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Windows 7: Weird reference/link created after drag/move into My Library


06 Jan 2011   #1

Windows7 Professional 64-Bit
 
 
Weird reference/link created after drag/move into My Library

While moving photos around within folders accessed via My Library, windows 7 seems to be creating linked duplicate copies of the photos: the original file that should have been moved is left behind but mysteriously links to the new location. Deleting one deletes both. Refreshing the folder view with F5 doesn't make a difference.

This is not what I expected and is very weird, and seems like a bug to me because as a result of it I've deleted some photos I didn't want to delete. Has anyone else experienced this and able to explain it?

I have my "Pictures" library set up with two source folders, each with several layers of sub-folders. I'm arranging a large set of holiday photos into sub-folders by dragging photos from the source folder into a sub-folder. However, even after hitting F5 (refresh), the source folder still appears to contain the photos I moved. The sub-folder also appears to contain a copy (note: when dragging windows' tooltip said "move", not "copy"). Right-clicking and hitting "Open file location" on each of the two duplicate copies takes me to the same physical disk location: that of the sub-folder I mentioned.

So instead of moving, windows has turned the original into a reference of some sort (a "junction" maybe?). It appears as an ordinary file, not a shortcut.

When doing all the same things directly to the hard drive, instead of doing via My Library, everything works as you'd expect, and I don't see the magic-reference files that appear as a duplicate in My Library.


This appears to be something peculiar to Libraries in Win 7, but I can't replicate the problem with test files, only with this large set of photos. Does anyone understand this behaviour?


I'm very familiar with windows, but new to Win 7, so I know the difference between move and copy etc.
Specs: Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit, 2GB ram, plenty of free space on HDD.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Jan 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Hi Malcolm, welcome to the Seven Forums.

Please do not take this wrong but could it be that you have slightly misunderstood what Windows 7 libraries are?

A library (as in Windows 7) is nothing but a link, shortcut to your documents, image, video and so on folders. For library system to work as it is planned, Windows shows all files included in libraries in two places: in the library as a shortcut, and in the real, physical location.

An example. Here are my Libraries. Shortcut to Pictures does not point to Users\Kari\My Pictures, instead it's just a shortcut which I can set up to include as many locations I want to:

Weird reference/link created after drag/move into My Library-library_1.png

When I open Pictures library, I can see it includes two locations, in my case Kari\Pictures and Public\Pictures:

Weird reference/link created after drag/move into My Library-libraries_2.png

Let's take the folder 2010-10. As you can see, it's physical location is D:\Kari\Users\Pictures:

Name:  Libraries_3.png
Views: 9
Size:  94.1 KB

Now I move it from Kari\Pictures to Users\Pictures:

Name:  Libraries_4.png
Views: 4
Size:  104.8 KB

The physical location is changed but, because this library contains both Kari\Pictures and Public\Pictures, it is still shown in the library, even in the exactly same place as before moving:

Name:  Libraries_5.png
Views: 5
Size:  93.0 KB

Inside a library, I can choose if I want to see the full library, or a specific location included in library. Check the address bar in these two snips to see what I mean:

Name:  Libraries_6.png
Views: 5
Size:  87.1 KB

Name:  Libraries_7.png.png
Views: 3
Size:  85.4 KB

In other words, you can not save anything in to a library. A library contains no folders, no files. It is just a shortcut pointing to locations you have chosen to include in that library. A file seen in a library and in a physical folder is not twice on your harddisk, the one in library is just a shortcut to one in a folder.

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #3

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600
 
 

I have to confess in the beginning of my windows seven use i managed to delete my ebook folder and as it was large it didn't go to the recycle bin and i had to use easus recovery to get them back , i know now about the libraries but it is an easy mistake to make .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Jan 2011   #4

Windows7 Professional 64-Bit
 
 

Thanks for your reply, but I think I do understand Libraries as far as you're describing - in particular that Libraries are just a "view" across one or many physical locations.

