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how to relocate system files using junctions in xp

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well i was bored one day and seeing as all i had on hand was a windows xp disk and microsoft virtual pc i decided that after seeing how well junctions worked in vista to try using them in windows xp to move system files around withought breaking anything. well i actually got it working.

this is meant to be informative information to people who are very familiar with command line and computer hardware. i am not responsable if you acidently fatfinger the keyboard and end up formating your harddrive. thats your fault not mine. expiriment at own risk

This is a tutorial on how to properly move system files from one drive\partition to another withought breaking windows. for intents and purposes i am using documents and settings as an example.

since i tested this in a virtual pc i needed to use the vhdmount to edit the drive but since most people will probibly use 2 computers the instructions will vary slightly from what i actually did

first step is to install the windows server 2003 resource kit tools from microsoft install it on a second computer which i will refer to as the toolbench


second step pull the harddrives oudt of the main computer and plug them into the toolbench pc if there is only one harddrive makesure the second partition has enough room for the documents settings folder as well as enough free space to allow expansion of the folder. now do two things to the drive. first copy documents and settings from the system drive\partition to the new data drive\partition. secondly find the program linkd.exe from the resource kit installed on the workbench pc and copy it to the main harddrive's windows\system32 folder

Now shutdown the workbench computer and move the drives back to the main computer.
boot the main computer normally. go to run and type [linkd "C:\DAS" "X:\Documents and settings"] where x is the drive letter of wherever you put the copy of documents and settings. if you did it properly there should be a folder on the root of c named DAS that will open the documents and settings folder when you click it. if it works shutdown the main computer.

move the drives back to the workbench pc take documents and settings on the system partition and rename it to DAS.BAK. than take the DAS folder you created with linkd and rename it Documents and Settings. move the drives back to the main computer and boot it normally. if you did this correctly even though there is still a documents and settings folder in the c drive all changes and data are being shunted to the datapartition through the junction point you made. if you didn't do it correctly windows will whine at you about creating temporary settings if it does this well thats why i told you to rename the origional and not delete it XD simply use the workbench to rename the folders back to what they were and try again untill it works

if you don't have a second computer you can boot to somthing like BartPE or maby recovery console if you can get it to work that way instead of moving the harddrives to another machine. just install the resource kit onto the main computer and copy linkd to system32

in theory this should even work with the windows folder provided the nesicary boot files are still there ill try that tomorow and reply with the result

Edited by mikeloeven, 13 April 2010 - 10:21 PM.

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