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Our current situation: X79 chipset. Windows 7 installed on SATA SSD running on Marvell controller. C:\Users contains just Public and computer-name folders, all the other users are created in E:\Users. That partition is on two HDD's running on an Intel RAID controller. (The motherboard has got two SATA/RAID onboard controllers.)

The goal is: Without reinstallation, I want to move SSD to a standard SATA controller. Then I want to get rid of RAID1, and move one HDD to the same internal Intel SATA controller and the current E:\Users move to that new place. I want it to stay as E:\users, but I need to reinstall the HDD to let it work in SATA mode without RAID.

So I face several problems. I am sure all are solvable with free software utilities, but I don't know how exactly to do it. I can see the particular problems:

  1. I have got all users at E:\Users. When I turn off that E:\ disk, I won't be able to login to Windows. I need at least one admin account to be placed back at C:\users.

  2. The current C: runs on standard 120 GB SSD, but it is connected to a Marvell SATA/RAID controller. I am affraid the Windows won't let me put it to Intel SATA controller due to hardware/licence check, and I won't be able to use standard W7 recovery disk either, because there probably isn't marvel SATA/RAID driver on it. I haven't tried anything yet, because I am affraid I can end up with computer not working at all. (I want to move it to a standard ICH10 Intel SATA controller to let us have no problems in future with it. I think it is not very safe when we use any nonstandard hardware to boot the computer.)

  3. I need to somehow backup current E:\ disk and restore it to a new E:. I hope this will be the easy part (as long as the admin account will reside on C:). The E: RAID array is very large, but it is almost empty (less than 100 GB of data.) So I can make the partition smaller so it can easily fit to a single SATA HDD.

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  1. Create new user with admin rights
  2. Logon to that account
  3. In HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList find your current admin account and chage ProfileImagePath to c:\users\youradmin and move his home folder to c:\users\
  4. Restart PC and logon as that current admin
  5. Now you can create new E: partition and move other accounts there
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Is it possible to "move" all files with all current flags and ACL? I mean other way than backup-restore partition. I mean does some command line utility copy everything with access rights, including possible existing file encryption? – Al Kepp Nov 14 '12 at 20:49
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Interestingly, it all went quite easily, quickly a smoothly. And no special software was needed.

  1. I simply set HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList to C:\users. Then I created a new admin user account, and then I set that registry key back to E:\Users.

  2. I opened IBM RAID manager in Windows 7, and deleted RAID partition.

  3. I turned off the computer, and swapped the SATA cables. (SSD to Intel SATA3 controller, HDD's to Marvell SATA3 controller.)

  4. I unplugged SATA cables from HDD's, turned on the computer, changed BIOS SATA mode from RAID to AHCI.

  5. I booted to Windows 7, plugged the SATA cables to HDD's. One of them appeared as E: and everything works fine. :-)

  6. I used diskpart command line utility to change unique ID of the other disk of the former RAID1 array. Then deleted and recreated NTFS partition on it.

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