Need help correcting the "My Computer" file tree

By Mike_Gross ·
I screwed up my Windows Explorer/My Computer file structure and don't know how to correct it. This will be long since I'll provide as much detail as I can.
1. Older IDE only computer/motherboard
2. Purchase and installed 2nd, storage only SATA HDD via PCI controller card. New drive is H: due to other internal components.
3. Primary (0)boot drive is partitioned as C: Local Disk (OS), F: Local Disk (all programs and data files), H: Local Disk (blank, yet it seems to think a "My Documents" folder/files exist).

Issue creation: Located My Documents folder on F: as follows: F\Documents and Settings\My Name\My Documents. Clicked on My Documents folder and drug to the new/blank H: drive. My goal was to simply move all my data files in their existing sub directories to the new (larger) drive and then delete all data files from F: to free up limited drive capacity, using the new H: location from now on.

The result was:
1. The appearance of copying all the My Documents folders and files then nothing showed up on the H: drive.
2. My normal F: My Documents folder disappeared.
3. I found a new Control Panel root level icon at the bottom of Windows Explorer window with a "Shared Documents" subfolder, several blank folders within. New My Name Documents folder. Appeared blank (NOTE: I can't delete either of these new folders, no delete option on right click).

I panicked with all my working files gone and opened my Norton 360, used as backup to an external USB drive and restored. Checked the option to restore to original location. Old files showed up in the new My Documents location. The old My Documents folder under my user name was not recreated.

Now more panicked, I opened my USB backup through Norton and was able to see my newer files so I deleted everything in the new Shared and My Documents folders and Restored again. This time setting my restore directory to a new F:\My Documents. This at least got my latest files back, yet in this new location. I tried recreating a My Documents directory unser my user name but receive error, "A file with the name you specified already exists."

I'm not great with computers but I now feel like an idot. This seems like it should have been an easy 10 minute task that has now eaten up over a day.

Any advice regarding how to get things back to normal or how to correctly move all my files to the new H: drive would be greatly appreciated.

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All Answers

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2 things

by patb071 In reply to Need help correcting the ...

have you tried showing hidden files and do a search for a missing file or folder to see where they may have gone to?

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Yes, hidden files and folders are show

by Mike_Gross In reply to 2 things

I do have the Folders Options set to "show hidden files and folders." The new Shared folder that was created at the root level is empty and the other new My Name Documents folder now has every folder that used to be listed under F:\Documents and Settings\My Name\My Documents.

Restoring to the newly created directory did allow me to get all of my latest files back. Now it is just their location that seems is messed up.

In fact, when I started the computer this morning, it now appears all of my folders are directories are in two places - duplicated. They are now displaying in the correct (old) path (F:\Documents and settings\My Name\My Documents), as well as under the root directory now entitled "My Name's Documents".

Even more strange is I'm now also seeing a My Documents folder listed on my new H: drive with all the same directories and files but they are grayed out. However double clicking on them does open them.

Now I'm even more confused as to where the files really are so I can delete duplicates. I can see that my primary drive has considerably less free space than it did before I started.

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The 10 minute way

by Kenone In reply to Need help correcting the ...

right click "My Documents", Change the path,when windows asks you if you want to copy all files and folders from the old location to the new location say yes, done.
I can't quite decipher what you've done here but are your files now located on your new "H" drive? Can you get to them through your "My Documents" icon?

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Request now paranoid clarification

by Mike_Gross In reply to The 10 minute way

Am I correct in assuming you are indicating I first have to drag the My Documents folder from the default F: to the new H: as I did initially that started this whole problem? I ask because simply right clicking on the default F:\My Documents folder doesn't give me any option or prompt to copy all files and folders. That was actually what I expected to occur when I first drug the default folder to the new drive. Expecting Windows to simply to copy everything since my action would be interpreted as a request to move files from one drive to another which I thought by default would make a mirror copy. I was never prompted with the copy option on the initial drag and drop.

FYI, as indicated in response to the 1st response I do now see the My Documents folder on the new H: drive, but all folders and files within are grayed out.

Additionally, all of the work and files I created or downloaded yesterday and the new folder I created appeared to have disappeared today. A search, however, found them in a new, deeper nested location as follows: F:\Documents and Settings\My Name\My Documents\my name\My Documents. The more I do the more screwed up I'm making it.

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OK step by step

by Kenone In reply to Request now paranoid clar ...

right click the "My Documents" folder
Click "Properties"
see the "target" box? click in it and left arrow to the beginning.
It should say something like F:\Documents and Setting\Your Name\ etc....
Change the F to H and click OK
It will ask if you want to copy your stuff to the new location.
Say yes
and stop dragging and dropping stuff all over the place you'll just make a mess.

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Dragging a directory doesn't tell the OS your preference

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Need help correcting the ...

It only copies or moves the contents from one location to the other.

At no point have you yet told the OS (whichever one it is - you didn't say) that this NEW location is to be used from now on.

Disconnect the SATA because the BACKUP doesn't 'know anything about the SATA drive since it was made before you installed the hardware. Then try restoring to the Normal locations.

Then reconnect the SATA hardware, boot into the system and INSTRUCT the OS to transfer the directory to its new position.

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by Mike_Gross In reply to Dragging a directory does ...

Your response makes perfect sense, but how (specifically) do I instruct the OS to transfer the directory to the new location? Can you provide details.

Also, just in an effort to increase my understanding, since the backup was as you indicated performed prior to the H: drive's addition, why would this have any bearing on the restore request to the original location? Is it because it was now confused by my having drug the My Documents folder to the new drive?

Thanks for everyone's help.

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Knowing which OS you have would help ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to INSTRUCT how?

They're all called Windows but they're ALL different.

I was mainly referring to the SATA hardware which wouldn't have a driver contained in the backup.

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