Seperate User Parition?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by chris062689, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. chris062689

    chris062689 New Member

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    I love the idea that in Linux, I can simply reinstall my operating system without having to back up my files, because of a seperate /home partition. Is there something like this in 7? Where I can specify where I want to put my \Users at?

    If not, I realize I can just plop all of my files on the drive physically, but then I don't preserve application settings...
    I would LOVE to be able to create my \Users folder on B: (Backup).

    Is there a program that does this?
     
  2. Bryce

    Bryce New Member

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    I don't even use the Default User's folders. What I do is have a small 100gb partition that stores my main OSes (archlinux, vista, and win7) and then I've got a seperate /home partition for linux and then a seperate /data partition that stores my data from vista and win7. The /data partition is shared in linux so that makes things useful as well.
     
  3. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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    I have tried this and for the most part have been successful.

    If your an advanced user, you can use a search and replace program for the registry and change the defaults, such as C:\users\Jim\AppData to C:\users\Jim\AppData. You have to be very carefully moving the location of these files because E:\users\Jim\AppData is the default and you have to go into the options of all programs and change the path here as well. I have moved my Documents , Pictures, and Video folders to my other partition

    Whenever you add a program you have to do it each time. This is a very long and complicated process.

    Regarding the Default user profile, that's only used when a new account is created. No modifications or customizations will revert to the new profile, it starts up just as if you had just installed Windows 7 or any other Windows OS.

    This is only for computer users who are very experienced with the registry and truthfully, unless there's another way, I wouldn't recommend anyone trying it.
     
  4. chris062689

    chris062689 New Member

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    Well, for things like Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. is there a way I can tell it where to save their "profiles"?
    I think I'll just create a /data partition, and use that to store all of my files, but not do the registry hack, sounds riskay.

    Got any other tips?

    [EDIT]
    Couldn't I just modify the %USERPROFILE% Environment Variable and be done with it?
     
  5. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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    Yes, that's one thing I did and forgot about it when I posted earlier, but it's still not the total solution.

    As to Firefox, the only place you can change is where your downloads go, which I changed to E:\Users\Jim\Downloads

    Yes, moving Documents , Pictures, and Video folders to my other partition is the easiest part, but you still have to look through options in all related programs to see if there is an option for the default save location.
     
  6. Infi

    Infi Honorable Member

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    Haven't played with Firefox for a while, but Profile Manager should let you choose where to save your Firefox/Thunderbird settings

    Profile Manager - MozillaZine Knowledge Base
     
  7. chris062689

    chris062689 New Member

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    Is it possible to create a symlink from C:\Users to B:\?
    Having the "Users/Chris" Users Folder not a physical folder, but a symlink to B:\?

    Would that work? :)
     
  8. mistofeles

    mistofeles New Member

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    It seems that the programmers of MS Windows and Linux as well have forgotten that the hardisks have a tendency to break. In windows all the configuration files are built all around the disk, You got ini-files, dlls, configs and registrys. When the system breaks, you have no way to recover your programs. In Documents and Settings many important files are either hidden or in hidden directories.
    You have no simple way to make backup of your system, because also many programs keep their caches there. I'm sure you don't want to make backup of your browser cache.

    (It is possible to build scripts or programs to take care of the backup, but scripting and gui programming is awfull in MSWindows. I'd rather do something productive.)

    At least there should be an option to move all datadirectories to an different partition. It can be done in WinXP, but it should be the native way. Like in Linux you can have your /home -directory in another HD. Still in Linux most of the configuration files are in the system disk. The /etc directory can and should be copied to backup at least once per week. Still there is a lot of programs whose configurations are hidden in binary and library directories. If the system disk goes to heavens, you got to build everything again.
    Some nerd can say that it is easy, but you got to remember that it still takes time and that there is many (like myself) who tries to take care of hundreds of computers.

