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Cannot move user profiles from C:Documents and SettingsUserName to D:USERSUserNameWindows

For a new standalone Win2000 Pro install (no server), this is the most frustrating and fruitless effort I've ever encountered dealing with Windows. I've spent hours and hours and hours at this, and I just CANNOT get user profiles to move from C:Documents and SettingsUserName to D:USERSUserNameWindows. I've read everything I could find, searched Microsoft sites and the Web, called around?I followed posted instructions to the letter. Nothing. User profiles are reset, re-created, or duplicated every time back into C:Documents and Settings.

I followed this to the letter, but no joy: How to Move the Location of a Locally Cached Profile(Q214470).

I've tried every conceivable combination of possibilities, including the following:

  1. Copy profile (copy to) from C: to D:, then edit ProfileList ProfileImagePath in the registry to D:USERSUserNameWindows.

    Results:
    A) If the C: profile is deleted, upon logging on with UserName, a new profile is created for that UserName in C:
    B) If the C: profile is not deleted, upon logging on with UserName, a new profile is created for that UserName in C: as UserName.PCName
    C) In both cases, Windows resets the edited registry ProfileImagePath entry back to default C:.

  2. Same, but don't copy profile from C: to D:

    Results: Same.

  3. Configure a roaming profile so that Windows creates the roaming profile for UserName in D:; then change user from roaming to local; then edit registry ProfileList to point to new profile in D:.

    Results: Same.

  4. All other variants (reboot, don't reboot, menu dialog settings, order of actions, different combinations, etc.).

    Results: Same.

Regardless of any editing to ProfileImagePath in the registry, Windows always goes back to the profile in C:Documents and Settings, and if the C: profile was first deleted, then Windows creates it again there. Open the registry, and ProfileImagePath is reset from D:USERSUserNameWindows to %SystemDrive%Documents and SettingsUserName.

I want user profiles in D:USERSUserNameWindows, with profiles for Administrator, Default User, and All Users remaining in default C:Documents and Settings. (I've completely given up on even trying to move those three.)

I am at the absolute end of my patience with this. These are all newly created profiles I'm trying to move (fresh attended install), but I just cannot find a solution. I sure wish Microsoft had included some built-in feature for this; there are no options for profile folder placement during attended setup, and there are no obvious options for profile folder movement after setup.

Do you know of a clear, tested step-by-step procedure that works? Thanks.

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I can't tell from your description if you've attempted the following:

  1. Control Panel
  2. Administrative Tools
  3. Computer Management
  4. Local Users and Groups
  5. Users
  6. Select the user and open Properties
  7. Profile tab
  8. Set the profile fields to a UNC pointing to the new local folder
  9. Log in, out, and then back in with the user account

If that does not do what you intend (there still may be a copy of the profile stored in Documents and Settings) since that is the hard coded default location for Windows2000 and XP. The profile should be updated into the alternate directory upon logout. I know of no way to prevent Windows from copying the profile to Documents and Settings when the user logs in. That is where Windows performs its manipulations on the profile for the current user.

This was first published in May 2002

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