Is there an option in Windows to save Documents and Settings to a different partition during install?
In Ubuntu Linux, I can have a separate /home partition. This lets me reinstall without losing *any* files or settings from a user point of view. (Also, it’s nice having all my wireless passwords work from install to install).
The answer, Will, is yes, there is a way to change the location of the Documents and Settings location in Windows. By default, a user’s configuration files are stored in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>. This location is created the first time the user logs into the system and their default settings are taken from C:\Documents and Settings\Default User.
But, it can be really useful to redirect the location of this folder. For example, I have redirected user’s My Documents from the default C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents to \\server\users$\<username>. This way, users were storing their My Documents on the network and not locally so that if a workstation blew up, then all of their documents would be safe on the network.
To allow this example to work, simply perform the following:
- Open Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) and navigate to: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders]
- In the right-pane, look for the entry “Common Documents” and double-click it.
- The value which present there by default is “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents”.
- Change the value to the redirected folder (e.g. “\server\users$\%USERNAME%”)
That should do it for you!