Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24
  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Yilgarn region of Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    Is there a simple way of thwarting references to "Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves"?

    1) I am interested in reducing boot and shutdown times. I believe(?) that the data in "Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves" gets carefully saved and restored each time, and so reducing the amount of stuff that is in there should speed things up.

    2) My new Canon camera gets going by dumping things into "Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves", so I've changed THAT default path. When I fire up a program, chances are it will default to "Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves", whence I must navigate my way up out of that hole and then across and down to "C:GreavesClientsEEdTech20050510_ConversionDAT A", or wherever.

    So:

    I've browsed through both http://www.theeldergeek.com/ and http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp.htm looking for "defaults" and "Documents and Settings", with no luck.

    I've read the (to me) excellent thread " Extra 'My Documents' folder (XP HOME) " at <post#=143598>post 143598</post: >

    I'm not really sure that there COULD be an answer to this. I have a gut feeling that if I'm the only real users (apart from all the business of Administrator), I don't need stuff to be rolled in and rolled out again each time I reboot. I'd very much like to be able to have most programs automatically default to C:Greaves as the folder in any Open File, Save File, Insert Picture .... dialog box. There's just me here, sitting in my home office, living alone with a cat. All my new/updated data gets backed up automatically first boot of the day to a separate physical drive which must be removed after that run in order for me to proceed. I'm quite happy with my level of data security and integrity.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    12,107
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    When you say "thwarting" if you mean changing, that's easily done. There have been several discussions of this topic here in the XP Forum, such as <!post=this old thread,315352>this old thread<!/post> and <!post=this one as well.,400217>this one as well.<!/post> However, I don't think changing the location to somewhere else is what you really want, for whatever it is that you perceive Windows is doing at startup would still happen at a "new" location. I'm afraid that I did mine the one-at-a-time way by changing the default store location in each application I use, to a data storage location on a separate physical drive. After doing so, I copied any files from Doc & Settings to my chosen location, then went back and deleted the originals in Doc & Settings. I was afraid that "moving" the files would cause XP to follow that trail.

    I still have a Doc & Settings folder with a number of sub-folders but there's essentially nothing in any of them. I don't notice, or can't tell, any perceptible slowdown at startup that I could nail down as this kind of problem.

  3. #3
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,585
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,059 Times in 928 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    Chris,

    You don't have a choice about XP saving your settings at shutdown and loading your settings at startup. Changing the 'My Documents' location won't do anything as far as startup and shutdown. See several of the articles in this Search The Knowledge Base for more information.

    Joe
    Joe

  4. #4
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Yilgarn region of Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    > When you say "thwarting" if you mean changing, that's easily done ..

    Thanks for all the threads. If they'd come BEFORE I bought the digital camera .....

    OK. here's my "problem" in its raw form: I'm the only person who sits at this computer. It is in my apartment. It is secure, etc etc. My data gets stored either under C:Greaves (business stuff) or under C:Pers (personal stuff).

    (1) default storage locations

    I notice that applications generally seem to start me off in a folder subordinate to Cocuments and Settings folder. In some applications (e.g. MSWord) I can change the defaults (Tools, Options, Locations), but in general everybody seems to default to Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves.

    I never store stuff under Cocuments and Settings (unless by accident), I always store it under greaves or pers, so in the first instance I'd like to wean every application away from the "My crud" approach; a much better default for me would be C:Greaves, or even C:GreavesAdmin.

    I am frequently involved in a laborious climb out of the My Pictures pit and navigation to a much more usful starting-point, such as c:greaves. If I could somehow tell applications that C:Greaves is the place to store stuff, I'd have it where I want it, and wouldn't labour under navigation.

    (2) booting

    A secondary issue then is the amount of crud that finds its way in Cocuments and Settings. My understanding is that WinXP keeps my data (user Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves) separate from any other users, and tosses the crud back and forth at reboot time. Now, there is no other user, ever, so there's little practical advantage to be gained by this in my case. If I had a tribe of little Greaves surfing the 'net it'd be different, but as we now know, Jupiter sleeps most of the day, so it's just me.

    I can understand system-related data, such as the shortcuts in my QuickLaunch toolbar being customised, but the folder Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves fills up with all sorts of application data (my own stored data plus RealPlayer and other cache-like stuff).


