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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

Most Windows 8 users might not face this issue, but the smarties will surely have faced this issue. I too was one among them until a few days back, but I too have managed to upgrade my OS from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. This error appears, each time you try to download and upgrade from the Windows store. The download goes fine but when it enters the installation stage, the doomed message appears. Most users love to tweak their brand new laptops a little. This includes moving the Users folder to the D or E drive (the second partition). This is being done to save space for the OS partition, commonly known as the C partition or the C Drive. Some users even install programs (Games or bigger applications) on their secondary partition so as to save space. Either ways, this affects the upgrade to Windows 8.1 and you are all but lost.

After having gone through a lot of forums and sitting for days in front of my laptop to find an answer to this problem, I had the final laugh. I too had redirected all my Users folder and also had installed a game on the D drive of my laptop. At the time of installation I encountered this error message and tried reversing all the changes that I had made. That didn’t help. Before we get into all this, please note that my secondary partition was D but that need not be the case for all. The letters could change for different users. Please make a note of the letter on your secondary partitionThe steps that I followed are as follows:

  • On your PC or laptop, type in “regedit” (without quotes). This opens the regedit window. Go to HKLM/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows NT/CurrentVersion/ProfileList/ProfilesDirectory and change the value of it back to “%SystemDrive%\Users” (without quotes again). Close this window.
  • Go to control panel and click User Accounts. Click on “Manage Another Account”. In this windows, click on the option “Add a new user in PC Settings”.
  • This will take us to another window asking us to “Add an account”.
  • Click on it but please make sure to click on the bottom most option, “Sign in without a Microsoft Account (not recommended)”. It says not recommended but at this stage I feel it is better to go without one. Click on the option “Local Account”. Create a username of your choice with password and click Finish.
  • Once the account is created, go back to User Accounts in Control Panel and click “Manage Accounts”. Click the new account that was just created and click on “Change the Account type”. Change it to Administrator.
  • Sign out from the current user account.
  • Sign in with the newly created user.
  • The new account will created in C:\Users.
  • In the new account, type in “cmd” (without quotes) and right click on it and click “Run as Administrator”. We now need to make a Junction from the C: profile folders to the D: profile folders.This is done by running the command mklink /J C:\Users\Username D:\Users\Username
  • Once this is done, you are returned with a success status.
  • Open “regedit” again as described in the first step and go to HKLM/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows NT/CurrentVersion/ProfileList/S-1-5-xx-xxxxxxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxxx/ProfileImagePath. We need to change all the keys that point to D:\Users\Username to C:\Users\Username.
  • Once this is done, we need to check if we are able to log on to the old user account again.
  • Log out of the old user account and log in back to the newly created user account.
  • The steps above needs to be repeated for every account which has its profile folders on the D partition.
  • If there are any pending updates, install them and restart the laptop or PC. The restart makes sure that all the Users that are current logged in are logged out and also to make sure that no user on D partition is logged in.
  • After the restart log on to the new user account. Go to Windows Store, download and install the 8.1 update.
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Posted on January 23, 2014, in 64 Bit, Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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