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How To Fix The Error You Cannot Move Or Rename The Documents And Settings Folder?

Documents and Settings is a Windows system folder and is required for Windows to run properly. It cannot be moved or renamed.

The error message given in the above box is the famous error message you get when you try to move or rename the Documents and Settings folder in Windows XP Operating System. So you will get irritated as soon as you receive the error message. You can follow the following steps to specify a different folder for the Documents and Settings folder during installation.
1. First, run winnt.exe or winnt32.exe using the /unattend option and then insert the following command in the unattend.txt file. Here where z:\foldername is the path and folder name you want:
[GuiUNattended]
ProfilesDir = z:\foldername

2. Now, install Windows. The path you entered in the unattend.txt file will be in use instead of the default folder of Documents and Settings.


Important Note:
In the following section, we have provided the information for informational purpose only because Microsoft doesn’t make any guarantee that this configuration functions properly.
Important Warning;
Microsoft strictly recommends against renaming any system folder. Catastrophic system failure or an unstable computer can result from renaming system folders. If you are going to follow any of the following procedures, ensure that you have backup the system data.

How to move only user-specific data
The steps in the section given contain the steps to modify the registry. If you modify the registry incorrectly, serious problems will occur. So that, you should ensure that you follow the steps carefully. For more secured and added protection, backup your registry before you modify it. Therefore, it will become easier to restore the registry if any problem will occur.
First, you should remember this method would not relocate any Key Windows Components. Therefore, you can use the following method if you want to move user specific data.

If you want to specify a folder other than the Documents and Settings folder for a particular user’s data, you can follow the following steps.

First, you have to identify the user’s profile path. You can easily identify profile path either by using user security ID (SID) or by user path settings. The user SID method is preferred.
How to identify the user's profile path by the user SID
1. You can use this getsid tool from the Windows Server Resource Kit in order to obtain the SID. In the Command Prompt you can use the following syntax.
getsid \\ComputerName UserName \\ComputerName UserName
For an example:
getsid \\windowsxp joedoe \\windowsxp joedoe
The results will be like this:
= The SID for account WINDOWSXP\joedoe is S-1-5-21-1708537768-1993962763-1957994488-1003
a. Once you obtain the user SID, you can start Registry Editor use “regedit.exe” or “regedit32.exe” then select the user SID under the following registry key.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
How to identify the profile path by the user's path settings
b. First, you should log on to the Computer as the user, and then type set at a Command Prompt. Then note the setting for UserProfile and then quit the Command Prompt.
c. Then log on to the Computer using the administrator account.
d. Now, use Registry Editor in order to add the UserProfile setting to the following registry key.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
e. Now, click the Registry key and click Find from the Edit menu.
f. Then in the Find box, type the value of the UserProfile setting and click on “Find Next”.
2. In the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList registry key, change the ProfileImagePath value in order to reflect the new path that you want to use, and quit Registry Editor.
3. Now, log on to the computer as the user, type set at a command prompt and verify that the path has changed.

How to move the entire folder
NOTE: This method does relocate key Windows components. Use this method only if you require the Documents and Settings folder to be moved or renamed and you cannot use the Unattend.txt file to change the name during installation.
Important Note:
The method given here will relocate the Key Windows Components. Microsoft recommends this step only if you require moving the Documents and Setting Folder or renamed. At the same time, you can’t use the unattend.txt file in order to change the name during installation.

If you want to specify a different folder for the entire Documents and Settings folder, including key system components, you can follow these following steps:
1. First, log on to the Computer as an administrator and create a new folder.
2. In the current Documents and Settings folder, enable the View Tab in the Folder Option from the Tools menu.
3. Now, under Advanced Settings, check the “Show hidden files and folders” and then uncheck the “Hide extensions for known file types” and “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) check boxes.
4. Now, click on Ok.
5. Then click and drag all of the folders in the Documents and Settings folder in order copy them to the new folder, except for the folder for the currently logged-on administrator.
6. Now, log off and then log back using a different administrator account.
7. Now, open the Documents and Settings folder again and then copy the profile of the administrator that you just logged off from a new folder. This step is used, as you can’t move the profile of the account that is currently logged on.
8. Now, log off the computer again then log on to the computer as an administrator.
9. Then start the Registry Editor then click Find on the Edit menu.
10. Now, type the Documents and Settings and click Find Next.
11. You have to replace the value of data or rename the value or registry for every instance of the original path.
12. You should completely do this process in the registry for every instance of the original path; otherwise, your computer will not start.
13. Now, restart the computer.
14. That’s it. You can now safely remove the original Documents and Settings folder.
APPLIES TO
• Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
• Microsoft Windows XP Professional

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