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  1. 5 Star Lounger
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    change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)

    How do I change the location of the Windows system folder named "documents and settings" from the default location (actual folder) named C:documents and settings to d:xxxx In other words, I want to move the whole structure from its default location to another drive, and still have all the Windows system folders kept intact. There will be several user accounts on the computer.

    I tried just drag and drop from one location to another, but I received a message about the SharedDocs folder being rendered unsharable. I am a newbie to WinXP, but quite familiar with Win98.

    thanks
    --------------------------------------------------
    Jack MacDonald
    Vancouver, Canada

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  3. Gold Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)

    Ed. SMBP: Just copying the Documents and Settings folder to drive D; will not permanently move it. Windows will still use the one on drive C: as it is designated a special folder. To permantly move Documents and Settings to drive D: download TweakUI Powertoy for XP from Microsft. Copy Documents and setting to drive D. Use TweakUI to then designate the new folder on drive D: as the Special Folder and then delete the original. Some of these references may help you:

    I took this from Kelly's XP Web Site at Windows XP User Profiles: Scroll Down to Copy a User Profile:

    81151: How to Copy User Data to a New User Profile

    I believe the KB will apply to XP because it's often referred to on XP sites even though MS doesn't include XP in the list and hasn't provided a separate one for XP:

    236621: Cannot Move or Rename the Documents and Settings Folder

    Understanding User Profiles

    312045: HOW TO: Restore a User Profile in Windows 2000

    Additional references:

    Force Windows to Use Another Documents and Settings Folder

    How to Move Shell Folders (and contents)

    SMBP

  4. Gold Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)


  5. Gold Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)


  6. 5 Star Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)

    Thanks for the info. I read briefly thru most of those postings, and it appears to be a daunting task.

    This is my first foray into XP - I waited until my Win98 machine became too slow and bloated, and then went whole-hog into a new computer and new O/S. Decided to go with XP Pro instead of Home to get the better management tools (ya, right...) It's discouraging that MS doesn't understand the importance of separating system files from user files, and then providing an easy and comprehensive tool for mounting that single folder on an user-defined location.

    Several of the articles mentioned opening Control Panel > System > User Profiles tab. I don't see such a tab on the dialog box -- am I missing something?

    Well, at least there is NOTHIING (except the O/S) on the new machine yet, so I can experiment without risking any data loss.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Jack MacDonald
    Vancouver, Canada

  7. Gold Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)

    Jackson--

    I believe that whichever of the Control Panel Views you use, either the default one or the Classic View, and you can also tweak how the menu is displayed by: Right clicking Start button>Properties>Start Menu Tab>Customize Tab>Advanced Tab>Start Menu Items>Display as a link or Display as a menu.

    You can get to this tab either by hitting the Windows Key + Pause Break, and hitting the Settings Button under User Profiles on the System Properties dialogue box (mine won't open however--the one button that doesn't work right now on the advanced tab) or you should be able to go to the Control Panel and go through the User Accounts Applet. I'd like to verify this but I can't find an Advanced Tab when I go through the Control Panel to find that Profile Tab on the Administrative Properties dialogue box shown so frequently in books and on sites. I think it would be displayed after that. If I can get things fixed, I'll be glad to look further.

    Either way, you should find this as a control panel "applet" called User Accounts. as shown in the link. Read over those links carefully. I can show you a number of ways to copy a user profile, and then presumably you could put that where you want, and having Pro can facilitate that and you will be pleased you have Pro because of group policy and the MMC--put "gpedit.msc" and "services.msc" and "diskmgt.msc" in the run box and you'll see what I mean. Two or three of those links give direct instructions on how to move your Documents and Settings folder. The profile copying is ancillary but I thought helpful information. I am not sure if you can every move a system folder successfully even copying it piece by piece and hopefully someone with some perspective on this will weigh in.

