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Windows 7: Radically simplify win7 folder structure...?

04 Apr 2019   #11
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kbuss View Post
hmm...
and if I satisfy with getting rid of themulti user concept, just one damn user instead of the normal user/default user/public etc bloatcrap that ppl never use
  • the two separate Program Files folder and having just one instead?
that would be so nice. also I feel these are the ones ppl must be the most annoyed about...
I am not aware that you can safely eliminate the user accounts you mention. Here is more info..
Public user delete

Its like you have identified that your car's ride would be smoother if only it was rear-wheel drive so you are now wanting to unmount the engine and put it in the rear. Its a neat idea, but not really possible on a car that is already built.


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04 Apr 2019   #12
badcrc

Windows 7 Pro x64 sp1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kbuss View Post

basically these programs put their stuff in ALL the possible locations scattered on the drive, and if you install several of these, maintaining them becomes an extremly time consuming and iterative task.
You don't maintain software by trawling through the hard drive and changing stuff - that's asking for trouble. This goes double for the registry. You do installs and updates using the software's own tools. Uninstall stuff with Revo uninstaller - it scans for related folders and registry keys and gives you the option of removing leftover dirs etc.

Windows doesn't scatter files all over the HDD - the software does that during install. Where is your next VST going to put its files if you have changed the Windows file structure ?

The 'don't go there' concept has been ramped up in Windows 10, for a very good reason. Try adding a required file to a program folder, and you get this


Radically simplify win7 folder structure...?-denied.png


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04 Apr 2019   #13
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kbuss View Post
Hi Guys! Im looking for reasonable routes to simplify win7's flawed and cluttered folder structure.
my aim to only have:
  • one program folder, all programs go there (no separate x86)
  • one user folder, no default user, all user, public etc. i only use one admin account, no need or plan to use others.
  • no dumbs*** stacked documents folder with music, favorites, pictures etc /w added shortcuts, those we never use.
  • possibly get rid of common files, program data folders, force apps to use own folder or "username/appdata" folder for that.

now,
found numerous guides how to delete these manually but thats not what i want.
i want to intrinsicly configure windows to get rid of those and only use the remaining, and also force installed apps to stick to those.

my question, is this even possible, any tool or fix to accomplish this easily.
fresh win7 install is not a problem if required.

if any older threads about this, thank you for pointing me to those, i didnt manage to find.

thx for any help on the above.

ps: the long story why I need this
i use a lot of CAD and music software.
one example.
I installed Massive, Kore2 and 4 expansions for it, these are music (VST) softwares from Native Instruments, a leading manufacturer.
this happens:

C:\Program Files\Native Instruments - 24 folders
C:\Program Files (x86)\Native Instruments - 3 folders
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Native Instruments - 10 folders
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Native Instruments - 117 folders
C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Local\Native Instruments - 37 folders
C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Roaming\Native Instruments - 1folder
C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Local\cache\Native Instruments - 1 folder
C:\Users\xxxx\Documents\Native Instruments - 107 folder
C:\Users\All Users\Native Instruments - 2 folders

and my actual program folders that i was able to select at installation.

C:\mu\Kore 2 - 2 folders
C:\mu\Kore 2 Sample Content - 111 folders
C:\mu\Massive - 2 folders
C:\mu\Native Instruments - 75 folders

together, they like 500 folders!!!! insane.
as you see, i try to keep all my music stuff in "mu" folder.
but mostly it only puts documentation in there.
basically these programs put their stuff in ALL the possible locations scattered on the drive, and if you install several of these, maintaining them becomes an extremly time consuming and iterative task.
What you are proposing is highly impractical. It amounts to a massive redesign of Windows folder structure and how Windows works. Windows does not provide the facilities to do this. It would require a major redesign and rewrite of many system files. In practice only Microsoft could do that. And after it was all done you would have to deal with the many problems you had created. And than deal with the compatibility problems with applications that were not designed for such an environment.

