Migrating a windows user profile directory

May 7, 2010

Many times I’ve found myself wanting to do this, and only just recently learned how to.

If you’ve disconnected from a Domain for example and are now part of a workgroup but want to retain your existing “setup”, or perhaps you’ve got yourself something like an EeePC 900 and your C: Drive is running out of space, this can be a great way to free up additional space, and it’s a better all-round solution that purely moving the “My Documents” folder.

The whole process should take only 2-3 minutes!

Firstly you need to have another user account on the machine. Ideally you can just use the Administrator login, but it’s just as easy if you have another Admin user on your PC.

So, what you need to have done is logged in as your “local” user (If moving from a domain). You may need to create a new User, we’re going to use “Bob” as the example in this. Login as Bob, then log out again.

Now, log in as a *different* administrative user, such as Administrator

Move C:\Documents and Settings\Bob, and put it where you want it to be (If applicable).

Click Start –> Run –> regedit

Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT > CurrentVersion > ProfileList

You should see several entries in there. You’ll need to look around at them all, and you want to check the “ProfileImagePath” key. It’ll be something like:

%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\Bob

You can now adjust it to something like:

%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\Bob.DOMAIN



All done!

Reboot and login as Bob and you should be OK!


One comment

  1. Hi Jo,

    This is an old article of yours, but thought I should update it for you. For many many years I’ve been using forensit utilities to domain migrate. or move a profile from one computer to another.
    They have a utility called profwiz which is free utility that doesnt need to be installed, and the home/free version works just fine for moving a user from one domain to another it rewrites the sids makes sure the file ownership is correct on the profile etc…etc..

    Transwiz is great for moving the profile.

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