special folder default locations

Can anyone help....?

I have tried moving the default locations of the Vista special folders now a few times by using the move location route. All seems to go well until at some point, something goes wrong or I do something wrong and I find a whole host of files being copied over when I know there is nothing in the default folder location as yet. These files seem to have nothing to do with the folder I am moving.

What is happening? Trying to work it out and put everything back where it was does not see very straightforward. On this I much preferred XP. Right click myDocuments, Move, Browse, OK. Done. The whole lot. This way of doing it in Vista is a complete pain in the arse in comparison.

For now I've given up and am just leaving them where they are, after another reinstall (no repair options as this is a recovery disk). But I don't want to be beaten by this. So can anyone suggest where I may be going wrong, if I am...?


Windows Forum Admin
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Hi kevvyb,
just a few questions first so I can hopefully help you better...
Which actual folders are you moving and why?


These were the reasons but I am now wondering how much gain there really was.

1. In case of drive failure have up to the minute copy of my data on disk 1 (but could do that leaving data folders in default location).

2. Quicker scanning of system drive without having to scan all data (but of course could also achieve same thing with schedules in virus scanner etc).

3. Quicker defrag of system drive without having to defrag all data , doesn't seem to need as much defrag as system itself.

So now I think about it a hit more, maybe not very many solid reasons.....

I used to just relocate My Documents in XP in one easy step. Now I was looking at all the Vista default folders. BTW this is on a machine that I am fixing for a friend. Hard drive failure with all data.

I am still running XP with configuration as described and dual booting Windows 7. I haven't yet looked at this issue in Windows 7. Are the special folder arrangements exactly the same as Vista?


Windows Forum Admin
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Pretty much yes... Also with vistas superfetch (basically storing your most used utilities in the RAM) it doesn't really make any difference moving stuff around. I copied this from a windows site:

'SuperFetch monitors which applications you use the most and preloads these into your system memory so they'll be ready when you need them.'

The above was taken from this site:


Re: special folder / library default locations

Hi again,

Having another bite at this. I think I may have been confused about the distinction between special folders and libraries in Windows 7. I'm finding this very difficult to get my head around!

What I would like to do is change the storage location at which the files I save in the documents, pictures, music and video libraries. I think this may be a different thing to moving the actual location of the library folder itself....? But I may still be hopelessly confused.

To reiterate I want to store my own files on a separate partition to the system by saving them in the libraries folders but changing the actual storage location of those library folders to D:/Files (or some such) rather then the default of C:/users/[username].

I am still having trouble with this and somehow managed to move a load of system folders (or the shortcuts to those folders - not sure which!) to my desktop. I have restored the defaults by using system restore.

Whilst am dual booting this has been a boon in that I can access all my files whether I am running XP (main system) or Windows 7. I think this may not have been possible if I had all my files stored on the C drive with the XP system as these folders seem to be locked when dual booting to Windows 7.

I hope this makes some sort of sense to someone !

Thanks in advance.


Former Moderator
Hi.... My C Drive is becoming too full. This is what I think I should do: Windows Administration Windows Vista: Move your user files and folders to another partition Tutorial (This is what you had when you had Windows Vista) You may have some confusion related to the previous system. Kemical would be able to help with Windows 7 proper filing...


Windows Forum Admin
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Microsoft MVP
Hi Celestra and kevvyb,
sometimes there is an advantage or there used to be in keeping certain files in other locations. In gaming for example, the game and page file would be kept on the spare HDD as it was thought to increase performance as the spare wouldn't be working as hard as the main 'C' drive. So yes, kevvyb, I do understand and hope it all goes well.
As for your nearly full 'C' drive Celestra.... Your either going to have to 'decant' some files off to another storage device (you could burn them to disk or use an external HDD for example.) or be rather ruthless and go through your files, un-installing anything that you don't need.. Personally I keep my drive very clean and once I've finished with something I delete/un-install it so why not go through your programs and files to see what can be removed?

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