Everyone wants to keep their program files/(x86) and user profiles off their OS drive but let's face it, with windows 7 it is just downright hard! I came up with a scheme to do this on a fresh and install of Windows 7 WITHOUT EDITING THE REGISTRY.
For a current version of Windows without any directory modifications you will need to make a backup of your hard drive with a backup program, follow the instructions below and then do a restore.
What you will need:
At least 2 hard drives. One partitioned for an install (SSD) and another with 3 partitions for the directories: Users, Program Files and Program Files (x86).
The steps are as follows.
1. Install Windows all the way up to the point when they ask you to put in your username and computer name. You will now press CTRL + SHIFT + F3. This will take you to Audit Mode. Do not choose OOBE until I tell you to. Stay in Audit Mode. If you accidentally exit audit mode you can re-enter as long as you do not put in a username and computer name for the clean install.
2. Go to Manage by right clicking on computer within file explorer and open up disk management.
3. No find the drive that you will use for the 3 directories. Right click on one of the partitions and click on "Change drive letters and path", then click add and mount in the following Empty NTFS folder.
4. Navigate to your C: drive and create the folder "NewUser" for your user directory.
5. Now go and do this for the other 2 partitions. Directory Names "NewPrograms" "NewPrograms86"
6. Verify those three folders are now on your c: drive.
7. Close Computer Management
8. Open explorer to the C: drive and change the owner to Administrator and change the permissions to user=full control on the three directories we are going to copy: Users, Program Files and Program Files (x86).
9. Run this command to copy the directories:
A. xcopy /s /h /c c:\users\*.* c:\NewUsers\*.*
B. xcopy /s /h /c "c:\Program Files\*.*" c:\NewPrograms\*.*
C. xcopy /s /h /c "c:\Program Files (x86)\*.*" c:\NewPrograms86\*.*
10. Now you are going to reboot and boot to the DVD drive, like you were doing a new install of windows and go to the repair screen then to the command prompt.
11. Now you will rename some folders:
A. rename users us
B. rename "Program Files" pf
C. rename "Program Files (x86)" pf86
D. rename Newusers Users
E. rename NewPrograms "Program Files"
F. rename NewPrograms86 "Program Files (x86)"
12. Now we will delete some stuff:
A. rd /s us
B. rd /s pf
C. rd /s pf86
13. Reboot back to the Audit Mode and make sure the old directories are gone and the new ones are in place.
14. Reboot to OOBE and continue your install.
15. Change the security settings back to normal on your new folders.
I hope all of you enjoy this. Joseph.