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Windows 7: Moving 'My Documents' folder; strange results

16 Dec 2014   #11
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

Try this ...

Create required empty folders on the data drive (you can also use an existing folder even if it contains files ans sub folders)
Go to user area on System drive, and for each folder
Right click on each Special User Folder in Turn
Select Location Tab
Select Move
Follow prompts and choose the option to move files
OK out of dialogue
This will ...
move the contents of the special folders to your new locations,
remove the original folders on the system drive,
Reset the default libraries to point to the new folders

That's it


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
16 Dec 2014   #12
colt

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
Try this ...

Create required empty folders on the data drive (you can also use an existing folder even if it contains files ans sub folders)
Go to user area on System drive, and for each folder
Right click on each Special User Folder in Turn
Select Location Tab
Select Move
Follow prompts and choose the option to move files
OK out of dialogue
This will ...
move the contents of the special folders to your new locations,
remove the original folders on the system drive,
Reset the default libraries to point to the new folders

That's it
Yeah, that's what I did initially, as described in the OP:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by colt View Post
I recently installed a SSD as the boot drive and made the original HDD a data drive. I wanted to move the data intensive user folders over to the data drive.

I go to C:\users\myName, select My Documents and change location to D:\My Documents.

Before moving, My Documents contains 2535 files, and this is what D:\My Documents shows, so that's fine.

But now there is a new folder in C:\users\myName\ called 'Documents' (the original 'My Documents' folder is no longer listed in C:\users\myName). This new C:\users\myName\Documents folder contains 655 files.

One example of a subfolder in My Documents is the Dropbox folder. In D:\MyDocuments\Dropbox there are 1090 files.

In C:\users\myName\Documents there are 628 files.
Not clear on why the file counts differed. But I used 'Restore Default' to undo this. Going to try again following this guide step by step:
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Did you follow exactly the steps to move User Folders - Change Default Location?
When libraries were brought up, I was just wondering what advantage, if any, they offer over the move procedure you described. As far as I can tell, even with using libraries, if one's goal is to get user data off the boot drive, one would still have to drag/drop contents of the c:\users\myName folders to the new folder that was added to the library.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2014   #13
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

I've used this technique for every set-up I've performed for myself and clients since Vista and I cannot remember one problem in what must be thousands of installs.

The difference in file numbers I would assume are due to hidden system files that are not duplicated during the procedure, ( Default.ini, Thumbs.db, Etc.)

I use libraries where I need to consolidate multiple locations into one place, for example I have a regular pictures folder, that is completely standard, and used for screen-shots downloaded pictures Etc, I also have a drive dedicated to my personal images and these are both in the pictures library. I also have a library for resources that points to lots of diverse locations containing images, font's photoshop actions Etc. Another library is for Work in Progress and brings together the current files from the pictures. documents, video, Etc standard folders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Dec 2014   #14
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by colt View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Yes, you can as an alternative first try copying User folders to the data drive to add to Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums

Then set that folder as Library - Set Save Folder - Windows 7 Help Forums

I'd keep the C user folder in the Library so you can see visually if anything lands in it to drag over to the data drive's User folder.
I can do this, but to accomplish the goal of getting my user data (see below quote) off the boot drive and onto the data drive, wouldn't there be extra steps?

If I understand this correctly, the steps described above would ensure that new files and new saves of existing files would placed in the designated folder(s) on the data drive, but would not change the location of existing files in c:\users\myName\
Yes, you would copy the User folders to the data drive first as stated. After they are there then you'd delete the contents of the C: user folders.

This alternative is explained at the very top of User Folders - Change Default Location - Windows 7 Help Forums:

Quote:
Tip
If you are just wanting to save HDD space, then you might consider this below to be able to access the files from your libraries with the files actually located where you like instead. This way you will not have to worry about any potential issues that come with moving user folder locations. For example, whatever partition you move your user folders to will now be included in a system image in Windows 7 and Windows 8.
  • Create a new folder at any location you want.
  • Move any files you want into the new folder.
  • Include the new folder into a library (Windows 7 or Windows 8) of your choice.
  • If you like, you can also set the new folder to be the default save to location (Windows 7 or Windows 8) for the library as well.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2014   #15
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I took an easier approach when I set up my notebooks with an SSD. I just shrunk the C: partition to the needed side and made a data partition with the new unallocated space. Then I simply dragged the Documents folder from my User folder to the new partition. I found the link in the Start Menu for the My Documents library followed the folder to the new location. Easy peasy. Win 7 did regenerate the Documents folder in the User folder but, since I save anything there, it doesn't take up any room and is harmless, so I just ignore it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2014   #16
gregrocker

 

The alternative to copy the folders to data drive and then link via Libraries arose out of the inability of Windows Backup Imaging to save the image of C without also including the data partition when User (System) folders had been moved there. Data is best backed up using Backup User and System Files and not imaging.

