| By Ian “Gizmo” Richards |
Your documents, images, and other data and system files are strewn throughout the far corners of your hard drive.
Here’s a cheat sheet to help you find lost e-mail, shrouded Windows system files, and every other type of file you may need.
Make sure you’re seeing all there is to see
In my Sept. 11 column on backup options, I mentioned that one of the difficulties of backing up your data is finding exactly where your e-mail, browser bookmarks, and other important files are located.
In an ideal world, these files would all be situated in your My Documents folder (Documents in Vista). Backing up would then be easy: simply copy that folder to another storage device and you’re done.
Alas! With Windows, we are a long way from this ideal. Windows scatters vital files across many different locations. Worse still, the file locations vary, depending on which version of Windows you’re using.
If this sounds like a mess, it’s because it is a mess, and you can thank Microsoft for creating it. However, it’s not so bad a mess that we can’t work our way through it.