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Windows 7: Moving storage location of libraries

25 Jul 2009   #1
kevvyb

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Moving storage location of libraries

Having another bite at this after failing miserably first time around. I think I may have been confused about the distinction between special folders and libraries in Windows 7. In fact, I may still be. I'm finding this very difficult to get my head around!

What I would like to do is change the storage location of the files I save in the documents, pictures, music and video libraries. I think this may be a different thing to moving the actual location of the library folder itself....? Which I do not want to do. But I may still be hopelessly confused.

To reiterate I want to store my own files on a separate partition to the operating system by saving them in the libraries folders but changing the actual storage location of those library folders to D:/Files (or some such) rather then the default of C:/users/[username]. In XP I just used to right click My Documents and change location to D and viola, that's where XP stored all of my files when I saved them to My Documents. Simple.

I am still having trouble with this on Windows 7 and somehow managed to move a load of system folders (or the shortcuts to those folders - not sure which!) to my desktop. I have restored the defaults by using system restore.

Whilst am dual booting this separating operating system and my own files been a boon in that I can access all my files whether I am running XP (main system) or Windows 7. I think this may not have been possible if I had all my files stored on the C drive with the XP system as these folders seem to be locked when dual booting to Windows 7.

I hope this makes some sort of sense to someone !

Thanks in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jul 2009   #2
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

ok, luckily this is simple...

right click on the My Music folder in the c:\users\*user name* folder - you should see a location tab >> move >> anywhere you like

repeat with other folders...

it's a bit of a hairy job trying to move the whole user folder - a lot easier just to move the individual music/videos/pictures subfolders etc

also be aware that in xp, 'my documents' contained the other folders - in 7, documents is a separate folder.

hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2009   #3
SquonkSC

Win7 Build 7600 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kevvyb View Post
Having another bite at this after failing miserably first time around. I think I may have been confused about the distinction between special folders and libraries in Windows 7. In fact, I may still be. I'm finding this very difficult to get my head around!

What I would like to do is change the storage location of the files I save in the documents, pictures, music and video libraries. I think this may be a different thing to moving the actual location of the library folder itself....? Which I do not want to do. But I may still be hopelessly confused.

To reiterate I want to store my own files on a separate partition to the operating system by saving them in the libraries folders but changing the actual storage location of those library folders to D:/Files (or some such) rather then the default of C:/users/[username]. In XP I just used to right click My Documents and change location to D and viola, that's where XP stored all of my files when I saved them to My Documents. Simple.

I am still having trouble with this on Windows 7 and somehow managed to move a load of system folders (or the shortcuts to those folders - not sure which!) to my desktop. I have restored the defaults by using system restore.

Whilst am dual booting this separating operating system and my own files been a boon in that I can access all my files whether I am running XP (main system) or Windows 7. I think this may not have been possible if I had all my files stored on the C drive with the XP system as these folders seem to be locked when dual booting to Windows 7.

I hope this makes some sort of sense to someone !

Thanks in advance.
It is actually quite simple.

I asume you are refering to special folders such as Documents, Pictures, Video, etc...

rightclick the special folder, chose properties, select the location tab, there you'll see the button to change the location.

But now the trick to avoid you getting double folder entries.

When you select a location let say d: and you click apply, you will be asked if you want to move the files that are present in the default forlder.

always chose yes, even if you think there's nothing in them.

That's it basically.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jul 2009   #4
johngalt

 

It makes perfect sense. I use an entirely separate drive for all of the special folders in both Vista and now W7 - in fact, I used the same folders over and over again - so when I upgrade my OS using a clean install, all my downloads, pictures, music, documents, contacts, etc are all right back in the system with a minimal amount of editing.

To be honest, Libraries are a fancy way of symbolically linking to folders that already exist on your HD - it is just making it a lot easier to navigate to (or harder, depending upon your POV). I wasn't thrilled at first with libraries, but after realizing their potential, I made quick use of them - I have changed icons on existing libraries, as well as made several of my own - all with relevant icons as well. Now I have library access to several of my non-standard special folders.