    I'm not sure where to start. I feel certain that there's no need to treat my pictures, documents, recorded wav files etc as being any different from invoices, letters and spreadsheets. Mainly I'm puzzled that, say, MSWord is quite happy to let me specify defaults away from MyDocuments (and into C:Greaves), and so many other aps don't. These (to me) rogue aps force me to store user data in a place that governs reboot time.

    Can you see an anomaly there? Perhaps I've not really thought it through enough to state clearly what is bugging me.

    This post <post#=316837>post 316837</post: > is closest to what's bugging me "Everything I've learned about computers over the past 30 years demands that programs and data be kept separate."

    If it is true that Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves gets copied in/out at reboot time
    Then I'd like to reduce the quanity of user-data that sits in there.

    Again, I don't have a problem with Quicklaunch and similar stuff, but my photos and sounds etc are just data to me, as much as is a spreadsheet or a presentation.

    I'm going away to think about this a bit more ......

  5. #5
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Yilgarn region of Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    > You don't have a choice about XP saving your settings at shutdown and loading your settings at startup.

    Joe, thanks for this depressing news (grin!). I think I could live with this, providing it was the truly system-essential stuff. Shortcuts on the desktop, shortcuts in QuicLaunch and so on. It's having all the base user-data rolled into there, too, that annoys me.

    If I think about this a bit more, I might come up with an objection to rolling in/out anything. From my (selfish and personal) point of view, the user is always me, always. If something, anything, is stored in Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves, it can stay stored there until I re-boot.

    We're not talking about saving volatile seetings from RAM to disk - of course we want to do that, but somehow the business of rolling out Chris's stuff so it doesn't conflict with Chris's stuff seems weird. I can't be the only isolated sole-user WinXP installation in the world?

    I didn't ought to let this thread turn into a whine session. Whether you agree with me or not, can you see the redundancy in copying Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves into C:SavedDocuments and SettingsChris Greaves at shutdown, and then copying C:SavedDocuments and SettingsChris Greaves into Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves at startup?

  6. #6
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,585
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,059 Times in 928 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    Chris,

    It doesn't just copy everthing. Only settings which are user specific. XP is designed from the ground up to be a multi-user system. One of which is the built-in administrator account. That account could have different desktop, start-up, start 'button', etc. settings. If you indeed have something copying all of 'documents and settings' to a saveddoc...., it is not XP doing that. It is some program you (or the OEM) installed.

    Joe
    Joe

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, USA
    Posts
    705
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    As you probably already know, TweakUI lets you change the location of various of the "Special Folders", including My Documents and My Pictures.

    I'm not sure I understand your main concern, but I think it may involve something that doesn't happen. I believe all the files in Cocuments and SettingsChris Greaves get left there at shutdown and so are still there when you reboot; they're not rolled out to some other set of folders and rolled back in. I'm not sure exactly what gets saved from where to where when Windows says it's "saving your settings," but I'm pretty sure it's not most of your Documents and Settings files (and especially not documents, pictures and other non-"settings" files).

    I recently made the mistake of doing a "standard install" of Norton Internet Security 2005, and the "parental controls" feature planted a 120MB (that's not a typo) file of forbidden URLs in my Documents and Settings tree, but my bootup and shutdown times definitely didn't increase by the time needed to copy a 120MB file. (I've since uninstalled the parental controls component and nuked the 120MB monstrosity.)

  8. #8
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,450
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    It seems to me that your original, and truly raw question, lay in your statement ' I am interested in reducing boot and shutdown times'. Welcome to the club. My impression is that no matter what you do you might as well come back after you've made your coffee.

    I will add a question of my own, which may or may not be relevant and which others may or not wish to comment on: How many processes do you have running at a given time, say when nothing that involves your input is going on? I have two different computers with nearly identical software, except that one is XP Pro and the other Home, and the one (Pro) had exactly double the number of the other computer when I was running a utility that showed it tonight (94 processes vs. 47). Because it's a laptop it may have a lot of power management or other added features, but the difference is extremely large. The boot time isn't all that much different, but I do want to significantly reduce the number of background applications if I can.