    In Win NT, the Registry part of the user profile was the primary place where users applied restrictions and control changes. With the introduction of group policy, the need to enforce user settings by enforcing the use of a particular user.dat became unnecessary but could still be useful for managing users.

    I would also go to Help and Support where there are good directions on User Profiles for copying the User Profile.

    SMBP

  8. Gold Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)

    I still cannot find that tab, but you might get some help since you have pro by putting "lusrmgr.msc" in the run box and working there.

    This might help you--you can also get instructions from Help and Support to copy user profiles, but since I can't get to that dialogue box on my computer right now--this is from Ed Bott's Windows XP Inside Out p. 1159:

    Copying User Profiles You Want to Use on Another Drive

    [i]"Copying from the User Profiles dialogue Box instead of from Windows Explorer has a distinct advantage. Windows assigns the proper permissions to the copy. That is, it gives Full Control Permissions to the user or group you specify...You cannot copy a profile that is currently logged on, including your own. If you want to copy your own profile, y ou'll need to log on using a different account.

    Because so much of your important dta is storred in your profile you might want to store two copies of your profile on different drives. By using techniques intended for m anaging roaming profiles, you can create automatic local backups. This works only if you have Win XP Pro, Here's how:

    1) Copy the profile you want to use to another drive. You'll need to log on using a different adminstrator account because you can't copy the profile you're currently using. In the User Profiles dialogue box, select the profle and click Copy To. In the Copy To dialogue box, specify a folder on a differnt drive. You don't need to change permitted users.

    2) Open Local Users and Groups (Lusrmgr.msc) , open Users, and double click your user name. On the Profile Tab, specify the path to copy in the Profile Path box.

    Now when you log on, Windows copies the profile you created on the other drive to the Documents and Settings folder. This copy becomes your working copy, and any changes you make to settings or files are recored there. When you log off, the profile in Documents and Settings is then copied back to the other drive. Easy backup!


    SMBP

  9. 5 Star Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)

    Thanks again. You've gone to a lot of effort. The filenames for the Group Policy and Services were much appreciated. BTW, this is a single XP machine on a small home network. One other Win98 machine, one Linux machine. No Active Directory.

    I still must be missing something, tho. I tried the method under System Properties > User Profiles, but it only seemed to copy the files from one location to another. When I logged on as the "moved" user, and tried to delete the original files in the Cocuments and Settings folder, then Windows complained that it was a system folder, and could not be moved or altered. It was as if the files had been moved to a new location, but not the concept that those files represented a valid user account. Also tried deleting the C: drive files *before* logging in as that user -- Windows simply recreated the files in the Cocuments and Settings.

    Then I discovered that, when logged in as a particular user, I could right-click on the My Documents "folder", and move it to a new location. It even offered to move the contents. So I've done that (piecemeal) for each account on the computer, which accomplishes my immediate need -- to get the individual My Documents folders OFF the C:drive.

    But it still leaves a series of user-specific folders in the Cocuments & Settings folder. Stuff like the start menu, application data, etc. I don't know how to move that stuff. It also leaves the Shared Documents folder, which doesn't seem to want to give up its C: drive location.

    You can create a new account, but there are no files created for that account until a login actually occurs. How does WinXP know where to create the folders? Then I got to thinking about the Group Policy -- surely there is a single location that Windows consults to know where to initially create the user-specific files. Browsing thru the Group Policy editor found nothing. A Google search about Group Policies found this link:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default....en-us/gp/37.asp which states:

    --- This policy affects all policies that use the folder redirection component of Group Policy, such as those in WindowsSettingsFolder Redirection. You can only set folder redirection policy for Group Policy objects stored in Active Directory, not for Group Policy objects on the local computer. ----

    So it looks like I am out of luck unless somebody can offer a registry hack that specifies the location where new user accounts are to be created.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Jack MacDonald
    Vancouver, Canada

