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Windows File Reference Error - Location is not available.

Posted on 2012-03-16
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Last Modified: 2012-03-27
After cleaning up my desktop in Windows 7 professional edition using Admin User, I am now getting a error message when I try to access folders in My documents. Windows is telling me

"refers to a location that is unavailable."

When I set up Windows I changed my My Documents folder from "C:\Users\Mike\Documents" to "C:\McL".

Windows used to know this but for some reason it is now looking for folders in the original C:\Users\Mike\Documents location when the folder is actually in the C:\McL location.

This seems to only happen in certain instances in windows 7. If I click on a shortcut in Explorer it works fine. However, if I click on a shortcut under the Libraries function or if I use a shortcut that is pinned to my task bar or if I am in my Recent list of shortcuts they all throw up this error.

Basically when ever Windows wants to find something in "C:\Users\Mike\Documents" I want it to look in "C:\McL" Is there a way of telling Windows this? If so, can someone please give me a SIMPLE step by step procedure of setting this up? Thanks.
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Question by:Scruples89
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Expert Comment

by:SStory
ID: 37730413
Try this:

hit the Windows key + R to get to Run, then
type c:\users\<yourusername>\
Right click on documents and choose properties
From that dialog add the c:\McL folder by clicking Include a folder
then select that folder and click the Set save location button
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Author Comment

by:Scruples89
ID: 37730932
Okay, I tried this. Yes, the default location was set to C:\users\<yourusername>. When I try to add c:\McL It tells me it is already there as C:\My Documents. So I set this as the default Save location for documents. However, when I try the links that generate the error I get same error.  So this solution does not appear to be working.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:SStory
ID: 37731351
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Author Comment

by:Scruples89
ID: 37748777
That helps partially! I need to find and replace the following string in the list of pinned shortcuts I have under excel and word on my windows 7 task bar. Find C:\User\Mike\Documents Replace with C:\McL\. This only seems to be a problem in certain situations. Pined shrtcuts, Library links, etc.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:SStory
ID: 37749047
I'd love to know how it works out for you and if you lose data in the long run by Windows renaming the directory or anything.  I am considering doing this sort of thing in the future.
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Accepted Solution

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Scruples89 earned 0 total points
ID: 37754501
So here is how I fixed this problem.
1. Downloaded juntion.exe from SysInternals on the Microsoft Support Website.
2. Booted into safe Mode under the User Administrator
3. Copied all the folders and files in C:\Users\Mike\Documents to C:\McL
4. Deleted the folder C:\Users\Mike\Documents
5. Ran junction.exe and ponted C:\Users\Mike\Documents to C:\McL
6. Now all the links referencing C:\Users\Mike\Documents use c:\McL instead.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Scruples89
ID: 37770432
I solved it myself using the junction function!
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