Windows Server - Move user profiles to a different partition.

Asked By Jef on 07-Jun-07 05:44 PM
Does anyone know how to change the user profile's default location from
C:\Documents and Settings to a different partition? (Server 2003)

I remember reading about it on the web somewhere but cannot seem to find the
info again.

I want my term server users profiles to be created on a larger secondary


Vera Noest [MVP] replied on 07-Jun-07 05:58 PM
You can configure a roaming profile for all users, and store it on
a network drive. Combined with the setting to delete the locally
cached copy of the roaming profile when the users log off, this
would free up the disk space on your C: drive.
Both are easiest done in a GPO:

Computer Configuration - Administrative templates - Windows
components - Terminal Services

Computer Configuration - Administrative templates - System - User

If you want to move the location of the local profiles, the only
supported way to do this is through a fresh unattended install of
the OS.
There's also an unsupported way to do it, but besides being risky,
it's a lot of work.

Documented here:

236621 - Cannot Move or Rename the Documents and Settings Folder

Vera Noest
MCSE, CCEA, Microsoft MVP - Terminal Server
TS troubleshooting:
___ please respond in newsgroup, NOT by private email ___

=?Utf-8?B?SmVmZg==?= <Jeff@> wrote on 07
jun 2007 in
Jef replied on 08-Jun-07 01:10 PM

Thanks for all of your valuable input. I truly appreciate it.

Here is what I'm doing:

I have 70+ light users - (Basically running little more than their web
I'm building a new Term Server on W2K3 to eventually replace a W2K Term

Do you recommend a RAID1 or RAID5 array for TS?
Does it make more sense to keep all user profiles on the default partition,
or put them on a network share?

Thanks again,

Vera Noest [MVP] replied on 08-Jun-07 04:33 PM
For the system drive, I'd use RAID1.
Your users may be light users in terms of memory and CPU usage
(although browsing can create a heavy load as well), but their
profiles will still occupy a lot of space, if you don't trim them
I would set them up with roaming profiles, that way you are already
prepared if you would need a second Terminal Server to carry the
user load.
The only disadvantage is that logon times can increase with a
second or so, because the profile has to be downloaded to the TS.
You can improve logon times by redirecting portions of the user
profile to the users home directory (My Documents is a must for
redirection, but there are more candidates).

Vera Noest
MCSE, CCEA, Microsoft MVP - Terminal Server
TS troubleshooting:
___ please respond in newsgroup, NOT by private email ___

=?Utf-8?B?SmVmZg==?= <Jeff@> wrote on 08
jun 2007 in
Hank Arnold replied on 16-Jun-07 09:42 AM
At first blush, RAID 1 (2 drives). RAID 5 will just slow you down (and
require 3 drives). What you should actually do will depend on what
applications you plan to run on the TS. If there are databases involved
(e.g., Exchange, SQL), then the equation changed dramatically. Then you
are talking about at least 2 arrays and more likely 3. We have a SQL
server running a medical database that has a RAID 1 (boot & OS), RAID 1
(Programs and log files) and RAID 10 (databases).

Based on your description so far, it looks like RAID 1. What apps are
you planning to run on it?

Definitely implement roaming profiles on a network share. Gives you more
flexibility in the future (more TS servers or you replace this one) and
makes backing up/restoring profiles easier.

It does require that you watch the profiles sizes since the larger the
profile, the longer it will take to load and it will increase toe
probability of corrupted profiles.

Hank Arnold