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Author Topic: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP  (Read 11781 times)

mitzevo

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Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« on: July 15, 2007, 03:01:21 AM »
Hello,

I know that you can change the My Documents (C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents by default) location in WinXP via the registry (either manually or by using a tool such as TweakUI XP, etc.)

And you could also use a junction in place of the standard My Documents folder that points to your new location..

I wanted to know what would be the best way of changing the default location for My Documents, My Music, etc.

What it be best to just change the locations via the registry? Or would it be better to use junctions? Would using junctions be too much for such a simple thing? Does using one or the other effect any programs seeking those special folders?

The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

ruadrift

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2007, 07:29:19 AM »
start->my docs->rt click->properties

mouser

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2007, 08:13:17 AM »
my memory is you can simply drag and move these folders from windows explorer to somewhere else, and windows will realize what you are doing and accept the new locations.

mitzevo

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 08:25:24 AM »
Thanks guys for your fast input.. but I know about the standard ways you can do it..

But I was thinking along the lines of.. would it be more efficient to use a junction? or just use the normal way to change paths..

Actually I think it's ok to use a junction (folder that points to another folder, but acts as that folder), but then again, it might be overkill for such a small change? idk.
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

tinjaw

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2007, 09:58:32 AM »
You can do that easily with TweakUI.

[attach=#1][/attach]

Curt

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2007, 10:10:33 AM »
I am confused. Why do you call this a small change? Of course it is a small thing to move a folder, you move the thing, but what about all the programs you are going to install in the future? You know that many programs are hardwired to make a folder in My Documents\, user or all users. I know nothing but cannot understand how this still will be a small change when the new programs install in a directory you kind of don't have - will they all find the new location?? I don't know, but the only way out of this that I can think of (if you run NTFS, not FAT32) is to use hard-links / junctions.

Read this DC thread, or even better: study the content of this page (where you can download the very fine HardLinkShellExt from the bottom line -Hermann Schinagl has been updating it many times since May 1999 (Last Updated March 25th 2007, Version 2.700) and I expect it surely must be bugfree.) - or: download Alax.Info NTFS Links; it is also said to be very fine.

(Edit: confusing typo, and clicked "notify me of replies")
« Last Edit: July 15, 2007, 10:17:24 AM by Curt »

tinjaw

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2007, 10:37:11 AM »
Curt,

I think the part you are missing is that there are certain folders/directories on a Windows box that are special. These folders have entries in the registry that tell other programs where they can be found. So, for example, a program may ask the registry for the location of the "My Documents" folder and the registry will reply with "C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\My Documents", but it can just as easily return "J:\home\username". So, by suing something like TweakUI, you can change the location the registry is pointing to. This way all programs that use this method (which is most, if they follow Microsoft's guidelines) will find the requested folder no matter where it resides.

Curt

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2007, 10:47:07 AM »
You are quite right, tinjaw, this (too) was something that I have been missing!
Thanks a lot for the enlightenment!  :up:

Curt

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2007, 11:17:46 AM »
This leads me to a question on a maybe-not-so-different matter I also have been missing: When I bought this PC I didn't have the money to buy an installation CD but merely had to get a preinstalled version. Whoever set this up   apparently had the name   karar, because that is the name of the %username% directory. I feel annoyed every time I see it. Can I somehow change the username and still keep everything in order?

 :tellme:
« Last Edit: July 15, 2007, 11:19:38 AM by Curt »

tinjaw

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2007, 11:36:41 AM »
It depends on a couple of things. First of all, are you signing in with the username "karar"? If not, did you just change the name on the "karar" account, or did you create a new one.

Curt

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2007, 12:00:27 PM »
Oh dear; do I really have to remember stuff like that (it really is hard to remember stuff you don't understand)?! I just took the PC into use, didn't I - I will have to figure out what to answer! First: I live alone so I don't log in - does anyone do that? I guess I have auto-logon. The name on top of Start is Curt, and in "My Computer" the not-shared folder is  "My Documents (Curt)" - and I didn't put the "(Curt)" there, Windows must have done that. But in Sys-Info it says: Username: DIT-4A811B5B42A\karar

Did I answer the question that I don't know how to answer??
 :tellme:

mitzevo

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2007, 12:00:38 PM »
Ok I'm going to have to say.. good point Curt, it's not a small change.. but tinjaw is right.. if the programs follow some guide lines, they should retrieve the correct path to the users' folders, and not use any hardcode paths at all..

And as for your annoying username problem, you can either change the display of it (logon, start menu) via the User management in Control Panel. This doesn't change the \Documents and Settings\Username to the new name, it merely changes a few locations that displays the username.. If you're fine with this, then do that..

Other wise if you want to completely remove the username, just create a new user (which will be your new account), copy all the \Documents and Settings\OldUserName to your .\NewUserName.. After you have copied all your old username settings to your new username.. You can assign admin (well you should have done that when you created the new account) priv's to your new account.. Then delete the old username..  :D

tinjaw: I know about TweakUI XP :P Do I need to repeat my self.. Nice screen shot though :D
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2007, 12:02:53 PM by mitzevo »

Curt

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2007, 12:21:47 PM »
... to completely remove the username, just create a new user (which will be your new account), copy all the \Documents and Settings\OldUserName to your .\NewUserName.. After you have copied all your old username settings to your new username.. You can assign admin (well you should have done that when you created the new account) priv's to your new account.. Then delete the old username..  

 :'(    :tellme:   :-[ 

  • create a new user/account) and assign admin priv's to your new account
  • copy all the \Documents and Settings\OldUserName (= \karar)
  • paste into your ..\NewUserName..
  • delete the old username..