So if you want to image C with User folders moved via their Location tab to data partition use an alternative imaging suite like Macrium Imaging - Windows 7 Help Forums.

I should add that I simultaneously Sync, Backup and Store your Files to the Cloud with OneDrive
by rooting User folders in the OneDrive folder on D data partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2014   #17
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
The alternative to copy the folders to data drive and then link via Libraries arose out of the inability of Windows Backup Imaging to save the image of C without also including the data partition when User (System) folders had been moved there. Data is best backed up using Backup User and System Files and not imaging.

So if you want to image C with User folders moved via their Location tab to data partition use an alternative imaging suite like Macrium Imaging - Windows 7 Help Forums.

I should add that I simultaneously Sync, Backup and Store your Files to the Cloud with OneDrive
by rooting User folders in the OneDrive folder on D data partition.
After the horror tales (ok, that may be a bit strong) I had read about problems with Windows native imaging, I opted instead to use Macrium Reflect so those issues weren't a problem for me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2014   #18
colt

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Yes, you would copy the User folders to the data drive first as stated. After they are there then you'd delete the contents of the C: user folders.

This alternative is explained at the very top of User Folders - Change Default Location - Windows 7 Help Forums:

Tip
If you are just wanting to save HDD space, then you might consider this below to be able to access the files from your libraries with the files actually located where you like instead. This way you will not have to worry about any potential issues that come with moving user folder locations. For example, whatever partition you move your user folders to will now be included in a system image in Windows 7 and Windows 8.
  • Create a new folder at any location you want.
  • Move any files you want into the new folder.
  • Include the new folder into a library (Windows 7 or Windows 8) of your choice.
  • If you like, you can also set the new folder to be the default save to location (Windows 7 or Windows 8) for the library as well.

Ah, I see. Drag/drop contents in new folder first, and then add new folder to library and set it as the default save location.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
The alternative to copy the folders to data drive and then link via Libraries arose out of the inability of Windows Backup Imaging to save the image of C without also including the data partition when User (System) folders had been moved there. Data is best backed up using Backup User and System Files and not imaging.

So if you want to image C with User folders moved via their Location tab to data partition use an alternative imaging suite like Macrium Imaging - Windows 7 Help Forums.
Thanks, it's helpful to know why people used libraries for the purpose of moving user folders off the boot drive, rather than simply using the built-in move location function.

In terms of backup method, I use Ghost to cold image the boot partition and use file/folder backups for data partitions. Given that, does it make more sense for me to use the move location function instead of the libraries feature to get the user data off the boot drive and onto the data drive? Any advantages to using libraries feature for someone who is cold imaging their boot drive with an external program like Ghost, and thus doesn't have to worry about the Windows Backup limitation?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2014   #19
gregrocker

 

It's down to your personal preference. I have tried both and prefer moving User folders but I also move them into the OneDrive folder on data partition so that they sync to cloud storage and with all of my other devices which are set up the same way. This way I get backup, storage and sync at no cost and with no effort other than initial setup. Sync, Backup and Store your Files to the Cloud with OneDrive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2014   #20
colt

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Did you follow exactly the steps to move User Folders - Change Default Location?
OK, had a chance to follow this guide.

Result is the same as described in the OP. See, I'm not nuts!

Prior to the move:
c:\users\myName\My Documents has 2582 files and 7.5GB.



After the move, d:\My Documents has 2582 files and 7.5GB. Looks good, but . . .
c:\users\myName\Documents still has 663 files and 4.3GB!


1. Should I assume that since the total number of files at the source prior to the move matches the total number of files at the destination after the move, that all files did transfer over?

2. Why isn't Windows deleting all the files from the source?

I suppose I should restart the computer to see if the files at c:\users\myName\Documents go away, but I'm kind of nervous that doing so might nix the ability to 'restore default' in case it's necessary in light of this seemingly aberrant behavior.

Another oddity: When I take screenshots, they go into My Documents\Dropbox. After the move, the screenshots aren't landing anywhere. They aren't in d:\My Documents\Dropbox or c:\users\myName\Documents\Dropbox.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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