Moving user Profiles using USMT to D:\ RRS feed

  • Question

  • Morning!

    I'm having problems migrating the SOs because they designed the Windows 7 image in a way that is not advisable by Microsoft.

    So here is the scenario:

    - We have our Windows XP machines with single partition. (C:\ to System and User folders)

    - Windows 7 images were designed with two partitions, C:\ with the Operating System and D:\ with de Users profiles. 

    Actually they are using acronis to migrate the computers and to deploy the images, but, I had implemented MDT that was working before this change on Windows 7 image.

    My question is: Can I create a script automating USMT to do it? Or changing the MDT Scripts so when I can move the user profiles to D:/ automatically.

    I'm struggling with this question and i would like to find a way to fix it without changing the image.

    Raphael Santos | MCP 70-410

    • Moved by Bill_Stewart Thursday, May 12, 2016 1:58 PM Move to more appropriate forum
    Thursday, May 12, 2016 11:38 AM

All replies

  • MDT can do this very easily but yu will have to post in MDT forum for help in learning how to use MDT to customize an installation.


    Thursday, May 12, 2016 3:46 PM
  • Ugh, I never recommend placing user profiles on d: user profiles always go on c:   KB949977

    However, your question is intriguing, it might be possible to get MDT to capture user data, should be worth a try.

    Keith Garner - Principal Consultant [owner] -

    Friday, May 13, 2016 5:29 AM
  • On the contrary. Moving the users folder to another drive has been done since the first version of NT.  It is common.  MDT has a entry for this or we cn just adjust the answer file.

    In Vista and later we can change this after installation.  Here are the instructions:

    Of curse setting this at setup is easier and more reliable.


    Friday, May 13, 2016 6:23 AM
  • Her are some of the issues surrounding moving the profile folders and data directory: as well as instructions on how to do it during a couple of different install scenarios.


    Friday, May 13, 2016 6:37 AM
  • Just because it's "Possible" and/or "Common" does *NOT* mean that it is recommended. In fact, in this case, moving user profiles has *NEVER* been recommended as best practice by Microsoft, since it breaks servicing and OS upgrade, and no one at Microsoft will *EVER* recommend a method that ultimately breaks your ability to upgrade to a newer OS, if there is someone at Microsoft who is saying this, please forward their e-mail alias, and I will have the appropriate internal members have a chat with them.

    From KB949977:  Caution Using ProfilesDirectory to redirect folders to a drive other than the system volume blocks upgrades. Using ProfilesDirectory to point to a directory that is not the system volume will block SKU upgrades and upgrades to future versions of Windows. For example if you use Windows 8 together with ProfilesDirectory set to D:\, you cannot upgrade to Windows 8 Pro or to the next version of Windows. The servicing stack does not handle cross-volume transactions, and it blocks upgrades. 

    The only scenario that I have come up with where moving users to D: is even remotely interesting is in VDI scenarios where we might need rapid load/unload of new users in Virtual Environment. But that is a specific scenario.

    Otherwise please keep user profiles on C:\

    Keith Garner - Principal Consultant [owner] -

    Friday, May 13, 2016 7:57 PM
  • I would agree that it breaks upgrades in all but the simplest of scenarios but it is a documented thing at MS as my earlier links show.

    The main reasons that this is requested seem to be to move data folders off of an SSD.  With earlier SSDs and particularly on laptops this was a common request because it improved the life of the SSD.  Modern SSDs are more robust so this is less necessary.

    The other major reason was on W2K terminal servers due to deficiencies in the ability to use TS Profiles (which are relocated tom anywhere) due to incompatibilities with third party software and databases.  We would not use TS Profiles and then had an issue of the system drive becoming full.  Moving the profiles was the easiest solution.  We also almost never upgraded these systems.  We would just install a new server with newer software and add it to the farm.  The larger drives and the better compatibility of RDS has made this unnecessary.

    If you do not have a compelling need to move these profiles I also recommend against it.  If you can justify this then this link will show you the Microsoft recommended ways to do this.  Other methods can be used.  All have possible serious consequences.


    Friday, May 13, 2016 8:43 PM