Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


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

16 Dec 2014   #21
gregrocker

 

What's important is comparing the Files and Folders and Size at the destination to be sure you have everything. If files appear to be left in the source folder make sure they got copied before the reboot, which does sometimes sort things out more.

Why does the screenshot of the C drive prior to move show My Documents as the name while the screenshot afterwards only shows Documents? These should remain named the same as they were not changed, correct?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
16 Dec 2014   #22
colt

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
What's important is comparing the Files and Folders and Size at the destination to be sure you have everything. If files appear to be left in the source folder make sure they got copied before the reboot, which does sometimes sort things out more.
Considering I have 2500+ files in 500+ folders, there is no way for me to do a detailed check. Plus, I'd have to 'audit' the files at the source prior to the move, and then again at the destination after the move. So whatever tool I used would have to keep track or output a file showing all files prior to move to compare them against after the move.

Any recommended apps that can do something like this?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Why does the screenshot of the C drive prior to move show My Documents as the name while the screenshot afterwards only shows Documents? These should remain named the same as they were not changed, correct?
Windows does that all by itself. Prior to the move, in c:\users\myName, the folder is called 'My Documents'. The destination folder I created on d:\ was named 'Documents' per your suggestion. After the move, Windows leaves behind a folder named 'Documents' in c:\users\myName.

It did the same thing with 'My Pictures', 'My Videos', and 'My Music', all of which were renamed/ghosted by Windows in c:\users\myName\ as 'Pictures', 'Videos', and 'Music', respectively. The difference is that these folders were all empty before the move (so they were of course empty after the move), so after restarting the computer, I could delete them.

Any idea why Windows leaves all these files in c:\users\myName\Documents after the move function is utilized?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2014   #23
colt

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

So in dealing with this minor cluster****, I discovered a very cool little app called WinMerge. At least now I know that all the files in c:\users\myName\My Documents have indeed been copied by the move function to the data drive (i.e., WinMerge is telling me that every file in that folder is matched by a file in the Documents folder on the data drive).

Still a mystery why some files weren't properly moved (as in copy AND delete, as opposed to just copied) while others were. And in looking through the WinMerge results, there doesn't seem to be any obvious rhyme or reason that would explain it. E.g., some jpg files in the My Documents\Dropbox\pictures subfolder got moved (i.e., copy and delete) while others were merely copied.

I suppose I could delete the c:\users\myName\Documents folder and move on, but given that this behavior seems aberrant - in all the guides I found on this procedure, the process looks to be very easy, with no mention or explanation of the fact that you could end up with many files duplicated at the source location - I simply don't trust this setup. And without an explanation as to why Windows is doing this, how could I possibly trust that this will not cause issues in the future?

Plus, as mentioned earlier, my screenshots, which should land in my My Documents\Dropbox\screenshots folder are not landing there (or anywhere else that I can determine, other than the clipboard) after the move.

I think I'll restore default and use the libraries method . . . and keep my fingers crossed that Windows doesn't screw that up too.

The Downloads folder move worked as intended - no folder or files left behind in c:\users\myName\. And subsequently downloaded files are landing in the Downloads folder on the data drive. I suspect the difference has to do with the fact that My Documents / Documents is also a library, while Downloads is not.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Dec 2014   #24
gregrocker

 

Have you done a lot of tweaking on the System beyond this, e.g. performance tweaks which Win7 doesn't need at all with a perfect install as compiled on Clean Reinstall Windows 7 on adequate hardware?

I'd check over System files to make sure none are damaged or awry using SFC /SCANNOW Command
after running a full scan with Malwarebytes and SUPERAntiSpyware.

If you have the files backed up then I dont' think you need to worry about moving User folders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2014   #25
colt

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Have you done a lot of tweaking on the System beyond this, e.g. performance tweaks which Win7 doesn't need at all with a perfect install as compiled on Clean Reinstall Windows 7 on adequate hardware?
This system is a fresh install that was completed on Sunday (2 days ago), on a Dell computer that came from the factory with Windows 7. No, no performance tweaking.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I'd check over System files to make sure none are damaged or awry using SFC /SCANNOW Command
after running a full scan with Malwarebytes and SUPERAntiSpyware.
Thanks for the sfc scan suggestion. Ran it, no integrity violations.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
If you have the files backed up then I dont' think you need to worry about moving User folders.
Maybe, maybe not. Again, if the behavior isn't documented/explained, who can say for sure there won't be unintended consequences?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2014   #26
colt

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

So I used 'restore default' to move My Documents back. Even that was a little wonky. There were 663 files left behind on c:\users\myName\Documents (all of which were duplicated in d:\Documents as confirmed by WinMerge), so I expected 663 copy/replace actions from the 'restore default' function. I only got 656.

