Attempted To Create "Symbolic Link" and Now Windows Will Not Log In

I was needing to have my Users folder on my Hard Dive instead of my SSD where my Operating System is. However, after following the answer provided by @2mc56 on another Microsoft Community question, I was unable to log into my account in the Windows startup screen, having an error message saying "The User Profile Service service failed the sign-in; User profile cannot be loaded". I used the following steps to "attempt" to create a symbolic link for c:\Users to h:\Users:


  1. I created a folder in the C-drive "this_is_c" and another in the H-drive "this_is_h"
  2. I went to the command prompt located under the repair section of the Windows Installation Disk
  3. Started with entering "A:", I typed in each drive letter and then the command "dir" until I found the two folders that were created in step 1
  4. Once found, I then should have typed "xcopy /e /k /o /h /b f:\Users d:\Users" (My C-drive was F, my H-drive was D)
  5. I then should have typed in "rd /s f:\Users"
  6. Following I should have typed "mlink /d f:\Users d:\Users"
  7. Lastly I typed "exit", rebooted, and I am now where I am now stuck.

I did type in a couple extra commands, recently, listing out the directories, these follow:


Directory of d:\


03/17/2014 03:37 PM <DIR> this_is_h

03/17/2014 04:55 PM <DIR> Users


0 File(s) 0 bytes

2 Dir(s) 997,945,907,008 bytes free




Directory of D:\Users


03/1702014 04:55 PM <DIR> .

03/1702014 04:55 PM <DIR> ..

08/22/2013 06:45 AM <SYMLINKD> All Users [C:\ProgramData]

08/22/2013 06:45 AM <DIR> Default User

08/22/2013 06:45 AM <DIR> Jesse

08/22/2013 06:45 AM <DIR> Public


0 File(s) 0 bytes

6 Dir(s) 997,956,907,008 bytes free




Directory of f:\


03/14/2014 10:06 PM <DIR> .jagex_cache_32

03/15/2014 12:18 AM <DIR> Intel

03/15/2014 12:04 AM <DIR> MSI

03/15/2014 12:49 AM <DIR> NVIDIA

08/22/2013 07:22 AM <DIR> PerfLogs

03/15/2014 02:46 AM <DIR> Program Files

03/14/2014 08:14 PM <DIR> Program Files (x86)

03/17/2014 03:37 PM <DIR> this_is_c

03/17/2014 04:56 PM <SYMLINKD> Users [d:\Users]

03/15/2014 02:09 AM <DIR> Windows

03/14/2014 08:41 PM <DIR> Windows.old


0 File(s) 0 bytes

11 Dir(s) 81,118,056,448 bytes free





So to say, I am now stuck and in need of assistance to have this done properly so that I can use my Windows again. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you.


Edit:

I have one thought as to what may be wrong. Out of curiousity, I looked into the C:\, and there was no folder named ProgramData, only recovery.txt.

Hi Jesse,

By changing the default location of the user profile directories or program data folders to a volume other than the System volume, you will not be able to service your Windows installation. Any updates, fixes, or service packs will fail to be applied to the installation. Microsoft does not recommend that you change the location of the user profile directories or program data folders.

Follow these methods and check if it helps:

 

Method 1: You can try perform system restore from Windows Recovery mode and check if it helps.

 

a) Insert the installation DVD or USB and boot Windows 8 from it.
b) In the ‘Windows setup’ page, select the ‘language to install’, ‘Time and currency format’ and the ‘keyboard or input method’ and click on ‘next’.
c) Click on ‘Repair your computer’ and select ‘Troubleshoot’.
d) Click on ‘Advanced options’ and select ‘System Restore’ and select the operating system.

 

Method 2: Enable the Built-in Administrator Account from Windows Recovery mode.

Enable and Disable the Built-in Administrator Account

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825104.aspx

 

a) Insert the installation DVD or USB and boot Windows 8 from it.
b) In the ‘Windows setup’ page select the language to install’, ‘Time and currency format’ and the ‘keyboard or input method’ and click on ‘next’.
c) Click on ‘Repair your computer’ and select ‘Troubleshoot’.
d) Click on ‘Advanced options’ and select Command Prompt.

 

In the command prompt, type: net user administrator /active:yes

Restart computer, log on to build-in Administrator account and now you can try to fix problem depended from situation -fix your account or create new admin account.

 

Hope this helps. If you need further assistance with Windows, let us know and will be glad to help.

John Rubdy
Forum Moderator | Microsoft Community

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The System Restore failed and when I attempted to turn on the administrator account, nothing happened when I got to the log-in screen other than showing MY account. I even tried "Reset My PC" and that failed saying that a required partition is missing. What am I supposed to do, I can't even restore my Windows now, would a fresh installation of Windows fix this issue? I have already tried it, but it can't be written on the same drive again and I'm afraid to hit the delete option.

THE WHOLE reason I am wanting to have my users on a different drive in the first place is because my system drive is an SSD and I do not want to kill my drive. But having to restore my drive a hundred times isn't helping it either. Microsoft really needs to make this type of thing more easy to do as technology is advancing, or just not delete ProgramData when you are trying to create a symlink to the Users folder.

How can I link ALL of my users (and new users) files and folders to my H:\ Drive without deleting my ProgramData folder?

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I just did a fresh installation of Windows 8.1. I do still need to know how to make all of my user's files and appData on the H:\ drive so that I can prolong the lifespan of my SSD. Bad enough I had to reinstall windows twice already.

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Hi Jesse,

Thank you for the feedback. As I mentioned earlier moving entire User folder to another drive or partition will cause system stability. You can redirect 'Documents, Downloads, Music, Picture and Videos' to another drive which will save the disc space.

This will help the user is he is trying to save anything on the documents it will save on the new location.

Refer the steps mention below:

a. Open up the Explorer (Windows Key + E).
b. Expand Documents folder to see the folder Documents in the sidebar.
c. Right-click on the folder Documents and click on “Properties”.
d. Go to the tab “Location”.
e. Click on the button Move.
f. Navigate to the folder where you want to move your “My Documents” folder to.
g. After clicking on Select Folder in we’re back on the folder location screen. Eventually, to move the My Documents folder, click on Apply.
h. Confirm the prompt with yes if you are sure that you want to move the My Documents folder.

If you have any other questions or you need any other information about Windows, feel free to post your questions and we will be glad to help.

John Rubdy
Forum Moderator | Microsoft Community

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Do as John suggested (move just the Documents, etc.) and don't worry about "killing" your SSD, it will not happen in normal use.
Microsoft Community Contributor (MCC) 2011

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That's all good and what not. But Microsoft prevents doing that with AppData, which is my primary concern. Not to mention, that only affects one user account, I want to do this with ALL existing users and any future users that I may create. How can I do this for ALL of my existing users (and future users) and for all folders for each user, including AppData, which appears to be prevented from moving).

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Define "normal use".

SSDs have a limited number of writes. If I am playing games and it is updating game data located in AppData once every second, that is a lot of writes. I want this SSD to last as long as possible, so it would only make sense that by limiting the writes on it, the lifespan would be increased by that much.

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I went ahead and just reinstalled Windows 8.1 and followed the guide provided by Kari on EightForums.

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Last updated January 25, 2021 Views 1,162 Applies to: