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Windows 7: User Folders - Restore Default Location

04 Dec 2014   #260
mealmond

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
 
 

I have now sorted all the files and it looks better but when I open my computer to see the drives I get an error warning "C/Users/ Martin/Desktop refers to a location that is unavailable etc etc. I click ok and get onto the drive, no problems. I checked the settings for the desktop and they are correct. Besides that all seems much better and just need to try the libraries next.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Dec 2014   #261
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

In a worse case, you could create a new user account to use instead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2014   #262
mealmond

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
 
 

Thank you Brink, I have followed all the instructions and everything is back to normal and I have even managed to move the folders on to the spare drive. The only folder I cannot move is my photos folder, the option to change location is not there, I have changed the settings a couple of times but no joy, but never mind, the system is back to normal, so thank you very much.

Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2014   #263
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Great news Martin.

If the "Location" tab is not there to move the Photos folder, then that folder is not the one set to be used. If you like, do Option Two again for the Photos folder to restore it's default location to see if the tab is there afterwards. Sometimes, it may take a few restarts to get it all sorted after making sure everything is set right in Option Two though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Dec 2014   #264
mealmond

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
 
 

Just to say Brink, I did as you said and the folder came back and it moved, so all now is well. The only thing I see now is I did all this to add an SSD drive, I put this in the DVD draw via a caddy and cloned my operating system and have my old hard drive for folders and storage. From what I am reading this morning though, I get the impression I should have put the new SSD in place of the old hard drive and put the old hard drive in the caddy, but it appears to work well and does seem quicker, but it is something for me to consider. Anyway, thanks again for a brilliant article and for the help.

Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2014   #265
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

You're most welcome Martin. I'm glad you got it all sorted.

If the caddy is connected via a SATA connector like the HDD, then there's no need to swap them since it would be the same either way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2015   #266
Pyprohly

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan
 
 

I read this MSDN blog article about "Shell Folders" some time ago, and since then I was under the impression that all of these "Shell Folders" were completely obsolete and only existed for backwards capability.

So I did some testing and I found that the values contained in the "Shell Folders" key indeed did nothing. But the "User Shell Folders" values are in fact used to determine the location of a user accounts' special folders.


Some quotes from the MSDN article,
Quote:
But to ease the transition from the M3 documentation to the RTM documentation, we left the old "Shell Folders" registry key around
[...]
[The "Shell Folders" key] was just a shadow of the "real" data stored elsewhere ("User Shell Folders").
[...]
The "Shell Folders" key exists solely to permit four programs written in 1994 to continue running on the RTM version of Windows 95.

Fixing the values contained in the "User Shell Folders" key is the important step. Any attempting this tutorial can effectively skip steps 19 - 24 (which instruct you to repair the values in the "Shell Folder" key) and still have their special folders back to where they should be.


Brink, why not have a single .reg file that fixes values in both the "Shell Folder" and "User Shell Folder" keys at the same time?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2015   #267
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pyprohly View Post
I read this MSDN blog article about "Shell Folders" some time ago, and since then I was under the impression that all of these "Shell Folders" were completely obsolete and only existed for backwards capability.

So I did some testing and I found that the values contained in the "Shell Folders" key indeed did nothing. But the "User Shell Folders" values are in fact used to determine the location of a user accounts' special folders.


Some quotes from the MSDN article,
Quote:
But to ease the transition from the M3 documentation to the RTM documentation, we left the old "Shell Folders" registry key around
[...]
[The "Shell Folders" key] was just a shadow of the "real" data stored elsewhere ("User Shell Folders").
[...]
The "Shell Folders" key exists solely to permit four programs written in 1994 to continue running on the RTM version of Windows 95.

Fixing the values contained in the "User Shell Folders" key is the important step. Any attempting this tutorial can effectively skip steps 19 - 24 (which instruct you to repair the values in the "Shell Folder" key) and still have their special folders back to where they should be.


