Alternate drive for user profiles

For the past 9 years since I’ve been buying SSDs (starting with 32 gb) we were doing C as programs and OS and some other drive letter as profiles. To accomplish this we did it the better way of changing the registry key for default profile path to D:\Users as an example. I found that with the new 10 build 2004 it fails to boot when we modify that registry key. Funny enough all our machines out there that upgrade from previous builds of 10 work fine on 2004 but a fresh install fails upon changing that. I’m glad I never chose the lazy way of symlinks because build 1809 erased user data because people were doing that.

Does anybody have a suggestion of how to deal with small drives for apps and large drives for data? The end users just aren’t intelligent enough to understand how to store files in different drives so it must be automatic. Is there something I’m missing as to why the build 2004 broke it?

In windows 10 “Documents” is not an actual folder but a library. You can map those Libraries to any drive folder you want. We do it all the time and have never had any issues. We even create custom Libraries when needed. I personally have never run into the 1809 symlink issues in the wild.

I’m still on 1809, hoping this doesn’t break anything when I do go to the next version of LTSC (2004). But we also have roaming profiles for all this stuff, and I’m working on folder redirects to keep this type of thing from transferring locally. Still testing the redirect.

All that said, you should be able to make a group policy to redirect all those folder to a different area, either local or domain based GPO.

I just tested and changing the reg keys still works on 1903 then it will survive an update to 2004. Problem is that only helps with fresh installs but if somebody wants to upgrade storage to an existing install then I can’t do what has been working for 9 years. I know the library directories can be changed but that doesn’t help appdata which if somebody installs outlook can fill up a small ssd. GPO would work in an office environment but we do this for gamers, designers, or others that just want the speed of an ssd and large storage for their data. I can’t believe this would break in a new build. I don’t understand why microsoft would care about the workaround.

I still don’t like the fact that Office can be installed in user space and step around needing admin credentials to install, same with zoom.

That’s a separate problem with the design of the OS being flawed. Our solution of changing the reg keys made it so all future user accounts store to a larger space and all app data that can get quite large is in a good place. Users don’t understand how to manually manage data on various drives so this was a great solution I used for 9 years.