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  1. #1
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    Why relocating default folders is no longer wise




    LANGALIST PLUS


    Why relocating default folders is no longer wise



    By Fred Langa

    For years, Windows users have moved Users, Program Files, and some system folders to nonstandard locations. But it's now an obsolete idea; here's why. Plus: A Windows virus prompts "Get a Mac" advice, and a request for advice on using cut-rate, third-party printer ink.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/why-relocating-default-folders-is-no-longer-wise/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    Hi Fred
    I agree. I still redirect the default Docs folder as a simple exercise to separate files and data from OS and programs. (for the most part). I find keeping and backing up a data partition daily and the OS weekly the simplest way. I also like organizing my files differently than Microsoft does.

    For many people, the division is unnecessary. But I've found the more you handle digitally, the more important it gets to be able to manage all that simply. So I still like a separate partition.

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I always create my own documents folder (say, C:\FamilyDocs), and then store all of my documents in that folder. In fact, all users who use my computer use that same folder. We each have our own subfolder under C:\FamilyDocs, such as \Dad, \Mom, etc. In this way, it is extremely easy to back up everything that you really want to back up (the entire C:\FamilyDocs folder), while ignoring all of the excess baggage that Windows includes in the "authorized" user folders.

    I then set the default folders for my various programs to C:\FamilyDocs.

    I know that in spite of the above, some things are going to be saved in the official Windows locations. You can't help that. I just live with it, knowing that I can't do anything about it. I therefore track down all such folders, and I set my backup software to back up those locations.

    If I had two drives in the computer, I would put all of my data on the second drive. I would leave all of the Windows stuff on the first drive, so that I wouldn't have any issues related to stuff not being on C:.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Hey Y'all,

    I also have always moved the documents/music/pictures/downloads, etc folders to another partition on another physical drive. This as stated before makes fixing OS problems much easier (just reload the last OS image and the data remains untouched!). Since Win 7 I have updated to 8 and then to 8.1 w/o problem and since I use the MS approved method of moving the location the update code knows where things are. I've also moved my Outlook.pst file into my documents folder so it gets imaged with the rest of the data and is immune to OS problems as well. I'm just sayin'...
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    I do keep a Data Partition with my personal files on it. But I do not move the Windows default locations to that folder. Rather, it serves as a starting point for periodic data-only backups to my two external hard drives per OS or OS version.
    -- Bob Primak --

  6. #6
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    Same, I've found it much less necessary to move system folders with the advent of Libraries that can be molded to point to an off-system partition only and most programs don't know the difference once they are defaulted to the non-user account location.

    p.s. For R.G., time to consider hanging up the parting catch phrase, I believe it was voted 2nd or 3rd most annoying of the year; I'm just sayin'.

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Who by F.U.N.? RG, I used it on another forum (where I've not seen it before) just because it tempered what I was saying. Not that what I was saying was contentious, but some people can get their knickers in a twist too easily. But the forum is in the UK not the USA.

  8. #8
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    Whatever, you know, I'm just saying, obviously, USA. (those are the top 4 in order)

  9. #9
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Sorry guys this old retired geeek is always the last to know the latest trends. Woops, guess I shouldn't have used that smiley either.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

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  10. #10
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    Fred, further down in your column you give some advice about printer ink. You describe it as ridiculously expensive which, when you think about it out of context, it most certainly is. Your advice about saving money on printer ink is good. However, please remember that tech companies sell printers way below cost and make up that cost with the more expensive printer ink. It's the old "giving away the razor to sell the blades." Without that high cost ink we wouldn't have nearly such low cost printers. Maybe the best advice is to research printers AND ink prices BEFORE buying the printer.

    I have an incredible Epson WP-4020 that does everything but wash my dishes. It's wireless, fast, effortlessly prints double sided, prints documents e-mailed to it, has easy envelope handling, has a deep paper tray, and more. How much did it cost me? A thousand bucks? No, it was about $100, which by itself is also a ridiculous price, but in this case ridiculously cheap. So think about that printer ink as installment payments for the printer that keep Epson or the company that made your printer in business. I'm no fan of corporate America, but whatever you think about these companies or their business strategies (and a strategy this is) they do have to pay their bills.

    For what it's worth.

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