
- mklink /J "C:\ProgramData "D:\ProgramData"
- If you have any permissions issues while deleting C:\ProgramData, don't worry about them. Try to delete it and make the links again after the first reboot.
- Open the registry editor by typing 'regedit' in the cmd window.
- For the user profiles you'll need to go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList and again edit the user and program data paths as needed.
- Exit the Registry Editor and the cmd window.
- Reboot your computer and you should be good to go.
Warning: It might be tempting, but do NOT move the default location of the 'Program Files' directory. It'll appear to work, but you end up getting all kinds of mysterious errors when doing software updates (especially with Microsoft Office).
Additional Note: if you move the 'User Profiles' folder to a different drive, the 'System Refresh' function that is part of the Windows repair/recovery area will not work.