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Win7 Windows 7 Setup Tip - Move "Public" folders to spinning drive

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I hope this is my chance to finally give back a little to all you who have helped lately! See what you think of this:


A lot of us are getting, or hoping to get, solid state SATA3 drives for the best Flight simming performance. But these things are relatively small, so we also usually have a large spinning drive (or drives) for data, pictures of the kids, music, & what not.


But of course, Windows usually comes set up with the user profiles in C:\Users, and you can’t just move that to the spinning drives, let’s assume it’s your D:\ drive. Well, it’s easy enough to point your own “My Documents”, “My Pictures”, “My Music”, and “My Vidoes” over to D:\Users\<user>\My <things>” , but after all that, there is still a C:\Users\Public that can’t be moved. And if you have a home group or other network, you might want to put things in there. Here is how I moved it to the D: drive, shamelessly copied from some answers I found somewhere in cyberspace - the sources weren’t charging for it, so it must be fair use, besides, I put some of my own stuff into it.


My user folders are now under D:\Users\<username> (the nice thing about this is it leaves the rest of your “hive”, including your flight sim profiles, etc. on the static drive where it can be retrieved faster).


Now we will end up making a Directory Junction which can redirect to a new location of Public folder.


First create a new folder on D:\, in my case I used D:\Users\Public


Go to Cmd prompt by running as Administrator. (If you can’t do this, you’d better stop here and just don’t put anything in your Public folders!)


Copy everything from existing public folder to the new folder created by using the command

robocopy /MIR %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\Public D:\Users\Public (or whatever name you used for your public folder on D:)


Note: If as usual, Windows is on your C: drive, you can use the form

robocopy /MIR C:\Users\Public D:\Users\Public


You need robocopy as it takes care of hidden files, etc, especially if you have Recorded TV folder within public folder.


Once the copy is transferred, you need to delete the existing public folder and create a junction in its place. For this, boot into Safe Mode as an administrator (Press F8 after POST) and delete the public contents and folder, and again by starting the Cmd prompt as an administrator. To remove the Public folder:

rmdir /s /q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\Public


Having created the new location folder, and deleting the existing public folder, now is time to create a Directory Junction for public folder with the following command:


mklink /J %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\Public D:\Users\Public (or whatever name you named the public folder on D:\)


for example: mklink /J C:\Users\Public D:\Users\Public


Now, whatever is meant for the original Public folder gets directed to the new location.

I hope this helps.


One caveat: if you use the ROBOCOPY command, make sure that the target directory is empty! The command given makes a MIRROR of the source directory, meaning it will delete everything that is already in the target directory.


Best to all,



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Thanks for that, but I sure don't want to go through a re-install of Windows, esp. with all of that extra Geek-under-the-hood stuff going on. The stuff above is bad enough! For a new install it may be ok, but also note in the replies:


(Andre) "This is not something I recommend, since it can cause adverse effects on the systems stability:




"I should add that Andre is right, MS states it here:


This setting should be used only in a test environment. By changing the default location of the user profile directories or program data folders to a volume other than the System volume, you will not be able to service your Windows installation. Any updates, fixes, or service packs will fail to be applied to the installation. Microsoft does not recommend that you change the location of the user profile directories or program data folders.


So take care...

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