Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Monterey, California, USA
    Posts
    69
    Thanks
    20
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Windows7 Libraries Chaos

    I have a new-to-me Dell Latitude E6500 laptop that is far from use because Win7 confuses me terribly. I have looked for (but not found) a "big picture" of Win7's structure by browsing the three Windows Secrets Windows7 Guide books; David Pogue's Windows7 Missing Manual; Bott's, Siechert's, and Stinson's Windows7 Inside Out Deluxe Edition; and David Karp's Windows7 Annoyances.

    For example, when I tried to rename and then delete a document within a folder, I got the message ""The action can't be completed because the folder is open in Windows Explorer." Of course I was in the folder! That's where the document was! If I exited the folder, I lost access to the document! So I gave up, and I won't try asking for help about that because I don't remember what I was doing before that made this folder's content unchangeable.

    Nevertheless, I am seriously thinking that I will never be able to use Windows 7, and I will have to abandon all computing activities after April 2014, when MS drops WinXP support and interesting websites (e.g. Schwab) will be inaccessible (as happened when I tried continuing with Win2kSp4). I will illustrate my discouragement with the issue of Libraries.

    If I look at my Libraries, I see the following Library categories, down to but not including Dell E6500:

    Libraries
    ------Documents
    ------------My Documents
    ------------------My Music
    ------------------My Pictures
    ------------------My Videos
    ------------Public Documents
    ------------------My Music
    ------------------My Pictures
    ------------------My Videos
    ------Music
    ------------My Music
    ------------Public Music
    ------------------Sample Music
    ------Pictures
    ------------My Pictures
    ------------Public Pictures
    ------------------Sample Pictures
    ------Videos
    ------------My Videos
    ------------Public Videos
    ------------------Sample Videos
    Dell E6500

    [Digression: I had to mark the indentations with dashes because spaces got wiped out when I previewed this.
    It sure would be nice if Win7 indented sub-libraries with clear indents such as those above, rather than requiring me to hold up a vertical rule to the screen to be sure I knew what was a sub-library.]

    Note the incredible amount of repetition!

    Question 1) Where would a document with actual words in it (e.g. a Children's Story about Rumple Stiltskin and the Three Bears, or a careful analysis of U.S. foreign policy) be represented among the Libraries I have outlined above?

    Question 2) Short of wiping my hard disk clean and re-installing Windows7 (I have the CD or DVD), how can I get a real Documents library (or sub-library) installed?

    Question 3) Is the lack of a true Documents library the result of my not having a Documents folder? Where should I look to see if I have a Documents folder? [I would want it to be everything in Partition D: (D: is for Data), intended to be my Documents Folder, for my Administrator account aod for my Standard account.]

    Question 4) Background: David Pogue's Windows 7 Missing Manual book, page 142, includes the following: "Anything you put into a Public folder is available to anyone with an account on your PC, or even other people on your network."

    In my case, I am the only user of my WinXP laptop on which I am writing this, and my wife is the only user of her WinXP laptop. Each computer has only one folder accessible, over a NetBEUI Local Area Network, to the other computer. (Each of those folders could be described as a "Transfer Stuff" folder.) And access to the other laptop's "Transfer Stuff" folder requires each of us to use a login name and password.

    In short, I have no need for a Public anything.

    Question 4) Question: For my simple situation, can Public Folders and Public Libraries be discarded? (There maybe could be one "Public" aka "Transfer Stuff" Folder, on Partition D: --- except that Pogue says it could be accessed by "other people on your network," and since NetBEUI apparently is dead in Win7, I fear that "other people on your network" might be strangers via the internet.) Assuming I become able to use --- I'll never be able to master --- Win7, we may have to "Transfer Stuff" using shoenet.

    Any comments, suggestions, or answers to the questions above would be very much appreciated.

    R.N. (Roger) Folsom
    Last edited by RNFolsom; 2013-02-18 at 22:32.

  2. Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,106
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 241 Times in 234 Posts
    Here's what I would do since you have a separate partition for your data; tame those libraries and customize it to only show data on your D partition. Here's an example of one library item that you could follow up with on the rest;

    Click on Computer and then in the left margin, Pictures library. Then in that library click on the 2 locations link (might be 1 or 3 or more but usually its 2). Pictures Library Locations window should open, and you'll see an Add... button. Use that to add the location of your pictures on the D drive if its not already there. THEN, the taming part, is highlight one of the other locations on that list and click on Remove. Then also remove any other locations other than your Pictures folder on the D partition.

    Ok that when only the single location is listed and the default. Now the library will only point to that one location for opening and for saving picture files. Repeat the procedure for documents, music and videos libraries so that they will all only use your data partition as the save and open location for data.

