Question How to make Windows 10 think two drives are the same?

Aug 14, 2019
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Hello.

I'm having trouble cloning a drive to SSD and getting windows to recognise it as the same drive.

My system started out with Windows 7 Pro, where the OS was on the SSD C: Drive, but the user profiles were on the E: HDD named Programs. I upgraded to Windows 10 about two years ago and with Windows 10, I am unable to move the User Profiles.

The current E: drive is a 2TB HDD, and after moving some files and programs, 380 GB is in use. I recently bought a 1TB SSD and used the free version of Macrium Reflect to clone the HDD to the SSD, via a USB adaptor. However, on powering down and switching the HDD for the new SSD, Windows does not recognise the drive as being the same and so will not allow a login because it can not find the user profiles.

Having done something similar with the C: drive last year, I thought that this would work for a non-OS drive as well. Unfortunately, a couple of hours of Google searches is only bringing up help for cloning a C: drive.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 
Aug 14, 2019
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Update:
No replies, so I had to assume that this is an unusual situation. Posting here in case this helps someone else, but I'm also not quite there yet.
Today I tried a different approach. I made a bootable USB drive for Macrium Reflect and loaded it up. Then I made an image of the E: drive with the user profiles on it. Powered off, then replaced that drive with the new SSD. Loaded up from the USB drive again and and restored the image to the SSD. Rebooted and it works - Windows now recognises the new SSD as drive E: along with the user profiles.

The next problem now is that I want to use the old drive as a storage drive, but when I plug that drive in to a different SATA port, Windows kicks off the SSD and loads from the original drive again. The way that the drive is screwed into the case is going to make it difficult to remove, but the only thing I can think of now is to remove it, put it into another pc, reformat and then try again. Does anyone have any easier solutions?
 
Aug 16, 2019
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Hello.

I'm having trouble cloning a drive to SSD and getting windows to recognise it as the same drive.

My system started out with Windows 7 Pro, where the OS was on the SSD C: Drive, but the user profiles were on the E: HDD named Programs. I upgraded to Windows 10 about two years ago and with Windows 10, I am unable to move the User Profiles.

The current E: drive is a 2TB HDD, and after moving some files and programs, 380 GB is in use. I recently bought a 1TB SSD and used the free version of Macrium Reflect to clone the HDD to the SSD, via a USB adaptor. However, on powering down and switching the HDD for the new SSD, Windows does not recognise the drive as being the same and so will not allow a login because it can not find the user profiles.

Having done something similar with the C: drive last year, I thought that this would work for a non-OS drive as well. Unfortunately, a couple of hours of Google searches is only bringing up help for cloning a C: drive.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
i don't know if it's the exactly same problem i had or if i'll be of any help in fixing it, assuming you're just trying to clone your old HDD to a new SSD and make that your boot drive, in your BIOS you'll want to select your boot drive as something along the lines of "USB Harddrive" selecting the name of the SSD in the boot menu for some reason doesn't always work, hope that helped?
 
Aug 14, 2019
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Thank you for your reply - much appreciated. Unfortunately, it's not the OS drive that I'm trying to copy.

I finally caved, removed the graphics card, removed the screws holding the drive chassis in place and then put the drive in another pc and reformatted it. That seemed to do the trick apart from one program - the Oculus Rift software created a new programs folder on the drive when I added it back. I deleted the new folder, and then had to direct Oculus back to the correct folder.
Everything seems to be working now, but just to be safe, I'm going keep the drive image file around for a while.
 

ex_bubblehead

Champion
Moderator
You do realize that if you move the entire "Users" tree off of the system drive you will be unable to install any Windows updates or patches, right? This is in addition to all the other problems you will encounter when things aren't where they're supposed to be (as you have already found out). Leave the "Users" directory alone and redirect only those folders that can be safely redirected (Documents, Downloads, Favorites, Links, Music, Pictures, Saved Games, Searches, & Videos)
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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In reading the above, you need to start over completely. Yes, major heartache.
But you started from a bad config, and then any 'fix' after that just made it worse.

WIndows and current applications make it easy to utilize multiple drives. But when you go off the reservation and move the entire /Users/ among other things...tears result.
 
Aug 14, 2019
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You do realize that if you move the entire "Users" tree off of the system drive you will be unable to install any Windows updates or patches, right? This is in addition to all the other problems you will encounter when things aren't where they're supposed to be (as you have already found out). Leave the "Users" directory alone and redirect only those folders that can be safely redirected (Documents, Downloads, Favorites, Links, Music, Pictures, Saved Games, Searches, & Videos)
In terms of doing that with Windows 10, yes it definitely causes problems and I wouldn't attempt this or recommend it to anyone running Windows 10 as all of the methods for doing this involve altering the registry and as you say, affect the ability to update windows. In this case though, I did this 4 years ago with Windows 7 before the update to Windows 10 and it hasn't affected Windows updates in any way over the past two years.

Right now, I'm still checking that everything is running as it should - testing other user accounts, checking all programs are working correctly and so far I haven't encountered any problems.

That said, the hassle of replacing the drive would make me say that you should always keep the user profiles with Windows.
 

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