This shows the sort of thing I was doing. I'm accessing files via the Library and moving from one folder (in this case "Abel Tasman - Test" into a subfolder "Day One").
Name:  Move.jpg
Views: 8
Size:  117.3 KB

After doing this I'd expect the following:
- HDD via "D:\Shared\...\Abel Tasman - Test\Day One" now contains the files I moved
- HDD via "D:\Shared\...\Abel Tasman - Test" no longer contains the files I moved
- "Library\..\Abel Tasman - Test\Day One" view of HDD shows the moved files
- "Library\..\Abel Tasman - Test" view of HDD does not show the moved files

Instead I got the following:
- On HDD, viewed via "D:\..." directly, the files were correctly moved (no longer in "Abel Tasman - Test", now in "Day One")
- Viewed via "Library\...", the files were present in both "Abel Tasman - Test" and "Day One". Clicking "Open file location" sent me to "D:\Shared\...\Abel Tasman - Tes\Day One" in all cases. In other words, the Library view was showing a duplicate view of the files as if they were in both folders on the HDD, but both were pointing to the one physical location ("Day One").

I had one even weirder example too. I had copied files into a folder on the desktop first. Then I copied that folder (drag'n'drop style) into one of my photos folders via the Library again, very similar to what I'm describing above with the Abel Tasman photos. Then I deleted the folder from the desktop. Now, you'd expect by this time that the photos on the HDD in the "D:\Shared\..." would be completely independent. But after I deleted the folder from the desktop, I discovered that the files had been deleted from "D:\Shared\..." as well.


One theory: windows Library isn't actually copying/moving files onto the HDD when I do this drag'n'drop, but is instead adding the source folder as a "library location". This is what clicking into Properties looked like when I encountered this problem when right-clicking the "Pictures" library:
Name:  Properties.jpg
Views: 4
Size:  50.4 KB

There's no mention of any of the sub-folders, let alone individual files, just the two root folders I'd added a while back.

Second, when accessing the D drive directly, the files had always been moved/copied correctly, and in the case of moving no longer remained in the original location.


I'm now unable to replicate the problem further - I just created images above to show what I'd done a couple of days ago. But I still hope I can find some explanation to this so I can avoid data loss later. Until then, I'm very afraid to access my photos via the Library interface - which is a shame because I happen to like the idea.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2011   #5

Windows7 Professional 64-Bit
 
 

Another thought I'd had was that D:\Nithya is the default library location, but I'm doing all this under D:\Shared. But I can't really think how that could be a problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2011   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Why don't you use Move to Folder instead. I never experienced your problem, but dragging stuff around is really no precise science.

Use the Check Boxes that you can enable in Folder options > View. Then you can make your selection in the original folder and move a whole bunch at once. This is probably a lot faster than your approach.

I know that does not answer your original question. But rather than trying to fix something that does not work, I always prefer an alternate approach - especiall if it is more efficient.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2011   #7

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

This is one reason I do not recommend using Libraries, I think they create a bigger mess and more confusion than they try to solve.

Just create a proper folder structure (recommended on a secondary hard drive) and you won't have this type of problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2011   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tepid View Post
This is one reason I do not recommend using Libraries, I think they create a bigger mess and more confusion than they try to solve.

Just create a proper folder structure (recommended on a secondary hard drive) and you won't have this type of problem.
I guess you can mess up any good function. I could not live without libraries any more. But you have to take the time to understand it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tepid View Post
This is one reason I do not recommend using Libraries, I think they create a bigger mess and more confusion than they try to solve.

Just create a proper folder structure (recommended on a secondary hard drive) and you won't have this type of problem.
I guess you can mess up any good function. I could not live without libraries any more. But you have to take the time to understand it.
+1.

With tens of thousands of photos, music and videos on my network drives, I could no longer even think not to use libraries. So incredible practical and easy to use and stay organized.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

Try right clicking and dragging, then select "move here" from the menu that appears when you release the mouse.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Weird reference/link created after drag/move into My Library




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