Moving Documents and Settings folder onto second hard disk?
I recently purchased an external HDD that I'm intending to use as a file server. My question is how to move the Documents and Settings folder from my two Windows XP machines onto this network drive without causing Windows to break beyond repair. Thanks.
You should be able to move the "target" of your "My Documents" folder on each machine. "My Documents" is actually a redirection that is done within the Windows Explorer shell, and is easy to reassign on the face of it. I have not tried this on a network drive, so there are no guarantees. I have successfully reassigned My Documents to what is (to me) a more accessible directory on my hard drive. Here's what you can do:
1) Set up your network and your network drive. Make sure that it is assigned a particular letter for each machine. (Assign permanent drive letters under Control Panel --> Administrative Tools --> Computer Management --> Disk Management. This should work for network drives as well. Someone correct me if I'm wrong; again, I haven't done this before.
2) On your computers, open Windows Explorer. From My Computer, right-click on My Documents and select properties. The first thing that pops up is a "target folder location" screen. Select "move" and pick the desired folder on your networked drive (i.e., computer 1's documents, computer 2's documents, etc.). You may have to physically copy everything over, but then it will be on the networked drive and everything should work smoothly. That is, in the future, Windows will go to the target location whenever you look in "My Documents"
It is possible that you can even do #2 without bothering with #1. You may wish to try. If so, make sure you assign a specific name/letter to your network drive that is somewhere down the line (H or so) so that Windows won't get confused if you are using USB drives or flash cards on occasion.
As always, back up first.
Also, here are two useful articles to read too:
Thanks to Jeff Lawley for his help on this.
More Useful Windows PC Help Articles:
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Reader Comments To Date: 31
I run an enterprise network and have My Documents redirection enabled for everyone, across the network to a file server. So long as you have the network capacity to handle your needs, it works great. With the typical Word, Excel, and other relatively small files, it works great. If you have extremely large files in your My Documents, like videos and things of that nature that are several hundred MB or more, you probably won't be too satisfied with the results.
You don't want to move the entire Documents and Settings folder, as that contains your whole user profile. It is possible to implement roaming user profiles, but in a two PC network, it certainly isn't worth the hassle (and would only create some major headaches for you).
To change the location of a SPECIAL folder AND simultaneously move the files, the folder(s) to the new location and select "Move Here"
for google searches: the original question was how to move the documents and settings folder and was not answered.
To move the entire Documents and settings folders is relatively simple ... just a little fiddly
Just moving My Documents is easy enough ... the problem is - when you only move my documents onto another drive or partition and then find yourself in a crash and burn situation ... you preserve your data but lose your settings cookies, favourites ... in fact everything that makes your machine yours.
So you have three options ....
1 Installing from new
2 Modify a single user
3 Modify the whole shooting match
When starting fresh
first you need to use sysprep to create an answer file (renamed to winnt.sif) once you have it - open in notepad and in the
[GuiUnattended] section add the line ProfilesDir="d:\documents and settings"
Then either burn a new install disc with winnt.sif added to the i386 folder .... of copy it to a floppy ... boot from CD ... as soon as you see press any key to boot ... hit a key and IMMEDIATELY push the floppy into the drive.
Remember when you start - create and format two partitions - if you don't the install still runs ... but windows won't boot up.
If you already have a working system ....
Start by searching out Microsoft's KB236621 document - this pretty much covers the theory.
Your buggest problem is the prospect of modifying well over 100 entries.
and download RegReplace - it's shareware.
tick the "value names" and "value contents" options
then search for;
c:\Documents and Settings\......
as well as
and replace with d:\documents and settings\
reboot .... and away you go
Becareful when you replace %USERPROFILE%\......
It shouldn't be simply replaced by d:\documents and settings\
as %USERPROFILE% contains the user name for each user ... should replace by
d:\documents and settings\%USERNAME%\
Also will need to replace entries containing
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settintgs
d:\Documents and Settings
good luck :)
I have 2 drives c and g. My c is getting full. Can I use part of g drive as an extension of c somehow???
please can you advice URGENTLY and ASAP. At least email back to say how or if you not sure etc...
What if i can't find a KB236621 file?
Plz tell all in all the different steps.
[simply anglish plz because i am dutch]
why does this site popup everytime I hit ctrl+enter in flash 8?
I am interested in inserting tressy jean austin's document on MSN. Can you help me?
thank you very much for having this site chock full of information... I couldn't remember the single most important value to change to have the documents and settings folder on another drive, but I got it now! thank you much
"PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SOMONE HELP ME, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE..
