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I want to take two 250 GB SSDs and mirror them at C:\Users\ but the folder has to be empty according to the Disk Management Mirroring dialog (shown below)

Disk Management Mirroring trying to mount at "c:\users" and saying "Mount in the following empty NTFS folder:"

So, if I click the "Next" button, an error message appears "The folder you specified is not empty. A volume can be mounted only at an empty folder.":

Picture of Error message: "The folder you specified is not empty. A volume can be mounted only at an empty folder.

This is a special system folder, but that's where all of the most important data is, which is why I want a mirrored set of drives located there. There must be some set of steps to do this...

Note 1: I am currently (in the screen shot) using some spare drives just lying around as a proof of concept before purchasing the SSDs.

Note 2: The mirror is being created between the 48.29 GB Unallocated space on Disk 1 and the 48.19 GB Unallocated space on Disk 2.

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2 Answers 2

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User folders are very secured folders which (I think) is why you cannot mirror it. Use a syncing program to sync the content you need to another folder in the other drive. That will work for you.

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  • @Ramhound haha, well anyone can find a few just using google.
    – Natsu Kage
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 17:28
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[I will wait a bit, to see if anyone comes up with a real solution for mirroring the whole user folder without having to go through all of the trouble this solution requires. I really do want to accept somebody else's answer!]

After some more research, I have now come to believe that you cannot mirror the whole user folder, but you can effectively do the same thing by changing the location of each of the special subfolders to be on the mirrored drive.

What I show from here on is only for the Documents folder.  Here are the steps:

  1. Create a Mirrored Drive (I used M for "Mirrored" drive).
  2. Go to the Documents folder, and right-click => Properties
  3. Select the Location Tab
  4. Choose Move and put the location of the Documents folder on the Mirrored drive. My Documents folder was moved from C:\Users\JoeUser\Documents to M:\Users\JoeUser\Documents Then point everyone who expects it to be on C: to go to M: with a symbolic link: (Using a command window (cmd.exe) run As Administrator...) MkLink.exe   /D   C:\Users\JoeUser\Documents M:\Users\JoeUser\Documents Creating a shortcut in any of the standard ways should also work.
  5. Any hardcoded paths starting with the original Documents folder will be broken and will have to be changed. If you set up the machine this way to start with, then this step should not have to be done, but each setup will either automatically find the Documents folder or be pointed there as part of the setup.

What follows is a more detailed set of steps with screenshots for those who want more detail:

  1. Free up some space on two different physical disks to create a mirrored disk. A. in Disk Management, Had to right-click-"Shrink Volume..." on Disk 1 to match the 48 GB of unallocated space on Disk 2.
  2. Create the Mirrored drive A. in Disk Management, right-click on the Unallocated 48.29 GB of disk 1, choose "New Mirrored Volume..." and click Next through the intro screen

New mirrored dialog, first screen, showing drive-choosing

Select "Disk 2" and click "Add>" Click "Next>"

Disk 1 and Disk 2 Selected, about to click Next button

On next screen, choose "Assign the following drive letter:" option, and figure out what drive letter you want to use. I used "M" which for me stands for "Mirrored Drive". Click "Next>" button.

Assign drive letter or path screen

I used the NTFS file system, chose the default allocation size, made the label "Mirrored" and checked "Perform a quick format", then clicked "Next>" and then the "Finish" button to complete setting up the mirrored drive.

Format screen

The mirrored drive clearly shows in Disk Management (maroon color).

Disk Management shown with newly-created Mirror

Find the Documents folder and right-click-"Properties". Then select the "Location" tab.

Documents folder properties, Location tab selected, showing "C:\Users\JoeUser\Documents".

Change the "C:" C-drive designation to "M:" m-drive (the mirror). Click "OK"

"C:" changed to "M:"

Click "Yes" to create the full new path.

Dialog asking to create "M:\Users\JoeUser\Documents"

Click "Yes" to move all the documents files over to the mirror.

Move files dialog.

Wait for files to copy from the C: drive to the Mirror M: drive. If your documents folder is big, this could take a while.

File copy progress dialog.

And now for an important detail, the symbolic link (or shortcut) from C: to M: leaving others a pointer to where the files really are: In a command window having Administrator rights, run this command: MkLink /D C:\Users\JoeUser\Documents M:\Users\JoeUser\Documents

What should be the results of the command, "symbolic link created for C:\Users\JoeUser\Documents <<===>> M:\Users\JoeUser\Documents"

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  • This really is the only solution to your question. However, any corruption with the mirrored location will result in your inability to load your user profiles. Due to the special folders being in a different location, you might run into problems, installing feature updates.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 23:17
  • Note that Windows 10 has not designed to have the user profiles mounted on a different disk/partition. Therefore you may run into serious problems when the next Windows 10 feature upgrade have to be installed on your system. It may be the case that you have to undo everything for the feature upgrade and then perform the set-up steps again.
    – Robert
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 12:29
  • @Robert -- But if the mirror is mounted at "C:\Users" then would it not be transparent to the O.S.? To me, it should load the mirror driver early in the boot process -- does anybody know when it loads? To me, the problem was getting the mirror created at "C:\Users" when the folder has to be empty to create the mirror there. So what is the true nature of the problem -- I am assuming that the true nature of the problem is hardcoded paths everywhere, even in Microsoft's stuff. Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 15:23
  • @MicroservicesOnDDD You don't know if while the upgrades in the boot process are performed the partitions are already mounted. As I said this is a non-standard environment just be aware that you may run into problems when applying the next feature upgrade.
    – Robert
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 15:34

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