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Old 02-20-2017, 12:35 PM   #1
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Question

The default XP directory tree structure places the "My Music" folder under the "My Documents" folder.

This poses a problem for me when I edit a text file stored in the "My Documents" folder and then ask my back-up software to back-up all changed files in the "My Documents" folder. This forces the back-up program to check for changes, not only in my text files, but also in every one of my hundreds upon hundreds of MP3 files.

I'd like to find a way to modify the XP directory tree so that it resembles the Windows 7 directory tree, where "My Documents" is stored under a "Libraries" folder like this:
Libraries
Documents
Music
Pictures
Videos
But I've heard that it's unwise to try to move or rename the "My Documents" folder because it's a Windows XP system folder.

I'd be grateful for some help figuring out how I can separate the "My Music" folder from the "My Documents" folder, without messing up my Windows XP system.

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Old 02-20-2017, 01:14 PM   #2
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Consider just backing up the entire My Documents folder at appropriate intervals rather than with every change.
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Old 02-20-2017, 03:17 PM   #3
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The easiest thing to do would be to create new folders called Music, Pictures Videos etc. under C:\Documents and Settings\[YourUserName] Move the files in My Music under My Documents to the Music folder, move the pictures in My Pictures to the pictures folder etc. Now you will only have Documents in the My Documents folder and empty folders called My Pictures, and My Music etc.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corday View Post
Consider just backing up the entire My Documents folder at appropriate intervals rather than with every change.
Hello, CluelessInSeatl,

I would agree with the suggestion Corday provided. In my experience, doing what you suggest with your My Music folders etc. could result in loss of any new music you may have acquired/saved between backups.

I had a client who did move his music and picture files, and mistakenly did NOT arrange to incrementally back them up afterward. He lost about 6 months of recently saved music/pictures when his HDD failed irrecoverably. His wife was not the least happy when all the photos of the birth and first 6 months of their child became lost forever!


It doesn't take very long to have the backup process "check" for new/changed files and SKIP them during the backup process, and you may save the later loss of some music/pictures that you considered VERY important. If the backup runs during the night or early morning it should not adversely effect your usage, and could save you a major headache down the road!


Also I recommend that you keep at least TWO sets of current backups, as HDD's do fail, even (or especially) external ones subject to jostling or accidental damage. Keep one full backup "offsite" or in a fire-proof storage location for maximum data safety. I long ago learned this important lesson the HARD WAY!
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Old 02-24-2017, 10:13 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! spunk,funk's suggestion seemed like a it would solve my problem.

But then I ran across something very interesting:

I'm running XP on two old hand-me-down computers: a laptop running XP home, and a PC running XP Professional. The versions of XP are what was installed on the computers when they were given to me.

I have the computers on a Windows Home network and and use Windows Remote Desktop so that I can use the laptop while working in bed to access the files on the PC which sits in the kitchen. (I'm disabled by chronic illnesses that make it difficult to sit up for more than a few minutes at a time). I keep all of my work on the PC, and just use the laptop as a kind of terminal. I don't store my files on the laptop, only on the PC.

Well, a day or two ago I was using Windows Explorer to tidy up the clutter on my Desktop on the laptop, and noticed something I didn't expect to see: A "Libraries" folder containing folders named "My Documents," "My Music," "My Pictures" and "My Videos." Here's a screen shot along with Windows "About Windows" pop up for that computer:

And here's what I see on my PC running XP Pro:

If you look in the upper left corner of the second screen shot, you'll see the folder named "My D..." (My Documents) peeking out from behind the " About Windows" pop up. And below the pop up you can see the "My Music," "My Pictures" and "My Videos" folders that are inside the "My Documents" folder.

So, the folder arrangement I want to set up on my XP PC, already exists on my XP laptop. The question is: How to transfer that folder arrangement to my PC.

Any ideas?

Will in Seattle
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Old 02-25-2017, 04:27 PM   #6
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The Libraries folder on the laptop, I believe is a folder under C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Desktop. Is that where want it?
On the desktop computer, browse to C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName create a folder called Libraries. Open the Libraries folder up and create separate folders Documents, Music, Pictures, Video. The path will be C:\Documents and Settings\YouUserName\Libraaries\Documents, C:\Documents and Settings\YouUserName\Libraries\Pictures etc.
Make sure Hidden Files and Folders are showing. Now under C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\My Documents, Copy all the files except My Pictures, My Music etc to the new Documents folder. Open the My Pictures folder, select all the files, and copy them to the Pictures folder etc. Now All the files will be where you want them. Now Right click each of the short cuts for My Documents etc under the Start button, choose Properties, and Find Target, Browse to the new folder on each one. The shortcuts should now lead to each of the new folders. After several days, if satisfied, you can then delete the My Documents folder which would include the My Pictures, and My Music etc
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:26 AM   #7
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
The Libraries folder on the laptop, I believe is a folder under C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Desktop. Is that where want it?
Here's the properties sheet for the "Libraries" folder on my laptop:



It turns out to be a shortcut to "My Documents."
And, here's the properties sheet for "My Documents":



What do you make of that?

