How to Upgrade to Windows 8.1 With User Profiles on Different Drive

Some of you may own SSD’s and set those bad boys up as your OS/Primary drive, but of course right now they are far too small for storing all your music/videos/documents that hang around inside your user profile so you may have moved your profile to the D: drive or something.

All is good with the world until you try to upgrade and you get the following error:

“Sorry, it looks like this PC can’t run Windows 8.1. This might be because the Users or Program Files folder is being redirected to another partition.”

I searched the web and found lots of people who gave up and wiped/reinstalled Windows 8 then did an upgrade of a fresh system but I found a way that worked for me.

Step 1: Backup registry keys.

Export the contents of HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList to somewhere outside the user profile (C:\Temp) for example so you can get at them with a different account.

Step 2: Edit the values you changed in the above key to redirect your profiles, for example Default is normally C:\Users\Default but you may have that set as D:\Users\Default, so put it back. ProfilesDirectory is another value you may have changed to a different volume, so put that back. Everything there should be pointing to C: when you are done. You will likely need to copy D:\Users\Default back to C:\Users\Default when you are done if you moved the Default users profile.

Step 3: Go through the user profiles under the ProfileList key and look for any profiles that are located on a drive other than C: You will see this in the ProfileImagePath value, and it might say D:\Users\soandso. You want to export these profile keys separately, and then delete them. Make sure all the profiles with a location that’s not C: are gone.

Step 4: Create a new local admin account, but don’t log in to it yet.

Step 5: Reboot the computer, log in as the local admin you just created.

Step 6: Kick off the Windows 8.1 Upgrade and let it do its thing.

Step 7: After the upgrade is done, edit the folder locations you edited in Step 2 to put them back the way they were. If you forget what they were, refer to the reg file you exported. If you had to copy the default user profile back to C: from D: in a previous step, you will again need to put it back to D:\Users\Default from C:\Users\Default.

Step 8: Restore the profile registry entries you deleted in Step 3.

Step 9: Reboot, log back in as your regular account.

Step 10: Delete the temporary admin account you created.

Step 11: Enjoy Windows 8.1!

Lumia 920 = Sweet

I did end up trading up from an iPhone to a Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8 and I am extremely happy with my choice. I am not a fanboy for any particular device, operating system or manufacturer, so I move around devices based on whats out, whats good and what does what I need and the Lumia is great for me.

I am not 100% satisfied, but none of the things that bother me are show stoppers.

1. Music synchronization and synchronization in general. The Sync app that comes with Windows 8 (the desktop OS) is beta, and the way it behaves reminds you of that constantly. Although it lets you synchronize through a multitude of applications, even iTunes if you are an iPhone immigrant, but it will likely crash on you alot and frustrate you. I ended up abandoning iTunes syncing through the WP8 app and switched to Windows Media Player as it doesn’t crash as much and lets me sync all my music while I find a better alternative.

2. The weight. I knew it was a heavy phone before I bought it, but I wasn’t prepared for how heavy it really was going to be. I can live with it, but I’m not sure why its as heavy as it is.

3. Battery life. Terrible. I have a long commute each day (1.5 hours to work each way on the train) and watch alot of movies and tv shows, and by the end of the day my battery is dead or dying. I turned on battery saver, and it helps a bit, but generally I find if battery saver kicks in its already too late and youre going to run out of juice.

4. Lack of apps. Getting better, and not a show stopper, but clearly there are not as many apps available for WP8. My bank doesn’t have an app yet which stinks as I do alot of mobile banking. The number of apps available at launch was decent for a brand new OS.

5. Slippery case. The phone is already quite big, and I had to purchase a case which makes it even bigger because the case (I have the all black version) is slow slippery I felt like the thing would fly out of my hands when I took it from my pocket.

Those are really my main beefs, which is not bad all things considered. There are lots of things to like about the phone: the big, beautiful screen, create camera, the speed and usability of the Windows Phone 8 OS.

Overall, I am delighted with my choice!

Lumia 920 Coming Soon…

Looking forward to replacing my iPhone 4 with the new Lumia 920. I am excited about the bigger screen and nice camera, as well as the Windows 8 Phone interface. It’s a bit heavier than I would have liked, but beggars can’t be choosers I suppose.

The iPhone 4 has been a great phone for me, its the first Apple product I’ve ever owned and I thought I never would own one of their products, but I felt the need for a change.

There are alot of great new phones to compete with the iPhone 5 either out now or out soon, it will be an exciting time for consumers!

PowerShell Earns its Name…

I have been trying to improve my scripting capabilities in the hopes of reducing some of my workload supporting various systems, and determined learning powershell would be the best way to go versus refreshing my knowledge of batch scripts or vbscript.

I picked up a great book called Learn Windows Powershell in a Month of Lunches and it is the perfect book for a beginner like myself. I had originall picked up a copy of O’Reilly’s Windows Powershell Cookbook but I found it was not appropriate for someone learning the language, but I can see it will be extremely useful once I know what I am doing!

One of my first real life goals to accomplish was to find an easy way to search for SSL certificates that were due to expire on servers. I found some information online, including some incredibly long vbscripts and even some long powershell scripts. I find that powershell’s strength is its object oriented nature, and that you can pipe objects from one cmdlet to another without having to add alot of programming logic to your script.

I ended up tweaking some code I found online and came up with a single line to output all the SSL certificates I installed on a server that are set to expire in the next 30 days. It seems weird calling a single line script code, but ah well what are you gonna do?

dir cert:\LocalMachine\My -rec | Select-Object | Where-Object {$_.NotAfter -lt (get-date).AddDays(30)}

I was very pleased with the result! I would probably need to some more coding to set this thing to email me the server name and the certificate info if its going to expire, but its a great start!

Still a long way to go…

So I built a new system over the holidays, Core i5-2500K, 4 cores, 16 Gigs of RAM, solid state drive for the operating system volume, GTX 570 and I think I’m on top of the world with a system that is fast enough to solve all the worlds problems….BUT….then I go to convert some AVI files to MP4 for my iPhone or that piece of crap Ideapad and I realize that computers still have a long way to go!!!! It still takes forever and a day to do video and audio encoding….trying to convert 14 movies and I’m at almost 2 hours in and about half done!

Not enjoying the Ideapad…

I do NOT like the Lenovo Ideapad X1 at all! The network reception is terrible, the keyboard responsiveness is sluggish and I feel like am using a toy. I guess that was why they were selling them so cheap at Christmas…

Starting a blog and playing Skyrim = disaster

It seems to be impossible to do both, but Skyrim is an incredible game, you can get lost in it for hours at a time. I had a quest to go to some dungeon to kill somebody and grab something or other, but 4 hours later I realize I was distracted by a million other points of interest along the way and forgot why I was going to that dungeon in the first place!

Splashtop Remote Desktop

Splashtop Remote Desktop is a fantastic application I am using on my iPhone for remote access to computers. It has great multimedia streaming capabilities, multiple-monitor support, and is crazy easy to set up. The app cost me $0.99 on iTunes for my iPhone.

FOG Project

Playing around with FOG at home and very impressed with what it can do. It’s a very nice and easy way to upload and download images. The software is really to set up (you can get a functional FOG server up from scratch in just a few minutes) and easy to maintain. I really like the PXE boot to an antivirus scanner feature, that could be very useful for remotely dealing with some nasty Windows viruses.

Testing New Site

Having some fun testing the new site…I wonder what this looks like on a phone…