Which "Documents" ?


Old 01-19-07, 08:28 PM
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Which "Documents" ?

I grew up using computers before the appearance of hidden directories and false (shortcut) folders. Before the pretend Desktop. Naturally, I'm most comfortable working with C:\ , everything in view and well organized. So that's where I'm coming from.

Now, I've got one XP machine, no network, just one person using it (myself).

I've set up three hardware profiles: General, Basic, Basic Offline. The basic profiles are stripped of 36+ unnecessary windows services; windows runs a lot snappier this way and it's great for resource-hogging applications. To match the hardware profiles, I've got three users: General, Basic, and Basic Offline. The users allows me to disable overhead like antivirus when in the offline profile, for example.

This yields too many "documents" folders for me to get my mind around. I have:
My (current user) Documents - of the Desktop,
1 Shared Documents plus 3 user Documents folders - of Desktop\My Computer\(username's Documents),
Another bunch in Desktop\My Computer\C:\Documents and Settings\(username) .

I just want to keep all my files in one place, with one tidy directory tree. In the past, I'd employ a second drive to avoid the nonsense of redundant/false folders. Today, I want a handle on this.

Is there a "real" documents folder? Should I use it, or a "pretend" folder? How do I ensure everything is visible to all users? How do I prevent windows from making duplicates of files?
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Old 01-20-07, 06:41 AM
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First, and most important, you should not disable your anti-virus software. You want your anti-virus software to check every file you open for possible viruses. You never know when you may get one onto your hard drive and then open at a later time.

But back to your question.

Just because Windows suggests a different directory for each user does not mean you have to use it. You can always browse to a common directory whenever you need to load or save a file.

Further, most Microsoft programs allow you to specify the default directory where files will be saved to and loaded from. Some other programs have this same feature.

Finally, you can make changes to the registry that will tell the OS to use some other directory for each user. However, I don't recommend registry changes for typical users, as one wrong move can lead to the OS needing to be reinstalled.

As for permission, they are not an issue. If all of your users have administrator privileges then they can access any directory. If the users do not have administrator privileges then you can manually go to the directory and set it to be accessible by any user.
Old 01-20-07, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for tipping me in the right direction.

Google "default documents folder" brought me to the right page at Kellys Korner



"By default, the target or actual location of the My Documents folder is C :\Documents and Settings\ user name \My Documents, where C is the drive in which Windows is installed, and user name is the currently logged-on user. You can change the target if you want My Documents to point to a different folder location.


To change the default location of the My Documents folder, follow these steps:

Click Start, and then point to My Documents.

Right-click My Documents, and then click Properties. Click the Target tab...


So, I'll just change the OS default My Documents *target* for each user to one common folder, curtly named "Documents". Then I needn't browse to it every time. There's even a button "Restore Default" for easy return to user-frisky mode.

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