I need to move about 130 users' home drives to another hard drive on the same server that they are hosted now. What is the best way to do this without having to go into each one by one?

The users are scattered in different OU's.

5 Answers 5


If you have a login script, change the login script. If you have the Home Folder settings in AD. You can select more then one user at a time and make the appropriate changes.


If you are using a single share for the home directories, and that is all that that share is being used for, it's realy pretty easy. 'tegbains' answer above gives part of the answer.

  1. Document the permissions on the Old Share.
  2. Stop sharing the old share ( this will knock all of the users off of the share.)
  3. Using Windows Explorer Move all of the directories to the new location (use move to keep the permissions the same)
  4. Start sharing the new directory root with the old share name
  5. Reset the permissions to match what was documented in step 1.

Your users should be able to reconnect, just like 'tegbains' said.

  • The "move" direction assumes that they are on the same volume.
    – MDMarra
    Commented Jan 19, 2010 at 2:52
  • True, but you can also adjust the server to keep the permissions between drives re: support.microsoft.com/kb/310316 Commented Jan 19, 2010 at 3:15
  • nice and easy solution!
    – deddebme
    Commented Jan 19, 2010 at 15:29
  • 2
    I'm a fan of running a backup job and then restoring it to the new location. That way you have a safe copy on tape and it keeps the permissions. Commented Jan 19, 2010 at 20:03

I wouldn't say it's the best way, but if you're using the GUI, you can hold down Ctrl and select multiple users (or shift to select everything between two users), pull up the property sheet, and edit the home folder path field from \server1\users\%username% to \server2\users\%username% - it'll set the field for all users you'd selected.

Otherwise, I think you're stuck with the login script, as detailed here, but basically -

net user tester /homedir:\\server\tester$

Login scripts aren't sexy, but all the better mousetraps seem to have an unsatisfactory time-investment-to-reward ratio.

If you're also talking about moving the files themselves, I'd go with robocopy.

--begin unsolicited general advice--

I'd start by moving a small number of user drives, and gradually increase the size of the batches as you go. This gives you a chance to troubleshoot those little unanticipated issues that always come up, without dealing with 130 users at once.

And make it easy to backtrack. Copy the data, then remove the permissions or otherwise block access to the old share - in a way that's easy to undo.


Just stop the share on the old drive and start the share on the new drive. If you keep the share name and the permissions the the same, your users shouldn't even notice the change.


I'd definitely use robocopy for actually copying the data. This syntax should be a good start:

robocopy source destination /e /copyall

The /e flag will get empty directories, the /copyall flag will ensure that you pick up all of your NTFS data. Another bonus of robocopy is that it will do differential copies, so you can copy all of the data over initially, but then slowly roll out the login scripts, doing a new robocopy to pick up only the changed data.

As others have mentioned, the login script or GUI are your best bets. I know that there's also Group Policy Preferences now that can do mapped drives, but I've not tried that myself.

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