IM PREPARED TO PAY FOR THE HELP AT THIS STAGE.. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SOMONE TAKE ME OUT OF THIS NIGHTMAREISH HELL THATS BEING GOING ON FOR OVER 2 MONTS NOW!!!!!! H E L P
2 months ago, i put a new hd into my pc... i slaved the old drive so the old drive is now D: ... by the way im running xp pro sp2.
I reinstalled windows onto the new drive C:
But the old drive D: still has the windows installed onto it.
There are 3 folders on the old drive i want to delete and send to the bottomless pits of hell..
Documents and Settings
Windows REFUSES to delete these folders.. accses denied ..etc
I AM loged into an admin account, so i should be able to delete these stupid folders.
I used third party things, like File Unlocker.. with no luck at all
I emailed mircosoft about 10 times regarding this,, either gettting no replyes, or usless replys... I physicly wrote 2 letters to microsoft.. no reply... ive looked at 100`s upon 100`s of forums online, trying 100`s of differnt methods of deleting these folders... NO LUCK
this is now into the 2nd month of this nightmare. i cant work out how to do this, im angry, in perticular with mircosoft, im fed up, and i dont know what to do short of formatting the drive (witch for other reasons is out of the question)
the last thing i tryed was this (as directed by somone at mircosoft)
sounds simple enough, tho.. if u read it carfully ull soon find out that the information there is not right....
meaning: they state on steps 2 and 3
2: 2. Click the Security tab, and then click OK on the Security message (if one appears).
3: 3. Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab.
so first of all, step 2, "click OK on the Security message (if one appears)."
i have never never never seen a "security message" doing this in all my countless years using windows
secondly, stop 3, "Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab." ...
..what the hell are you talking about mircosoft?? click on "advanced".. where the hell are you seeing these options? Owners tab?? are you on the same planet mircosoft?... Are you using some future version of windows as an example here???
PLEASE.. i need some help with this asap.. as im about to littlery chuck this pc out the dam window.
Ps. sorry for the spelling and attitude, but as u now relise, after 2 months of this, im left very very angery and fed up with the whole thing... all i dam well want to do is delete 3 folders on MY OWN pc,.. how dam complicated must this be???"
Make a working folder on your desktop. Copy all the folders from the second drive you want to keep to this folder. Then reformat the second drive. Then move the folders back. You may have to do this in safe mode.
There is a great utility out there called "Linux" (tounge in check ;). Just insert a Live CD from OpenSuSE, Simply MEPIS, or Knoppix. Boot up in Linux and go to the File Manager (Dolphin or Konqueror in root or superuser mode). Find out those files on the D drive that Windows will not let you touch and proceed to delete them. If you ever want to find out what is really going on in System folders, pop in Linux and browse to your heart's content.
When you click the security tab the advanced button is on the bottom of the dialog box, rigth below the Permissions for that folder.
i got a new 32'' monitor and i can't get a full size screen picture on my pogo games what can i do 2 change this.
I am downloading recipies for baking cakes and decorating cookies. The files contain videos. I want the target to be Iomega Disk G not the recent documents folder. It will take up too much space on my hard drive. Please tell me how to do this. I am a novice at the computer. Please be specific.
PLEASE HELP!!! I followed the instructions Whitey gave to move my documents and settings folder and now my comp is all messed up!!! I can still boot, but all my personal data has been moved so the comp cant see it!!! PLEASE HELP ME UNDO THIS! I know in retrospect I should have made the undo file! ='(
PS I really don't understand any of how this all works! I just wanted to move my data off my C drive! But I'll gladly leave my documents and settings files there if that's what it will take to fix my comp!
I'm in the process of attempting to move the entire "Documents and Settings" folder to one of several partitions on the primary slave drive (Windows XP-Pro XP2 is on primary master drive).
I carefully followed Micro$oft's KB314843, manually changing many dozens, maybe close to a hundred, Registry entries (mostly values, but in some cases names had to be changed instead). But there remain a few keys to change (?), about which I'm not clear. For example (keys):
\Documents and Settings\ ...
(How can I find out what Volume_ to put in place
of "Volume2" since my target volume is not stated
anywhere else in the Registry in a similar
fashion? From other Registry entries, I know that
Windows is installed on "Volume2". However, entries such as "Volume3" or "Volume4", etc.
do not appear anywhere in the Registry, yet my
system has more than nine volumes spread over
two physical drives!)
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings
ProfileImagePath ... ...
ProfileImagePath ... ...
