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  1. #1
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    Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    I noticed recently what appears to be an extra "My Documents" folder in Explorer?? There is a My Documents folder for Boss and one in my personal account. I'm the only user on this PC so the two My Documents are identical. But there is a third folder showing as a stand alone folder in C:drive with my name on it: Jeff's Documents which is identical to the "My Documents" folder in both of the other places.

    I've tried deleting it to free up some HD space; it is 64 megs, but XP won't allow me to. Perhaps it has been there all along and I never noticed it, but it sure seems like a redundant item that is taking up quite a bit of HD space. Is this folder "normal"? Any thoughts on this? <img src=/S/scratch.gif border=0 alt=scratch width=25 height=29>

    Jeff
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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    Are you sure that Jeff's Documents isn't just a shortcut?? Does it have an arrow on it?

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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    I'm not sure. I clicked on "Properties" for both the C:documents and settings/My documents folder and Jeff's documents folder and they are identical?? The target for both is identical too: <font color=blue>Cocuments and SettingsBossMy Documents</font color=blue>

    But both seem to be actual folders and contain the same files = 90 megs, 788 files and 46 folders.

    Jeff
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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    They are the same folder. I've noticed that XP handles this a little differently than W2K, where XP gives an alias to each User's "My Documents" folder in order to make it clear who that "My Documents" folder belongs to. It depends on who you're logged in as whether you see the alias name being used as well. Bottom line: I don't think you want to be deleting this folder! <img src=/S/duck.gif border=0 alt=duck width=23 height=23>

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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    Keely,

    I suspect that there is something actually wrong "again", with these accounts and folders, etc. Perhaps the screenshot of my Windows Explorer will help you and others to see what I'm talking about. I am logged in using the only account as the administrator, of course, named "Pilgrim". Where my actual name "Jeff" came from, is a mystery to me. But also notice that not only is there a totally separate folder for "Jeff's documents", the "My documents" found within the "Documents and Settings" and within Boss and Jeff directories are identical. In other words, there are 3 folders all containing the exact data, but in 3 separate folders, one of which (Jeff's Documents) is found as a standalone folder in C:Jeff's Documents near the bottom of the tree.

    There is also a folder inside the "Documents and Settings" named "All Users.WINDOWS", which I don't recall seeing before either, <img src=/S/doh.gif border=0 alt=doh width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    Jeff,

    I looked at you screen shot and found that it is identical to mine, except for the name of course.

    I believe there is a thread that addressed this same subject. It was posted on Apr. 9, 2002 named
    H Lewton

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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    These are ALL showing the same folder, just in different ways. This is how it has been since Windows 2K and I think Me did the same thing.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    Okay, take a deep breath <g>. First of all, I would highly recommend that you shift your account management strategy. When you first set up XP, you would have been asked to assign a password to the Administrator account - you may have assigned nothing. It sounds like you then selected the option to not require users to login when using the computer, that "Pilgrim" would be the default account and no password entry was needed. What that means is that both the Administrator account and the Pilgrim account run with Administrator privileges.

    Regardless of whether you are the only person using the computer, it is very wise to leave the Administrator account as the only one with adminstrator privileges, and then do your daily work in your user account that you assign either Power User or regular User privileges. This minimizes the likelihood that if you are infected with a virus or someone gains access to your computer either physically or virtually, the damage they can do is limited - for example, the virus would not be able to delete system files because the user currently logged in cannot do so.

    The downside to this strategy is that you must almost always login as the Adminstrator to install programs, but I consider that a rather small inconvenience when dealing with the security of my computer. There are a few instances where you may have to temporarily grant your User account with Administrator privileges and install a program under that account only - my Treo with the PalmOS synchronization function is a good example of this - but that's fairly rare.

    I would recommend that you log yourself out of "Pilgrim", log in as Administrator (with the password or lack thereof), go to the Control Panel | Users Accounts, to look over the accounts you have created, and then change your setup from there (of course, back up your data before making any changes just in case).

    The All Users folder is where XP sticks all of the shortcuts and the Shared Documents folder that are available to all user accounts on the computer - this is totally normal. I've enclosed a snap shot of my Documents and Settings folder tree - there is a Default Users folder, an All Users folder and various User folders. You can't log in as "All Users" or "Default Users" - but XP needs those folders nonetheless. In additon, my folder tree in regards to documents folders looks the same as what you describe - there are three different ways I can navigate to the "My Documents" folder used by User "Keely Dunn" when I'm logged in as myself, but the folders aren't being duplicated in content or form - they're just handy shortcuts in the Explorer file tree.

