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Ramifications of relocating Application data, Desktop, Favorites, Start Menu, Templates, User Data, My Documents

I have moved the following Documents and Settings folders to a separate partition: Application data, Desktop, Favorites, Start Menu, Templates, User Data, My Documents

I don't see any ramifications with Desktop, Favorites, Start Menu and My Documents - however, I am unsure about Application data, Templates and User Data.

I will often restore a prior system partition image when my machine starts acting odd - and I don't have to worry about restoring the "data" (i.e. the folders I mentioned above).  I have not experienced any problems with this approach.  Can anyone see any issues with these folders being out of synch with the system partition:  Application data, Templates and User Data
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SAbboushi
Asked:
SAbboushi
1 Solution
 
flatulenciaCommented:
I don´t understand to much you problem but to make the right ramifications you should:

Copy all the folders you want to another location (if the folder is a system folder) then do this:

1- Open regedit
2- go the the

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders

There you´ll see some system folders you made change to the new location

3- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

There you have some system folders to that you should change

Hope is usefull


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EricCommented:
like above.  you could make a backup of your registry.  then just edit the whole thing, do a find for "c:\documents ....\" and then just replace the directory that it finds with the new location..

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SAbboushiAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the responses -

Just to clarify, I am not asking how to do this or back it up, I have already done this!

Again, my question is:  Can anyone see any issues with these folders being out of synch with the system partition:  Application data, Templates and User Data
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EladlaCommented:
In one word, yes!
The only way to make this backup method effective is to make periodic copys of these directories.
A one-time copy will not do, since most of these folders change on a daily basis.
For example, these folders help your outlook express data and so on.
So to make it effective you must treat it like any other type of backup and
update it on a regular basis. If it`s up to date and you have to format, then you have a recent copy
and chances are you`ll be ok.
Good luck!
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TJworldCommented:
If you used the Power Toys feature to achive this relocation then Windows will have correctly updated the necessary pointers in the registry so everything behaves as it should.

I did exactly the same thing some time ago for similar reasons.

As an additional resore aid I exported the entire contents of these registry keys to text files

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Users

and then searched them for any references to "D:\Documents and Settings\"

When I found one I copied the parent key and the setting to another REGEDIT file that start off empty.

When it was finished it contained all the registry-specific references to the new location.

After I had done a system rebuild and added the same user names, I'd simply Merge this registry file into the registry and off I went.
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rindiCommented:
I don't think you should have any problems as long these folders belong to a users. You might run into problems with the special folders like All Users, Default User, LocalServices and NetworkServices.
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SAbboushiAuthor Commented:
TJworld-
Good thought - although that sounds somewhat time consuming - and maintenance intensive to keep the registry file "current".

rindi - thanks for sharing your opinion - I tend to agree, but am looking for someone who has more intimate knowledge of what is generally contained in these specific folders - because I certainly don't know!

Thanks everyone else for your comments - I still have the impression that some readers are not clear on the significance of what I am doing - so just in case, here is some more detail:

I understand that my applications add/delete/modify the contents of the following Docs & Settings folders: Application data, Templates and User Data
Let's say that today 11/23/04, I restore my system partition (C:) to an image I created on 11/1/04.  Since the Application data, Templates and User Data are stored on D:, they are not impacted in any way and remain on D:.  The result will be that my applications (Program Files and Registry) will be as they were back on 11/1/04, but my Application data, Templates and User Data folders remain as they were today, 11/23/04 before the image restore.  AGAIN, I am not talking about backing up these folders!

Does anybody have any SPECIFIC application examples of problems that I could experience by continuing this practice?  
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TJworldCommented:
The registry search for the keys is the only time-consuming bit... about 15 minutes.

You only need to do that procedure once.

Once you've got that file its about 4 seconds each time to click on it to restore all the pointers in the registry.
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TJworldCommented:
What you're doing is fine, provided on each new restore of the system you fix up the registry pointers.

The only thing you have to think about is changing versions of programs altering the schema of data files they create in those folders.

For example, Application X version 3 writes some data files to D:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\Application X\

A few months later you upgrade Application X to version 4. Without you knowing it changes the schema it uses in its data files.

You then restore your system partition and in the process return to version 3 of Application X.

Version 3 doesn't understand the updated schema in the data files that were written by version 4, and crashes out. You have no way of changing the format of its data files to allow it to run so have to do the manual update of Application X to version 4 again.
 

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SAbboushiAuthor Commented:
sorry for my long delay - thanks for your help
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