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"My Documents" Folder INSIDE "Documents" Folder..

Posted on 2012-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-23
I have a client who just migrated from a Windows XP computer to a  new computer with Windows 7.  He told me that he had backed up all of his data onto an external hard drive.  After setting up the new computer, I copied his  data to the new computer.  I did this by opening each directory, i.e. "music", "photos", "favorites", "My documents", copying the contents, and pasting into the new directory.

Apparently, he had a "my documents" folder inside the "my documents" directory on the old computer.  They were identical... in size and content.  He is trying to get rid of the "my documents" folder that is INSIDE the "DOCUMENTS" directory in Windows 7.  If he deletes a document inside the "my documents" folder, the same document disappears from the "documents" directory in Windows 7.

Any ideas  what might be causing this?  I suggested that he copy ALL documents and folders in the DOCUMENTS directory to an external hard drive, leaving the DOCUMENTS directory empty.  Then to copy and paste the documents he wants on his computer, leaving the copies on the external drive.  I have not heard what the results of this action are at this point, so I don't know if this solved the problem.  Whether is did or it didn't, isn't what is intriguing me...  I want to figure out what is causing this!

Thanks,
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Question by:Chaord49
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by:ltsweb
ltsweb earned 250 total points
ID: 37750858
The two directories are the same!

C:\Users\[username]\Documents is the same as "My Documents" from the explorer window.  It is an alias.
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Author Comment

by:Chaord49
ID: 37751065
I understand what you are suggesting, as I have seen this myself in Windows 7 in the left hand pane in Windows Explorer.  But if you look in the "Documents" Directory, by highlighting it in the left pane, you will NOT see a "My Documents" folder.  On THIS computer, however, there IS a "My Documents" folder.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37751297
Is the user conversant with the idea of libraries .. there is a documents library which by default contains "public documents" and the users "My Documents" folder.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Darr247 earned 250 total points
ID: 37753293
The 'duplicate' My Documents' "folder" is a reparse point.

NTFS reparse points were introduced with Win2000. Here's a KB article about them
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/205524


Here's an article about hard links, and junction points...
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa365006(v=vs.85).aspx

And here's one just on symbolic links
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa363878(v=vs.85).aspx

The Sysinternals tool Junction will show if a file or path is actually a reparse point and tell you the real path/filename if you run it against the filename with no arguments. Enclose paths with spaces in quotes.

e.g.
C:\junction "c:\users\darr\my documents"

Junction v1.06 - Windows junction creator and reparse point viewer
Copyright (C) 2000-2010 Mark Russinovich
Sysinternals - www.sysinternals.com

c:\users\darr\My Documents: JUNCTION
   Print Name     : C:\Users\Darr\Documents
   Substitute Name: C:\Users\Darr\Documents
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Author Comment

by:Chaord49
ID: 37753849
Thank you for this information.  I will report back here after I am able to go onsite.

Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:Chaord49
ID: 38005650
After the client went away for two months, I finally got back in front of his computer.  This worked just fine.  Thanks so much.  Sorry about the long delay.....
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