Windows is a complex operating system, as it must be. It must provide the facilities needed by a large multinational corporation with thousands of user accounts. And it must work for a home user with only one user account. And the same OS can do this without significant configuration changes. This is not an easy task.

Years ago I read a statement by a very experienced and wise programmer. I will paraphrase it here:

Designing software means making many decisions.
Many of those decisions will be hard.
Some of those decisions will be very hard.
Sometimes whatever decision you make somebody will say it was a stupid one.

Of course some may say "let the user decide everything". That doesn't work either. One of the major complaints about software is that there are too many options. It greatly complicates development, makes for a support nightmare, and creates a system that nobody likes or understands.

I don't have time to deal with everything you have brought up. But regarding thre "Program files" and "program files (x86)" folders:

There is more here than is immediately apparent. Many people have both 32 and 64 bit versions of a program and this situation occurs with a standard installation of a 64 bit OS. The programs can have the same names and use identical folder structures. A user can install a newer version of one or both versions and the files will automatically go to the right folder.

By convention 64 bit applications install to "Program files" and 32 bit applications install to "Program files (x86)". But this is more than a convention. Many programs are unaware of this convention, but they don't need to be. An old 32 bit application that predates 64 bit might be hard coded to install to the "Program files" folder. But that is not where the files will go. They will actually go to the "Program files (x86)" folder. The 32 bit application might later read from "Program files" and will succeed. When a 32 bit application references "Program files" it will be silently and automatically redirected to "Program files (x86)". And all without the programs knowledge or involvement. A 64 bit aware 32 bit process can temporarily override this redirection if necessary but there is no facility for the user to control this.

There are good and valid reasons why Windows was designed the way it was. But the reasons why are often poorly understood. It is very easy to criticize something when you approach it from a narrow perspective and without knowledge of the complex implications. Trying to design something better that does take all of the implications into account is very difficult. Many have tried, most have failed.
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04 Apr 2019   #14
kbuss

Windows 7 Professional N x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badcrc View Post
You don't maintain software by trawling through the hard drive and changing stuff - that's asking for trouble. This goes double for the registry. You do installs and updates using the software's own tools. Uninstall stuff with Revo
1st useful advice, thx man! Ill try Revo
But what you say.... Idk which programs you use, my last win7 install which lasted about 3 years, i had like 5-600 softwares up at different times and 90% of them dont uninstall properly and leave their different user folders AND registry entries in there.
to add insult, some of them also name the folder by the MANUFACTURER!!! not the actual software name, so to do a cleanup, you scrath your head what that could have been 3 months ago...

Quote:
The 'don't go there' concept has been ramped up in Windows 10, for a very good reason. Try adding a required file to a program folder, and you get this
jeeeez... another reason not to switch.

but whatever, i kinda get the picture.
mostly my aim was to probe the community about this
if somebody was fed up like me and made a mod.

it did worth a try.
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04 Apr 2019   #15
kbuss

Windows 7 Professional N x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post


There are good and valid reasons why Windows was designed the way it was. But the reasons why are often poorly understood. It is very easy to criticize something when you approach it from a narrow perspective and without knowledge of the complex implications. Trying to design something better that does take all of the implications into account is very difficult. Many have tried, most have failed.
wow man

Id die to see MKHBD's face reading this statement.

you basically elevated this OS to GOD level

ka-chingggggg

maybe im too dumb to see the point of creating hundreds, maybe thousands of empty folders upon OS install, instead just creating them when theyre actually needed...
or why it has perverse amount of duplication, triplication in the system files or registry for so called "error protection and restore" which in practice never work and you stuck with a clean OS reinstall in 99% of the time.
but yea im narrow minded.

in my opinion its a horrible os that was basically forced on ppl with marketing and monopoly

but hey...

at least its free
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04 Apr 2019   #16
kbuss

Windows 7 Professional N x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
I am not aware that you can safely eliminate the user accounts you mention. Here is more info..
Public user delete
Thank you :)
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 Radically simplify win7 folder structure...?




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