Brink, why not have a single .reg file that fixes values in both the "Shell Folder" and "User Shell Folder" keys at the same time?
Incorrect. Those steps do indeed need to make sure that they have the correct path as well. If not, then you could run into issues with anything that needs backwards compatibility.

It's best to be thorough and safe, than risk something breaking later.

I would love to, but can't do a .reg file for the "Shell Folder" location since it's data values must use the full path with user name instead of with a variable like the "User Shell Folder" location.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2015   #268
Pyprohly

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Incorrect. Those steps do indeed need to make sure that they have the correct path as well.
Would you like to provide evidence or cite some source to support the fact that Steps 19 - 24 are important? From my testing at least, the "Shell Folders" key appears to be utterly redundant.

I had changed the value of the "My Video" entry of both the "Shell Folder" and "User Shell Folder" keys to different locations on my machine. Upon logging in again, I found that my "My Videos" folder was the location of which the "My Video" value of the "User Shell Folder" key mentions.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
If not, then you could run into issues with anything that needs backwards compatibility.
I'd like to rebut that statement by restating the the quote from MSDN,
Quote:
The "Shell Folders" key exists solely to permit four programs written in 1994 to continue running on the RTM version of Windows 95.
Changing or even deleting the Shell Folders key will not breaking anything. The year 1994, where reading values from Shell Folder was encouraged, is far long in the past to be relevant to anything today. Thus it can be assumed that the Shell Folders key is no longer used for anything and is obsolete now.
Quote:
I strongly suspect that of those four original programs for which the "Shell Folders" key was originally created, not a single one is still in existence today.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
I would love to, but can't do a .reg file for the "Shell Folder" location since it's data values must use the full path with user name instead of with a variable like the "User Shell Folder" location.
Ahh, I see. That would make sense.

Hm. A batch file can fix that... which gets me thinking: ever considered an option 3 that makes use of a batch file to fix all the Shell Folders and User Shell Folders values? That would be most convenient and a really fast solution for the users who just want things fixed immediately.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2015   #269
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pyprohly View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Incorrect. Those steps do indeed need to make sure that they have the correct path as well.
Would you like to provide evidence or cite some source to support the fact that Steps 19 - 24 are important? From my testing at least, the "Shell Folders" key appears to be utterly redundant.

I had changed the value of the "My Video" entry of both the "Shell Folder" and "User Shell Folder" keys to different locations on my machine. Upon logging in again, I found that my "My Videos" folder was the location of which the "My Video" value of the "User Shell Folder" key mentions.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
If not, then you could run into issues with anything that needs backwards compatibility.
I'd like to rebut that statement by restating the the quote from MSDN,

Changing or even deleting the Shell Folders key will not breaking anything. The year 1994, where reading values from Shell Folder was encouraged, is far long in the past to be relevant to anything today. Thus it can be assumed that the Shell Folders key is no longer used for anything and is obsolete now.
Quote:
I strongly suspect that of those four original programs for which the "Shell Folders" key was originally created, not a single one is still in existence today.
If you change a folder location using the GUI in OPTION ONE, it will make that change in both the "User Shell Folders" and "Shell Folders" key locations.

Because of that, I believe in being thorough, and making sure that it's set correctly everywhere in the registry to avoid every possible issue despite what that article says. I don't like leaving anything set incorrectly whether it's redundant or not.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pyprohly View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
I would love to, but can't do a .reg file for the "Shell Folder" location since it's data values must use the full path with user name instead of with a variable like the "User Shell Folder" location.
Ahh, I see. That would make sense.

Hm. A batch file can fix that... which gets me thinking: ever considered an option 3 that makes use of a batch file to fix all the Shell Folders and User Shell Folders values? That would be most convenient and a really fast solution for the users who just want things fixed immediately.

It would be great to have an a .bat or .vbs file that fixes it all in one click for each folder, but I'm not sure how to call for the user name to have the registry value set with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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