    In the next generation of OSes (Win8 ?) there MUST be a simple way to make backups (please do not mention MS Backup/Restore, it has cost us a lot of work allready. It is worse than dangerous).
    There is a B/R system in the new W7. I tested it and sent a warning to my customers. It makes some proprietary file format and we all know what happends to them. The only file formats, that can be used in backup, are native linear and ZIP.

    Another thing is that the system folder (Winnt, Windows...) should be read only. I see no reason, why all and every program is writing there all the time. It makes the AV programs busy eating your processor power. What ever you do, the AV program got to check every file the system needs.

    Here we come to the next thing. Installation of the programs should be done with some kind of 'su' or 'sudo' command like in Linux. This way we could keep down the number of viruses. I see no reason, why all and every program has rights to install new files to system folders. So far it has been a nuisance to install new programs in WinXP -for a normal user it many times nearly impossible. For a virus it is piece of cake.
    (Yes, I have found a way to simulate 'su' in WinXP, but it uses some undocumented tricks and parameters)
     
  9. Infi

    Infi Honorable Member

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    If you're taking care of hundreds of computers, I assume you're a domain admin? Surely in that case you should be redirecting peoples home drives to folders on your servers. Same goes for profiles. Roaming profiles (combined with disk quotas to stop people transferring ridiculous amounts of data between PC and server) should do exactly what needs to be done in a domain environment.
     
  10. mistofeles

    mistofeles New Member

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    No, I'm not a domain admin. I'm just a humble slave of our computer center taking care of the needs of the customers:) My teams main work is to take care of the computers of the customers (buy new ones, install the hardware and the software, repair, recycle, teach....)
    Yes, You are right about the partitions in servers. We are trying to get more and more diskless clients (DCs) in to our system. The problem is that the network should be still more fault tolerant.
    And you cant use DCs in every spot. There is laboratory devices collecting gigabytes per day and on the other hand laptops running all over the world. Another thing is that we have spots behind very slow connections.

    We have been using roaming profiles, but there has been problems.
    The problem is we don't have enough resources in the CC. And changing the OS every 5 years don't help the sittuation.
     
  11. Infi

    Infi Honorable Member

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    You have my sympathies ;)

    Roaming profiles aren't perfect, I'll admit. They get corrupted, the customer dumps everything on the desktop so they become unmanageable over a network, and you end up having to exclude the desktop and 'teach' them not to put stuff there. :rolleyes:

    I've never really liked documents and settings/users/profiles folders myself. Unfortunately, living in an MS world and working in IT, it's something we have to get used to because MS seem to think it's a good idea. I'm quite a fan of portable installs, and so are a lot of other people it seems, as they seem to be getting popular with (mostly) open source devs these days. Now if only we could get MS to follow suit ....
     
  12. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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  13. Mystere

    Mystere New Member

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    You can do this without much trouble, but you must be careful not share a user folder between different versions of Windows (like Vista and 7), because Windows stores things like the users registry hive in the users folder, and this would cause all kinds of problems between the two versions.
     
  14. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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    That's really not true....the policy settings are under the unsers directory, such as NTUSER.DAT. This is not a registry file.

    The actually registry in Vista and Windows 7 is located under c:\windows\system32\config
     
  15. mistofeles

    mistofeles New Member

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    Thanks, I got to check them.
    In the long run the system should work automatically.

    Oh my. I woke up in the morning and had a dream. I was dreaming somebody has started from a clean table and written a new OS, who has no roots in the CP/M and similar OSses of 197x.
    Built a directory structure, where the system, programs, configuration, cache and data is tottally separated. THe system in a RO directory, Config files in their own branch and data in itse own. Config containing common and personal parts in their own directory branches.
    The data contains a branch for every user but there is no config or cache directories in them.
    The installation program has tools to direct the data and config branches to RAID disks, cache to RAMDISK or fast nonvolatile memory and system could be in CD / DVD / ROM or ReadOnly HD partition.

    Then I woke up and had my Windows PC there on my nighttable.
     

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