Warning: Moving the user or programs folder can break Windows 8

Microsoft's solution? Don't move the user or programs folders

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Sometimes it's useful to move the default user profile or the program folder (for example, to save space on a small SSD and move the folders to a larger external drive), but you shouldn't do that if you're running Windows 8.

Microsoft Support notes the following symptoms you might see if you do:

  • Clicking the tile for a Windows Store App or the Windows Store will begin to launch the app but will return to the start screen. No error is displayed. 
  • Clicking the tile for the Windows Store will fail to open the store. the error "We weren't able to connect to the Store. This might have happened because of a server problem or the network connection timed out. Please wait a few minutes and try again. Clicking "try again"  may or may not succeed in connecting you to the Store.
  • Clicking the tile for the Windows Store will open the Store but attempting to purchase apps will return the error "Your purchase couldn't be completed"
  • The modern PC settings app will not open nor will any of the apps accessed from there.
  • The modern Windows Update will not open however the legacy Windows Update accessed via Control Panel will.

Even if you don't use any of the Metro (okay, "Modern") apps, not having access to the Windows Store could be a problem down the line. After all, that's how Microsoft distributed Windows 8.1.

It doesn't look like Microsoft is planning on fixing this issue, since they're saying the "resolution" is to not alter the defaul users directory or the ProgramData directory.

Finally, if you've moved your user folder or program files folder in Windows 7 or earlier, you might not be able to upgrade directly to Windows 8.1.

Sigh.

[via Toolbox.com]

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Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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