    The bottom line is that, other than your vulnerable User Account setup, your folders are completely normal. You can stop panicking now. <img src=/S/groovin.gif border=0 alt=groovin width=21 height=21>
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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    Keely,
    What you have stated is great for XP PRO but he is running XP Home and things are different when it comes to the user accounts.

    On the Home version the ONLY way to get to "The Admin" account is to boot into the safe mode or the repair mode.

    All accounts have "Admin" permissions unless one goes in and changes them. Permissions do NOT have full admin account functions.

    I do agree that there needs to be more than one account with Adim permisions, always leave a back door.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    Keely,

    Thanks for all the information and recommendations. When I look at my "Documents and Settings" folder it has one item which is not in yours. See the screenshot below. The folder is named, "All Users.WINDOWS"??

    What I had THOUGHT I had setup was my personal account, "Jeff", which is the Administrator/Boss and it is password protected. There is no other account created other than the default "Guest" account. At least there is an icon/picture for this on the Start Window. But clicking that "Guest" picture does nothing? I had thought that if anyone other than myself wanted to briefly use my computer, they would simply click the "Guest" picture and then they would automatically be given "Limited" rights. Thus all my data and the system files would be protected.

    So, I guess I have two questions then:

    1) What's this "All Users.WINDOWS" folder?
    2) Why doesn't the "Guest" account work? (clicking it does nothing!!)

    Thanks for your time and knowledge,

    Jeff
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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    The All users.Windows tells me you installed Windows over itself. We are now in a different world. The settings that you HAD in the first install were saved and/or copied in this new folder. You now have a new set of accounts and folders.
    The setting with need to be check for each account, within 'Control Panel'. When you check these accounts let us know what you have. You may not have the Quest account turned on because of the second install of Windows. It is OFF by default.
    To get rid of the "All User.Windows", I beleive you MUST do a format and clean install.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    And just to expand on DaveA's answer, the ".Windows" additon to the folder name is XP/W2K's way of distinguishing the prior existing "All Users" folder from your first Windows installation from your second. In my W2K PC, my user account's folder is called "Keely.OFFICE" - Office being the name of my computer, and the extension being the result of recreating the account back when I didn't know why there was a "Keely" user account created in the first place (yes, we all start from somewhere).

    When I open the User Accounts applet and click on the Guest account, there is a box allowing me to enable the account. Are you not seeing this when you try it?

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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    Keely, Dave,

    I have only two accounts listed in "Control Panel/Accounts"; 1) Jeff (that's my own account) and 2) Guest. The "Guest" account is turned on. If I reboot and then try to login using the Guest account, nothing happends... nada.

    I just tried creating a new account and login with that new one and it says that the necessary files cannot be found. So, I can't get in with that one either?? Now, I'm really confused and concerned. I have Ghosted an image of my HD about a week ago so reformatting isn't a big deal, but it may have the same configuration as what I have now. I haven't installed Windows over itself, so I can't explain how that "All Users.WINDOWS" folder got there? <img src=/S/scratch.gif border=0 alt=scratch width=25 height=29>

    Jeff
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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    Interesting - I missed the XP Home reference in the initial post. I used to have that problem in XP Pro, and I was stumped as to how to log in as Adminstrator when it was not listed on the Welcome screen. Well, one day I did the three-finger salute twice from the Welcome screen, and was able to gain access to the W2K-like login screen and login as Administrator from there. I have a fuzzy recollection of a setting that I changed to have the Adminstrator account displayed on the Welcome Screen from that point forward, and it has stuck. I think it was under the options in change accounts applet, but when I try to retrace my steps I can't find it. So, you certainly may be correct, but I've worked around what sounds to be the identical behaviour in XP Pro - has anyone tried this in XP Home?

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    Re: Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME)

    Is the name of your computer "Windows", by any chance? DaveA wasn't recommending that you had to reformat your computer necessarily, just that if you're super-duper anal retentive and wanted to change the folder's name from All Users.Windows to All Users, you would have to reformat. Like I said before, there is no cause for concern here.

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