But for you, you want to move the location of your "My Documents" folder and then have the library realize that you have moved it and refer to the new location for the Documents library. This is easy enough to accomplish.

Here is a link to a tutorial that we have on the Vista forums showing you exactly how to do that:

Personal User Shell Folders - Move Location - Vista Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2009   #5
SquonkSC

Win7 Build 7600 x86
 
 

Sorry John,

We keep popping up in the same problem threads. lol

Greetz
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2009   #6
johngalt

 

Lol - no worries - I take longer to post sometimes - and sometimes I am first.

At least we're all on the same page
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2009   #7
kevvyb

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Windows 7 Libraries

OK I have found another angle on this and I am groping towards an idea of what the difference is.

Right clicking on a folder in C:/users[username]....gives option to move a physical system folder location and this is what I have been trying and getting very odd results - even when selecting to move all files. This what everyone here is suggesting.


By kevvyb at 2009-07-25

What I have done is gone in from the 'virtual folder' end (not sure if that is the correct term). Right clicking on the virtual folder Pictures for instance give the option to add and remove save locations to this virtual folder.


By kevvyb at 2009-07-25

Can anyone clarify the difference between these two approaches? I think the difference is that the first leaves a default save location for the 'physical' folder on C: at users/[username] or moves that to another location (supposedly). This is what I had trouble with.

The second I think makes no changes to the location of that system file and instead gathers save location(s) for the virtual folders. I have added folders on my D: partition (currently the Win XP 'My Pictures' folder) and removed the C:/users/public and C:/users/[username] locations.

And this I think has achieved what I desired. The pictures virtual folder remains and and files saved there will actually be saved at D:/My Pictures.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2009   #8
kevvyb

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

What I have now also realized is that for me at the moment, dual booting XP (as my main system) with Win 7, I already have a set of XP special folders relocated from from C (when booting to XP) to D.

Placing another special folder of the same name there from the Win7 system is what has either confused me or the system. If the latter it may explain the odd results I was seeing that I could not make head or tail of.

When I set up Win 7 as my main system I will change the default locations of special folders (my docs etc) to D and then I will also point the virtual folder (Documents) to the same place.

Apologies for any confusion I may have caused in my groping to work out what was happening.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2009   #9
SquonkSC

Win7 Build 7600 x86
 
 

Hi kevvyb,

first the differences in the screenshot.

In your first screenshot is where you physically move the folder.
Hence, If you chose to move the files as well, the folder will be created in the new location and deleted in the old.
Hence, if you don't move the files, it will make second instance of the folder.


In your second screenshot, that's the libraries.
Libraries are a great way to collect different folders at different locations (can be other partition, other disk, even other computer) into a virtual folder.
Example.
You have 3 or 4 different picture folders spread over 2 disks and two different computers, you can add them to the pictures library and you have everything sorted in one virtual folder.

You can even make your own new library and give it any name you like.
example. You have pictures of your holidays spread over different locations.
You create a virtual folder named Holiday pictures and add the locations to it.

I personally love this feature!


now, as for the XP folders giving you problems, you might be right about that.

You haven't really explained what problems you are experiencing, only that you had problems.

My advise is. backup all your files, favourites, emailaccounts, addressbook, etc.
Get rid of XP, and Install Win7 clean from the boot, not from windows.

Install Virtual PC(it's free) and make a virtual XP, for when you would need it.
Why anyone would need XP anymore I don't know. There are Win7 alternatives for everything.


I hope this info helped you.

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2009   #10
kevvyb

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

skonksc

Thanks for that. I think I had got there myself, eventually!

I will stick with using the libraries until I move over to retail version of Windows 7. XP remains my main system until then.

The error I was getting that I think is to do with the XP special folders was an 'access denied' message at the end of the move. Nothing was moved.

There were various others caused by the fact that I was not understanding exactly what the different folder types were.

Thanks again for all your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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