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folders in Win7 where personal files reside

Posted on 2014-12-02
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
i need to copy the personal files on a win7 laptop i received and put fresh win7.

would it be safe to assume the personal files are all going to reside inside "Program Files", "Program Files (x86)", "Users"

The other folders I see on C drive are  dell, intel, perflogs,   Windows. (this is a lenovo laptop). Other than C drive, D drive is restore drive and that's all the drives.

thanks.
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Question by:25112
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by:ivanoviola
ivanoviola earned 125 total points
ID: 40477716
Personal files should all reside in the user's profile. C:\Windows\Users\{Profile Name}.  Program files +Program Files (x86) contain software specific files, not personal files. You can use the Windows Easy transfer to backup the profile and transfer it to your new installation:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/transfer-files-settings-from-another-computer#1TC=windows-7

IV
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by:10023
10023 earned 125 total points
ID: 40477734
I agree with Ivan:
But with Windows 7 there is the concept of libraries and sort of default folder locations for specific types of files ...like pictures, videos, documents etc...For most users it is already clear but for a new user of windows 7, it might seem confusing...anyways I found  a link to a microsoft document that is good start:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/working-with-files-folders#1TC=windows-7
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by:VB ITS
VB ITS earned 125 total points
ID: 40477747
I usually backup all the folders you see in C:\Users\username, e.g. Contacts, Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Favourites, Links, Music, Pictures, Saved Games, Searches, and Videos. Sometimes you'll find that users save files to the root of their C:\Users\username folder so it might be worth just taking a backup of the entire folder.

Also enable the Show hidden files, folders and drives option in the Folder Options, then go into C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming and backup the relevant folders you see in there.

The Program Files directories are exactly that, for program files. You don't generally need to back up these folders. Some programs do store customizations in their respective folders within the Program Files directory but you'll need to let us know what software you have installed for us to be able to tell you if any of your software does this.
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rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 40478225
I suggest you use the Easy Transfer Wizard which is built into Windows 7 to backup the user profiles and the public folder to a file, and then use the wizard again on the fresh installation to do the import.

You can select what you want to save into the file, and that would normally be the contents of "C:\Users\UserName", which is the User's Profile, and "C:\Users\Public", which is the public folder where general data meant for all users are stored (make separate transfers for every user with his complete profile selected, but nothing else.). The Public folder itself I just copy 1:1.

The user profiles aren't in "C:\Windows\Users" as was mentioned in the first comment.

You can't transfer installed software like that, you will have to re-install those manually, so make sure you have all the necessary product keys and installation media.
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by:25112
ID: 40509383
the reference was helpful- thanks.
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