- is that  it?  :tellme:

What about the many GB allocated to karar's System Recovery?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2007, 12:31:10 PM by Curt »

Deozaan

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2007, 12:29:47 PM »
This is perhaps only slightly related to topic now that Curt's asked about changing his account name.

I recently formatted and reinstalled XP. Now I only have one account on this machine, no guest account, and Administrator never shows up unless I boot into safe mode (as per usual), but for some reason it always makes me click my account to login instead of just logging me in to the only account on the system automatically.

Oh, and the account is NOT password protected.

I can never understand how it works. Usually my XP computers with just one account automatically load up to the desktop. Sometimes I'll change a setting in User Accounts and it will show the login screen when I boot up, but it seems to go away and just login automatically again after some time or some thing.

Has anyone noticed a pattern to this or does anyone know how to manually tell it to just automatically log in to the account?


mitzevo

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2007, 12:31:43 PM »
Curt:
So what you have right now is: \Documents and Settings\karar
Create a new user account, log into it atleast once, logout then log into the karar account or account with admin rights.

You should now have two usernames in the \Documents and settings folder:
\Documents and Settings\karar & \Documents and Settings\Curt (or what ever you chose for your new account)

Copy what you need out of the "karar" folder like start menu, app data, favorites, etc to your "Curt" folder - This step might be a little hard, you have to spend some time going through the folders and seeing what you need to keep every thing set up.

Once you have tried to duplicate the karar settings into the new username ("Curt) you can delete the user "karar", inturn deleting the folder \Documents and Settings\karar..

Deozaan: Some times I get this too! Some times I've found when having only one user account on XP it logs in automatically (you don't have to click your username to login) and other times you have to click the username to login, even without a password.. It must be some config'able setting some where to turn the welcome screen off.
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2007, 12:35:01 PM by mitzevo »

Deozaan

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2007, 12:42:12 PM »
Deozaan: Some times I get this too! Some times I've found when having only one user account on XP it logs in automatically (you don't have to click your username to login) and other times you have to click the username to login, even without a password.. It must be some config'able setting some where to turn the welcome screen off.

The only option I see is to not show the welcome screen, which means it shows the classic login screen (like how you log in to computers at a workplace).


Lashiec

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2007, 12:43:35 PM »
Installing .NET Framework (version 1.1, with 2.0 and 3.0 it's irrelevant) also creates a new account called "ASP.NET something" that forces the showing of the login screen. You disable it in "System Administration" (or whatever is called that applet in English XP), and you're set. This is on XP Professional, BTW. Not sure about Home Edition. Apart from that, I've never experienced something like the thing you mention.

jgpaiva

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2007, 12:49:23 PM »
Type "control userpasswords2" on the run dialog, and there's an option "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer". I think that'd solve your problem.

Deozaan

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2007, 12:59:32 PM »
Type "control userpasswords2" on the run dialog, and there's an option "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer". I think that'd solve your problem.

Yeah this solved the problem, but I've never had to do this before... Thanks!

Installing .NET Framework (version 1.1, with 2.0 and 3.0 it's irrelevant) also creates a new account called "ASP.NET something" that forces the showing of the login screen. You disable it in "System Administration" (or whatever is called that applet in English XP), and you're set. This is on XP Professional, BTW. Not sure about Home Edition. Apart from that, I've never experienced something like the thing you mention.

You're right, too. There is a ASP.NET Machine account, but it doesn't even show it on the Welcome Screen. Plus, I have all the same .NET and everything installed on my other machine and it logs in automatically just fine without me having to change any of this stuff.

Anyway, problem solved. At least until the next reformat/reinstall when I forget how to do this :) Thanks for the help, folks!


mitzevo

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2007, 01:12:55 PM »
Deozaan, good you solved the problem, I also found some info on that account and it does indeed make the welcome screen appear (http://www.4peeps.co...index.php/t9909.html), great. :D
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

wreckedcarzz

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2007, 01:22:53 PM »
This is perhaps only slightly related to topic now that Curt's asked about changing his account name.

I recently formatted and reinstalled XP. Now I only have one account on this machine, no guest account, and Administrator never shows up unless I boot into safe mode (as per usual), but for some reason it always makes me click my account to login instead of just logging me in to the only account on the system automatically.

Oh, and the account is NOT password protected.

I can never understand how it works. Usually my XP computers with just one account automatically load up to the desktop. Sometimes I'll change a setting in User Accounts and it will show the login screen when I boot up, but it seems to go away and just login automatically again after some time or some thing.

Has anyone noticed a pattern to this or does anyone know how to manually tell it to just automatically log in to the account?
I have had it happen many many many times. I find its after you have/use 2 accounts, then it (for whatever reason) thinks the 2nd account is there (even though it was the admin, or an old deleted one) so it gives you a choice. Just use TweakUI to auto-login for you.

EDIT: Never mind, you fixed it already :)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2007, 01:29:31 PM by wreckedcarzz »

Curt

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2007, 01:40:35 PM »
..I find its after you have/use 2 accounts, then it (for whatever reason) thinks the 2nd account is there (even though it was the admin, or an old deleted one) so it gives you a choice. .. EDIT: Never mind, you fixed it already

Well, I do mind, because it seems likely to also happen to me, if I follow the advice from mitzevo about creating a new user account, right?

Curt

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2007, 01:51:37 PM »
One more question  -  on a technicality: mitzevo used the word "copy", so I ask   if Windows will accept the action if I use the option "move to" instead? In my imagination there will be no settings for a little while   if I move   instead of copy?

tinjaw

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Re: Changing Location of My Documents/Music/etc. in Windows XP
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2007, 02:07:25 PM »
tinjaw: I know about TweakUI XP :P Do I need to repeat my self.. Nice screen shot though :D
Doh!  :-[