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I have both a HDD and a SSD in my computer and after installing Windows I moved things around a little to ensure that the OS is on the SSD but my user profile resides on the SSD (with a few exceptions). I used junction points heavily for that. Windows and most applications are fine with that and it works well.

Now I wonder whether I can in-place upgrade this to Windows 8 while retaining that exact setup or whether there is anything I can do to ease the upgrade process.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Original Post: I'm in a similar boat as you and went ahead and and tried to upgrade. The installer got pretty far into the process, failed and reverted back to windows 7. So, no harm done. I'll try to revert the junctions I've made and see if it helps.

Update : Steps to Ease Upgrade

  1. Junctions and symlinks will break the install process or will hamper Windows operation after update
  2. If you haven't kept a record of which drives have been junctioned / sym linked, use "dir /aL /s c:\" to find junction points from the command prompt. source: wikipedia
  3. Clear out your hard drive and rmdir to remove the junctions and place the files back in their original drives prior to upgrading

Personal Walkthrough

The install worked after I removed as many junctions as I remembered, including the main one from my User directory and moved it back to my SSD drive. However, the Windows Store, and Windows Update were not working as I had junctioned the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder, which was necessary to download programs and updates from MS. The install worked and the folder was updated (now located in E:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution), but the junction link was broken during the install process. Fixing the junction fixed the problem.

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I only linked a few programs (made Program Files\Something a junction each time) and my user home. So the latter one I should probably revert (it's just the most annoying one to revert ... yay :D) – Joey Oct 31 '12 at 7:34
I got it to work now. A word of caution to others: The user's home directory cannot be a junction, otherwise all the Modern UI Apps won't work. So I had to resort to junctioning everything in my home. Also removing a bunch of junctions from Program Files resulted in shortcuts in the Start menu breaking – those were silently removed during upgrade. – Joey Nov 6 '12 at 7:18

It's not known whether the setup is symlink aware, so things might break.

The safe path is to undo the symlinks and get everything to be on the root drive; the unsafe path is going ahead and trying to copy whatever it broke on your root drive to your other drive and making the symlinks again if they broke, or do nothing if it was aware of the symlinks.

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The root drive is a little small for my profile ;-) – but I guess I'll just move everything to the NAS, upgrade and then repair what was broken. – Joey Oct 27 '12 at 12:46
Well, the safe way would be to clone then. :D – Tom Wijsman Oct 27 '12 at 13:41
When cloning a drive with symlinks to another drive, will the clone retain the symlinks? – Edosoft Dec 1 '12 at 14:58
No idea, try to ask a new question for that. Or, just try it if you can... :) – Tom Wijsman Dec 1 '12 at 15:00

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