  9. #9
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    1,993
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    Chris,

    Moving My Documents folder (and sub folders) is maybe the first obvious step in separate data storage. Then comes maybe: Favorites, cookies, PST-files, maybe even Temp folder etc. (last one changed in Environment Variables; ex. "Cocuments and SettingsuserLocal SettingsTemp" to "D:Temp").

    I think we all know how to do this. Even though some first right-click My documents and change folder, then use Tweak UI to really, really make Windows understand the new path. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

    If one does this layout before installing Office programs etc. there is no need to change "Documents" location in Word et al.

    As I understand it, it is possible to move the entire Documents and Settings folder (though not advisable to say the least. MS strongly recommends against). Even as it is today with no changes things can go wrong. In my case Swedish OS, some badly written non-swedish programs don't look at setting Programfiles (C:Program) and creates and install to C:Program files. This annoyance could turn to a huge problem if the same should happen to the Document and Settings folder. It is also possible to move only user-specific data, same MSKB.

    I am not sure if understand exactly what you want to do or what is "bugging" you when it comes to: (2) booting. I agree with bigaldoc and Joe; whatever takes place in Cocument and Settings will happen if I move and rename to F:XYZ. But moving as much of the data as possible could of course be good; security, backup, easy access etc.

    I know more or less nada about network, but know that XP (Pro) works with three types of profiles; local, roaming and mandatory user profiles. Local is obviously local, in case of roaming I think a copy on server is updated. If no network: I don't see what would be copied.

    Books I've read mention MSKB236621. It's also mentioned in the thread bigaldoc posted. However, it only mention Windows 2000, and later Windows 2003. I did a search and as second, after MSKB236621, is "An error message informs you that you cannot move or rename the Documents and Settings folder". Same as second in Joe's search result. This one applies to XP Pro/Home.

    Argus

  10. #10
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Yilgarn region of Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    > It doesn't just copy everthing. Only settings which are user specific.

    Joe, thanks for this. Steve mentioned it too. My concern was that data files were being uselessly bandied about every time I shutdown or booted.

  11. #11
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Yilgarn region of Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    > "saving your settings," but I'm pretty sure it's not most of your Documents and Settings files (and especially not documents, pictures and other non-"settings" files

    Steve, thanks for the re-assurance.

    I think my concerns are/were two-fold

    (1) slow reboot times, and an increasing amount of red-light activity when I'm idle. I've turned of the auto-indexing feature, even nuked the Prefetch in a child-like way of trying to determine why hard drives are so busy.

    (2) the (to me) annoying insistence of every man and his dog to store things in Cocuments and settings, when I'd really rather tell the world "No! It goes under C:Greaves", or as some would have it "under D:".

    Thanks for the re-assurance.

  12. #12
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Yilgarn region of Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    > your original, and truly raw question

    That's right. I clouded the issue by confusing two questions in one thread. I was concerned that Cocuments and settings was bloating with all the data being chucked in there, and that this bloating was contributing to longer reboot times.

  13. #13
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Yilgarn region of Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    > How many processes do you have running at a given time,

    This snapshot is typical for me - about 30 processes, some of which i recognise. EasyNotification is a program that polls the mail server and lets me preview mail, deleting obnoxious marketing calls.

  14. #14
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Yilgarn region of Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    > But moving as much of the data as possible could of course be good; security, backup, easy access etc.

    Thanks, Argus. My backup is supposed to be effective - copy everything and anything that has changed since yesterday to a removable drive.
    In terms of data files (docs, pictures etc.) stored in Cocuments and Settings, it's an annoyance to me, because I prefer to store data in one of two named folder trees, C:Greaves or C:Pers.

    At first i thought I was being snobbish - all the simple people who know less than I about computers blindly store their data where MSoft tells them too, but I'm better than that. Then I realised that i really did want to have data storage default to some place specific, and that I'd much prefer my data files to be stored separately from Settings, which i see as environmental data closely tied to programs. A previously-referenced thread mentioned this - the separation of programs from data.

  15. #15
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Yilgarn region of Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Avoiding 'Documents and Settings' (WinXP)

    But see also <!post=This Scuttlebutt Post,484251>This Scuttlebutt Post<!/post>

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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