Bizarre.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2014   #27
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

Hi Colt,

I get files left behind in regular moves on occasion - it is disconcerting and I HAVE to check that all the files were in fact "moved". This usually occurs when I'm backing up the files (brute force move) after I'm done a project, there are naturally duplicates that Windows has to deal with and depending on the characteristics of the file, Windows seems to punt ... copy the file but don't delete it from the origin. After I investigate, I often find one file way down the folder tree (each folder has 2 folders . and .. [dot and dotdot] so depending on how deep the orphaned file is, there could be tens of folders listed. I've learned to shrug and check the move.

You said this was a new machine or fresh install, right? Where did the thousands of files in Documents come from?

I think you would have better success and feel more confident if you moved the location of My Documents to D: before loading any files into My documents (er ... your documents )

I'll go one better and suggest that you move the entire profile to D: - not just the user folders.
Why? AS I understand the reasoning (and I use the same logic) it's to reduce the use of the SSD for data. Your AppData folder is very active (Temp, WLM, other programs stashing data in there...)

It's better to do the move location before you populate the folder with data or install non-Windows programs so that any configuration files are referencing the profile on D: (you can always change the pgm config, but it usually surprises people when something creates data on the C: drive under your profile name. Why - because the configuration file says "Write to C:\Users\xyzzy\appdata\somepgm\datafile". If you move the user profile before you install non-Windows programs, the install takes care of correctly configuring the datafile on D:\Users\xyzzy..."

I've never experienced the Windows imaging issue Greg mentioned (the images do NOT contain my D:\Usr\Slartybart files-maybe that's what he meant). Regardless, Greg works with a lot of machines and I take him at his word - I'm probably the exception to the rule.

I started this post to try and explain My Documents vs. Documents.

My Documents is a reparse point to the real folder Documents. You might understand the relationship better if you open a Command Prompt and Navigate to your user profile, C:\Users\Colt. Enter the following command and then exit. The dir command lists the folder contents, the /aL parameter constrains the listing to reparse points only (the /p pararameter is simply pause after a screenfull)

C:\
cd C:\Users\Colt
dir /aL /p
exit

Look at the listing - a light might go on and you'll say "Aha!"

I've never used this tutorial, but plan to do just that on my next install/reinstall. It's a bit more technical, but from what I know it seems that it addresses a whole bunch of things Beforehand.
Take a read on: User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation
and see if you want to go through a reinstall using Kari's method.

Good luck,

That's all I have to offer.

Bill
,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2014   #28
colt

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
Hi Colt,

I get files left behind in regular moves on occasion - it is disconcerting and I HAVE to check that all the files were in fact "moved". This usually occurs when I'm backing up the files (brute force move) after I'm done a project, there are naturally duplicates that Windows has to deal with and depending on the characteristics of the file, Windows seems to punt ... copy the file but don't delete it from the origin. After I investigate, I often find one file way down the folder tree (each folder has 2 folders . and .. [dot and dotdot] so depending on how deep the orphaned file is, there could be tens of folders listed. I've learned to shrug and check the move.
Disconcerting is a good word to describe it! I have experienced what you are describing in the past, but with maybe 1 or 2 files, not with 25% of the files involved in the move.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
You said this was a new machine or fresh install, right? Where did the thousands of files in Documents come from?
Yes, fresh install. The files come from Dropbox (which I keep in My Documents), as well as a number of apps where I used export/import to bring data files over from my old system.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
I think you would have better success and feel more confident if you moved the location of My Documents to D: before loading any files into My documents (er ... your documents )
You're probably right. The empty folders Pictures, Music and Videos moved without any drama. But the whole point of this exercise for me was to reduce data usage on the boot drive, not to spend time screwing around with Windows. In other words, if using the Libraries feature can quickly accomplish that goal without problems, I'm just going to do that rather than sink more time into redoing this and starting from scratch. Maybe for a future fresh install (or on this machine, a restore of an image that contains only the OS and drivers), I'll revisit and do as you suggested and make the move before installing apps and populating the user folders.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
I'll go one better and suggest that you move the entire profile to D: - not just the user folders.
Why? AS I understand the reasoning (and I use the same logic) it's to reduce the use of the SSD for data. Your AppData folder is very active (Temp, WLM, other programs stashing data in there...)

