Saturday, January 30, 2010

Windows 7 Profiles

Have you ever tried to move a profile in Windows 7? What a cranky process ...

My friend John built a brand new PC based on the Intel Core i7 920 chip. That included a 64 GB blazing fast SSD for the OS and a separate 1 TB disk for data.

To keep things as simple as possible we wanted to move his, and in theory all, user profiles to the D drive such that he would have to remember to store things in a different place. I remember the first versions of Slackware I downloaded on floppies had Symbolic Links. Thank you Windows 7 ... it's about time.

For those unfamiliar; a symbolic link allows you to point a file or directory to another place. In this case our hope was to make a symbolic link that would re-map c:\users to d:\users.

Long story short you can't do this in 1 step, but I do have it figured out. During the build of his PC he made an account for "John." Once he was logged in he created a dummy account for "Joe."

Logoff and logon as Joe. Is this step required? I have no idea, but it seemed prudent.

Reboot the PC in "Safe mode with Command Prompt." When presented with a login screen login as Joe. Now you need to copy your files ...

mkdir d:\users\john

xcopy c:\users\john d:\users\john /s/e/k/n/o/c

You should see a lot of files/folders being copied. When the copy completes do the following:

rmdir /s c:\users\john

mklink /d c:\users\john d:\users\john

Now you can reboot and login as John, but your user profile will be on D.

Extending this concept ... I believe it completely possible to repeat the steps above, but this time login as John since that profile is already moved. Copy all the other profiles, delete the c:\users folder on C and create a symbolic link for c:\users to point to d:\users.

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