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Windows 7: Content of old "Documents and settings" folder on a different drive

28 May 2016   #1
Xiana

Windows 7 Professional 32 bits
 
 
Content of old "Documents and settings" folder on a different drive

Hi !
I recently added a HDD to my PC. I'm using that HDD only to store my personal stuff.
On that HDD, Windows Vista had been formerly installed (with another computer) and I did not feel any need to delete those old OS files before moving to my new computer. They could not hurt.
So I have a "Documents and settings" folder on the main HDD and another such folder (from Windows Vista) on the added HDD.
To my astonishment, I now see, when opening both those folders in Windows Explorer, that the old "Documents and settings" folder (on the added drive) has the same content, especially in the "Download" folder under my user name, as the new one. This I cannot explain.
Is it that Windows Explorer gets confused and gives me wrong information when opening the old D&S folder ?
Can anyone help me find the files which should be present in my old "Download" folder (on the added drive) ? There's no reason I can think of that I could not access the unmodified content of that folder..., but you may know better.
I'm looking forward to reading your possible answers, thank you !



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 May 2016   #2
pbcopter

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Hi and welcome.

It is because Documents and Settings is not a real folder but a Junction. Its purpose is to allow legacy programs (e.g from Windows XP) to interface to the newer folder structure of Windows 7, 8, 10. It points to C:\Users\

Open a command prompt, select the old drive (type "the old drive letter:". e.g. D:), enter, then type Dir /as. This will show what the Junction points to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2016   #3
Xiana

Windows 7 Professional 32 bits
 
 

Thank you, pbcopter !
I understand that deleting the displayed content of a junction in Windows Explorer with Windows 7 does not lead to the deletion of the content of the target folder: is that right ?
I also understand that it used to be different: with Windows XP such a deletion did lead to the deletion of the content of the target folder: is that also right, please ?
Kind regards
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 May 2016   #4
pbcopter

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Deleting the displayed content of the Junction does delete the content of the target folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Content of old "Documents and settings" folder on a different drive




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