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Setup User Account on a separate drive then Vista


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Vista has changed a lot in the way the registry works per user account on Windows. To move a whole entire existing account to another drive requires several registry edits and I mean a lot, not like XP was. It's easy to make a mistake moving an entire existing user account on Vista. To make an entire new account on a separate drive then Vista requires only one reg edit. Yes that's correct, just one.



To do this here is a guide. Of course with any regeiting you want to back up your files prior to making change.



Open regedit by clicking the start button and type "regedit" (without the quotes) into run and click ok.



When regedit is open navigate to



HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList and select that folder.


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On the right side you will see %SystemDrive%\Users


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Double click that entry and edit it to the drive you want the new User account on. Example would be D:\Users



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Close regedit.



Open the drive you set the User account to and make a new folder called "Users". Not sure if you have to do this, but I don't want to give Vista a chance to goof this.



Go to Control Panel, then to User Accounts and create a new account. You can either log off or reboot the system. The new user account will be available at this point. Simply log into that account and let Vista do the rest. The entire User account will now be on the drive you set it to.



There are several benefits to having your user account on a separate drive then Vista.



Less data on the OS drive to help the system run faster.



Less fragmentation to the OS drive.



You don't have to edit the properties of each User sub folder, such as Documents, Pictures, Music, etc... to another drive for those of you who do this and those that should (when you have another drive to do this).



This also moves all your temp file settings for the user to that drive, including Internet Explorer cache files. I personally noticed faster web surffing with this.



This also saves all your user file data in case of a OS drive crash, including Windows Mail email files.



I also personally found doing this to a fresh formatted drive made access to the user account faster. Also if you plan to set the user account private it needs to be on a NTFS formatted drive.



At this point you can still log into your old account, move files over your new account if you want to, then delete the old account to makes space on Vista drive.



Hope you find this helpful and Enjoy.

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Also want to point out. Done correctly (this isn't hard to do) it does not effect your current user account. It only effects accounts created after the regedit. You can log into old account with no issues. So in other words this is something fun you can try without worry of losing your current account. Give it a try and see what you think.

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