How to Move Groove Data Files

imageI have recently bought an ASUS Eee PC 1000H as a secondary laptop.  I wanted to use Groove to keep a lot of my files synchronised between my two computers.  But rather than install Groove on my new Eee PC and have it synchronise the 5GB of data - I looked into if I could move the Groove data file directly to the new machine with a copy/paste command. 

I came across a entry on the Groove Team blog that talks about an unsupported way to achieve this on Windows Vista.  They linked to a summary of how to do this from a Groove partner blog entry: 

This approach is also useful if you want to change folders on your PC for where Groove stores the data.

I include the approach outlined by here as a reference:

Windows and the remaining space as a separate data partition, you’ll have a problem with the way Microsoft Office Groove 2007 stores it files. In the previous version (Groove 3.1), you could specify the data directory for Groove’s user and system files during installation. I always changed the location to a different location, because I didn’t want all my workspaces to be stored somewhere under C:\Program Files, so I would set it to something like D:\GrooveData. If I needed to reinstall my laptop later (something that happened a lot during the Vista beta timeframe), I could just format C: and still have my workspaces.

However in Microsoft Office Groove 2007, the location of the files has changed to the local (non-roaming) part of your user profile. Now I already don’t like large profiles, so adding another few gigabytes of Groove 2007 data doesn’t sound appealing to me… So since day 1 of installing Groove 2007 I have been looking for a good way to relocate back to something like D:\GrooveData. Here’s how you can do it:

Important note: you will need Windows Vista for this, because full support for symbolic links exists only in Windows Vista.

The Groove 2007 files are located at this location in your user profile in Vista: C:\Users\<username>\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Office\Groove
You will need to redirect this folder to another location using a symbolic link. Windows Vista supports creating symbolic links from the commandline, using the mklink command. First however, you will need to move your Groove files to the new location; follow this procedure to do that:

  1. Shutdown Groove! I can’t stress this point enough: don’t try the move the files while Groove is still running because it will corrupt the files and you will lose access to your workspaces. It happened to me and it’s quite frustrating. Exit the Groove application and open Task Manager. GROOVE.EXE should not be in the list; if it still is then kill it by clicking ‘End Process’. If you see GrooveMonitor.exe in the list, end that process as well.
  2. Create a new folder on the disk you want the files to move to. I created a folder called GrooveData on my D: drive
  3. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Users\<username>\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Office\Groove
  4. Select the ‘System’ and ‘User’ folder and move them to the directory on the other disk that you created in step 2.
  5. After the files have moved, delete the C:\Users\<username>\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Office\Groove folder.

Now, open a commandprompt and enter the command:

Mklink /D C:\Users\<username>\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Office\Groove D:\GrooveData

Replace <username> with your own username and replace D:\GrooveData with the location you use in step 2. Now in Windows Explorer, you should see a Groove folder again under C:\Users\<username>\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Office. This time however, the folder has a shortcut icon on it, to show it is a redirected folder. The resulting folder should look like the screenshot. You should also see the Groove files again that you moved to the location from step 2.

There’s one caveat: Windows will not apply the parent NTFS permissions to the files and folders that are behind the symbolic link; those files and folders will inherit the permissions from their own parent, which is D:\ in my case. So make sure you explicitly give yourself (or the local ‘Users’ group) full control on D:\GrooveData folder, otherwise Windows User Account Control might prevent you from modifying the contents and Groove 2007 will have a problem with the files.

Now you can start up Groove 2007 again, and it will happily use the files from the redirected location!