(For the above three or more keys, how to find the correct symbolic name for the relocated target volume, NOT the SystemDrive?)
Hoping not to wind up with a non-bootable
system after the Registry surgery, I've been
looking through "Chapter 10: Storage Management"
in the 935+ page book "Microsoft Windows
Internals", 4th Edition, by Mark Russinovich
and David Solomon (2005 Microsoft Press;
ISBN-13=978-0-7356-1917-3), and it would appear
that I have to run the "!devobj" kernel
debugger command and the "!vpb" command in order
to find out what Volume names and numbers
have been assigned to the various hard disk
volumes by the hardware enumerator and/or the
volume-mounting process, etc., etc.!
Yet, these additional snags were not mentioned
at all in the Microsoft KB314843 document.
I did find some "VolumeSerialNumber" entries
in the Registry associated with a key called
"Bitbucket" beneath which are eleven folders
labeled respectively with the following small letters: c,d,e,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n. Those entries
for "VolumeSerialNumber" are mostly long hexadecimal strings. Windows did assign the following drive letters to HD volumes and removable drives:
C,D,G,H; I,J,K,L,M; A,E,F,O,P.
Mr. Dave Taylor, am I "going off the deep
end?" Thanks for any insight you might have.
Hello boys, I wanted chiedervi a information. Later on to a modernization with the cd of restoration I find myself all' inside of the folder " DOCUMENTS AND SETTING" of windows xp home edition various cartelle but that where I have all my documents, rows and programs are not that which work all' inside of the software as I can make? anticipatamente you I ringrazio all for l' aid. tank you Andrea
Help! I'm out of hard disk space and am attempting to move files from "documents and settings" to an external drive. I can move them alright, but when I go to delete the original, Windows XP makes another copy as soon as I delete it. These are just word processing files, nothing critical, but I'm unable to free up space, in fact it seems to be consuming more! Help me stop the insanity!
Bob, I have to admit that I have no idea what would be doing that. Do you have a data protection app running? I mean, something must be replicating the files. I would look closely at all the helper apps you have running and even try booting in safe mode then copying files to see what happens. Please come back and let us know what you figure out!
Hey guys, did you ever consider scheduling regular backup of your documents and settings folder to another drive, instead od going through the assle of relocating its folder on C?
I was planning to do it as well, but what I read recently on that topic makes me think using a backup program for that is far more simple, and doesn't cost much place on a drive...
Moving 'My documents' is relatively easy as mentioned previously in this post but I think moving the whole documents and settings is probably not a good idea unless you really know what you are doing. To move 'My documents' proceed as follows.
1. Create a folder called My documents in the new location.
2. Make sure that start menu shows the 2 column XP menu (not the classic).
3. Use RIGHT mouse button to click on 'My documents' here and select properties
4. In the target tab of the box that appears select Move
5. Navigate to the folder created in step 1, click OK and then allow windows to move the files to the new location.
Good luck !
Hi Dave, Here's a cup of Joe. Hey, maybe you can help me with this. 1. I am an old IT contractor from the 90's and when I worked for Nissan they allowed me to install a copy of Office XP Pro. Well Microsoft got the OGA program and has flagged it as a Corp software on a home PC. Recently I bought Office 2007 Ultimate from e-bay and it installed and validated it fine. When I ran the OGA it said the Office XP Pro was a problem so I uninstalled it. In addition I had to use an un-installer to remove all the Patches for the old office because they would not un-install. Now when I turn auto updates on I get all these patches for 2007, like 20 of them, and they all fail including SP2 2007. There has to be some reg entry that has a 1 instead of 0 somewhere that stops updates on a package of updates. Can you help. Allso I would like to replace the office launch tool bar that I had with office 2002. Do you know any other software that is like it?
Brian, I think what you need to do is completely wipe MS Office and all of its components off your system. Then do a system update and ensure you've gotten rid of all the last vestiges. Check to see if anything's listed in the "Delete Applications" Control Panel too.
Then reinstall Office 2007 Ultimate and see how things go. In terms of the Office Launch tool bar, not sure what to suggest. Google it, see if there's a third-party solution? Good luck.
Why can't you use NTFS junctions to create a symlink from C:\Documents and Settings to D:\Documents and Settings.?
If there is some double-secret probation Windows thing preventing you from renaming/deleting C:\Documents and Settings, then perhaps you could create symlinks for the individual user dirs.
My computer got crashed by a virus. I need to re-install XP. Can I save document and settings to a flash drive or dvd or cd and how? When I tried restore, XP does not boot up (It got hunged up).Thanks
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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