Will in Seattle
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:32 AM   #8
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It looks like someone copied the Libraries folder from a Windows 7 machine and put it in XP. That just confuses the matter.
If you follow the instructions in Post#6 you should get the desired effect.
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Old 03-03-2017, 03:47 AM   #9
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Thanks for the detailed instructions, spunk.funk. I've followed them up to this point:
Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
Now Right click each of the shortcuts for My Documents etc under the Start button, choose Properties, and Find Target,
But at that point I can't figure out what "under the Start button" means.

Here's a screenshot of my Start button:



As you can see, there's only blank space under the Start button.

I have XP configured to look like Win 98/2000. Could that be the problem?

Will in Seattle
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Old 03-03-2017, 05:06 PM   #10
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Yes, you want the regular Windows XP Start menu not the Classic look. So when you Left click the Start Button, you get this (see attached).
Now Right click the Shortcuts on the Start Menu and change the Target to the appropriate folder.
Unless you want to keep the Classic Windows 98 Start Menu, then it doesn't matter.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	67433-click-my-documents.gif
Views:	62
Size:	35.1 KB
ID:	302369   Click image for larger version

Name:	xpstartprops.PNG
Views:	55
Size:	76.1 KB
ID:	302377  
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:31 PM   #11
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What do you think of this possible solution:



I've created three new folders under "My Documents." And I've moved my document, music and picture files into these three new folders. Do you think it's safe for me to leave them there now?

And if so, would it also be safe for me to rename "My Documents" to "Libraries"? Or would that be tempting XP to trash all my files?

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Old 03-22-2017, 06:18 PM   #12
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Ok, first off the Default structure for the User files on XP is C:\Documents and Settings\My Documents, within the My Documents folder is My Pictures, My Music and My Videos, as well as Desktop, and Favorites.
Your Structure, if you were to browse it in Windows Explorer or My Computer is C:\Documents and Settings\My Documents\Desktop\(then your created files)My Documents\ which includes My Pictures\, My Music\ and My Videos.
I don't know why you had to create new folders when the default ones are basically the same, in fact the path is shorter? You have done a lot of work and you have ended up with the same results only a longer path.
If you change the name My Documents folder to Libraries, the folders within (ie) My Music, My Pictures etc, their path would be messed up. the files would still be there, but the shortcuts would not work.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
I don't know why you had to create new folders when the default ones are basically the same, in fact the path is shorter?
My objective was to separate the folder containing document files from the folders containing music and picture files. The default XP directory tree structure places the "My Music" fand "My Pictures" folders under the "My Documents" folder. What I'm after is a structure that mimics the Windows 7 structure like this:
Libraries
Documents
Music
Pictures
And to have these folders appear at the very top of XP's Windows Explorer display, above all the other folders.

I've now got the new folders showing up where I want them. But I'm worried because I've read that XP doesn't like users to mess around with the arrangement of the "My Documents," "My Music" and "My Pictures" folders. So I'm wondering if XP will tolerate my inserting these three new folders under the default "My Documents" folder.


Quote:
If you change the name My Documents folder to Libraries, the folders within (ie) My Music, My Pictures etc, their path would be messed up. the files would still be there, but the shortcuts would not work.
OK, I won't mess with the "My Documents" folder name. I'll just think of "My Dcouments" as the equivalent of "Libraries" and leave it at that.

So, what do you think? Will XP let me continue to use these three new folders I created under "My Documents"?

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"


P.S. I did follow your instructions in an earlier post:
Quote:
"create new folders called Music, Pictures Videos etc. under C:\Documents and Settings\[YourUserName] Move the files in My Music under My Documents to the Music folder, move the pictures in My Pictures to the pictures folder etc. Now you will only have Documents in the My Documents folder and empty folders called My Pictures, and My Music etc."
but I was unable to figure out how to get those folders to appear at the top of the Windows Explorer display.