    AS far a sharing over a network without setting up anything fancy, the Public folders of Windows 7 are intended to take the place of Shared Documents in XP. So as long as you're on a home network with a router and modem or modem/router, public just means sharing between user accounts or others on the same local network just like Shared Documents is in XP. I use the public folders all the time on my systems without concern. You can always set up a special Transfer Stuff folder as well but it will need sharing and security permissions that the Public folders already have.

  4. #3
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,272
    Thanks
    130
    Thanked 1,153 Times in 1,062 Posts
    I would offer there is nothing to tame, really. Libraries are just an organizational aid, meant to ease access to your data. There is only one Music library, regardless of whether you access it from the Documents library or from the music Library. So you have multiple ways to access your data, not just one. Imagine them as multiple routes to the exact same destination (unique destination, no repetition there) and you can take the route you like the most or that is more handy, depending on where you are when you want to access it.

    1. By default, if you don't change a thing, and considering a default installation in documents will be located in c:\users\YourUsername\documents. In here you can create whatever structure you want and it will show up in libraries. This folder, by default, is where you get if you go to Libraries->Documents->My Documents.

    2. I don't see the point of this question. Just visit Libraries->Documents->My Documents and add your documents there. This location really is, by default, c:\users\YourUsername\documents -> this one is your real folder, not a library link.

    You can even forget about libraries and use the folder concept, from XP. From that sense, your cheese will be in c:\users\YourUsername\documents, which you can access directly, navigating there through Windows Explorer, or you can access beginning in Libraries and going Libraries->Documents->My Documents.

    3. If you don't need the Public folder, don't use it. I never use mine. It can't get any simpler than that.

    4. People on the internet can't access your folders, none of them, unless you move your computer to a public network and have documents in the public folders. Keep the default security measures in Windows active (the windows firewall), use a decent AV app and you will be safe, without reason to worry.


    Remember, Libraries are just shortcuts to your files. The files are located in real folders and libraries are meant to be an easier way to access what is located in real folders. From a mental point of view, they can be ignored. Just put your documents in c:\users\YourUserName\Documents, your music in c:\users\YourUserName\Music, your pictures in c:\users\YourUserName\pictures and you will be fine.

  5. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 930 Times in 851 Posts
    The Libraries are a repository of pointers to your documents. The libraries do not actually hold the data. The data is stored in the data folders under User, UserName structure. The libraries contain pointers to the data folders. This is what allows you to move the data to a separate partition (drive) and still have pointers in the libraries to those new folder locations. If you used the approved method to change the location of the actual data folders then the pointers have been changed.

    The library categories you have shown is perfectly normal. Quite often people choose to add data to the Public Folders to allow easy sharing to everyone on a network, but I have mine set to share with other PCs on my network without using the Public Folders. That's just me. I have nothing except the default info in the Public Folders. As Rui mentions you do not need to use the libraries if you do not wish to. Just know that if you place data in the default data folders, then pointers to that new data will be created in the respective library.

    The libraries are an attempt by MS to allow a user to create data folders all over their PC in non-default locations and have pointers available in one place (libraries) to that data so it can be found easily. In some scenarios, generally in a power user situation, a user may create specific folders to hold all data on a project, whether .doc or .jpb or .pdf, etc. in one folder on an entirely separate partition than the default folders. Using the libraries, a separate library can be created to point to this data in a non-default location. There is a lot of information on libraries on the internet.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  6. #5
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,106
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 241 Times in 234 Posts
    I agree for the most part that there is nothing to tame as long as one understands them fully, and if there's a good purpose for the user to have them. Seems like this is not the case here and is only adding greatly to unneeded confusion.
    One could use the same locations windows to change the default location to the D partition but if one never wants to save data on the system partition, why include it? Also a little "gotcha" that is often never discussed is the differing permissions a file can get depending on which location it is initially saved to. That is understandable, but as a home network user of two or more systems, potentially really irritating.

  7. #6
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,272
    Thanks
    130
    Thanked 1,153 Times in 1,062 Posts
    The really important thing to do, if a move of documents, pictures, music to D: is desired is to change these folders location. That can be accomplished very easily with a right click in each of them, them choosing the Location tab and then choosing the Move button.

  8. #7
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Hillsborough (San Francisco Bay area), California, USA
    Posts
    571
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 54 Times in 53 Posts
    That can be accomplished very easily with a right click in each of them, them choosing the Location tab and then choosing the Move button.
    To expand a little - that's one of the few SAFE ways to move them.

    Zig

  9. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Polk County, Florida
    Posts
    2,376
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 238 Times in 190 Posts
    Knowing where I put all my files in the first place, I have found "Libraries" to be absolutely worthless, and have disabled them.

    My music is in a 200GB partition.

    My pictures are in a 40GB partition.

    My Users folder is in a 40GB partition.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2013-02-19 at 17:06.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  10. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    5,435
    Thanks
    128
    Thanked 495 Times in 455 Posts
    Hide, Delete or Customize Libraries in Windows 7

    Don't like the Library function in windows 7? Then don't use them. it's as simple as that.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •