I have looked and looked and either I'm not using the correct search terms or this information is just not out there, so I come to you asking for help...

My client's hard disk is bad, so I have replaced it. I installed Windows 7 (she had Vista) and all is good so far.

But, now I want to move her entire User Profile (bad disk:\Users\Name) to the new disk. Is there any way to do this?

My thought is to:

  1. Create a new User with the same name
  2. Log in and immediately log out.
  3. Log in as Admin and delete the User profile folder
  4. Copy the User profile from dying disk to new C:

Is that enough? Will that work? Is there something else I must do?

Frankly, I'm surprised that this is less-than-obvious. I work with Apple as well, and there's a very simple procedure to copy Users (all or individually) from an external disk into the current OS installation. I do it all the time, it takes about 5 minutes and it's done.

The only things I've found to transfer User profiles in Windows involve two working Windows computers, which is kinda useless in many situations.

Any thoughts are welcome and appreciated!

  • Why do you want to do this ? It will copy application data and other folders that you may not need. – ilansch Feb 20 '13 at 8:08
  • I want to do this because the client wants her data back, which seems like a reasonable request to me. – Zonker.in.Geneva Feb 20 '13 at 13:14
  • Just grab the folder then claim ownership of the folder. – Ramhound Feb 21 '13 at 16:44

If the old drive is still bootable, you can use Windows Easy Transfer - you'll find it in the Start menu.

  • That's precisely the problem. It's not bootable. – Zonker.in.Geneva Feb 20 '13 at 13:13

I did what I outlined above and - much to my pleasant surprise - it worked! The only thing I did differently from above was, I didn't delete the folder in the Users directory (in this case "Lilia"), rather I deleted the folders contained within. Then, from the dying disk, I copied the folders from the Lilia directory to C:\Users\Lilia.

It seems to have worked like a charm!


yes, it (the four points you described) will work, but don't do it.

You will copy a lot of s**t, like application settings (for apps you don't actually have or with different versions), tons of cache and temporary files etc...

Plug the old disk as secondary drive and copy only folders you actually need (usually desktop and my documents)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.