I figured I could create shortcuts to them, and place the shortucts under "My Documents." But when I tried right clicking on the folders to create shortcuts, the "Create shortcut" option didin't appear on the context menu for some reason. So that's why I resorted to creating new folders
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
Ok, first off the Default structure for the User files on XP is C:\Documents and Settings\My Documents
Hmmm? I don't seem to have that on my installation of XP. Here's all that shows up when I run a DIR command on Documents & Settings at the command prompt:
Directory of C:\Documents and Settings

01/06/2010 12:33 PM <DIR> .
01/06/2010 12:33 PM <DIR> ..
12/09/2012 06:48 AM <DIR> Administrator
07/29/2016 03:15 PM <DIR> All Users
03/22/2017 09:16 PM <DIR> Happy User
0 File(s) 0 bytes
5 Dir(s) 5,826,023,424 bytes free
I'm using a hand-me-down PC that I received with XP already installed on it by the previous owner. I'm thinking that perhaps I should start a new thread asking for instructions on how to restore the default structure that you described.

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Old 03-23-2017, 12:30 PM   #15
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Unlike modern version of Windows from Vista, 7 and on, In XP, the User file is called Documents and Settings, rather then User. I forgot to put in the User Name as part of the full path of the default XP User files, It is:
C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\My Documents\(under this is) My Pictures, My Music etc
The Hand Me down PC came with the user name Happy User.
Quote:
I've created three new folders under "My Documents." And I've moved my document, music and picture files into these three new folders
In the screenshot in Post#11 You have the My Music, My Pictures, My Videos Still under the My Documents folder, just like the Default XP structure you are trying to avoid. And the My Documents folder is under Desktop which is under the Happy User folder.
So, if you are logged in as Happy User, Your current structure is:
C:\Documents and Settings\Happy User\Desktop\My Documents\My Pictures etc As explained in Post#6. This adds another layer or folder to the structure. The default XP user structure is at the top of this post.
If you are the only user on the computer then To do what you are trying to do, Right click the Start Button and choose Explore to open the Windows Explorer. Browse to the Root of the C:\ drive, where Windows is.
Create a folder called Libraries (ie) C:\Libraries. Open the folder and create new folders for Documents, Music, Pictures and Video. Copy the files of each folder from the default location and paste them into the new folders as outlined again in Post#6. They will now be C:\Libraries\Pictures etc
If more then one user, then you would want to create the Libraries folder under each Users Name (ie) C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Libraries
If you have the XP Theme Start Button and not the Classic Look you can then point the current shortcuts to the new folders by following the instructions in this quote
Quote:
Right click each of the short cuts for My Documents etc under the Start button, choose Properties, and Find Target, Browse to the new folder on each one. The shortcuts should now lead to each of the new folders. After several days, if satisfied, you can then delete the My Documents folder which would include the My Pictures, and My Music etc
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:42 AM   #16
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I appreciate your tenacity in sticking with me, spunk.funk, in spite of my geriatric obtuseness.

I went back and retraced my steps and ran into the same problem that tripped me up the first time I tried to follow your instructions:

Quote:
Right click each of the short cuts for My Documents etc under the Start button, choose Properties, and Find Target, Browse to the new folder on each one.
The problem I ran into is that the Properties sheets for the My Music and My Pictures items on the XP Start Menu seem to show them as actual files, not shortcuts. So there doesn't seem to be any "Find Target" option.



And, I'm not sure I there's any need for me to change the targets of those shortcuts anyway. I never use that XP Start Menu. I just use Windows Explorer. So is there any reason why I couldn't just skip this step in the procecure and not bother with modifying the Start Menu shortcuts?

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Old 03-25-2017, 12:33 PM   #17
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If you don't use the XP Start Menu shortcuts, then don't worry about it.

Quote:
If you are the only user on the computer then To do what you are trying to do, Right click the Start Button and choose Explore to open the Windows Explorer. Browse to the Root of the C:\ drive, where Windows is.
Create a folder called Libraries (ie) C:\Libraries. Open the folder and create new folders for Documents, Music, Pictures and Video. Copy the files of each folder from the default location and paste them into the new folders as outlined again in Post#6. They will now be C:\Libraries\Pictures etc
If more then one user, then you would want to create the Libraries folder under each Users Name (ie) C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Libraries
Do follow the instructions in the Quote above, if you want to create a Libraries folder that is in the Root of the C: drive.
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Old 03-30-2017, 08:21 PM   #18
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Many thanks, spunk.funk! I appreciate your being so patient with me. Your solution is exactly what I was looking for.
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