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I am going to install Windows 7 on a machine in some days time. I wanted to know if it is easy to separate the OS data from users' data (/users in Windows 7, I believe) on separate partition during or after installation.

I hope it will be as seamless as with "/home" on Unix or Linux, but I have never tried it with Windows before.

My main motivation is to be able to do re-installs of the OS without having to worry too much about recovering the users' data from backups (saves some hours). Also, I have personally favor this separation, coming from Linux background.

All inputs and experiences regarding this are welcome.


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Similar thread at

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Thanks for the link. It shows how to copy (robocopy) C:\Users to D:\Users and then to create a junction pointing C:\Users to D:\Users. However, I was hoping that somehow this can be automated or made seamless during installation. Any ideas regarding that? – user24524 Nov 16 '09 at 16:12
This is called 'unattended' installation, you can create scripts that make the junction – kolypto Nov 16 '09 at 17:54

Using sysprep is the easiest way to create user profiles in a different location. All the other, unofficial ways, such as messing around with junctions and copying or moving files around, gave me "The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded." profile error.

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Posting identical answers is one sure way to come to the attention of the system. We really do prefer that answers contain content not pointers to content. Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Iain Jul 21 '12 at 23:42

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