  10. Platinum Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP p

    You may wish to know that you can move most - but not quite - all of the Profile files for any individual using drag and drop. You'll need to press the Shift key at the same time - since you're moving them from one Drive to another. (One or two - mostly deeply nested subfolders - won't budge.) Once they've responded to drag and drop, they'll stay moved in the Registry. This means that your only future problem would be applications with badly written installation routines. HTH
    Gre

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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)

    Jack--

    In looking for this tab you wanted, I put up another thread and Unk helped me realize that when you go to the user groups part of the management console you also get to the box you want and the tab--see the thread I screenshot it. I am having trouble getting to it for some reason because my middle button where you can reach it also on System Properties>Advanced doesn't work. I am far from familiar with the best way to get this done and hopefully people that have done this will weigh in.

    But all you have to do to get that tab is to put "lusrmgr.msc" in your run box then right click any user profile there and then hit properties and you'll definitely have that box. It may not come up in the Control Panel User Groups Applet, but you can get to System Properties with an extra step from the Control Panel under the System Applet.

    SMBP

  12. Gold Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)

    Jack--

    When I first started this I looked for reg hacks, and someone may be able to wrap this up into some directions and incorporate regedits, but the closest I came to was this from Simon Clausen's Winguide's site:

    Change the Location of System and Special Folders (All Windows)

    SMBP

  13. 5 Star Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)

    Thx. I can use that info to make it work.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Jack MacDonald
    Vancouver, Canada

  14. Gold Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)

    Jack--

    I also ran into these and it may be material you've seen but might help some people with profiles. When you get this done, I'd like to see what steps you actually take--are you doing this to protect/backup your Documents and Settings on a drive that would be safe if your 'primary' drive got into trouble?

    294887: How to Check User Profiles on a Windows XP-Based Computer

    Understanding User Profiles

    232970: Description of Windows 2000 User Account and Profile Migration


    255113: Windows 2000 Roaming Profiles May Not Synchronize with Windows NT 4.0 Shares


    SMBP

  15. 5 Star Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP pro)

    Primary reason is space -- I partitioned the disk drive into a C: for Windows/Applications and D: for user data. There just won't be enough room on the C: drive for much user data. Of course, the partitioning is for security & backup reasons. Everything I've learned about computers over the past 30 years demands that programs and data be kept separate.

    I haven't looked at all the links that you provided to me yet. What I've done so far is to create a "USERS" folder on my D: drive, with a subfolder for each user. Then within each user's folder, I created another folder called "PROFILE". Then within Profile, I created Cookies, Favourites, and StartMenu.

    Then as the Administrator, I moved the Cookies, Favourites, and Start Menu from the original C: location into the appropriate folder on D:USERS. Windows complained when I tried to move some of the other folder.

    Finally, I logged onto each user account and used TweakUI to tell Windows where each "system folder" was located. I pointed the "My Documents" folder to (for example) D:usersjack.

    I also pointed the "My Pictures" folder to a shared folder for me and my wife, but to a user-specific folder for my son and daughter. The nice thing about doing that is my wife and I can open various photo programs and see the same pictures, while my son and daughter both get their own photos. All without mucking with the application program set-up -- it's done at an O/S level.

    BUT - I purchased "Windows XP Annoyances" by David A. Karp, and have finally browsed thru all of it. The "Scripting" section has some interesting functions that may allow an administrator to find the system folders and move them under program control. I will investigate, and perhaps post something back. But time is a limitation.... <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20>
    --------------------------------------------------
    Jack MacDonald
    Vancouver, Canada

  16. Platinum Lounger
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    Re: change 'documents and settings' location (XP p

    If you do the following - for each user:<UL><LI>Drag and drop Application Data<LI>Drag and drop My Documents<LI>Move the Outlook PST file out of Local SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOutlook - just point Outlook to where you've moved it to the next time you open OL[/list]You should find that the rest of the Documents and Settings will be small enough to avoid bottlenecks.
    Gre

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