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I was trying to relocate my user profiles, so that they are not affected by any problems occuring in the drive on which the operating system is stored. I've managed to move user profiles using Robocopy and then used junction points:

Robocopy C:\Users\user1 E:\Directory\user1 /E /R:0 /DCOPY:T

mklink /J C:\Users\user1 E:\Directory\user1

If, for some reason, I had to reformat my C:\ drive, would that affect the junction points created? If so, what do you recommend I do?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Formatting a volume means its entire file system is created from zero. Files, directories, junctions, symlinks are equal in that they are file system objects, and they disappear the same way. If you format C:\, the C:\Users\user1 junction will have to be mklink'd again.

The target of the junction is not affected in any way – after all it's located on a different volume, E:\.

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Seeing as most programs would be looking for the profiles in C:\, is there a way I could redirect that to the E:\? I also noticed something odd. When I simply moved the folder, the junction gave me the "<Directory> refers to a location that is unavailable" error, but when I used Robocopy, I was able to access the folder. Why is that? – AJaM Jul 28 '11 at 13:14
@AJaM: You can redirect that... using junctions (or symlinks). mklink /d C:\Users E:\Directory, for example. – grawity Jul 28 '11 at 14:10

After re-installing the OS, follow these steps:

  1. Use the same username(s) & Drive letters
  2. Create the junction again: mklink /J C:\Users\user1 E:\Directory\user1
  3. Reboot
  4. Delete C:\Users
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Not wanting to have an attempt at that.. but there are programs that would automatically be looking for the profile in C:\. Would there be a way to work around that? – AJaM Jul 28 '11 at 13:38
Creating the junction again, should resolve any issue surrounding Programs looking for Application Data on your Profile. The mklink basically redirects a request for C:\Users\user1 to E:\Directory\user1. After creating the junction, test this by typing the environment variable %userprofile% into your start/run box and pressing enter. It should open the User profile on E:\Directory\user1. – tekNorah Sep 9 '11 at 20:13

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