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It seems that Microsoft recommends to not move the C:\Users directory off the system partition (e.g. using junction points)1 at least as of Windows 8.1. At the same time however most cloud services place their local caches or even all data being synchronized in the %APPDATA% or %HOMEPATH% directories.

Thus when restoring the system drive from an image, and old state of the synchronized data will be restored and might overwrite the data wanted to be in the cloud or at least you may end up with duplicate data or data that is meant to be deleted being restored. A related issue but specific to Dropbox was discussed in Which way can I avoid Dropbox syncing older files when restoring a CloneZilla image? The solution there is to boot into safemode after restoring an image and delete the Dropbox directory.

As of Windows 8 this isn't viable anymore, since you need to boot normally before you can boot into safe mode. Currently the best bet probably is to make sure the device cannot connect to the internet before fixing the cloud services.

These days however I find an increasing amount of software on my notebook to synchronize with the cloud. Thus the chance of messing up one of the programs' cloud data seems pretty high. After all not all programs can be relied on to behave as wanted when deleting the local caches.

The only solution I can think of is to move all the cloud related directories in %HOMEPATH% away from the system drive, but that approach too is likely to be error prone ("missing a directory"). The possibility of relevant data being distributed across any number of different directories in %HOMEPATH% or those directories changing with a new version of the software doesn't help the cause either.

Are there any reliable solutions to this?


1 http://www.zdnet.com/dont-move-your-windows-user-profiles-folder-to-another-drive-7000022142/

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