|22 Mar 2012||#1|
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Redirecting Folders Created by Programs During Installation--How To
For years I have benefited from this forum without contributing. I thought it was about time that I return the favor. I don’t have the standing required to post a tutorial, so I’m making my contribution here.
One of my great annoyances is programs that insist on creating folders in My Documents, my user folder, or in the root of my hard drive. If the program doesn’t provide a setting allowing you to change the location, deleting the folder just means the program will recreate it the next time you run the program.
Below, I will walk you through how to redirect a folder that a program creates to a different location with no adverse impact on the functionality of the program. Following these steps, you can permanently relocate all those pesky folders that get created in my documents (MS Fax, Scanning folders, Adobe, etc) to wherever you want them to reside.
The NTFS file system has an inherent feature called symbolic links (also called NTFS junctions). A symbolic link appears to Windows and any programs running in Windows as a real directory but is, in fact, a pointer redirecting the program to another drive or folder. Windows uses symbolic links to maintain backward compatibility. For example, in Windows 7, there is a hidden symbolic link in the root directory entitled “Documents and Settings” that points to the “Users” directory in order to maintain backward compatibility with programs written for XP (turn off “Hide Protected Operating System Files” in Folder Options and see for yourself—after looking, don’t forget to turn it back on!). By creating symbolic links and then hiding the pointer file, you can make ill-behaved programs behave.
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