It's better to do the move location before you populate the folder with data or install non-Windows programs so that any configuration files are referencing the profile on D: (you can always change the pgm config, but it usually surprises people when something creates data on the C: drive under your profile name. Why - because the configuration file says "Write to C:\Users\xyzzy\appdata\somepgm\datafile". If you move the user profile before you install non-Windows programs, the install takes care of correctly configuring the datafile on D:\Users\xyzzy..."

I've never experienced the Windows imaging issue Greg mentioned (the images do NOT contain my D:\Usr\Slartybart files-maybe that's what he meant). Regardless, Greg works with a lot of machines and I take him at his word - I'm probably the exception to the rule.
I appreciate the suggestion, but after seeing how poorly Windows executed a built-in feature (the whole point of the 'Move' function on the Location tab on the user folders is to allow users to move their user data elsewhere), I have zero confidence that a considerably more complicated and unsupported feature for the average user (i.e., no built-in tool in the OS like the 'Move' function) is not going to create issues down the road.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
I started this post to try and explain My Documents vs. Documents.

My Documents is a reparse point to the real folder Documents. You might understand the relationship better if you open a Command Prompt and Navigate to your user profile, C:\Users\Colt. Enter the following command and then exit. The dir command lists the folder contents, the /aL parameter constrains the listing to reparse points only (the /p pararameter is simply pause after a screenfull)

C:\
cd C:\Users\Colt
dir /aL /p
exit

Look at the listing - a light might go on and you'll say "Aha!"

I've never used this tutorial, but plan to do just that on my next install/reinstall. It's a bit more technical, but from what I know it seems that it addresses a whole bunch of things Beforehand.
Take a read on: User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation
and see if you want to go through a reinstall using Kari's method.

Good luck,

That's all I have to offer.

Bill
,
Yes, I understand that My Documents is more of a pointer than an actual folder, and that the actual folder there is named Documents.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2014   #29
colt

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

So I used the Libraries method to move user data. Easy enough procedure, and no bizarre Windows behavior, but with already installed apps, it's not easy to have all of My Documents move over. Some apps insist on being at c:\users\Colt\stubbornApp\ and require a reinstall to allow their data folders to be moved elsewhere.

So now I've got subfolders in 'Documents' folders in both c:\users\Colt\ and d:\

Not the 'cleanest' setup, but I've got to get actual work done and need to move on with my day. Maybe if I get a chance this weekend, I'll restore a boot drive image that contains only the OS + drivers + Windows updates, and then perform the user folders move via the 'Move' function in the Location tabs of these folders. And then install apps. That should be clean and uneventful, correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2014   #30
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

Glad you got it sorted ... Libraries work too

Use OPTION TWO in User Folders - Change Default Location
as a reference

Yes, that procedure should provide you with a dreadfully uneventful weekend

Carpe Diem!

Bill
.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Moving 'My Documents' folder; strange results




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Moving my Documents
I have just reinstalled Windows 7 home premium. I have 2 HDDs C and D Windows is on C and my documents and downloads folders are on D. Before the reinstall i had a desktop icon for My Documents on the desktop and that linked to the my documents folder on the D Now it no longer works so I am...
Installation & Setup
Why User folder shows My Documents but folder location is Documents?
Q1. When I look at the folders in C:\Users\User-Name , I can see a folder. I double click on and the location now is C:\Users\User-Name\Documents , why is the folder name different from the exact folder location? (I notice all other folders that have the word "My" has the same situation) Q2....
General Discussion
Viewing the documents library displays my documents folder
Ok, I need some help.. I know that the documents library is a "library" and when I save anything there it really saves the file to the default location(my documents). I teach a basic PC course usage course to seniors and some of the PCs are now listing the "My Documents" and the "Public"...
Customization
Moving my documents folder to another hard drive question
Hiya This might be a bit of a dumb question but I just want to check is it safe to directly cut and paste the my favorites, documents, pictures, music and video folders to another hard drive on my PC or I should do them manually through properties of each folder. Currently I'm using windows 7....
General Discussion
Moving my documents renames target folder itself!
Hi, I want to move the My Documents onto a separate partition, which appears very straightforward in 7. However, the first time I called the partition (as that was all it was going to be used for) 'My Documents' and just wanted to move the sub folders there. Unfortunately, having moved...
Customization
Documents wind up in strange folder
http://cdn.sevenforums.com/images/styles/window7/reputation/reputation_green.gif Join Date: Jan 2010 windows 7 36 posts Gaithersburg,MD.
General Discussion


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:36.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App